Adopt a Highway Cleanup: Don’t Litter!

I’m a member, (and an officer), of a motorcyclist rights organization. Our organization is part of the Adopt A Highway program….our 2 mile stretch of road is near a local forest preserve and park.

Some of our chapter members got together today to clean our stretch of highway….and I just have to say, that even though it was not the worst it has ever been, I am still appalled at the fact that we actually need to do this. The fact that people actually litter at all has never ceased to amaze me, and often times, the things we find….well, some you would not expect, and others are just plain disgusting.

Here is a list of some of the litter we found today: Booze bottles, beer cans, broken glass, fast food wrappers, pieces of styrofoam cups (lots of those), cardboard in all shapes and sizes, a deep fryer, a whole tire, a half a tire, pieces of cars, a sign for “Josh”, an ice cream business banner, a fertilizer bag, a really long piece of metal (siding maybe), used baby wipes, and a plastic tampon cover. Really? You throw your tampon cover on the side of the road? That’s just gross.

Don’t litter….it makes for an unsightly, and unhealthy, scene of what is meant to be beautiful in nature.

 

 

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My horse without the warrior dream.

I dreamed last night that I was the leader of a group of warriors on horses.  Our fortress was in an old, abandoned building that was built into the side of a hill by the highway.

I had heard there was a problem in an area a few miles away, on the other side of the highway…that one of our most dangerous enemies had infiltrated said area and was was wreaking unimaginable havoc.  So, I sent our best warrior out to find out exactly what was happening .  Hours later, someone alerts me that his horse returned without him.  This causes immediate concern, because we know there was trouble.

I grab my long, black riding coat, get on my horse, and follow his horse to the area he had been.  The horse leads me to a place of business, and I make my entrance.  As I enter, I find a desk to the right of the main door, and a receptionist.  To the left of the main door are some stairs.  The receptionist asks if I need help, and I frankly tell her that I am looking for a member of my team who may have been in there in search of a known person of evil.  She asks me to step inside the doors behind her.  Inside those doors, are carpet sales people…trying to sell me carpet.  I explain to them I’m not there for carpet, but to find one of my missing warriors.

They asked for a description.  I told them he had light colored, spiked hair and was likely wearing a loincloth,  and had some swords strapped to his back.  They all told me that he had followed someone down to the dollar store inside the building, and that I should go check there.  They alerted me that the building was undergoing a lot of construction, and I may not want to wear my long, black coat during this trek.  I unloaded my “equipment” and left the coat on their coat rack, which was conveniently located next to the carpet store entrance.

As I walk through this building, I find it to be like a maze of twists and turns, with areas blocked off, and darkness throughout.  Finally, I arrive at the dollar store, which is also under construction.  A worker there told me they had sent my loin cloth clad warrior to the clothing store next to the ice cream shop across the parking lot to go get some clothes.  The worker went on to explain that he thought my warrior was simply a homeless person who made up a story about trying to find this person of evil.  The name of the store was RUE.  “RUE 21?”  I asked.  “No, just RUE” was his reply.

I raced out of that building, and found the ice cream store.  True to word, not far from that was a clothing store…and I entered.  Once again, I went through my story about my warrior clad in a loin cloth, and how his horse returned without him, so I knew something was amiss.  The staff advised me he had bought a suit, and then stated he was instructed to go to the grocers straight across the lot from the clothing store.  Something is definitely amiss here.  I realize I had forgotten my coat, and return for that and the horses.  I race back through the building to find that the worker in the dollar store is actually an enemy in disguise, so I take him as my prisoner.  He leads me to the grocers where the plan was to ambush and kidnap my warrior.  We find neither my warrior or the team of bad guys.  So, I take the prisoner back to our fortress, to find my warrior, in a suit, with the enemy team captured, and fresh groceries inside.

 

My mutant superhero school dream.

