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Grandma Carty’s Quilt

It’s been a month since my dad died. It’s not been easy most days but I remind myself he is in heaven with his parents. My Grandma and Grandpa Carty were 45 and 50 when he was born. His two brothers were twenty years older than he so he was quite the surprise. I was always worried I’d end up pregnant like my grandma but luckily that did not happen.

My grandma always said she didn’t have long to live. She was convinced she would die before my dad ever graduated from high school. That certainly did not happen. The very first time my mom met her she was barely out of the car before she said I’m John’s mom and I don’t have long to live. I am not sure why she thought this because she ended up living until the age of ninety one. She lived to me see graduate from nursing school and my sister graduate from high school. Maybe if she didn’t think she was going to die all of her life she would have lived past one hundred.

My parents divorced when I was five so my dad would take my sister and I to see our grandparents for the weekend every few months. They lived in Salem and we enjoyed going. There was no better nap than when the grown ups were talking. After my grandpa died, my grandma moved to like a senior citizen apartment and my aunt and uncle built a house in Salem close by to keep an eye on her. Her apartment was one bedroom so we would sleep on the pull out couch. We always slept under this pink quilt she had made. I loved it but had totally forgotten all about it.

After my dads service Brenda gave my sister and I a bunch of his stuff she thought we would enjoy. I cannot begin to describe the joy that overcame me when I opened a box and there was the quilt. I had no idea my dad had even had it. It was like finding a long lost treasure chest worth more than all the money in the world. My sister said she will never forget the look on my face and she immediately told me it was mine. I swear it still smells like my grandma.

Brenda told my sister a couple weeks later my dad slept under it until a couple months ago. His legs had gotten so weak (he had polio as a child which is another blog) that he couldn’t move his legs because of the weight. I slept under it for the first week but then put it on the side of my bed. It has to be at least eighty years old and I’m not sure how many more times it can be washed. Brenda said she was getting nervous to wash it because she didn’t want it to fall apart.

I knew that some of my sewing ability came from my moms grandma. She quilted and made things all her life. I had totally forgotten about Grandm Carty. She made my parents a wedding ring quilt by hand that was fantastic. Sadly we used it too much and it fell apart from rough housing with our dog. It would be worth major bucks in this day and age. It certainly is a lost art. There is no way I would have the patience to make one of those so if my girls ever get married I will have to come up with something else.

Mole moral ~ Brightest joy will come from out of darkest night. (Betsy Bircher)

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A New Mole

Back in the late 1980’s Spuds Mackenzie was the mascot for the bud light campaign. He was a bull terrier and I fell in love with his goofy egg headed look almost immediately. It didn’t even matter when the truth came out that he was really a girl, I loved him even more. It was well established by my mother that I had a thing for ugly dogs.


Sometime in the nineties I was working in the burn unit when one of my work buddies actually got a bull terrier. I was so jealous as I already had my beagle (Annie) and my first born daughter. It wasn’t too long before I realized those dogs were nuts. She complained a lot about her dog and how nuts she was. She tried to chew up everything in her house.


It would be about three years after Annie crossed the rainbow bridge that I would be ready for another dog. The dog whisperer (Cesar Milan) show was on and I would watch every episode. When I discovered Stray Rescue and most of their dogs were pit bull mixes, it led me to read all of his books before I even reached out to the rescue. I had learned high energy dogs (aka pit bulls) need exercise discipline and consistency. By the time time I adopted Soliel Moonfry I had taken up running. So she and I walked every day to keep her calm.

About a year ago Soliel had surgery to remove a tumor off of her neck. My vet also has a rescue and they had two bull terriers. What are the odds of that? So it was then I started thinking about owning one. It was hard to believe it has been over thirty years since I first wanted one. Covid arrived and I spent some time working ICU. Because Soliel is now twelve I did not feel she would do well with an older rescue dog or even worse one that was around a year old. When I returned to Endo and mentioned perhaps a puppy would be best suited for Soleil, my friend Emily was all about it. She had found a puppy for our charge nurse that ended up being a scam.

So I followed the advice of my friend Meg and joined a couple bull terrier groups on Facebook. This would give me a better idea what these dogs are like and what I would be in for. A dog in a clown suit, a toddler for life were just a couple things. The dogs are crazy and high energy. Now I had never really considered myself high energy until I said that at my new job and they all looked at me like really. Ok so I am high energy. I decided to own that trait. Emily found a breeder that wasn’t too far from me. So after having Meg check out his website I got on his waiting list.

