My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

History, Roadkill and Beer

Chapter 2: In which the heroine talks about random items.

It's really sad when a delicious food product is rendered inedible solely because of its name. The local grocery store chain has its own bakery and puts out some pretty decent baked goods and one of its best "good" is what I think they call "brownie bites" -- small mini-muffin shaped brownies. They are so tasty, you almost have to eat them all in one sitting.

Well, in my sleep-deprived haze last Saturday, I took Red (the newborn) and Dusty Trails (my preschooler)to the grocery store and put what I believed to be a box of brownie bites in the cart. They looked like brownie bites --what else could they possibly be?

When I returned home, I had one and remarked to my husband that they tasted different, almost cake-like. Then, I glanced at the label and passed the box over to my husband with a look of horror. These pseudo-brownies were no brownies at all but something called......I hesitate to even utter the phrase, as it was obviously thought up by the devil......VELVET FUDGE POPPERS. My GOD! I can barely go on.

But, go on I must. Let's move on to something more appetizing, like....


I grew up in the city. Not a big city, but a city nonetheless. A city with sidewalks and alleys and, yes, a small array of roadkill. This mainly consisted of city critters: squirrels, rats, the occasional pet or 'possum. When I drove around the suburbs, I'd see a dead racoon. The usual.

Now that I live in the country, the roadkill is both more varied and more bountiful. In the last year, I've seen the following dead animals:

Deer, racoons, foxes, badgers, possums, snakes, cats, dogs, turtles, rabbits, gophers, and even some member of the weasel family.

It's the turtles I root for the most as they don't have the speed the others do. I'll see a box turtle poke along across my 55 mph two-lane road and yell at it to hurry, hurry! On my return trip, I'll look to see if he made it. No gross pile of guts smeared across the road? Whew, he made it!!

History Lesson. And then I'll let you go since this is summer and you should be out playing in bare feet.

I am a student of history, particularly women's history. I enjoy reading diaries and other first-person or first-hand narratives of the lives of regular women.

Recently I read, "Virginia Women 1600-1945; A Share of Honor" by Suzanne Lebsock. In it is a mention of my kind of woman, Elmina Slenker.

Ms. Slenker was from Pulaski County, VA, and active around 1870-1900. She was a novelist and a "freethinker" (perish the thought!). Slenker was even jailed for her ideas. She believed that religion was a hoax and that sexuality should be openly discussed and reformed. She published her arguments in journals and in novels entitled.....wait for it......"The Clergyman's Vicitms" and (my personal favorite) "Mary Jones, Infidel School Teacher." She framed by a fed posing as a reformer who asked that she send her writings by mail. She was arrested for sending "obscene, lewd, and lascivious writings" through the US Mail. While a jury (of provincial twits, no doubt) found her guilty, the judge let her go free. Gotta love it. I need to find those books.

Final bit in which preschooler gets the laugh.

So, after nine months of pregnancy abstinence, I finally allow myself a beer. We all decide to have dinner (picnic-style) in the living room to get my daughter out of the habit of watching tv while she eats (or doesn't). I give her her dinner and sit down with her while I wait for mine to finish cooking. I'm sitting on the picnic blanket, beer in hand. Dusty looks at me and asks, "Is beer your dinner, mommy?"

Yes, my child, and you drove me to it. Just please don't repeat this to your teachers at school. They wouldn't understand.


3:01 p.m. ::
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