Left Behind – A Rapture Scare Incited by Toddler’s Hide-And-Seek Game


Toddling crumbsnatchers love games. Especially “Hide and Seek.” Especially with their parents. And it seems to be exceedingly fun for the tiny tots when Mom and Dad have no clue they are joining in the game.

It was 1991 and I thought The Rapture had occurred leaving me behind eight years before I expected. My entire generation knew the world would end at 11:59 p.m. on December 31st, 1999 just like Prince predicted. We just weren’t clear whether it would Eastern or Central Standard Time.

1999 (song)

Party like it’s 1999 (song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Eldest was barely old enough to toddle around our tiny two-bedroom house. One afternoon, things went a little too quiet. Oh geez, what is he getting into? I looked for him, but he was nowhere to be found in the barely 800 square-foot home. I swear.

I started in back in his room which contained nothing more than an armoire and a baby-bed standing one foot off the ground. He wasn’t there. I glanced at his two windows, and both were closed.

His room opened into the dining room. It held a four-legged dining table and a hope chest. There were no barefoot feet under the table. And the hope chest was locked.

To my right was the kitchen. The back door hadn’t been touched, otherwise I’d have heard. When someone opened the door, it sounded like the hinges on the gates of hell. At least what I suspected they sounded like.

I checked every cabinet and inside the oven. Oh sweet Jesus, where is this child? 

I began to wonder how I’d explain to Officer D.A.R. that I’d lost his son.

“Hey honey,how was your day?”


“I’ve got some chicken and rice in the oven for dinner.”

“Sounds good.”

“By the way, I lost The Eldest today.”

“Good lord woman. How’d you manage that?”

That’s when I thought maybe The Rapture had occurred.

Rapture sign -- Holding up well after 14 years...

It wasn’t 1992 yet, but close enough to scare! (Photo credit: marcn)

I did a quick spiritual inventory and began to sweat. Growing up in a staunch southern Baptist household, I recounted my sins. I didn’t record those two extra Weight Watchers points for the M&M’s I’d stolen from The Eldest’s snack. And look at me, I’m a thief! I just took the Lord’s name in vain when I thought “Oh sweet Jesus, where is this child?” Oh sweet Jesus, I just did it again. And again. Stop it. ‘Cause thinking is just as bad as doing.’ That’s what Mrs. Priss always said in Sunday School. 

I checked the linen closet. Under the sheets. In pillowcases. My thoughts continued to count my transgressions.

Damn it, where is that child? Oh great, now I’m cursing. If Jesus is planning on coming back to get me, I better watch my mouth. Please forgive me for everything I’ve forgotten to ask forgiveness for.

“Son! You better stop hiding and come out. I know you hear me calling you!”

I know I’m behind on my daily Bible reading, but can’t You cut me a little slack? You can see I have a toddler. And yesterday, I skipped “Days of Our Lives” to read him the Sampson story for the millionth time.

Oops, do You consider exaggerations to be lies? I didn’t know. Forgive me. 

By this time, I’d checked the bathroom and our teeny-tiny living room.

“If you are in my bedroom, I’m going to kill you!”

Oh sweet Jesus, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. And this time I meant “Oh sweet Jesus” as a term of endearment. 

I scoured the bedroom with no luck. I walked back into the living room and plopped on the couch. With elbows on my knees, I placed my face in my palms and began to bargain in prayer.

Lord, if this is The Rapture, please come back and get me. I don’t want to spend the next seven years of Tribulation with my mother-in-law. Cause I know You didn’t take her. And Lord, if I’ve just lost my child, can You please help me find him? I promise I won’t kill him, but I’m not so sure Officer D.A.R. won’t kill me if I don’t find his child before he gets home. You’d kind of be preventing a homicide, right? And I know You believe in free will and all, but just this once can’t You give the Methodist’s a nod with a little pre-destination that I will find him? 

Suddenly, I heard a snicker from the back bedroom.

Never mind, Jesus. I found him. But hey, we’re all caught up if The Rapture does come soon, right?

“Y” is for: Y Weren’t U @ Skool – 10 Pre-Written Excuses for Teenaged Tardiness/Absence

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I’m a night owl, except for the nights when I go to bed with the sun.  I’m an early riser, except for the days when I snooze until the McDonald’s menu changes from breakfast to lunch. Basically, I’m saying I’m inconsistent.

And because of that, I don’t get up to see the crumbsnatchers off to school.  Knowing that teenagers will take advantage of opportunities afforded by lazy parents, I think ahead.  At the start of each semester, I prepare notes the crumbsnatchers can choose from if they decide they don’t want to take responsibility to get their drowsy derrieres to school on time.

I realize school is almost out for summer, but here’s a sampling:

1)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  His/Her sheets were so dirty we had to de-flea this morning.  Yes, the sheets.  Not the student, but feel free to check him/her upon arrival.

2)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She was dreaming about unicorns pooping rainbows and butterflies.  I read a lot of Dr. Seuss to him/her before bedtime.

3)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She ate an entire box of Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Pop Tarts before bed and sat up all night tweeting things like “#Poptarts #sugar #high”

4)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She was feeling ill and wanted to stay home but I don’t want their germs so I dragged him/her from under the covers, loaded him/her up with cold meds and sent them on their way.  Three hours ago.

5)      Please excuse ____________________ tardiness.  He/She claimed it was Saturday but I never flipped my calendar and I still say it’s Friday.  If it actually is Saturday, then please disregard the necessity for a tardy excuse and heap praise on him/her for Monday’s early arrival.

My method also works to hold absences to a bare minimum.

1)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She had explosive diarrhea that ran us completely out of the house.  Have you ever smelled a town with a paper mill and a skunk preserve?  Kind of like that, only worse.

2)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  After a thorough interrogation and lie detector test by local FBI, he/she was cleared of all suspicion of being a Russian spy.

3)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She ate my last Klondike bar and was hiding in his/her closet all day.

4)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She had a cereal hangover after eating an entire box of Frosted Flakes doused with chocolate milk.

5)      Please excuse ____________________ absence yesterday.  He/She died from embarrassment about something stupid that happened the previous school day, then had an out-of-body experience where he/she saw all the people that wanted to follow them on Instagram!  It brought him/her back to life.  It’s a miracle!

Which one is your favorite excuse, and what pre-written excuse would you write?  I need to stockpile for the “Senioritis” attacks we expect from Wolfy and Sweet Pea when they return to school in August.


“N” is for News–Or is it?



I don’t watch the news very often. I rely on fabulous bloggers like Elyse at FiftyFourAndAHalf.com to keep me updated on the news I might actually be interested in. And Twitter feeds which are every bit as fascinating and as accurate as our local news outlets.

But tonight, while cooking dinner, The Eldest and I shared a little news bonding time outside of our normal Daily Show and Colbert Report.

We were treated to two—not one but two—EXCLUSIVE LIVE CHOPPER FIVE NEWS VIEWS. But before I share those shots with you, since some of you aren’t privy to Memphis local news stations, let me tell you why I stopped watching local news.

It was 2005, years after Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign encouraged peer-pressured teens to pass on the cocaine lines and ganja puffs. Husband2.0 and I tuned in to the Chapel Hill, NC news just in time to learn about a large drug bust in nearby Durham, NC. Blue lights flashed on the screen from no less than ten police cruisers. I was proud that our force was cracking down on hardened drug traffickers! The anchor informed us that police seized…

“FIFTY grams of marijuana!” with much emphasis on the “fifty” and big round eyes to drive home the danger we were all in with this much hippie lettuce on the streets.