About a month ago I got a text informing me the breeder had passed away and his dogs were willed to someone who they were waiting to contact. I remember thinking seriously this only happens to me. I was on no rush to get a puppy. I knew they were a lot work and when the time was right the perfect puppy would show up.

About a week and a half ago someone asked for recommendations about where to get a puppy. Someone recommended Johnny’s Bulllies in KS as they were expecting their puppy in a couple of weeks. So I googled him to see how far a drive it might be and then bit the bullet and asked if he had any puppies left. He answered right away and said he had one female left but she was born without an eye. My heart grew three sizes bigger when I read that and I knew she was the puppy for me. So I told Brian and Allyson we were getting a puppy. Allyson said “holy shit, I didn’t think you would go through it but rather just talk about it for the rest of your life.”

Allyson and I drove to pick her up on Wednesday. Because I watch the ID channel non stop I texted my work buddies the address in case the puppies were fake and we were getting lured to our death. Or worse the address was made up and I had been scammed out of my deposit and a puppy. Johnny was at work but said his wife would take care of us. So after five hours we arrive and this young girl answers the door. We were at correct house and she had the puppy in her hand. I seriously thought she was the teenage babysitter so I asked her how old she was. Now I remember when I was young it use to make me so mad because I looked much younger than I was. So I probably annoyed her as well but she was super nice about it. I thought they would be late thirties not mid to late twenties. So my crazy ID fears did not come to fruition and Allyson told me never to talk about ID again because I freaked her out a little.

The road trip home was fun. I had decided to call her Isla (pronounced Eye-la) to honor her specialness of having one eye. It means dynamic, vibrant, brilliant, and bright as sun. Soliel is sun in French so I just think it was over all perfect. Now Brian on the other hand wants to call her Willie. This is from The Goonies and one eyed Willie the pirate. When I was telling Dr. Heavey my dog only had one eye he said to me dead serious “please tell me you are naming it Willie.” It must be a boy thing.

After the first night of getting up twice in the middle of the night, I know why women’s ovaries die off around the age of fifty. The lack of sleep is horrific at my age. So hopefully she’ll be sleeping through the night sooner rather than later. Until then I shall resemble a zombie.

Mole Moral ~ Some things are worth waiting for and others more than worth an over thirty year wait.

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A Christmas Gift Suggestion.

It all started about a month ago at work during a case. Nurse I asked what would be a good gift for her inlaws. Dr. A threw out the different food a month club. I mean he’s the biggest foodie next to Emily that I know. After that CRNA L suggested the skylight picture frame. Family members can put an app on their phone and then send photos to the frame even thousand miles away. Sure enough that evening while scrolling Facebook both suggestions showed up in my news feed. After about a week I decided to order the frame and since I had Kohl’s cash and it was on sale I couldn’t pass it up.
Christmas came and went and then I called the in-laws to set the frame up over the phone. Three simple steps was all it was to take. Well of course we couldn’t get past the first step so I said I’m putting on a mask and coming over. I will not confess how long it took me to realize I didn’t order the skylight frame but another brand. So I downloaded the correct app to my phone and put in the numbers. Went to send a picture and nothing. Eventually I gave up and said let me take it home. When I got to my house all the photos came through. So I thought to myself awesome it’s working and I went back to their house.
Once I was back in their house nothing was happening. I made a couple calls to friends and did discover their modem was six years old and could be the issue. So I turned on my hot spot and connected the frame to it and instantly the pictures came through. So that evening I did modem research and ordered a new one from Best Buy.
I attempted to set up new modem and then realized I purchased one for cable and their internet provider is not cable so back to Best Buy I go. As I’m returning it the dude asks who their internet provider is and when I tell him, he informs me you have to get a modem from that provider. He assures me you can buy one from the providers store.
I arrive at the store to find their is an hour and a half wait and the natives are restless and complaining. So I ask if I can just ask a question first. It’s a good thing I did because the dude tells me they don’t sell modems you have to call the provider. So back to my inlaws house I go so that I can call from their house in case they need to talk to them as well. The man on the phone was super nice and said they were eligible for a free upgrade and could send someone out two days later to install for free. I said score in my head this mess is over.
I am at work when my mother in law calls me. The guy is there to install it but wants to know what their current speed is and what it’s suppose to be. I vaguely remember the guy mumbling that over the phone but have no memory of what it was. Apparently it took him about thirty minutes to figure it out but after that he set it all up and did a nice job. Apparently they are at the very end of the line and could only get their speed to about half as fast as he wanted but more than enough to run the picture frame. I think the best part was this actually lowered their bill which made it an even better Christmas gift.

