Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Environmental Romance: Part Three

WARNING:   Don't even think about reading this installment without reading installment  

Flora: An Environmental Love Story

Installment numero tres

By: Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression - by candlelight)

A singular sparkling strand of the setting sun settled on someone striding with astonishing strength straight toward Flora, who stood, stunned. A muscular shape loomed before her, sparking* with masculine energy.

She gasped weakly as the last solar vestige illuminated a chiseled forehead and then shone on a square jaw glistening with manly stubble. Although it took only a fraction of a second, time seemed to stop for Flora as the dying light swept across impossibly broad shoulders and defined a span of brawny chest and abdominal musculature that looked like steel cords woven beneath the plaid flannel .

She stared, mesmerized by the sight of a trim waist and massive thighs that threatened to burst through the faded Levi 50ls that held them prisoner. With the very last teeny tiny little bit of sunlight Flora could just make out what she estimated were size 11 feet in well crafted boots.

The sun finally extinguished itself as if it could not compete…and darkness fell.

Fumbling through the many pockets of her regulation forest service issue utility vest, Flora’s dainty fingers finally found purchase on her regulation headlamp. As she switched on the powerful led bulb, the two men in front of her leapt into focus.

The unattractive one with the mullet chortled “Ya see, I tol’ you my twin brother was the one a firin’ the gun.” His wheezy laughter made him cough and he committed another spitting violation. “Go ahead, arrest him why don’t ya!”

Flora took her time, willing her heart to stop its erratic pounding; pounding that reminded her of a baby jackrabbit—one of her favorite infant creatures in the forest kingdom. She settled the headlamp neatly on the felt brim of her hat and cleared her throat, hoping her voice would not betray the melting feeling that dripped through her veins like warm honey. She took a deep breath, lifting her chin from the lump of humanity, up, up, up to the towering man who stood before her.

And then she saw them…

*note I used the word "sparking" not to be confused with "sparkling" which is an adjective patented by Stephenie Meyers and is legally unavailable for use in describing any fictional character except Edward.

To be continued

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Environmental Romance: Part Two

WARNING:  Don't even think about reading this installment
without reading installment numero uno.  
 A challenging intellectual piece of romantic literature 
such as this will leave you hopelessly lost 
without the proper framework.

Flora:  An Environmental Love Story

By Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression - by candlelight)

Installment numero dos:  (That's number two to you gringos) 

He stood there with his hands on his hips, a look of displeasure on his forehead. He was a scrawny man, only 5’ 4” from the top of his graying mullet to his paint-spattered Payless sneakers. “What’s the hurry cutie?” His voice cawed at her like the cry of a raven.

Flora squared her shoulders and took a deep steadying breath. “Sir, I am not your “cutie” her slender fingers made elegant quotation marks in the air. “I am a duly sworn officer of the United States Forest Service, and have made a promise to defend and protect it and every woodland creature that calls it home.” Her green eyes glinted with passion as she continued. “And you sir, are illegally discharging a firearm.”

The disgusting man chuckled, and spat a sloppy stream of tobacco juice, coating what had been a pristine stalk of Indian paintbrush. Flora stepped back, and wrinkled her finely chiseled nose in disgust. 

Shaking his grizzled mullet the man said, “Do you see a gun in my hands little lady? I mean, other than these two I’m a packin’ right here?” He pushed back the sleeves of his grimy t-shirt and flexed his unimpressive biceps.

Flora looked away in confusion. She was not used to biceps being flourished at her, unimpressive or otherwise. “Well, then who…I heard a gun—I…”

Another blast echoed through the twilight. Flora jumped involuntarily, a flush spreading across the porcelain skin of her high cheekbones.

The unattractive specimen before her slapped his filthy jeans and hooted with unkind laughter. “Whoooeee, that was fun seein’ you jump like a carp on a fishin’ line. Yes siree, that was a sight to see.” A puff of dust wafted from the jeans toward Flora’s sensitive nose and she coughed delicately, trying to regain control of the situation like she had been taught in the rigorous hours at the Forest Ranger Training Academy where she had been first in her class and had also earned the prestigious “Al Gore: Most Likely to Stop Global Warming” award.

She whipped a paper pad out of her back pocket. The 3x5 citation book made of recycled paper was slightly curved; molded to the curvature of her shapely buttocks. She pressed down with a firm hand. “I am citing you sir, for the discharging of noxious poisons on a protected forest fauna aka spitting tobacco juice on a flower."  She scribbled furiously, then neatly tore out the ticket bearing a $285 fine.  He reached for it with a reluctant chapped paw.