Wow! I felt so much safer.

Until I used my brain. I looked at Husband2.0 and said, “Did she say ‘FIFTY grams of marijuana’?”


“Ummm, isn’t that about the amount in my Lawry’s Pumpkin Pie Spice container?”


A container of pumpkin pie spice. Español: Un ...

Seriously, go grab one of your spice containers and see how much fifty grams is. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And that’s why I stopped watching local news.

But after tonight’s two—not one but two—EXCLUSIVE LIVE CHOPPER FIVE NEWS VIEWS, I might reconsider my news watching habits.

The first EXCLUSIVE LIVE FIVE CHOPPER NEWS VIEW was of the top of the Memphis post office because that’s where the ricin-laced letters sent to the POTUS and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) where postmarked.

And the second EXCLUSIVE FIVE LIVE CHOPPER NEWS VIEW was of another building where something of so much significance happened that I’ve already forgotten what it was.

I think it’s back to the Daily Show and Colbert Report for me. At least we get funny faces with their news reports.

“M” is for Mirror, Mirror – Fat Lady In The Pool



Mirror, Mirror on the wall

Who’s the fattest of them all?

When I was young,

My eyes deceived.

Heavier than I was,

Is what I believed.

 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Who’s the fattest of them all?

Now that I’m old,

My eyes, they lie

Telling me I’m not plump,

On them I rely.

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Who’s the fattest of them all?

Aged or of youth,

My eyes, they fool.

Pictures speak the truth,

               And BMI is cruel.

Forget you mirror……….I’m getting in the pool!!!

“J” is for Just Sayin’


Yeah, I know I’m a day behind, but give me a break.  I just came off a 6 day game of Hide-and-Seek and I Spy.

"J" is for Just Sayin'

“J” is for Just Sayin’

Recently, I learned that there are certain individuals who believe I have a super power and I use it for evil manipulation.  That super power is the use of “Vocabulary.”

That’s probably the highest praise my writing has received to date.

You see, to take words and group them in such a way to transfer the author’s thoughts to paper, then transfer from paper to the mind of the reader, without any loss to the original intent, indeed, is an artful and skillful feat.  One could call it manipulation, but most people call it communication.

Maybe I should try my super power at Mickey D’s to score a free apple pie.

“Excuse me, can you watch my mouth while I speak to you.”  [That’s how you activate the super power when you can’t use email.]

Then I’d lick my plump lips, triggering my super-duper Vocabulary power, and say,

“I’m of the recent persuasion that my nutritional needs require the ingestion of sustenance comprising warmed fruit compote wrapped in a baked, flaky tartlet.”

Miss Would-You-Like-Fries-With-That would be mesmerized by my words and would robotically turn to the warming area to grab an apple pie and toss into my bag along with my calorie-laden and cholesterol saturated #8 combo.

A McDonald's apple pie.

Forget using my super power to bring about world peace.  I want an apple pie! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To be honest, I’m not trying to manipulate anyone.  I simply desire to communicate thoughts utilizing a collection of words designed to convey meaning.   But it appears my multi-syllabic word choices give off the wrong impression.

“Really?  Because I used the word ‘exacerbate’?”

“Yeah.  They think you just make words up.”

I was speechless for 23.5 seconds, which just so happens to be my personal best.

“So you’re telling me

that because I’m literate,

someone believes I’m trying to manipulate them…

with the English language…


Granted, text speak has dumbed down our vocabulary but it’s got me a little scared to orate with populaces.  What would they deliberate if I articulated that I was to be matriculated by the university soon?

I asked Chief that question and he said, “Ain’t nobody gonna matriculate you but me!”

Maybe we should encourage more use of Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day app.

Just sayin’.

“Hide-and-Seek” and “I Spy” by Bowls The Cat

"H" is for Hide-and-Seek

“H” is for Hide-and-Seek

"I" is for I Spy

“I” is for I Spy

***Note from Mama Bread Baker***

Bowls the Cat was found last night at Sonic after he escaped on “D” day. This is some of what he wrote. Chief and I, and all the Crumbsnatchers are happy to have him home.


It’s been six days since Sweet Pea took me for a ride in her snazzy, jazzy car to get a Reese’s Pieces Blizzard from Sonic. Boyfriend2.0 went with her, and I decided it would be fun to play a game of hide-and-seek with them. So, after I got my ice cream I jumped out of her car and hid.

Sweet Pea & Boyfriend2.0 immediately started playing and I barely had time to pick good spot. They found me real quick.

I hate losing, but I figured we had time for Two-Out-Of-Three. So, when they put me back in the car, I jumped out the other door before Boyfriend2.0 could close it, and I hid again.

I know Sweet Pea was having fun because she brought some friends along to play our game. They looked everywhere while I snickered at them from my super-secret hiding spot. Sweet Pea even called Mama Bread Baker and Chief Money Maker to join in the fun. I was thrilled because they hardly ever leave the house.

Just between you and me, those lazy bums could use the exercise, know what I mean?

Anyway, it’s day six and they still haven’t found me. How good am I, huh?

MBB put up all these bright yellow fliers with my picture on it. Cheater. I’ll have to teach her a lesson about integrity when I’m announced the winner of this on-going, tedious game.

I’ll cut her some slack, though, because she was surely trying to one-up CMM. Those two make everything a contest. So tiresome.

The picture she used for the fliers wasn’t my favorite. I’d just eaten and felt all bloated and stuff. I hadn’t even washed my hair yet that day, and obviously, MBB hadn’t vacuumed that rug in weeks.

Bowls Reward

I wish she’d used the one with me and that smelly dog they insist upon calling my “brother.” It showed my best side, if I do say so myself. Hint…it’s my butt.

So I’m just sitting here, shellacking, waiting for MBB and her new friend, Beth, to come back and play the game today. They’ve been coming every day. A couple times they tried to trick me by coming out at night, but I’m not falling for that. No way, Guadalupe!

I did start to feel sorry for them, so I decided to help them out a little. I let the Sonic manager see me this morning. Then he called MBB and her new friend, Beth.

“I’m 99% sure it’s him,” he said.

Geez, you would think for as long as I sat there he’d be a 100% sure. Humans. No confidence whatsoever.

So now MBB’s brought a new friend to help her out. MBB called her Colleen and told her that she’d been married to Chief for 2 years today and all she wants is to win this game.

I should probably give up. I’m so much smarter than my people. If I wait until they actually find me, I’ll grow gray in the whiskers and I don’t really want to live at Sonic forever–no matter how good their Blizzards are!

Sweet Pea and her friends gave up a couple of hours ago. MBB and Colleen haven’t spotted me yet. Now here comes CMM. He’s got the flashlight and he’s checking all around.

Awwww, man. Beth just opened some deliciously smelly mackrel.

preppin' bait... yum.

preppin’ bait… yum. (Photo credit: tiny.tussle)

That’s a low blow. How am I supposed to resist that? Ok, ok. I give.

I’m tired anyway. It’s time to go home.