Mole moral ~ My personality of not being able to let something rest until I figure it out certainly paid off. However, it will be a long time before I ever take present suggestions from L again.

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The American Mole Virus

It all started a week ago when I woke up with a raging headache. It wasn’t the headache that lasted five weeks and from my neck. It was actually on the opposite side of my head. It was a Saturday and I had to go in at seven for a case so I thought I will take Alleve and sinus medicine and I would be fine. Wrong answer. I’m really not even sure how I made it to work but I had no business driving. I had to call a co-worker and she agreed to cover my case and call. I could not drive home so I thought if I laid down for a bit I could. So I parked myself in one of our before surgery rooms and laid down. It gave me nice flashbacks to the headache on Women’s Health when the charge would have to watch my patients the last hour and I gave report in an empty room laying down. It’s no wonder I ended up in the hospital for a week. Anyway after about two hours I realized I wasn’t driving home anytime soon so I called Brian to pick me up.

I then proceeded to puke so I dug out my four year old zofran and after two doses at least I was no longer nauseated or vomiting but my head was still killing me. That evening Brian put his famous deer jerky on the dehydrator and I went to bed. When I woke up the next morning I realized I could not smell the jerky. Normally it wakes me up in the middle of the night because it is so strong. I seriously thought he forgot to turn it on and actually checked. If I got right on top of it and inhaled deeply I could barely smell it. I then drank the only coffee I had at home which is mocha which I hate and it really tasted ok. It was then I realized I needed to call the employee covid hotline for advice. After a virtual visit I received and email saying I needed to be tested. The girl on the phone said I could go to total access urgent care today or wait and go to one of our testing sites on Monday. I waited until Monday.

I was tested back in May when I threw one of my neck headaches at work and had to leave at 11am. It was only one of two times i have left in the middle of the shift. The other time was when my sister called me at 8am to say her husband had a massive stroke and my co-workers made me clock out and go to the hospital. Anyway that test was horrid. I thought I was going to come out of the chair and I stopped myself from grabbing the girls arm. It all made sense as to why most of the patients when I did that to them (same stick as a respiratory panel) they wanted to punch me. I was better prepared this time and sat on my hands. The gal that did it was super nice. It was a drive up tent and they have little building with some heat but they all wear coats so I knew they were freezing.

My test results were back the next day and negative but my symptoms still yelled covid so the hotline said reach out to your primary and call us back at 6:30 am and we will let you know if you can work at 7. So my primary does a tele visit and says you really should have been positive but you are weird and hard to diagnose. So he puts in for another test on Thursday and tells me to stay off of work. In the meantime the employee health nurse for my hospital is unavailable this week with limited voice mail access. So I will be dealing with the covid hotline for the rest of the week.

So back to the testing site and it’s the same girl. I asked her how she got stuck with this job. She says she applied for it. I told her I wouldn’t mind swabbing people all day but the weather is horrible. She agreed and said once the testing sites are done she will have a clinic job. I have decided that sometime in the next couple weeks I’m bringing them hot chocolate and maybe some donuts or something.

So my second test was negative as well and I call the covid hotline back. They are beyond wishy washy but tell me I can return to work Monday if I don’t have a fever. Advised me not to take anything for a headache on Sunday so I don’t mask a fever. Also told me to contact my primary about my headache. So I sent him a message through Mychart and told him what they said. I said over the counter medication is keeping this headache under control so I am not sure what you are supposed to do but good luck. I actually do not have a headache as I type this so maybe I’m at the end of this mole virus.

I am going to get the vaccine on Monday. They started giving it out this past Thursday. This may have indeed been covid and I am one of these weirdos that test negative. It may be something else. All I know is I never want to feel this bad again and if a shot can prevent that, sign me up. I also want to see my father and my in-laws again. This isolation has been horrible for them.

