Friday, January 30, 2009

What do you wear to jail?

By Shirley Bahlmann
Tonight I'll be in jail. Seriously. But it's not my fault! It's all because of my two youngest sons.
We have a new county jail, you see, and someone thought of the bright idea to let community people stay there overnight before it's officially opened for business. Bob thought he might go stay with 9-year-old Michael, but his available next weekend is booked solid, so guess who is the responsible adult? (Well, the adult, anyway. No, not 15-year-old Brian who is going, too, but me. Moi.) When I called to book the room, the dispatcher told me there was an open toilet in the cell. No walls, no door.
Okay. So now what? I'm not willing to do what needs doing out in plain sight, so what to do about it? Wear an adult diaper? No, too drastic. I've got to shield myself... ah, yes! Use my accordion cardboard fabric mat! It folds out to make a screen that reaches clear to... oh. My waist.
Hm. That's okay when I'm sitting down, but what about standing up? What to do, what to do? Aha! Did you know that Queen Victoria used to hold court while sitting on a toilet? She covered the porcelain throne with her voluminous skirts! What's good enough for her is good enough for me. I'm wearing my long black jumper that goes clear to the floor. I've also got on my fuzzy hoodie, and I'm bringing my pink bathrobe to put over my head if necessary.
Yes, I think I'll cope just fine. I've had nothing to drink all afternoon, so maybe I won't even need to use the potty after all! And since this is the only overnight jail stay I ever plan to make, then I'll drink all the water I want from tomorrow on!
I'll just call this whole adventure "research."
Shirley Whirley Jailbird Girly

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Miss America Pageant

by Shirley Bahlmann
Well, we're home from the Miss America pageant, which was fun, putting aside the fact that Miss Utah didn't win. Still, the winner, Katie Stam of Indiana, sang a song about Jesus for her talent and also shows dairy cows at her county fair, so I'd say she's a decent pick for second place in my ranks.
It was so nice to have a week where nothing was expected except to go watch a show, take notes, turn down an invitation to have a cocktail, and hang out with three grandchildren. I never realized how down time can rejuvenate a person. I'm not talking down time as in feeling down because my publisher already signed all their Christmas books for this year even though January isn't over yet, or that another of my publishers has gone out of business, leaving some orphaned books behind. No, I mean down time without multiple demands crowding out my sanity. My life has gotten so busy that I have to look back and wonder how it got this way. Do I really need to do all that I'm doing? I don't think so.
I think I'll go put my feet up and eat some cinnamon lips (chewy candy with no fat and an intriguing shape). You'll just have to go get your own.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Heading for Miss America

by Shirley Bahlmann
I'm hitting the road tomorrow, heading for the Miss America Pageant in Las Vegas, Nevada, because our home town girl, Kayla Barclay, is Miss Utah. I'm actually accompanying my husband, who was asked the question, "Why does the Sports Editor get to cover Miss America for the paper?" to which he replied, "I have the best camera." My sister said I should dress up, so if you tune in Saturday, and the camera pans the audience, look for the sparkly gold dress. Maybe I'll even give you a wave!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


by Shirley Bahlmann
Okay, I knew I was busy before Christmas. I canceled my writing class for the month of December. Then I had a two week vacation from Cub Scouts, cleaning the school, storytelling, elementary school skit rehearsals, and paraprofessionaling. When that month whizzed by, I tried jumping back into my routine, but now it seems the train is moving too fast, messing up my hair, and making me bite my lip in frustration!
Today, I got word that my awesome Uncle Ray died. He lived beyond Christmas, which was a small miracle. He had a great sense of humor and made me feel like he was always glad to see me. He helped with questions on how to raise my boys, having raised five of my rowdy, funny boy cousins.
Life's too short. It goes by fast. I want to live it happy like Uncle Ray, not running on a treadmill, trying to catch up, and by the way, what am I trying to catch up to?
Good question. Now I'll go to bed and wait for the answer, but I probably won't let you know what it is until after the funeral this weekend.