Very tired Kitty-Boy after 6 days of Hide-and-Seek

Very tired Kitty-Boy after 6 days of Hide-and-Seek

D is for Devastated. We lost Bowls the Cat




I intended a post yesterday titled “Crumbsnatcher Tales Book Coming Soon”, but before I could write the post, Bowls the Cat ditched us.  Sweet Pea and Boyfriend2.0 took him to Sonic last night?  Yes, there is a question mark after that sentence.  I know cats like milk, but don’t ya think a Snickers Blizzard is going a little overboard?

They opened the car door to chat with some friends, and Bowls darted out and under the car next to them.  Boyfriend2.0 received kitty-claw lacerations while attempting to coax him from the undercarriage of the vehicle next to them.  Somehow, someone got him and placed him in the driver side of the car and he promptly darted out the passenger side before Boyfriend2.0 could close it.


Now D is for “Devastated.”  But we’re hopeful, and by that I mean I hope I’m not going to be still looking for him by the time we reach H.  I’d prefer to write about him when we get to F for “Found.”   Or maybe a nice G for “Got Him.”

So forgive me if I’m off my funny game today.  I’ll leave you with part of what I intended to post yesterday.  A teaser to “Crumbsnatcher Tales – A Family One Talking Dog Away From a Sitcom.”  Coming this summer.

“Crumbsnatcher Tales – A Family One Talking Dog Away From a Sitcom” takes a humorous look at life in a blended family of five teenagers, three dogs, a cat, and a fish. Mama Bread Baker works to find a recipe for harmony for this family that will produce a blend resembling something other than baby diaper pooh. Mama Bread Baker is old school parenting adapted for today’s blended families. For example, when called an evil stepmother, she gently reminds The Eldest that she’s his biological mother! Her Tennexas wit(her self-dubbed style of writing named such to honor her Texas adolescence and Tennessee living) will have you repeating one of her favorite phrases. “If you can’t beat ‘em…then how the hell am I supposed to learn ‘em?” 

Qualify for a chance to win a free signed copy.  Ten lucky new subscribers in the month of April will receive a copy when released.  Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right to be qualified for a free book when released.

Also if you subscribe, or comment on this blog posting, you may have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”  


Bait and Hook – Outfishing Chief Money Maker.


Snagging a man has everything to do with using the right bait, and little to do with finding a honey hole. And let’s get real. You can always get a man to bite any time of the day.

Whether or not he’s a keeper is totally for you to decide.

Chief thought I was a pretty good catch right up until I out-fished him on our honeymoon. Two days earlier, he’d proudly stood in the receiving line after our nuptials explaining to all who passed that his lovely bride had chosen Lindsey’s Trout Resort in Arkansas for our honeymoon destination.

He thought I’d chosen it because I knew how much he loved to trout fish when I’d actually selected the resort because we’d be out of cell phone range and farther than a shout of “Mom!” away from the crumbsnatchers.

It was the first time he’d misjudged my motives, and if I continue to hone my skills, it won’t be the last.

Point is, we were both happy with the choice for whatever reason. Until the honeymoon disaster began. It started with the simplest of requests of the Wal-mart cashier. “Where’s your beer?”

“You passed it about 45 miles back,” she said, letting me know she’d marked us for tourists–and that apparently they only had one way in and out of this no-beer town.

Chief smiled and told her, “Thank you,” while placing his hand over my mouth before I could say, “You do know prohibition ended, right?”

English: Bentonville, Arkansas: This is the fi...

I know we were in Arkansas but no beer? Really? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Lucky for us, he’d brought along the leftover wine and champagne from our wedding, saving our marriage for at least another 30 minutes. We found our love shack situated on the banks of some twisty river that promised to excite Chief with its trout action. Good thing because I didn’t want to set a precedent for the rest of our prison term blissful years of marriage that would lead Chief to believe he’d be getting a lot of action from me.

As we relaxed on the porch of our love shack, a bat swooped past giving us his best “Top Gun” impression. I hit the deck. Chief, being my newly nuptial-ed protector assured me the bat wouldn’t return.

I was disappointed to learn that my husband of barely 24 hours was a freaking liar. Fifteen seconds later the bat dive-bombed me. Wine glass went flying, arms flailed and I ran into the love shack slinging the sliding glass door shut behind me. When I finally opened my eyes, it was to a vision of Chief on the porch doubled-over in laughter.

The next day, we went fishing. Chief rigged my rod with a red plastic jiggly worm and I was catching trout left and right.

Red Wiggler Worms

Only my worm was plastic. Or just dead. I’m not really sure. (Photo credit: net_efekt)

Big ones, little ones, brown ones, rainbow ones. Chief half-heartedly cheered me on so I decided to let him use his red plastic jiggly worm so he’d stop pouting like a two-year old whose pacifier had been yanked from his mouth. He tossed the line in the water, and at the other end of the boat, I caught Granddaddy trout with the bait he’d been using.

Maybe it ain’t about the bait after all. 😉

An “A” for Effort – Chief Money Maker Tries to Keep Wallet in Pocket



You’d think a Master’s degree would imply a certain level of critical thinking ability that would enable Chief Money Maker to hang onto his wallet. That is until he tries to follow teenage logic or gets married. I’ve gotta give the man an “A” for effort, though.

Chief Money Maker on taking out a second mortgage for a prom dress:

CMM: “She can wear it again next year, right?”

MBB: “No.”

CMM: “But you’ll sell it to recoup the finance charges right?”

MBB: “No. She’ll want to keep it in her hope chest.”

CMM: “I hope those are real gold sequins and that the price of gold doesn’t go down before we have to sell it to make our mortgage–

“Here’s my wallet.”

Chief Money Maker on Sweet Pea’s need for a pedicure before a weekend softball tournament:

CMM: “But no one will see your toes.”

SWEET PEA: “They will in the hotel room.”

CMM: “Here’s my wallet!”

Chief Money Maker on tanning packages:

CMM: “But there are lounge chairs beside the pool I just put in last summer.”

SWEET PEA: “Yeah, but I don’t want to get sunburned.”

CMM: “Here’s my wallet!”

Chief Money Maker on putting in long hours of work:

CMM: “I logged over 12 hours every day this week.”

MBB: “That’s great honey, but 16 would be better.”

CMM: “Why?”

MBB: “8 for you and 8 for me, so I can go shopping for flowers and more wine.”

CMM: “Here’s my wallet.”

MBB Gardens

The Spotlight’s On You! Vol 1:7


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one reader every week.  (And I broke that promise because I’m working on my book which will be released soon.  But let’s get back on track.)

Here’s how YOU can be featured:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter
  • Like Mama Bread Baker on Facebook
  • Leave a comment on any of my blog postings


The blog I chose for this week was posted by Opinionated Man over at Harsh Reality where the tag line reads “My goal with this blog is to offend everyone in the world at least once with my words…so no one has a reason to have a heightened sense of themselves.  We are all ignorant, we are all found wanting, we are all bad people sometimes.”

The blog I chose is titled “Women are Crazy.”  I was drawn to the title because, well let’s just be honest here, if you’ve read my blog you know I chose this title because I AM crazy.  Enjoy the read!  

Women are Crazy (The way to lose your female readers)

This is not a relationship blog, but occasionally I will write about and share some revolutionary facts that I discover in my life. Here is one fact that I would love to write about (but not discuss) women are crazy. I would go so far as to say “most” women are crazy and the funny part is they make sense to each other. That really is the kicker, because women can understand the craziness in one another, they then do not consider themselves crazy. Impeccable logic to be sure, it is hard to debate evidence so sound.