Mole Moral~ If I ever need an NG tube please use my left nostril because the covid test was way more tolerable in the left than the right.

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Mole Anniversary Dinner

We had hoped to spend our thirtieth anniversary in Utah renting an RV and seeing the amazing parks but covid had other ideas. So instead I came up with the brilliant idea to go out to dinner. I have been in a restaurant twice since things started opening up. I had a gift card to Texas Roadhouse so I decided we should go there.

When we drove up, no one was in the parking lot but one of the workers came up and said the power had just came back on but had been off for some time. He said cops were everywhere across the way so I assumed it was an accident. He said the kitchen should be ready in about thirty minutes so we could sit at the bar, wait in the corral or wait in our car. We chose to sit at the bar.

Brian asks for a bud light and they say sorry we are out of bud light and Budweiser. I just start laughing and say of course you are. So he settled on a Michelob Ultra. I had a margarita and Allyson had water. She asked if she could come along and I said sure you can pay. She claimed she couldn’t find her wallet. We were seated shortly after, only to find out they had no baked potatoes or sweet potatoes because of the power outage. One of the main reasons I wanted to go was for the baked potato so instead of getting all upset I just cracked up laughing and said I am not surprised.

Brian swears they rushed us out of there, while Allyson told him it’s called flipping the tables. The faster you flip, the more money you make. He said the waitress owed him two bucks for rushing him. Luckily Allyson took care of the tip. I had texted Brian earlier in the day that I had just picked up his anniversary present. It was a work coat that he has needed for three years. He is currently wearing a nylon coat that he has duct taped up the tears. So he came home with desert (cheesecake) and orange roses.

Mole Moral ~ One might be disappointed if they actually had a normal uneventful anniversary. Watch out Utah we are coming for you next year!

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The ultimate prize

I haven’t blogged in quite a while because after covid calmed down, my personal life ramped up and well I just didn’t feel like writing. That all changed today. My mom had asked me to take her to the Northcutt/Witt family reunion some time ago. I was like sure and didn’t think much about it. I was a little nervous thinking about being around a bunch of people. Thanks covid, I could easily never leave my house and you give me the perfect excuse not to. So I told myself not using covid as an excuse, leave your house as it was outside at the park in Sullivan.

It was great seeing my cousins Lisa and Alana again. What wasn’t great was how many aunts and uncles had passed into heaven and how old the rest of them looked. Lisa and I both agreed we are still twenty-five so that made no sense. When I was younger we would have Christmas on Christmas Eve and then drive to Sullivan Christmas morning and have a big Christmas lunch with everyone. They rented to IOOF hall each year. I can remember my sister and Alana fighting over who was going to hold the babies and I wondering what was wrong with them. I have so many memories of Great Grandma Northcutt from these Christmas’s and the summer reunions. She was a wonderful lady and I loved her so much. Before lunch as prayer was being said I could see her perfectly in my head, it was such a nice memory.

Then we found out there were attendance prizes and my moms name was called. She picked a letter that my great grandpa had written to my great grandma and I think it could be displayed as an ornament. I didn’t take a good look at it but I called it when she died. She then told me about another gem that was available. My cousin Shirley was called a little bit later and she picked out that prize and gave it to me. I was so honored that she would do this for me. I have been told many times I get my baking and sewing ability from Grandma Northcutt, so this is perfect.

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I am hanging it in my kitchen and I am making this cake tomorrow and bringing it into work. My co-workers are all chocolate lovers so I am sure they will love it. Usually if I bring in baked goods our newest CRNA Andrew is working with us as well. I am not sure if this measuring spoon was actually hers but I am telling myself it is. I just love it!

There was no cell reception in the park so it was so nice that not one person was playing on their phone. We all had to talk to each other in person  (gasp) and everyone was paying attention and not distracted by technology. It really was a nice change and made me miss something I didn’t even realize I missed. I guess a sign of getting older (besides everyone else looking so freaking old) is looking back into the past when things were simpler.

 

Mole Moral~I refuse to allow covid to turn me into the hermit that lies right beneath the surface of my personality! Next up Colorado for a week!

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Happy Birthday and Graduation Sarah!

My niece, Sarah Marie turned eighteen yesterday. She had a combination graduation/birthday party which was pretty awesome. At her party her mom had a notebook to write memories of Sarah. Of course my mind went blank and I only thought of a couple things. Of course last night as I was falling asleep the best story came to mind.

