Monday, March 31, 2008

The Truck

Main Entry: truck
Function: noun
Etymology: probably back-formation from truckle small wheel
Date: 1611
3: a wheeled vehicle for moving heavy articles: as a: a strong horse-drawn or automotive vehicle (as a pickup) for hauling

That’s Webster’s definition of a truck. My definition is quite different. I hate them. No, let me be more specific. There is one certain pickup truck that I hate. Totally. I can see the headline now:

Aspiring Author Arrested for Truckocide.
Suspect allegedly smashed truck to smithereens with a tire iron, all the while yelling “die you effing truck, die!”

It’s not really the trucks fault. I’m sure it’s a fine upstanding truck. In fact, it may have little trucks to support. I don’t care. I hate it. Sitting out there so innocent looking. No one would believe how evil it is. And it is evil, don’t doubt about that one bit. It’s either parked on one side or the other of my bedroom window, sometimes right smack dab in front of it. And it hates me as much as I hate it. I’m positive about that one. Otherwise, why would its alarm go off at all hours of the night and early morning? Why else would it do it especially the night before I have to get up for work? And believe you me, it’s not just night when it lets itself be heard. It went off several times today, breaking the silence with its shrill siren and incessant horn hocking. Did I mention incessant? Aggravating? I’m going to end up flipping out one night and charging out my patio door, tire iron waving in the humid Texas night as I climb hysterically over the patio fence. Then it’ll be just the truck and I. And the tire arm. I’m betting on me.

BTW, I've been busy putting together a MySpace fan page for Jill. Head on over to see it. Let me know what you think. It's 99% done and I'm waiting for Jill to crawl out from the deadline cave (Monday I hope) to finish the little bit that's left. You don't have to be a member of MySpace to look at the page.

Friday, March 28, 2008

March of the Spammites

Sorry folks, I'm drained. This is the best I can do. Have a great Friday!

When man goes along the street and something big sticks out of his jeans … (Alien!! Run!!!)
Wipe that smirk off her face (You’re not touching my face)
Her breast just spilled out. (Only one?)
Some men won’t learn (You got that right)
I was drunk (You made more sense drunk than you do sober)
I wanted to say “I’m sorry.” (Well why don’t you say it then? Don’t just stand there and say that you wanted to. Sheesh.)
Ohio debt consolidation (Ohio’s in debt? It is getting bad, isn’t it?)
Make your friend bigger (She’s doing a good enough job on her own.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Love Lucy vs. the Moving Van

So, lest you think that moving was a totally traumatic occurrence, let me assure you that there was plenty of levity to be had; some of it not discovered until after the actual move, but funny nonetheless. In order to tell this story properly, I need to back up a little. When we moved into the house in 1969 there was carpet only in the living room and hall. The three bedrooms were hardwood. My father, coming from the generation that looked upon hardwood floors as an indication of poverty, put carpet in those rooms as soon as possible. This meant that the ends of those three doors had to be cut off. When I removed the carpet, the doors were of course too short and left gaps when closed.

To present day - since moving meant having the front door open, I had to trap BooBear in the bathroom; Bubba and Aidan in the first bedroom. Anyone who has followed this blog for any length of time knows that Bubba doesn’t like to be closed up in a room. He protests quite loudly. Moving day was no exception. It was so funny to see Bubba’s nose and one eye peeking out from under the door. Poor pitiful Bubba, begging with that one eye.

Obviously, we had to unhook the washing machine in order to move it. No problem for the guy who was helping us. He used to be a professional mover. Easy, right? Hmmmm. When he unhooked the hot water, it wouldn’t turn off. Water was squirting everywhere, the floor was flooding and the three of us (Cavin, Bebo and I) were in a panic. The water was scalding his hand and Bebo grabbed some of my clean clothes for him to wrap around his hand as he tried to turn off the valve. I made frantic calls to my cousins who are plumbers. Brother number one didn’t answer. Brother number two did. And laughed. “Go turn off the hot water at the water heater” he gasped when he could. Huh? That’s too obvious, right? Of course that worked. Water was everywhere; a small lake in the middle of the dining room. Cavin was soaked.