Women pick arguments on purpose. The only time men pick arguments on purpose is if we do not like someone, we are drunk, there is a Raider’s fan in the room, or we decide to act macho in front of our woman. Men do not often argue just to argue, do you know why ladies? We are lazy and it is hard to watch Sportscenter AND drink a beer while you argue.  Click here to continue reading…

From Texana’s Kitchen: About A Boy…A Tape Measure…And A Footlong Weenie

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I simply had to reblog this post by Christine Friesenhahn over at Texana’s Kitchen.  It’s a must read, I assure you.

About A Boy…A Tape Measure…And A Footlong Weenie

English: A Stanley PowerLock tape measure.

English: A Stanley PowerLock tape measure. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Never underestimate the importance of knowing your weights and measures.

For Christmas one year, my mother gifted my boys with Home Depot tool boxes, complete with the full range of functional, but small-sized tools.  They each had a hammer, saw, pliers, screwdriver, wrench, level and tape measure.  Most children, when in possession of such items as hammers and saws, would immediately set about harming themselves or property with these tools.  Not my kids.  For my kids, it was the tape measure.

We all know that men get really hung up on the size of their “bits and pieces”, but being from a family full of girls, I had no idea that this obsession begins in boys at such a young age.  When he was in Kindergarten, my youngest informed me that his bits were bigger than Jacob’s bits.  As it turns out, the kindergarten boys were in the habit of conducting side-by-side comparisons.  Nice.

Click here to continue reading…

If I’d Drowned The Crumbsnatchers at Birth, I’d Be Out of Prison By Now!


The teen years are traumatic.  There’s the crying, the mood swings, the feelings of insecurity, the desire to permanently check out of Lifebook.

And that’s when I’m having a good day.

The stress is enough to make even Freud go mad.  Take this  for example:  Sweet Pea’s a teenaged girl.

And by that I mean she’s crazy.

She asked me last week to bring Boyfriend2.0 to her softball game.  Then she sent a text ten minutes after I should have left telling me what time I should leave.  Then she sent another text telling me to come early.  Half-way en route to Boyfriend2.0’s house, she sent another text.

“Don’t come.” 

I called Boyfriend2.0, gave him the scoop, did a U-turn and headed to the house.  Once home, I poured a glass of wine, left it on the counter for Chief Money Maker, grabbed the rest of the bottle and settled down in the recliner just as my phone went off again.

“NVM.  Come.”

I resisted the urge to reply, “Can you chill Sybil?” only because I knew she’d respond with a confused Emoji.

Dazed and Confused

Not an Emoji but sill Dazed and Confused (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Instead I retreated to my favorite hiding spot.  The washing machine.  Trust me, they never look there.

Split Sweet Pea personality aside, we’ve also got another newly-licensed teenaged driver in the house.  And by that I mean our insurance rates have just surpassed the national deficit.

It’s a good thing we live on a corner lot because the streets around our abode look like Harry’s Honda Hacienda, only with less reliable vehicles.

1951 Buick

1951 Buick (Photo credit: Hugo90)

The upside is that with two teen crumbsnatchers out and about on weekend nights, I don’t have to fabricate ways to push Sweet Pea’s curfew up so I can go to bed at 8:30 pm.  Now I feign a headache—instead of admitting my right knee feels like a grenade sporadically exploding because I know CMM will make me go back to Dr. Frankenstein—and leave the watch to him.

Don’t mistake my words for complaining—despite the truth that I am complaining.  Having teenaged crumbsnatchers isn’t all that bad.  As parents of these communication-challenged Cretans, we get fun experiences like debating their anemic critical thinking processes.

“Wolfy, can you run to the grocery store and pick up some milk?”

“Sure, if you give me gas money.”

“You want ME to give YOU gas money to compensate YOU for driving to the store to get milk, which I don’t even drink, in MY VEHICLE?”

“Uhhhhhh, yeah.”

Thank goodness The Eldest has matured to the point that we can hold productive intelligent conversations.  Just the other night he offered great feedback on the cover for my short story, “The Butterfly Wish.”  I felt proud, optimistic, and hopeful.

Right up until he said, “Oh, and you should consider a pen name.  Who names an adult Cheri?”

“Well, I wasn’t an adult when my mother named me!”

“Think about it, Mom.  Would you want to read a book written by Strawberry Johnson?”

“That’s not my name!”

“Ok, so would you want to read a book written by Fruity Thacker?”

“That’s still not my name…but I get it!”

The Crumbsnatchers might not be the brightest baubles on Pinterest, but sometimes…they do make good points.

© 2013 CThacker

Strange Disease Excuses to Use When You Miss Bunco…or Work!


I’ve committed THE cardinal sin among women.  I missed a Friday night Bunco group where I was to serve as a sub, and death was not my reason.  This faux paus shelved my dreams of being inaugurated as the newest member of this elite society.

English: Four coloured 6 sided dice arranged i...

Our dice aren’t colored.  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I wish I’d had a better reason for missing, like Dipsomania, but then again most Bunco group members suffer from that anyway.

[Editor’s note:  A complete description of all mentioned diseases is included at the bottom of this post]

The texts started coming in at 7:05 pm.  I didn’t see them until well after 9:00 pm, and then it took almost an hour before I could recover from the embarrassment enough to respond.  During that time, I ran through my options.

I could explain my absence by stating a family member had permanently logged out of Lifebook.  But despite the fact it wasn’t true, I feared living with years of guilt if the person I chose for their untimely demise actually DID demise.  I contemplated putting the blame on a sick crumbsnatcher, but much like the first excuse, I was petrified one would actually get sick.  Then I’d spend the next few days yelling at them to keep their filthy germs in their filthy rooms where they belong.

I browsed strange diseases that might come and go fleetingly, leaving no signs of previous illness.  Saturday Night Palsy wouldn’t do since it was too closely related to Dipsomania.  I couldn’t go with Lanchonophobia because I was pretty sure at least two people saw me munching on carrots at the last Bunco gathering.

Carrot diversity

Carrot diversity (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’d composed a text with an apology and an explanation that I was suffering from Jumping Frenchmen of Maine which could cause me to injure another player.  Plus we’d only have spent the whole night retrieving the dice from the backyard, and who would find that fun?  Chief nixed that excuse pretty quickly reminding me that I was already known in the area as the “Hoochie-Mama who passed out on the bank in her heels at a Catfish Rodeo  at 7:00 am in the morning.”

Yeah, I did that right after a bout with Saturday Night Palsy…on a Friday.

If I were a Downtown Abbey watcher, I could have gotten by with an explanation of Empirism.

“What about Formication?” I asked Chief.

“I’m all for it, but I’m not sure the Bunco group would buy it, since you already hinted in your blog that my night is the first Tuesday of every month.”

“Oh yeah.  Maybe I shouldn’t be so honest in my blog, huh?”

Being the brilliant man that Chief Money Maker is, he finally suggested I go with the truth.  So I did.  I admitted that I’d gotten caught up in my writing and totally forgot that it was even Friday night.  Then I added this text in hopes that I would be given a Tosh.0 chance at redemption:

“And just so you know…As a writer I could have come up with a much better story but thought it best to stick to the truth as lame as it is.”