Teresa was telling a new neighbor about the letters that all of us wrote Sarah when she was born to read on her eighteenth birthday. She said to the neighbor it took a lot to get Sarah here. Such a beautifully painful statement! I told Sarah yesterday I prayed for her long before she was ever conceived. I will never forget how happy (and yes a little nervous) I was when her mom announced at Thanksgiving she would arrive in July. I remember thinking as I wrote her letter that eighteen years was a long long time away and yet here we are in just a flash of time.

My very best memory I am sharing on my blog so that one day when I am gone if any of my kids, nieces, nephews, and anyone else who wants to read my blog they can be entertained with my stories.  Sarah and Tyler came to our house every New Years Eve for years while their parents went out with friends. They stayed the night and then we would take them to Mimi and PaPa’s house for the annual New Year’s Day celebration. I worked evenings back then so every other year Brian would be on his own with all the kids. We so enjoyed that special time with both of them. And in a flash Sarah was old enough to babysit and then hang with friends and the old Aunt and Uncle became irrelevant. It was ok because we still had Tyler and ultimate ping pong (where you play off the walls and the ceiling) until last year when he went and hung out with friends as well. On Christmas morning 2007 Sarah and Tyler awoke to find a new dog out in their front yard. She was a puggle and they named her Chloe. Well, I am a total dog lover so I had them bring her over that New Year’s Eve to spend the night as well.

This was also the year Emily was dating Cody (he came over that New Year’s Ever as well) and he nicknamed Sarah and Tyler: Dog Girl and Chocolate Boy after Shark Girl and Lava Boy. He would have no idea that thirteen years later Sarah still loves dogs and Tyler is still insane about chocolate. Chloe passed away earlier this year and they just got a new puppy named Daisy. I am not sure how Sarah is going to be able to go away to school and leave her. As for Tyler he honed right in on the Ted Drews chocolate ice cream at the party yesterday!

Sarah did baton when she was younger. She was amazing at it but ended up moving on to dance. She started at Denoyer when Kayla was going and then moved to a closer studio and then was on the Lindbergh dance team. I went to a few of her competitions but not as many as I would have liked! I made Sarah this quilt as her graduation present. So many memories for her and of course she can’t forget me because I made it.

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July 11, 2002 seems like just yesterday. Teresa was in the hospital with Sarah putting an offer on a house she wanted to buy. She came home and then got her house market ready and sold and they moved it seems like by the time Sarah was six weeks old. It may have been sooner but my sister in law is as crazy as me with doing that kind of stuff! Happy birthday Sarah, I love you more than you can ever know!

 

Mole Moral ~ If you are ever asked to write a letter to a baby to open up when they are eighteen, do it! I can’t think of anything more special and I wish I would have thought of it for my girls!

 

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We’re all connected

Last night was our fourth subdivision block party. Every Saturday from 6:30-7:30 pm one of the original homeowners who is also a DJ plays music. He has super powerful speakers as it can be heard all over our street. I had received an email stating the news would be coming as well. I persuaded Allyson to come out with me for a little bit. After she left, one of the neighbor girls hung up a sign that said, “Fur suiters welcome here”. I read it like five times to make sure I read it right. So I went home and told Allyson what the sign said and she should put Prince on and come surprise the kids. I assured her no one would know it was her. She wasn’t so sure at first but when I came back with the ice cream she was almost ready to come out. If you are wondering what a fur suit is, you can read about her fur suit creations here.

So Allyson arrived

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and at first the kids weren’t too sure about this. Allyson has an original character named Prince and commissioned a girl to make the actual head. The fangs make him look scary but indeed he is just a kangaroo with a really long tail. The girl that posted the sign was so excited she wrote Prince a note asking if they could be friends. Of course Prince nodded yes. Then she got her suit on as well and they had a great time interacting and playing with the kids.