“My twin brother is not a goin’ like this”. The voice was malevolent and menacing.

“Your brother?” Flora’s mellifluous voice trembled a little in spite of herself.

“Yup, he’s the one a shootin’ yonder over that there ridge.”

And then she saw him.

                           To be continued...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Environmental Romance Part One

It has come to my attention that many of you, my dear readers are slogging along in petty lives of drudgery and woe. I feel you crying out for something…something to lighten your day, to lift your spirits, to get your cholesterol clogged heart pumping. What you need is…A GOOD ROMANCE!

And, so, in the spirit of service I offer you:

Flora: An Environmental Love Story

By: Laraine F. Eddington
(Best read aloud with expression - by candlelight)

Installment numero uno

“There you go little guy” Flora gave the diminutive raccoon a gentle push with her slender fingers. The black-masked rodent looked over his furry shoulder plaintively, as if to say Can’t I stay in your gentle arms a wee bit longer Miss Flora?”

“Now get going you silly” said Flora with a throaty chuckle. “Go find your family and stay off the road or next time you might be seriously injured, or even killed.” The thought sent a slight shudder down the lithesome frame of the young Forest Ranger.

Flora tucked a curling blonde tendril back under her Smokey the Bear Hat and sighed, thinking about how deeply she loved the creatures of the forest; the elk so muscular and noble, the wary deer, shyly sequestered in the dappled shade. Her heart softened at the thought of the prickly round porcupine, that reminded her so much of the father she had lost when she was seven. Her thick black lashes closed over her emerald green eyes as she pursed her full red lips. She shook her well shaped head, she couldn’t think about all that right now.

She noticed the lengthening shadows and checked the position of the sun with a practiced eye. Goodness gracious, it was already 6:45 p.m. Flora had once again lost all track of time, absorbed in the woodland, protecting the creatures that were her closest friends. She opened the door of her clean burning propane forest service vehicle and climbed in. It had been a busy day and she was looking forward to her Tai Chi class.

Before she could turn the key she heard the blast. Flora’s heart thumped wildly under her left bosom, a perfect twin to the one on the right. She rolled down the window and heard another rifle shot. Triangulating the sound, altitude and slope of the hill told her where the shot was coming from…the old corrals.

Dust boiled behind her as she mashed the gas pedal with a shapely foot clad in the soft leather of a well worn boot. Another shot pierced the forest calm. Her breath caught in her throat, thinking of the forest creatures running willy nilly with fright…away, away from the frightening sound. She skidded to a stop beside a jet black Ford Truck with expensive rims. Throwing the door open, she jumped out of the truck. And then she saw him.

To be continued…  

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Locks of love

Elvis' hair sells for $15K at Chicago auction
Published: 10/18/09, 9:05 PM EDT
CHICAGO (AP) - A clump of hair believed to have been trimmed from Elvis Presley's head when he joined the Army in 1958 has sold for $15,000 at a Chicago auction house.

I have to admit, the greed vector of my brain lit up when I read the above news tidbit. $15K, for some hair? I immediately looked through my hair collection to see if I had anything of value. BINGO! Sometimes it pays to be a hoarder, in spite of what Dr. Phil says.

I quickly called up my favorite antique appraisers, those adorable spunky twins, Leigh and Leslie Keno. Now, as you know, Antiques Roadshow has more than its share of hunkalicious dudes, but these two, well let’s just say that this twin package of slim sophistication should carry plenty of insurance.

Me: Hello, is that you Leslie and Leigh?

L&L: Good afternoon Mrs. Eddington.

Me: Oh please, call me Laraine, I’m not one of your antiques you know.

L&L: Our apologies Laraine, what can we do for you?

Me: I’ve got some hair to sell.

L&L: You say you have a Gregorian horsehair sofa from the Byzantine Empire circa 1630?

Me: Not a horsehair sofa, just some hair.

L&L: Is the hair sitting on a piece of antique furniture?

Me: No, I’ve got it in a Ziploc bag in my underwear drawer.

L&L: You keep hair in your underwear drawer?

Me: Only valuable hair. Do you want to hear about it or not?

Leigh: Have you washed it?

Leslie. Does it still have a patina?

Leigh: Is it in the original packaging?

Leslie: Does it have any civil war bullet holes in it?

Me: Easy boys, hold onto your knickers.

L&L: How do you know we wear knickers?