In hindsight, I should have added that I’d be willing to come next month and the group could give me Slapped-Face Disease.  But then again, I hear it itches like crazy and I just recovered from a bad case of Yeuk.


*Disease Definitions from Inherently Funny


  1. Dipsomania – An uncontrollable craving for alcohol.
  2. Empirism – An awful affliction brought on by watching too much BBC; usually manifests in a British accent and a sudden craving for tea
  3. Formication – A hallucinated sensation that insects or snakes are crawling over your skin.
  4. Jumping Frenchmen of Maine – A sufferer of this disease displays highly exaggerated movements, and tend to leap out wildly. And despite the unusual name, it really exists.
  5. Lanchonophobia – The fear of vegetables.
  6. Saturday Night Palsy – Caused by nerve compression when you pass out in an awkward position.
  7. Slapped-Face Disease – It’s an actual disease. It looks like you have been slapped everywhere, and it itches like crazy.
  8. Yeuk – 15th century Middle English word used by the Scots meaning “to itch”. When not used as a verb, it is may be used to identify a particular sensation, i.e. the irritation of nerve endings in skin or mucous membrane that provokes the desire to scratch oneself silly if alone or look for a speedy exit if one is in mixed company. It’s also a popular name for the parasitic disorder “scabies”



Everything You Didn’t Know About Me Before and Wish You Didn’t Know Now


I love games.  Board games, baseball games, bedroom games, and blogging games.  I like the letter “B” too.  Kind of reminds me of my body shape if you look at me from the side.  I’m still struggling with that whole BMI thing.  (That’s shorthand for “Body Marshmallow Index” for those not up on the medical terminology.”

Anyway, my favorite Fifty Four And A Half friend, Elyse, tagged me for this game.

The Rules:

1. Post these rules. (CHECK)
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. (CHECK)
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post.  (CHECK)
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them. (CHECK)
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged. (Be there shortly)

Here’s a picture when I was having a really good day.  You don’t want to see what I look like on days the Crumbsnatchers are driving me insane.

Mama Bread Baker

Now for the eleven facts you didn’t know before and will soon wish you didn’t know now.

  1. I have a huge writer’s crush on author Graham Brown.
  2. I haven’t read any of Graham Brown’s books…yet.
  3. I once stared at Graham Brown for an entire hour at the Killer Nashville Conference.
  4. I was sad to see The Oprah Show end because my dream of sitting on her couch talking about my best-selling novel died with her show.
  5. I was happy to learn Oprah owns her own television network, reviving my dream of sitting on her couch talking about my best-selling novel…maybe with Graham Brown?
  6. I’ll probably suggest “Graham” as a suitable name for my future grandchildren…both male and female.
  7. I occasionally eat graham crackers even though I’m gluten-intolerant.
  8. I use a brown font at my other blog – www.Highway310.com.
  9. Chief Money Maker has banned Teddy Graham’s from our house because I talk to them and pretend they are Graham Brown.
  10.  I follow Graham Brown on Facebook but I’m too shy to “talk” to him.
  11. Chief Money Maker hates Graham Brown.

Here are my answers to Elyse’s questions.

Were you closer to Mom or Dad (if you were spawned by aliens, please explain)  I believe I was standing closer to Mom when the gunshots were fired.  Oh wait…you meant emotionally.  Ummmm, probably Dad since Mom was the one shooting the gun.

There are moments in history that everyone alive at that time remember (for me it was the Kennedy assassination).  What was your first?  Hands down, the first time I licked the creamy center of an Oreo.  I’m sorry, I misunderstood again.  I thought you asked what my first memory was.  So…a moment in history after 1968 that everyone alive at the time remembers.  Hands down, that would have been 1974 when Oreo’s Double Stuff was introduced.

Favorite pet ever  What a timely question.  The Siamese Fighting Fish I got yesterday is my favorite pet ever.  He let me sleep in this morning! 

Funniest quote  “I can’t help but wonder if I’d drowned the crumbsnatchers at birth if I’d be out of prison by now.” – Mama Bread Baker

Best insult you ever delivered and why the recipient deserved it.  “You’re ugly and your Mama dresses you funny,” said to the grout cleaner per instructions to agitate.  It didn’t work very well.

First memory  Obviously that gunshot thing I mentioned in the first question.

What do you dislike most about blogging?  Probably the word “blogging.”  Couldn’t they have come up with something more appealing like “ego-stroking,” or “random strings of words put together after two and half bottles of wine”?

Do your friends/family members read your blog?  Just when they want to eat.  The pantry lock code won’t open unless a blog post is read first.

How would you be using your time right now if you weren’t answering my stupid questions  Easiest one yet…answering the Crumbsnatchers stupid questions.

Your dream job.  Professional wine Judge.

What you expect to be reincarnated as in your next life?  Professional wine Judge.

Eleven Questions My Blogging Friends Will Most Likely Ignore

  1. Do you have a crush on Graham Brown?
  2. Would you go on the Dr. Phil show to discuss an embarrassing family matter?
  3. Do you get the whole Twitter thing?
  4. How often do you Google yourself?
  5. Have you ever gone to jail?  (Please don’t reveal felonies here.  I don’t want to know you that well!)
  6. How often do you look at your crumbsnatchers (or any family member) and wonder if they were somehow switched at birth?
  7. What would you do if you found hordes of cash tucked in coffee cans of an old home you just purchased?
  8. Are you flat-footed?
  9. What’s your Body Marshmallow Index?
  10. Would you tell your best friend you saw his/her mother in a clandestine setting with someone other than his/her father?
  11. How many exercise videos do you own?

Now I’m tagging these folks.  Feel free to play along, but if you don’t it’s okay, because then I think I win although I’m not sure how the winner is determined in this game!

Liz from The Flip Side

Cathy from 5 Minutes for the Frazzled Mom

Karla from Telega Tales

Christie from Outlaw Mama

Ben from Ben’s Bitter Blog



Chief Money Maker’s Response to Post Valentine’s Day Analysis

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I knew when I gave Chief Money Maker his post Valentine’s Day analysis, he would have to respond.  He always has to get the last word when I give him the opportunity to speak…or in this case, write.  I’ve included the original Commandments to which he is responding, but you can click here to read the entire letter.

Dear Mama Bread Baker,

While we had a wonderful Valentines Day this 2013 year, I was almost enlightened by your posting last week.  Upon deep personal reflection, I would like to share what I learned on that wonderful day which is forever etched in my memory as “VD 2013.”  

Anthropomorphic Valentine, circa 1950–1960

Still Crazy About You! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt Not’s

Thou Shalt Not greet your bride, early in the morning, wearing a sparkly red Speedo while shouting “Happy VD Day, Honey!”

My Dearest Valentine, I must admit that a potbelly belongs on a wood burning stove, not a middle-aged man wearing a sparkly red Speedo!  For this, I must deeply apologize for any future nightmares you experience! I will also gladly fund your psychiatrist, or the number of cases of wine it will require, to erase that vision from your memory!  Hypnosis is also an option.

Thou Shalt Not claim the full glass of wine as yours, when your bride says it’s hers.

Yes Snookums, upon reading our marriage certificate’s fine print, I found the marital eminent domain section designating bride’s right to claim husband’s glass of wine any time she desires (Note to self:  Always ensure a spare bottle of wine is readily available when my bride’s wine glass is emptied misplaced, or any other time my bride deems it necessary to confiscate my glass).  