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Also way over a year ago at church a guy came up to me and informed me he was my neighbor. He lives in the very first house. He is not the original occupant (that man I believe is in jail) but bought the house to stay at when the Rams played. His wife passed away a few years back from cancer. I chat with him at church and wave when I see him on the road. A few months ago he introduced me to his friend at church and then I noticed that a car was at his house a lot. (Yes, you all know I am a stalker with mad door way assessment skills.) Yesterday before the party he told me that she was his girlfriend. I was so happy for him! It made my heart skip a beat. Last night I was chatting with the two of them and discovered their first date was at The Local House. This is where Allyson is a bus girl! I must be getting old or soft or something because it made my whole evening. This morning when I ran by his house, this was in the front yard.

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What a nice surprise for him! He is so nice and has been so nice to me that I am glad someone brightened his day!

I was so proud of Allyson last night that of course I told all the adults who it was. Our neighbor said she should hire herself out for kids birthday parties, she could make a fortune. Back in middle school she performed for an assembly and I was told she was a huge hit!

Mole Moral ~ In a world where everyone seems isolated we really are all connected in one way or another!

 

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Cornbread

When Brian and I were dating I was in nursing school. I came home every weekend because no one stayed over the weekend. This was in the mid eighties and we were not allowed to have boy visitors past ten. They had to be signed in and out and if you were caught with one over night, you were kicked out of nursing school. So Brian and his work friends would pick me up on their way home from work on Friday nights and he would bring me back on Sunday night and leave by ten because the rule follower wasn’t risking getting kicked out of nursing school.

My mom made dinner a lot on Sundays and one of them she made cornbread. Well, Brian just raved about how good it was and how he liked it. After this she would make it for him almost every time he ate over. Lets fast forward about five years. Brian says to me I really hate cornbread, I just said I liked it back then to be polite to your mom. I of course reported back to my mom who died laughing and she never made it for him again.

I can honestly say I have never made cornbread the entire time we have been married. Brian will tell you I don’t cook anyway and my mom will tell you I starved my girls when they were little. They would come to her house and wipe her out of food. I do enjoy the cornbread when I eat at Cracker Barell.

Mole Moral ~ Sometimes being kind and polite bites you in the butt and you get stuck eating something horrible for years!

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Roadside America Part Two: Peanut Butter Cookies.

Way back when I was a kid, probably around the age of twelve or thirteen because we lived on Glen Haven in the “black shack” (another story for another time) I made a batch of peanut butter cookies. Those who have seen me cook or bake know I am horribly messy. As we are eating the cookies some flour had spilled on the table. My mother looks at it and it is moving. She announces we have boll weevils in the flour but the ones in the cookies are dead so we eat them anyway. This was way before computers or the internet so I couldn’t look them up. It’s a good thing because they are pretty gross. Imagine my excitement when I’m looking for places on Roadside America close to Troy and there is a boll weevil monument thirty minutes away. Emily says we must go because my mother has told her the peanut butter cookie story more than once.
Upon reading up I discover boll weevils eat cotton and destroyed the cotton crop in the early nineteen hundreds. This caused the town of Enterprise to plant peanuts instead and saved the town. The monument should have been to George Washington Carver but would never have happened in the south at this time period due to segregation. So a man named Roscoe Fleming set about to construct a monument to the boll weevil.
The history was crazy. First of all it was a statue of a Greek woman wearing a Peplos holding an oil lamp over her head. It was in the middle of a giant bowl and water shot out the end of the lamp. However it was too powerful and the fountain was only used once. Before the streets were paved mules would drink from the bowl. There was no boll weevil on the statue until 1949 and the first was the size of a fist. The bug was stolen in 1953, 1974, 1981, and 1985. Each time the weevil was made larger. Then on July 11, 1998 not only was the weevil stolen but the lady’s arms were ripped off. Fear not, a mold of the entire monument had been made in 1996 and exact replica was cast out of unbreakable polymer resin. They say the new weevil is the size of a basset hound. I got super close to it and it did not look as big as a basset hound.
The monument sits in the middle of the intersection but since it was a Sunday there was no traffic.

The town was super cute and since Emily is a foodie she found a couple restaurants that they want to come back and check out. I also enjoyed the murals. Sadly it was Sunday so the Boo weevil museum was closed.

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However,  boo weevils are not found in flour. Boo weevils eat cotton. Flour weevils live in flour and eat the dust. I was going to go into more detail but after reading up on them, I really just want to vomit so if you are interested just google.

Mole moral ~ A fun story about me will forever live in Emily’s memories when she thinks about the three months she worked in Alabama. Also I have thrown out all the flour! Hahaha