Fast forward to me unpacking; I came across a small box that perplexed me. I could have sworn that I had left it on the bathroom counter. I put it on my bar and waited for Bebo to get there. “What is this?” I said as she came in the door. “It’s a light bulb” she answered. “No, it’s not just a light bulb. It’s a garage door opener bulb.” She stared at me. “I left it there on purpose as it’s quite obvious that I don’t have a garage door.” Bebo is a real good packer. In fact, Bebo is a terrific packer. She packs all sorts of things that I wouldn’t need. Like the cover to the smoke alarm in the study at home. What am I going to do with that?

So see, it wasn’t all tears and sorrow, there was laughter involved. Some funny memories to start my new life with.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New Home

Oh no!!! I wrote this last night, but was having problems with the internet and kept closing down the computer and rebooting. In the meantime, word, of course, went bye bye and I forgot all about it! Sorry I'm late.

Well we’re here and we sorta have internet. This is the same problem that I was having before I moved. It’s the laptop, refusing to hook up to the router. It also keeps telling me that a network cable is unplugged? Huh? There’s no cable hooked up to it, nor has there ever been. Oh well. Also, at about 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. it refuses to hook up at all. When my money comes in from the house sale I’m going to have to have it looked at.

The move was traumatic for the cats. First, BooBear was closed up in the bathroom. Bubba and Aidan were put in the Master bedroom and then when the guest room was cleared out, they were moved there. Bubba does not like to be closed up in a room without a human, but we had to do it to keep them from running out the propped open front door. We made a couple of runs from the house to the apartment. We were so tired that we decided to get the cats, go home and then come back the next day to finish up. My niece and her husband were coming to pick up and store the things for my brother so we had to be there anyway. I took a last look around in the closets and noticed something way back on the shelf in the Master. It was a small box. I took it down, opened it up and cried. You see, my mother had this habit of buying gifts, hiding them and then forgetting about them. She’d obviously bought this before the Alzheimer’s set in. I knew it was for me – it was a Purrfect Friends cat tile. It’s beautiful. I didn’t have long to linger over it as the crowd arrived to pick up Dave’s stuff. Then they were gone. Bebo and I put the last few things in our cars and I sent Bebo ahead so I could take a last look around the house alone. It echoed around me and in those echoes I could hear laughter and tears; in the rooms ghosts reached out to me. I stopped at the wall that separated the den from the kitchen. Resting my hand on the paneling, I stood for a moment. You see, when we moved in there, the paneling wasn’t on this particular section of wall. This was where my parent’s measured my growth with penciled lines on the wall. They were still there, underneath the paneling dad installed in the mid-80s. Stepping outside, I looked at the sidewalk my dad put in around that time, the sidewalk where he wrote our names: David (my brother’s step-son), James, Eric, Jenni Lynn and me. I said goodbye to the feral cats – especially Little One, the most friendly. Locking the house, I went next door to say goodbye to Gwen (having said goodbye to Debbie the day before). And then I got in my car, backed out of the drive and stopped at the sound of a shout. The man across the street stepped out from his garage and waved “goodbye”. The people on the corner did the same thing. Ernie on the corner called me over and I stopped. He said goodbye, gave me a hug and sent me on my way. I cried most of the way to the apartment. BooBear was still hiding – on Saturday he had found the bed and crawled under it, not coming out until dark and then back under Sunday morning. He was still under the bed, but Aidan was no longer hissing at Bubba. Bubba took the move just fine, exploring and jumping in boxes. Now a week later, they are all doing fine and adjusting to the constraints of the loss of running room.

I’ll tell you more about the move and the new apartment next time.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


I'm closing down the computers for the move and will be off-line until Monday or Tuesday (fingers crossed because you know how "they" like to mess with my internet).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Last, Part Three

Friday night will be my last night in this house. I'm feeling a bit melancholy tonight. Mostly, I think, because of what this house symbolized. You see, once there was a family of six, now there are three. Once there were family gatherings with in-laws and grandchildren and gr-grandchildren and aunts and uncles and cousins. Now there is only Bebo and I. Once there was a little girl with dreams. Now most of those dreams have slipped by.