I dreamed last night that I was attending a special school….for mutant superheroes. An announcement was made that they had found the “Viper” who would be arriving soon. Then, they brought in a panther, who was just a little bit pissed off because someone tried to trap it. Of course, I had to step outside because I thought something was amiss and needed to investigate. I believed this panther was indeed a ruse, sent in by the bad guys to infiltrate our school and wipe us out.
They had the panther taken to a special location. At that time, it was time to go home. The only problem was, I could not remember how to get “home” since I had just arrived to this town. So, myself and another gal are walking, and walking, and walking. We run across a young fella who is having a hard time maintaining his composure, and is fighting an urge to turn into something bad. We told him to go to his happy place. I then found a young man with wings, who had been accompanied by his two sisters, each one also being some type of bird. They had been hit by a car.
We continue on because I am trying to remember where I live. I have a key, and just start looking down streets. We came across some apartments and a boarding house. The lady wants to know if I need a room til the rain lets up. My plan is to just try my key in all the apartment doors until I find the right one. If unsuccessful, I will go rent a room.
At that point, I realize the other gal somehow has my id, and I need to get it back.

The year of turning 60

It’s finally dawning on me….this is the year I turn 60. Yes….60. It wasn’t that long ago (or so it seems) that I couldn’t have imagined reaching the age of 20 because it seemed like a lifetime away. I remember when my grandparents were 60. I remember when my parents were 60. My friends and I have often had the “We can’t believe we’ll be 60” discussion. It’s a little weird, because on one hand, while 60 may not sound so old…on the other hand, it’s like, uggh 60. So, here are some ponderings on turning 60.
I should have listened to my mother more and not easily dismissed certain things she would tell me about getting older. She was just trying to prepare me for becoming older, and I brushed it all off. For instance: As a woman becomes older, she will get whiskers. True. Keep your tweezers handy at all times. As a woman becomes older, she won’t need to shave her legs as often. True. You might think this is because the leg hair quits growing, but I have found that is not the case. It turns grey…just like the hair on top of your head. Oh, let’s touch on the grey hair. Sure, you might think it won’t happen, or you might just decide to color your hair. Well….at some point, you look in the mirror and realize you are going to look like a skunk if you keep coloring, as fast as that grey is coming in. Do yourselves a favor, and just let it turn grey…it’s a lot cheaper that way. Which leads me to more thoughts on the hair.
Mother said as a woman gets older, she should keep her hair shorter. It will make her look younger. True…the weight of the long hair pulls your wrinkles down. Oh, and don’t think wrinkles won’t happen…I already have my mother’s neck. But I also have her shoulders, which still look pretty young. Which leads me to skin.
Mother always told us girls to never use soap on our face. She said soap would dry up our skin and make it look older faster. Well, that was one thing we took to heart, and all of us girls have really nice skin. (Sometimes, it pays off to listen to your mother.)
Weight….yes, weight gain happens. The metabolism changes in the body. You have to work harder to keep your weight down…as it just seems to come out of nowhere. Good gravy, this is the biggest I’ve ever been, with the exception of being 40 weeks pregnant carrying a 10 lb baby. Mother would always do what she called hip rolls at night…every night she would do these hip rolls before she went to bed…they kept her arse from getting wide she said. Guess what I’m going to start doing? Yup…should have listened to mother.
Aches and pains…yup…got those. My knees sometimes get stuck. My hips go out more than I do.
Teeth…I still have most of my teeth. My folks had dentures for as long as I can remember, and while they did some pretty cool stuff with those false teeth, I would really prefer to keep mine. I have a terrible dental phobia….I’d rather give birth to triplets with no medication. Which reminds me of the fact that there’s a reason we have children when we are younger. My almost 60 year old body could not take that…nor would I have the patience or the energy to be chasing around tiny tots all day long at this age. I’d be like a zombie….although…I find zombies very cool. Hmmmm.
But on a more serious note….there is one thing that just hangs in the back of my mind. I’m really healthy….aside from glaucoma and a thyroid problem, a numb hand and the occasional aches and pains that “are part of this age” (as my doctor says). But…there’s one thing. I’m turning 60….my mother was 60 once. She died at 67. I wish she were still around to tell me more stuff about when a woman gets older. Maybe I’d not dismiss it as easily.
The year of turning 60. I hope we all deal with it gracefully and well. Because not so long ago…we couldn’t imagine being this age.

Death of a Lemon Thingy

I’ve never claimed to be a good cook.