Me: Oh for heaven’s sake, everyone on Antiques Roadshow wears knickers. Now, do you want to hear about the hair or not?

L&L: Please, do tell.

Me: Well boys, while I hate to reveal my hair harvesting secrets, but let’s just say that I am the reason Mr. Trump has a perpetual combover.

L&L: Gasp! You snatched the Donald bald-headed?

Me: It was an accident, I thought it was a mohair scarf fluttering in the breeze.

L&L: So you can provide provenance?

Me: Ohhhh yeah.  The roots are still attached, you can see them if you put on your reading glasses.

L&L: Hold on to that hair. We’re on the next plane to Phoenix.

Me: Bring a suitcase full of cash boys, Donald isn’t producing any more hair and this deal ain’t going to be cheap.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Faking it

 fake Indian

There sure are a lot of fake Indians out there. There aren’t so many fake Native Americans, because that is a lot harder to fake. Being a fake Indian is much easier because you can take little bits from every tribe and put them all together to make a complete fake Indian package.

Like that guy that built a sweat lodge and sweated three people to death. I bet he thought; hmmmm, sweating under tarps, now that is something that will spice up my seminar and give me some southwestern mystique. I can get people to pay me a lot of money for that, especially if I throw in some eerie flute music.

Here are a few tips to help you recognize fake Indians.

• Fake Indians always have an ancestor who is a Cherokee princess 

• Fake Indians wear fake Navajo jewelry while playing slots at Gila River Casino

• Fake Indians charge $10,000 for a weekend of fake Indian “enlightenment”

• Fake Indians don’t have a sense of humor. They are embarrassingly earnest

• Fake Indians never drive pickups, they a have a bike or a Prius

• Fake Indians build sweat lodges big enough to hold “seminars”

The real thing

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I’ve been wondering about a few things lately. Like…

If you have super strong muscles, could your bladder really explode?

Is Maria Shriver starting to look like Skeletor because of the strain of being married to Arnold Schwarzenegger?

Which would you rather have, 
swine flu or gopher flu?


If there is Wii bowling in heaven, do you think 
Mother Teresa can beat Gandhi?

What is so great about whiskers on kittens 
and warm woolen mittens?

If Lindsay Lohan had grown up in a little house on the prairie, could Ma and Pa have whipped her into shape?


Do you think the Discovery Channel 
will ever have toad week?

Do you think Willy Wonka is bulimic?

If you were a finalist in the National Spelling Bee, 
would you rather get diarrhea or misspell it?

Just wondering.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Survivor: Snowflake Elementary

How well I remember my first survivor experience. I was in the first grade and in love with a classmate named, oh let’s call him Kent because that was his name. I tried all the usual ploys to gain his attention and win his love.

On Monday I followed him around at recess making coyote calls. On Tuesday I wrapped my knee around the monkey bar and whirled around 52 times, then barfed discreetly in the bushes. On Wednesday I gave him my best shooting marble. On Thursday I showed him how to make a whistle out of a lilac leaf. I gave the relationship my very best, using all my feminine wiles—to no avail.

The golden opportunity presented itself at lunchtime on Friday. Kent went back to the cloakroom/supply closet to get his coat and I slipped in behind him, locking the door from the outside and pulling it closed. He glared at me as he squeezed past me and tried to open the door. He rattled it. It was locked.

Me: (Using my budding acting skills) Oh no! Are we locked in?

Kent: (Frantically pounding) Help, I need help.

Me: (With a saucy look) I can help you.

Kent: You just stay away from me.

Me: Hey, want to sing “100 Bottles of Root Beer on the Wall?”

Kent: Get away from me. I need lunch, I want to eat my bologna sandwich.

Me: We could color or something.

After this brief conversation, Kent clammed up and sat huddled in the corner. But, after a half hour or so, he succumbed to Stockholm syndrome. I will never forget the delicious bottle of creamy white paste we shared; taking turns scooping out the minty mouthfuls with wooden craft sticks.

By the time everyone came back from lunch Kent was my friend. Oh, the romance didn’t last because I found out it is not cool to marry your cousin, but I’m sure he still has fond memories of our time together. 

( I wonder why he keeps ignoring my repeated requests to be his Facebook friend?)

Me & Kent

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Castaway congressman

Catch my little brother on Friday's Today show.  Let's see how grueling he can make his island adventure sound.  

Personally, I think surviving a childhood in a bunkroom with six brothers was the real test.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dream: Sanitized for your Protection

A troubled reader named Melissa has cried out for help. She keeps having the same dream and thinks that maybe I will be able to be of assistance.