Now there will be new dreams, new memories. But I'll always remember that once there was a family. Once.

McCartney and Lennon said it best:

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Lasts, Part Two

First off, let me say that I am very excited about the future. I am by no means ignoring the things ahead of me. I’m just taking this time to say goodbye to something that has been a haven for me for the last 39 years. This is my closure.

So here are the lasts that I am happy about:

This is the last time I’ll have to struggle with the gate to the alley.

The last time I’ll have to struggle with the sliding glass door that is off its track and difficult because of the shifting foundation.

The last time I’ll have to worry about how I’m going to get the lawn mowed.

The last time I’ll have to deal with those ugly squiggly plant things that fall off of the tree every spring.

Speaking of the tree, it’s the last time I’ll have to deal with the web worms.

The last time I’ll have to put up with things not working.

The last time that I’ll have to watch a bad cable connection and not be able to do anything about it because it’s the lines my father split off from the main line.

I won’t have to clean a three bedroom, two living area, two bath home ever again.

No more messing with a broken garage door.

I have a fireplace, so I won’t have to freeze my butt off next winter because I can’t afford to run the furnace.

I won’t have to put up with those barking dogs next door. Don’t get me wrong, dogs are okay – it’s just these dogs I don’t like.

I won’t ever have to look at the mess that my neighbor has made of her home and yard. She’s a nice lady, but a bit on the trashy side.

No more cleaning the alley.

I can put the trash out whenever I want to.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Lasts, Part One

This is my last week in the house, so indulge me a little as I spend some time saying goodbye. There are a lot of "lasts" that I'll be experiencing here. The last time I'll close that door, the last time I'll open that cabinet, the last time ... While I'm excited about my new apartment, I'm also sad about leaving my home of almost 39 years. A lot has happened here, laughter as well as tears. Parties, goodbyes, hellos - I grew from child, to adolescent, to adult in this house. A great many people who are no longer with me have crossed its threshold. Their memories all live not only within me, but within these walls. Wedding showers, baby showers, graduation, birthday and anniversary parties. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, New Years Eve. Oh, the parties we would have. The house filled with people, laughter, conversation, love. Mostly, laughter. My mother and my father both died IN this house. The smells, the sounds - every creek and groan of the house, will be missed. The other day I experienced one of my "last". I woke up that morning to snow, and as I stood there taking pictures I realized that this would be my last snow in this house.
See that tree? My dad planted that tree. My maternal grandmother held it in the hole as he shoveled in dirt. My nephews swung from it. It has shaded me and this house for 25 years. I'll miss it too.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Spam Straight From the Freezer

First, the winner of the signed copy of The Heart of the Renegade is Dru!!!! Send me your snail mail address and I'll get it sent off to Loreth.

The answer:

Jacques Sauvage
Hunter McBride
Rafiq Zayed
December Ngomo
Grant McDonough
Luke Stone
and I would even have accepted Dr. Emily Carlin

Now, on to spam.

I changed my male machine length now it’s your turn. (I’m not touching your male machine.)
Perfectly crafted luxury pieces. (Not anymore)
Brandy be screen saver for you. (She will? Awww, how sweet.)
Please do not view. (If Brandy is going to be my screen saver, you can bet I’m going to view.)
Take bachelors very fast. (You betcha!)
Do you love FREE stuff? (No, I’d much rather pay for it. Sheesh)
There are only a few days left. Are you ready? (No!! I haven’t seen Ireland yet!)
Sucks huh. (Sucks isn’t the word for it.)

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I haven't done one of these in a long time. Today I’m giving away a signed copy of The Heart of a Renegade, the latest in the Shadow Soldiers series by Loreth Ann White. I’m reading this book right now (in between packing for the move) and am enjoying it immensely. Once again, Loreth has transported me to another place and into the lives of two interesting people. Here’s the blurb from the back:

Luke Stone was alone. And he liked it that way. An ex-bodyguard, sworn never to protest again after his last failure, Luke needed no one. Until he met Jessica Chan.