In the kitchen I just fake it.

But that Keto friendly lemon thingy,

Well, I thought I’d try and bake it.

It’s made from scratch, not a mix,

So I tried to get into the groove.

I measured, mixed, stirred and blended,

But this shit just wouldn’t get smooth.

So I shoved the damn thing in the oven,

Set the timer and hoped for the best.

An hour later, this shit’s still runny.

Is this some sort of a test?

Three hours later, the middle’s still wiggly

And the lemon’s not even zingy.

This frosting shit needs cut with a knife.

It’s the death of a lemon thingy.

 

Written by Taffy O’

Trudy Appleby…missing 22 years.

Another year has come and gone, and yet again, I am writing about Trudy Appleby.

Trudy Appleby was my neighbor girl.  She was bright, energetic, full of love, light, hope and happiness.  She was a regular in our house, and any given day you could find her skipping down the road to come visit.  The last time we saw Trudy was the evening of August 20th, 1996.  As she left, she said she would call my daughter the next morning and would see us all the next day.  That never happened.

Trudy Appleby went missing the morning of August 21st, 1996.  A neighbor saw her leaving the driveway in a grey car being driven by a white male, perhaps in his 20’s, with long, dark, wavy hair and wearing a ball cap.   She never returned home.

Missing flyers were printed and passed out everywhere anyone could think of.  Billboards of her missing flyer were put up along roads and highways.  We hoped she would be found within hours, then the hours turned to days, the days turned to weeks, the weeks turned to months, the months turned to years, and the years turned to decades.  It has been over 2 decades since Trudy disappeared without a trace…not a trace.  We all know little girls don’t go *poof* into thin air.

We are going on 22 years now that Trudy has been missing.  22 years of loved ones not knowing where she is, or who she was with.  22 years of searching for her, hoping she would come home, hoping she was alive and well, but thinking it was/is a good possibility that she may not be alive.  We all simply do not know what happened to her and where she is.  The not knowing…that’s awful.

Last year, the Moline Police Department released a name of a “person of interest” in the case.  It seems a witness finally came forward and stated she was seen later the morning of her disappearance in a car with a William “Ed” Smith in a neighborhood on Campbell’s Island.   Unfortunately, that witness did not have any other information to offer.  It took the witness 21 years to speak up about that.  Why wait so long?

Someone out there knows something.  Maybe more than one person knows.  Whoever was responsible for her disappearance had to have told someone what happened to her, and what was done with her.  Trudy was 11 years old.  She was someone’s daughter, granddaughter, niece, sister, cousin, friend.  She was a bright light in the darkness.  Her innocence was stolen, and our bright light has been snuffed out for the last 22 years.  Someone knows something, and you know who you are.  Yet you choose to harbor this terrible secret…and for what?  Who are you trying to protect?  It’s time to tell what you know…We want to bring our girl home.  Do the right thing for once in your life.  What if this were one of your loved ones?  Don’t think it can’t happen to one of your loved ones…it can.  It happened to one of mine.  It’s time to bring Trudy Appleby home.   Little girls don’t go *poof* into thin air.

The Church Upstairs, Carol Burnett Dream

I’m in a huge house, and getting ready to rent it out to a couple with some older boys.  The house used to have a small church upstairs.

While showing the family the house, one of the walls breaks apart, (due to the boys rough housing), and underneath the drywall/concrete is a beautifully ornate wall.  We can see upstairs through the top of the wall, and see several people in robes and gowns.  They are mostly older men with long hair and beards, but also a few women.  These people are in a room filled with huge shelves.  To the left of that room is a small room with an ornate chair and a table, and to the left of that room is a small chapel.  The older man with the long grey hair and beard comes down and asks for a pen.  Then, he goes back up to the upper level.

Also, I find that one of the doors is broken now, because the man of the family shoved his wife into the door.

I met Carol Burnett and told her about my story, and she thought it would make a great skit if we added the word adept throughout.  Afterwards, we walked around outside and I had to lock my purse and phone in the trunk of Carol’s car because someone was out stealing those at that moment.  Carol was in a purple jumpsuit.

Later, we got my purse and phone out of her car and went on our ways.