Thou Shalt Not refuse your bride’s offer of hot gummy lips –the candy you weirdo’s—by saying your recently pulled tooth makes it difficult to chew.

Sweetie, besides being the weirdo you married, I cannot refuse your Hot Lips!  I confess that it was not the candy that I desired, but a delicious kiss from the woman who has put me on a pedestal as the immortal Chief Money Maker.  *Editor’s Note:  Sucking up will do you no good! 

Thou Shalt Not tell the waiter your  wine choice was inspired by your bride while circling the air around your ear with your pointer finger no matter how funny you think it is.

Oh Sillyhead, I was not speaking to your lunacy but was simply conveying to the new waiter that I wanted “The Smoking Loon” wine.  You know that any mental instability you possess is a direct result of the Crumbsnatchers.  (Note to Self:  Hopefully she doesn’t catch on that I informed the new waiter that if he didn’t get us the wine soon, my wife’s reaction will make Charles Manson look like a choir boy).

Thou Shalt Not argue with your bride when she says the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt were warm-up and declares herself Champion after winning the back nine.

Pumpkin, I must remember that you possess an extremely competitive nature.  It matters not that you preempted the game with a statement, “Prepare to have your butt handed to you!”.  Thankfully, this was a loving game of Putt-Putt and I was delighted to see that you enjoyed the last nine holes of the game, kind of. . . .

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt’s

Thou Shalt feel free to punch the waiter for calling your bride “fat” by asking, “And now for you, sir?” after she ordered three sushi rolls for the both of you.

My little Chunky Monkey, that poor waiter was obviously new and mentally walking through the waiter-for-dummies checklist: “Water? Drinks? Appetizers? For you ma’am? and for you Sir?” Personally, I think he wanted to get my order before I spotted the All-You-Can Eat Sushi special that night!

Thou Shalt remember to bring earplugs for your bride in the event a dear old great-great-grandmother, perhaps even one of the original Wizard of Oz flying monkeys, decides to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”….extremely off-key.

Oh, Lovebug, I did consider a drastic measure to help you forget about her performance, but it would have required me singing, which would resulted in the place emptying out, or all the patrons emptying their dinners onto the floor. Thus, I thought it best to remain firmly planted on my backside wishing that I could pull two pair of desired ear plugs from my pocket.

Thou Shalt support me in the future when I tell the Crumbsnatchers that I am not talking dirty after yelling, “Stop exacerbating my ill mood!” instead of calling me a “Potty Mouth” in front of them.

Unfortunately, Pooh Bear, today’s school systems are yielding a generation of kids who assume any multi-syllable word not associated with a rap singer must be a “dirty word”. Perhaps we need to take our governmental approach and dumb down our verbiage for this F-generation?  May I recommend the following response next time, “Stop pissing me off or I’ll pop a cap in your knee!”?   

Thou Shalt make mental note that, “Money’s tight, don’t worry about getting me a gift,” really means don’t worry about getting me an expensive gift.

Princess, thank you for setting me straight on this hidden meaning and I will ensure you are properly gifted next time.  This definitely resonates like the last similar guidance I received when I answered “Yes” after you asked me “Does this dress make my butt look big?” (By the way ,the knot on my head is no longer visible.)

Thou Shalt let your bride win the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt so you don’t have to argue with her when she tells you they were warm-up while declaring herself Champion after winning the back nine.

Angel, I did try this tactic once when we were playing pool at which time it was clearly evident that I was “exacerbating” your foul mood and poor pool playing that evening.  Fortunately, none of the Crumbsnatchers were around as they would have definitely heard some “Potty Mouth” when you labelled me with a myriad of colorful names for allowing you to win. This was also the night that I hid the cast iron skillet when we got home as a precautionary measure.

Thank you for such a memorable Valentines 2013 along with a plethora lessons that I can take through our next Valentines Day. 

Love Always (except perhaps on the Putt-Putt fields)

Chief Money Maker 


The Spotlight’s On You! Vol 1:6


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one reader every week.  Here’s how YOU can be featured:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter
  • Like Mama Bread Baker on Facebook
  • Leave a comment on any of my blog postings


The blog I chose for this week was posted by Ben over at Ben’s Bitter Blog where the tag line reads “we make bitter better.”   Ben followed my blog, probably because he’s bitter about how famous and popular my blog is.  But we are tolerant over here at Crumbsnatcher Tales and we accept all races of people, including the bitter.

The blog I chose is titled “I am an Idiot Bitterness.”   I was drawn to the title because 1) I’m married–which is only relevant on those occasions  I’m bitter because I’m no longer single and 2) because I’m a parent–which is only relevant on those occasions I’m bitter because I’m no longer childless.

I am an Idiot Bitterness

by Ben

Some people are good at acting or singing or making art or accounting.  I respect those people for being good at those things.  Except for the accountant.  Why would you want to be good at numbers?  So boorrrinng.  The art of creativity is awesome and people should be appreciated for their art whatever that may be(except you accounting, you aren’t creative).  I am good at a few things.  Being bitter comes to mind, writing, I think I’m pretty good at (except for grammar and words and punctuation.  I know some words, but the dictionary still hides a few…million that I don’t know.)

Click here to read the rest of this post.

Please check back tomorrow when Chief Money Maker responds to my Post Valentine’s Day Analysis.

A Post Valentine’s Day Analysis Results in 5 Thou Shalt Not’s and 5 Thou Shalt’s


Dear Chief Money Maker,

Since I plan to spend the rest of my life with you in spite of yesterday, and although I appreciate your valiant efforts, I’m offering you some advice in regards to Valentine’s Day.  Please feel free to apply in years to come only if you desire to remain among those we fondly call “The Living.”

Let’s—simply for organizational purposes—put these in the form of Commandments.

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt Not’s

Thou Shalt Not greet your bride, early in the morning, wearing a sparkly red Speedo while shouting “Happy VD Day, Honey!”

Thou Shalt Not claim the full glass of wine as yours, when your bride says it’s hers.

Thou Shalt Not refuse your bride’s offer of hot gummy lips –the candy you weirdo’s—by saying your recently pulled tooth makes it difficult to chew.

Thou Shalt Not tell the waiter your wine choice was inspired by your bride while circling the air around your ear with your pointer finger no matter how funny you think it is.

Smoking Loon Wine

Smoking Loon Wine

Thou Shalt Not argue with your bride when she says the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt were warm-up and declares herself Champion after winning the back nine.

5 Valentine’s Day Shalt’s

Thou Shalt feel free to punch the waiter for calling your bride “fat” by asking, “And now for you, sir?” after she ordered three sushi rolls for the both of you.

Thou Shalt remember to bring earplugs for your bride in the event a dear old great-great-grandmother, perhaps even one of the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz, decides to sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”….very poorly.

Thou Shalt support me in the future when I tell the Crumbsnatchers that I am not talking dirty after yelling, “Stop exacerbating my ill mood!” instead of calling me a “Potty Mouth” in front of them.

Thou Shalt make mental note that, “We’re tight honey, don’t worry about getting me a gift,” really means don’t worry about getting me one that costs over $100.00.

Thou Shalt let your bride win the first twenty-seven holes of putt-putt so you don’t have to argue with her when she tells you they were warm-up while declaring herself Champion after winning the back nine.

