Monday, March 8, 2010


In an effort to reclaim full use of my decrepit old left hip I must FIGHT THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE all over again. Didn't we do that already in 1944? Through exercise and diet I need to lose somewhere in the neighborhood of 75 pounds.

Physically, I am sadly out of shape. I have used walking as my main exercise in recent years and with the combination of a bum hip and deep snow I haven't exercised at all in a couple months. It does not take long for the pounds to add up and the body to sag in all the wrong places, huh?

Working on the diet angle, this afternoon I headed for the Hartville Farm Market to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables.This market has a strong Amish/Mennonite influence as can be seen
by the two young ladies from whom I bought today's produce.

There is always something special going on at the Hartville Market. Today it is JOHN DEERE equipment. You name it and it was on display. Great products and fun kicking the tires.

I bought for two families today. Almost a year ago my wife and I hired a wonderful neighbor to work for us, primarily to do all the things which I can no longer do. Her name is Donna. She cleans house, creates order from chaos, plants and cares for flowers and whatever it is that she thinks she can do to help us. She has been my right hand in all the social shin digs. She is fun and she is gutsy.

The dog poo has accumulated in the two feet of snow which has now mostly melted away. I just told Julie as we left for my son's church yesterday that I'd clean up the mess come Monday.

No problem! Donna beat me to it. Obviously, cleaning up after my dog is my job regardless of how I'm feeling. You can't really pay anyone for doing that kind of work. When I bought my produce I bought Donna and Benny, her husband, some huge purple grapes, two very large boxes of strawberries and a large bag of oranges. I was going to give her a McDonald's gift card but thought she'd appreciate the fresh fruit instead.

The Hartville Market started out many, many years ago as an outdoor market with a really ugly restaurant in an add-on-to-an-add-on-to-an-add-on of an old building. It was ugly but the Amish food was to die for. A few years ago they build a large, beautiful restaurant and also a large and beautiful market.

Julie says I go to the market as much for the chili dogs as I do for the produce. What she really says is that I get the hot dogs so I can talk to the cashier, Sharon. I don't know that Julie is wrong. Sharon is what I call a Good Time Charlie Girl! Spiked hair and a spectacular and warm smile, she reminds me of my daughter-in-law, Amy. I like "good time Charlie girls".

Today Sharon was also cleaning tables. There has always been other employees doing this. I asked if there had been a reduction of employees and she affirmed there had been about Thanksgiving time. She also said that with the coming of spring they thought business would increase enough to justify rehiring them.

My long, lost cousin, Cheryl emailed a miracle diet which I think will help me get the pounds off. Cheryl's great grandmother was my grandfather's sister. We spent some time together over Thanksgiving and she and her husband, Jack, are going to spend the first week of October this year at our Myrtle Beach Condo, alongwith my son Mark and his wife Mary Kay. Lately my blogs have been so serious I thought this story would lighten things up a bit? And, yes, Cheryl is definitely a "good time Charley girl"! This is her story:

My Trip to Costco:

Yesterday I was at my local COSTCO buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Biscuit, the Wonder Dog, and was in the checkout line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had, an elephant? So since I'm retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that "No, I didn't have a dog. I was starting the Purina Diet again". I added that I probably shouldn't, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but that I'd lost 50 pounds before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a perfect diet and that the way it works is to load your pants pockets with Purina nuggests and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again.

(I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care because the dog food poisoned me. I told her "No, I stepped off a curb to sniff an Irish Setter's butt and a car hit us both".

(I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.)

Costco won't let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the world to think of crazy things to say.


God Bless!


Mark Pierce said...

Cousin Cheryl has the best stories! She should start a blog!

Phatmom said...

Thanks, Mark! I just might do that after I graduate in about a year or so. You and your dad have really inspired me. Writing has definitely been the thing that is getting me through school with passing grades. It sure isn't the tests! This writing thing must run on the Pierce side. It makes me feel very connected to you guys.

lil said...

Thanks for a good laugh during my work day!!! That is a very funny story!! It's amazing how gullible some people can be!!! HA!
My son-in-law is an awesome writer, so if you ever check out other blogs, his is We live in Colorado, do have to wait for Spring a bit longer than you do!