Well, as you know I am quite modest, and don’t like to toot my own horn (except while driving amongst snowbirds) but I am actually quite adroit at dream interpretation. So I’ll be happy to give it a go.

Our dreamer is surfing an ocean wave in a yellow wetsuit when she sees Hugh Jackman paddling toward her in a kayak. She frantically tries to swim away, but the sideburned dreamboat paddles swiftly, drawing ever closer. Suddenly, he reaches out to grab her foot. As Hugh’s wolverine claw closes around her vulnerable ankle, a giant squid shoots a rubbery tentacle around Hugh and his little kayak, sucking him underwater in a cloud of black ink.

Well, this is an easy one.

Surfing in the ocean represents surfing the internet. The fact that you are wearing a yellow wetsuit represents your desire to protect yourself from the undesirable influences found in the world wide web. This speaks so admirably of your good character Melissa!

You are wearing yellow because you know you look fabulous in it, and you are extremely vain.

Hugh Jackman represents animals with rabies. This dream is a warning. Your computer keyboard is harboring a rabies virus. When is the last time you sanitized it? If you swab between the keys and look at a sample under a microscope you will probably puke.

The giant squid squirting black ink represents the stream of sanitizing disinfectant that you will need if you are to escape the rabies germs swarming your keyboard.

As I see it you have two choices:

1. Disinfect that filthy keyboard


2. Keep gambling and with rabies and continue to dream about Hugh Jackman

The choice is up to you.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Warehouse Appetizers

Last week I was at Sam’s Club, wandering the aisles, pretending to shop so I could score several lbs. worth of delicious samples, It is always a good day when there are jalapeno poppers and not granola bars. 

Unfortunately, the store was not crowded which makes it hard to blend in with the teeming hordes and get seconds and thirds. Fortunately, I came prepared for this scenario with my red wig, fake mustache and  pocket sized rain coat. 
It was laughably easy to affect a 15 second transformation behind a pallet stacked high with Charmin. I strolled confidently back to the sample station and plucked another cream puff off the tray.

Those hairnetted harridans do not know how to deal with professionals.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Dear Mom

I am pretty mad at my mother this morning. I know I should move on from the things that happened when I was just an adorable spunky little girl, but she gave me some seriously bad advice. 

I remember it well. As she tucked me into bed that nervous night before the first day of first grade…(eyes go crossed as mist descends)



Me: Mother dear, you are so judicious, what words of wisdom can you drop like pearls on my pillow on the eve of Mrs, Crandell’s first grade class?

Mom: (Wrinkling her beautiful unwrinkled forehead with intense wisdom-gathering) 
"My darling daughter, remember this: Life is not a popularity contest."

I fell to sleep dreaming of riding the big yellow bus, repeating those words over and over…life is not a popularity contest, life is not a popularity contest, life is not a popularity contest.

But I woke up this morning to news that Barack Obama has won the Nobel Peace Prize. Geez Louise! I knew I should have tried the popular route. After some fierce googling I came up with the advice little Baracky got before he went to first grade. It went something like this:

You gotta be popular!
Better learn the proper ploys
With the girls and boys
Little ways to get adored
Figure out how to promise all
When you’re playing ball
Anything they want to hear.

To be popular
You need to look over seas!
Need to hang with the right cohorts
Continental sorts
Like France and Italy
And soon those kind of guys
will give you the Nobel Prize
‘Cause you’re so popular!

So thanks a lot Mom, if I hadn’t listened to you and had concentrated instead on being popular, I could have cured cancer and warts by the time I was thirty.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Another Winner!

This is the second grand prize winner of one of Miss Rhoda Peter's heartfelt, gut-wrenching, life changing poems.  The person whose life is changed today is my friend, Laurie Milliron.  I know what you are thinking.

You:  Holy cow are all readers of this blog extremely good looking?

Me:  Yes they are.  It is unclear at this point whether all readers of Larainy Days were all gloriously attractive before reading the blog, or whether a daily perusal of the wisdom contained herein has a cumulative beautifying effect.

You:  That is downright remarkable.

Me:  Indeed.  

You:  Can I just read the dang poem now.

Me: Indeed.


 When Grandmas Fall in Love

 By Miss Rhoda Peters

When grandmas fall in love
They already know
That eventually, the twirling in the belly
Will slow to a gentle churn
But gentle churning still
Turn you into butter.