With all my love, kisses, and wishes for many more Valentine’s Day’s to come,

@}>—>–Mama Bread Baker

 X O X O X O X O X O

The Spotlight’s On You! Vol 1:5


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one reader every week.  Here’s how YOU can be featured:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter
  • Like Mama Bread Baker on Facebook
  • Leave a comment on any of my blog postings


The blog I chose for this week was contributed by Karla Telega over at Telega Tales & Tart Cookies. She started stalking…I mean reading…my blog, so we swapped guest posts as part of the Judge’s recommendations when he signed the restraining order.  Her hilarious posts remind me that if I can’t age gracefully, I can at least make fun of myself while I do it!

Thanks Karla!

Beer, beads, and boobs

by Karla Telega

On February 12, we celebrate the last day of drunken debauchery before the 40 days of crushing depression known as Lent. You don’t have to spring for tickets to New Orleans in order to earn a drunk and disorderly. However, Mardi Gras has certain universal requirements, which if done properly will guarantee you a mug shot in the local police blotter.

If you’re going to New Orleans, those of us who are newly old should stick to gorging themselves on the King Cake. While it’s true that this may send you into a diabetic coma, it is the least of the perils associated with the holiday.


I’ve long since completed the days of hard-drinking and passing out in my soup. A column in the obituaries of death by Jumbalaya is not how I want to go.


My reflexes are not what they used to be. New Orleans residents know that when people on the floats are throwing beads, you need to catch them midair. Don’t under any circumstances bend over to pick up those that dropped on the ground. Osteoporosis plus the arrival of the next float equals never playing the piano again.


Hell no!!! If I tried to wear a skimpy tank top, my nipples would already be peeking out from the bottom. Men who have been drinking vast quantities of beer do not need any encouragement from a close up of my aging cleavage to vomit on my shoes.

Where does that leave those of us for whom hot flashes are a distant memory? How are we supposed to enjoy the fine tradition of spending the night in a holding cell? This is where women have the advantage. Carrying a child the size of a watermelon for nine months will pretty much guarantee that you will pee in the streets every time you sneeze. Even though it’s blatant profiling, the cops are lining up to catch you in the act of public urination.

If it’s any consolation, you’ll be sharing a cell with 20 other women with runny noses and wet pants.

 Karla Telega is the award-winning author of the humorous mystery, Box of Rocks. Her humor book, I Never Drove a Bulldozer / There’s a Hole in my Bucket List will be available April 1. You can join her for adventures in aging on her website, http://telegatales.com/wordpress 

What Are The Chances I Could Mistake a Cookie for a Healthy Snack?


I’m a little late jumping on the 2013 “Get Fit and Trim” train.  It passes by every year on January 1st, but Chief and I decided to board after the Super Bowl.

Chief Money Maker and I could stand (although we mostly sit) to lose a few pounds.  Karla Telega over at Telega Tales & Tart Cookies featured me on her blog today.  I wasn’t offered a cookie though, maybe because of the whole diet thing.

Check out my post Diets, Derailments, and Dudes and check back on Sunday for a post from Karla.  Maybe she’ll bring cookies.

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...

I could easily mistake this for a reduced fat mozzarella stick wrapped in an iceberg wedge, right? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The Spotlight’s On You! Vol 1:4

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As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one reader every week.  Here’s how YOU can be featured:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter
  • Like Mama Bread Baker on Facebook
  • Leave a comment on any of my blog postings


The blog I chose for this week was posted by YourOtherMotherHere over at breastfedblog.  She thought my Adam & Eve post was funny.  Thanks for stopping by YourOtherMotherHere.

By YourOtherMotherHere:

Super Bowl Stats

“Hey honey, how’s that sandwich comin’? The game starts in 10 minutes!”  Click here to check out the rest of her post and the funny pictures to go along with it.

Who do YOU think will win the Super Bowl today?  Respond to the poll below.  My money’s on the 49’ers.  Literally.  Like a $150 bucks.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Two Mornings…Two Men…Two Mississippi Murders


Join me for this walk.

Two mornings…two men…two murders.

Did hate motivate?

Highway 310 Blog seeks to find the answer to that question.

I had plans for 2013.  Adding a second blog wasn’t one of them.

I’ve heard other writers talk of how a story haunted them, but I’d never experienced that feeling as strongly as I did when the story of Johnny Lee Butts came across my desk.  For days, it was the last thing on my mind when I went to sleep and the first thing on my mind when I woke up.  Actually, it still is.

Although I enjoy the snarky and humorous style I employ here at Crumbsnatcher Tales, I didn’t feel it was the appropriate venue for the project I had in mind.

So that’s how the blog Highway 310-A Mississippi Murder was conceived.


This blog will have three main focuses:

  • Highlight and discuss the 2011 James Anderson case (Jackson, MS) and the 2012 Johnny Lee Butts case (Panola County, Mississippi)
  • Chronicle the first degree murder trial of Matthew Whitten Darby who will enter his plea on Feb 6th before the Honorable Judge McClure.  The trial is slated to begin on Feb 19th.
  • Highlight and discuss facts of other Panola County, Mississippi cases to determine if today’s law enforcement officials use their position as indiscriminately as officials past.

For Example:

2012– Judge Robert Chamberlain ruled that there was no probable cause to issue an arrest warrant for Batesville police officer Jamie Tedford, accused of threatening a 17-year-old black teenager over text messages sent to Tedford’s stepdaughter, 14.

(Source:  Davis, Billy. “Judge’s Ruling Clears Tedford of Threat Charge.” The Panolian March 12, 2010.)

1963– “Insufficient evidence…the reason for the acquittal of Panola County Sheriff Ross Darby…on charges of depriving a Negro of his right to a trial before inflicting summary punishment. U.S. District Court Judge Claude Clayton ordered the verdict on grounds the evidence was insufficient to prove willful intent in the striking of Lloyd Reed at a rural grocery store west of Pope last July 30.”

(Source: Associated Press. “School Integration Plan is Ordered.”  The Tuscaloosa News March 6, 1963.)

I’m not sure what tapestry this thread of blogs will weave, but until that pattern is fully laid out, I hope you will partner with me on this project.  What is required of you as a partner?

Simply one thing…subscribe and follow along with me as the stories of these two men unfold.  Oh, and feel free to dialogue there too!

In exchange, I will:

  • Bring to Highway 310 as much information as I can find about these two cases
  • Provide daily blog postings during Matthew Whitten Darby’s trial slated to begin February 19th. (Follow me on Twitter for tweets throughout the trial)
  • Respectfully seek to obtain interviews (when appropriate) and post those at Highway 310.

I’m calling upon my followers here, to follow along with me there, or pass this information along to someone else they feel may be interested.  I would welcome any mention that other bloggers might be willing to provide in support of this project.

****We now return to regularly scheduled programming.****


Adam & Eve – The First Argument


I don’t know why I’m a perfectionist.  Possibly because I’m the first-born? Maybe because I’m a woman? It could even be a DNA type thing—that obviously didn’t mutate to my teenage crumbsnatchers.  Whatever the reason, somewhere inside lives an evil voice that is never happy with anything I do.

I sometimes wonder if Eve was a perfectionist.  Do you think conversations like this could be overheard in the Garden of Eden?

Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden

Chatting with God after dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Adam (In from a hard day’s work):  Hey honey, I’m home!