A journalist with a dark past, Jessica had uncovered deadly information that made her a target. And only Luke stood between her and certain death. She was everything he didn’t want: a woman who attracted trouble … and attracted him. But as assassins closed in and emotions ran high, Jessica might become everything he needed …

So what do you have to do to win this book? Simple, you go to Loreth’s webpage and find out the names of all of the Shadow Soldiers and then email them to me at baileystewart at baileystewart dot net. I will draw a name from the correct responses. Please, do not post your answers here. You have until 9:00 pm CST Thursday, March 6. Good luck.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Responsible Romantic Heroes Use Condoms

Some readers prefer heroes to use condoms while others say the dose of reality kills all the spontaneity and romance. It’s a debate that repeats all over romance land—to use condoms or not to use condoms—since, after all, it is only fiction…

New Zealand erotic romance author, Shelley Munro took this a step further in her upcoming release Fancy Free, the story of an accountant who inherits a condom company. When Ms. Munro caught an Air New Zealand flight from San Francisco, she came across an advertising article about a new condom on the market. The ideas flowed and by the time she landed in Auckland, she’d outlined her plot for Fancy Free.

It’s not every day a girl inherits a condom company, and to say accountant, Alice Beasley is astonished and out of her depth is putting it mildly. For an almost virgin, she needs a quick education in all things condom because her inheritance is in danger. Someone is intent on sabotage and playing nasty, trying to destroy her new company.

Alice is suddenly getting down and dirty with charismatic James, the factory manager, all in the name of business, testing new condom designs. The sex is hot. Mind-blowing. It’s a dark thrill and an erotic journey. Yeah, it’s a hard job but a girl’s got to do what a girl’s gotta do.

The testing turns personal. Alice wants James. She craves his talented touch and sultry kisses, she desires passion and physical pleasure on a permanent basis but first she must convince bad boy James to give up his fancy free ways.

Note: condoms were tested and a few harmed during the writing of this story.

Fancy Free releases on 7 March 2008 from Ellora’s Cave and is Ms. Munro’s eighteenth release from the pioneer erotic romance publisher.

From the time Shelley Munro was a little girl living in New Zealand, she wanted to be a detective. She read all the Famous Five mysteries by Enid Blyton before graduating to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Her favorite television viewing was Scooby Doo where she, in her invisible guise, helped Scooby solve the crime.

As happens with children, Shelley grew up and boys distracted her from childhood dreams. She found one she really liked and married him, traveling the world at his side until returning to settle in New Zealand to write hot and spicy tales for Ellora’s Cave, some of which contain the odd body or two.

Publishing Notes:
Title: Fancy Free
Author: Shelley Munro
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
ISBN: 9781419913341
Release Date: 7 March 2008
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Setting: Present day New Zealand

Adventure into Romance with Shelley Munro
Here's a snippet from the book:
Alicia started her company, Fancy Free on a whim—a business to occupy her time and keep her old school friends busy. Many of Sloan’s residents considered Fancy Free a strange business, and some were plain shocked, but Alicia didn’t believe in following conventions. Condoms were something she knew about. She’d researched them enough, heck, she’d even used a few in her time. Condoms were her passion, and so condoms were what her company produced. On her death, she left her precious company to her god-daughter Alice Beasley.

A snippet from Alicia’s collection of condom notes:

One size does not fit all. Correct condom use is critical in preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases, yet an Indiana study found many men reported problems with the fit and feel of condoms. The range of condom sizes is limited yet men come in all shapes and sizes.

21% of men in the study reported the condoms were too tight.
18% of the men in the study reported the condoms felt too short.
10% of the men in the study reported the condoms felt too loose.
7% of the men in the study reported the condoms felt too long.

Alicia’s Notes – look at providing condoms in varied sizes.

Source: Indiana University (2007, September 19) Condoms are Not ‘One Size Fits All’. Science Daily.

Get your copy of FANCY FREE, an erotic romance about condoms by Shelley Munro, from Ellora’s Cave on March 7, 2008.
To read an excerpt visit