“I’ll probably be stuck here eating a hot dog wiener,” said a friend via e-mail when discussing her workplace lunch plans.  It was the second wiener reference this week.

Yesterday some coworker’s and I went to Diehl’s in Nitro for lunch.  I ordered the hot dog special with mustard, chili and onions.  Standard hot dog fare, no?  She brings them to me with slaw.  I politely repeat what I’d asked for on them.  Normally, I’m not one to send back food, but I just can’t do slaw, folks.  She returns a moment later, again asking what I want on the hot dogs.

This ain’t rocket science!  Meanwhile, I almost second guessed my order when, while waiting, the guy at the table behind me said, “My wiener’s burnt!!” 

His outburst made the perfect segue into my discussing a recent decision to get a spray tan.


“She stole one of the lottery tickets I got from Fur Ball,” I said, relaying to a fairly new friend the story I discussed in this post.

“What!?” she said, interrupting me with a surprised expression.  “Who are these people?  You actually call somebody Furball?”

I informed her that Fur Ball was a reference to the Kanawha Charleston Humane Association’s annual fundraising silent auction and dance. 

Hey, just because I’m from southern West Virginia doesn’t mean I give everyone I know a countrified nickname!  And I’m sure Bubba, Bug, Bub, John Balls, and Wildman back home would agree with me!

I was driving along Route 25 between Institute and Dunbar this afternoon when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a Schwan’s truck lying in a ditch alongside the road.

I considered stopping to swipe some ice cream but the cops were already there.

“We have chocolate cake here too if you don’t want white,” said a coworker to another coworker at a luncheon.

“Oh, you don’t ruin a perfectly good Spring Hill Bakery cake by using chocolate,” she said with a laugh before walking away with her white cake.

“Oh, this is Spring Hill Bakery cake?” I asked the server.

“No, it’s Wal-Mart!”

“Well she’s in for an unpleasant surprise, isn’t she!”

And we laughed.

I then heard two other people commenting on the delicious Spring Hill cake they were eating.  Little did they know!  I, meanwhile, felt like I’d stumbled upon something akin to the Pepsi Challenge.

Being the rather savvy bargain hunter that I am, I shall now tell you about the be-all-end-all Deal of the Century that I stumbled upon one afternoon in the local mall.

I was in the market for a pair of brown dress shoes when I ran across a very nice pair among the clearance items at Payless.  They were a half-size too small, but too perfect otherwise to not at least try on.  Priced at around $25, I found that too pricey for Payless and decided to have the clerk check the price since they were among other sale items.

“Hmm,” she said with a confused expression after scanning the bar code.  “That’s odd.”

“Something wrong?” I asked.

“They’re ringing up a penny,” she said. 

I was ready to say “Sold!” but she stepped away to consult the manager, then returned with, “Well, they’re ringing up one cent, but I at least have to charge you $3.”

It now ranks with my $5 coffeetable as the best bargain ever.

Last night, two friends and I went here for the opening of a new exhibition and spotted Lucy, the Charleston Gazette‘s roving “On the Town” photographer, in the crowd, which sent one of my friends into a fit of anticipation.

“Being featured in ‘On the Town’ is one of my Bucket List items,” he joked.  Well, half-joked.

It wasn’t long before we were posing for a photo and giving Lucy our names.  “I always like to see young people interested in art,” she said before taking our photo and showing us some of her own mother’s art that was on display.  The fact that we were probably among a handful of people under 30 in attendance no doubt caught her attention as she scanned the crowd.  Look for us in your Sunday paper soon.

I’m sitting in front of the window in my home office being blinded by the rising sun.  I refuse to close the blinds, however, and will gladly squint at my computer screen until I finish my morning e-mail and Facebook check.  The prospect of finally getting some use out of my new sunglasses has me perfectly giddy with delight.

Sun, you have been too long absent from this Appalachian sky.