When grandmas fall in love
They already know
That every body
Looks better in the dark.
Maybe with a small candle
Like a tea light.

When grandmas fall in love
They already know
To skip what doesn’t matter
And enough
To not skip
Down the sidewalk.

When grandmas fall in love
They already know
A lot of things
But can’t remember half of them
And that is why
Have half a chance.

(Now run fast and look in the mirror and see if you are better looking, then let me know.)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Give it up

My friends, I have some important advice for you.  I don’t think I knew this when I was 25, so I guess random morsels of wisdom are some kind of a consolation prize for all the stinky things that keep happening as I get older. (But come to think of it, a consolation prize is given out of pity, made of plastic and from the dollar store.)

Anyway, the thing I didn’t know when I was 25, that I know now when I’m twice that amount plus one year is this: 

Sometimes you should quit believing in your dreams.

For example, I had to give up a personal dream of someday looking like this distinguished personal friend of Queen Elizabeth.  Dame Edna Everage had been my heroine from the first time I copied her style and bought matching eyeglasses in fourth grade.  When I  found out that Dame Edna is actually a MAN masquerading as this wonderful woman of distinction, I was forced to let go of a long held dream...for obvious reasons.

This is a brief list of a few dreams you should abandon.


1. Your dream is the same one my sister Heidi had when she was four--involving a wolf under the bed and it causes you to be too scared to get up during the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Give your bladder a break and give up on that dream.

2. Your dream is to get married to David Archuleta. He is too short for you, he has moved on from American Idol, and so should you.

3. Any element of your dream involves Spam luncheon meat (and I don’t care if they eat it in Hawaii!)

4. You are dreaming of giving a moving speech about your dream and you propose to call this speech “I Have a Dream”. Hello!!! This speech was already given by Larry Hagman when he accepted an Emmy for the classic TV show, “I Have a Dream of Jeannie”. Good grief some people have short memories.

5. Your dream involves losing weight. I didn’t learn too much in Mr. Baldwin’s high school Physics class, but I do remember that Nothing Can Be Created or Destroyed. So, with regards to those extra lbs. you are obsessing over, kindly think about this. You may think you are losing lbs. but according to the immutable laws of physics, those lbs. are not really lost and somebody else will find those rejected lbs. and they are going to be pretty ticked off at carrying around your used blubber.

Now this is not an all-inclusive list of dreams you should quit believing in, but it is best to start out slowly so you don’t get discouraged.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Rhoda writes a poem

You guys probably thought I’d forgotten about the contest, but au contraire. My contest promise was locked in the steel trap of my brain. Unfortunately I lost the key to the trap for a few days, but I found it under the couch, so voila!

Since there were only three entrants, each one has received the grand prize: a poem from the creative mind of MISS RHODA PETERS!

The first winner is a dear friend, Anna Macfarlane, who, is at this very moment in a delicate condition known as being “with child”. And no, that does not count being with her other three children who she is with at this very moment (unless she is locked in her bedroom eating oreos while letting them watch Sponge Bob in the family room.)

How Do I Love Me? 
(With apologies to that Barrett-Browning woman who was a pioneer in hyphenation)

How do I love me? Let me count the ways.
I love me to the depth and breadth and weight
My girth can reach, for my lbs. increaseth as
The zygote doth sprout into a fetus
And the fetus blooms into a baby with petal-soft skin.
I love me when my eyes are circled dark
From restless nights, and when heartburn
Doth bubble up and make me burp.
I love me grouchy and hormone laden
I love me laying in bed unmaden.
I love me with a love unknown when skinny
Without this belly and wearing a mini.
I love me with stretch marks,
Smiles, tears, through all nine months; 
and, if God choose,
I shall but love me better after birth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Feelin Groovy

Yesterday I had some maintenance done on my right thumb which was looking a bit wrinkly and not obeying my commands. My little field trip was to this place.

 Arizona Spine And Joint Hospital

I was quite intrigued by the pain relief they advertise, but apparently that is not the kind of joint they were talking about. Embarrassing! But they did give me some other controlllllled sibstance, which I just tookabout 11 minutos ago. The weird thing about contrld substnces is how out of control they make a person ffeel. Take me for instance. Hey! Whatis that beau tiful song? And look at all the pretty lights!. Did ypu guys know that I once got kissssssed by Tom Selleck and that he is a Repblicn?000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 Oops, I think my delete key hasss ben stolen by aliens. Gotta go see if thye put it in my underwear drawer where I hide stu ff.