Eve:  Don’t track your feet through the beach sand!  I spent all day combing it with palm leaves!

Adam (Scratching his head as he sets his briefcase down):  Are we having company?

Eve:  Adam!  I reminded you this morning before we rolled out of the lush green meadow that God was coming over for dinner tonight!

Adam:  Oh yeah.  I forgot.  That explains why you’re all stressed out.

Eve:  <through gritted teeth>  What did you say?  I’m—not—stressed.  I just want everything to be perfect when He gets here.

Adam:  We live in the Garden of Eden, honey.  I think that is the definition of perfection.  Well, except for that one apple that we can’t have.

Eve:  That’s right, Adam.  We do live in the Garden of Eden and who put us here?  Huh, huh?  Who gave us this?  Huh?

Adam:  There you go throwing that up in my face again.  You don’t think I work hard all day having dominion over all this stuff?  You don’t think that’s some pressure?  Just once I’d like to come home to a peaceful house.

Eve (crying):  sniff…sniff…It’s never enough for you.  I keep myself fit running with the cheetahs every day.  I take care of the meadow, sometimes hand-separating each flowing blade of grass.  I make sure you have fresh coconut milk waiting for you after work, and not once…well there was that time when I had a headache…do I deny you the pleasures of my body.

Adam:  Please don’t cry…you’re right honey.  I know, I know.  You are a perfect woman.  I mean, let’s be honest here.  God made me first.  I was just a test model and when He got the kinks all out, He made the beautiful, perfect woman who you are.

Eve:  Thank you for acknowledging that fact.  (Hugging Adam) And I guess it could be worse.  I could have to deal with a mother-in-law!


I’m sure that dinner party went well after Adam & Eve made up.  Until the next week when Eve made Apple Cobbler for desert.

I am Eve! (Not really, I’m Cheri.) I am Woman! (That parts true.)  And I make my own Garden of Eden where everything is perfectly imperfect.

© 2013 CThacker

Karma and Making Your Husband Pay


“Whooaaaa!  What was that?” the Eldest and Sweet Pea said in unison when my knee made a loud “POP” a few nights ago.

“Just my knee.”

Sweet Pea huffed, “Oh my gosh Mom!  Why don’t you go to bed and get off your knee?”

“Yeah,” agreed The Eldest.  “You know something always happens when Chief is out of town!”

I couldn’t argue.  It’s true.  Catastrophe befalls this household every time he leaves on business.  This time, however, the catastrophe was that I didn’t go with him.

But first, some back story.  January, 2011; I’d had two bunion surgeries in four months, subsequently spending a lot of time working from home with Chief.  One day, I interrupted his incessant pen-clicking with the statement, “Geez!  Isn’t it about time that you go out of town?”

I didn’t realize the strength of my own powers.  He was gone six of the next eight weeks.  I didn’t really want him gone that long.  I’ve since learned to harness the magic.

But in the witchcraft world—which I know nothing about—I imagine that the perpetual “good vs. evil” battle organically balances itself.  That would explain the backlash of my spell; something goes horribly wrong every time Chief travels.

  • The microwave blew up like a nuclear reactor plant.
  • The air conditioning blew during record-breaking heat.
  • Emergency trip to doggie hospital.
  • I blew my knee out.

So after listening to Chief brag about Alabama’s recent umpteenth National Championship—like there wasn’t a person on this planet who didn’t know Alabama would win—I used my “abilities” to send Chief on a quick business jaunt.

Within a few days, Chief got word he was going to California.  (There’s that whole organic balancing thing again.  Yes, I wanted him to go away but not to SUNNY CALIFORNIA in the middle of freaking winter!)

But this time, because I incessantly bugged him about it, Chief found a round-trip flight to California for $301.00 for me.  “We can probably swing that,” he said.  While Sweat Pea and I were out running errands, I was mentally packing my suitcase and working up my “elevator pitch” for a book I’m writing in case I ran into an agent.

Then I got a text.  “It’s going to be too hectic.  Next time.”


I’ve been looking for dishes for the last two years.  I know it seems irrelevant, but stick with me.  I hadn’t been able to find any that I liked…until that day.  Standing in Kroger.  Reading Chief’s text.

$306.00 later—Booyah!  I’ve got a new set of dishes, platters, serving bowls, and place mats.  How’s that for some organic balancing?

Aren't they cute?

Aren’t they cute?

But the Universe wasn’t done messing around with me.  During his trip, Chief texted that he was having drinks at the hotel bar where he just so happened to be chatting up an independent film producer and her husband.  Are you kidding me?

When he called me later that night to insist that Karma was once again on his side, I said.  “Not so fast buddy.  That could have been ME pitching my book idea to her which she would love and, in turn, make into an independent film that would win the Sundance Award!”


“Betcha dinner off those new dishes will taste a little different now, huh?”

Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, comment on this blog posting, like it on Facebook, or Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”

© 2013 CThacker

The Spotlight’s on You! Vol 1:3


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one reader every week.  Here’s how YOU can be featured:

  • Subscribe to my blog
  • Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter
  • Like Mama Bread Baker on Facebook
  • Leave a comment on any of my blog postings


The blog I chose for this week was posted by Elyse over at FiftyFourAndAHalf.  She drops by often and comments regularly and I TOTALLY didn’t realize she’d just had a birthday, which makes her blog name a total farce.

Happy Belated Birthday Elyse!

By Elyse:

Before 1986 there were two things in life I was certain about.  Things I never got wrong on a pop quiz.  Things that I could recite in my sleep.

First my name.  Elyse Ellen E….

When I got married I didn’t have to change my name.  That was until the woman I worked for at the time announced that I absolutely could not change my name.  So naturally the decision was made and I changed it.  Continue reading


We’re Not Racists. Our Cat is Black


I joke.  I kid.  I make my pennies-a-day salary writing humor.  But there is one topic I won’t joke about because I just can’t find anything funny about it.

Ok.  Maybe I find it funny when comedians poke fun, but they are more skilled than I.  I’m not gonna touch it.  Yet still, I couldn’t help but chuckle a little when Chief tossed out some ridiculous things people could say about their own beliefs:

“We’re not racists.  We’re just really slow runners.”

Maybe it was because we’d recently seen Django Unchained.  I don’t know what led to the topic, but we tossed a few more out for fun:

“We’re not racists.  Our cat is black.”

“We’re not racists.  We just think the SEC is better than everybody.”

Ok.  That’s about as far as we got ‘cause like I said, I don’t find much funny about racism.  And for all my fine “Yankee” readers, if you think prejudice is extinct in 2013’s New South, you’ve got some mighty fine rose-colored glasses to shield you from the scorching truth.

There has never been another subject that stirs me up as a writer more than this one does.  I don’t know why.  Oh, hell, yes I do.  I lived in Mississippi, the fire of racism that boils the cauldron of hatred and imagined superiority.  The Eldest and Sweet Pea lived in the coals of this ignorance when they lived with their father.

Consider this:


It’s a humid July Saturday night in Panola County, Mississippi.  Three teenagers party all night.

It’s Sunday morning, 6:30 a.m. Hot, because it always is in July in the south.  Johnny Lee Butts set out for his 4-mile morning walk.

Later, his body was found lying in the road 172 feet from where, according to statements, Matthew Whitten “Whit” Darby ran over him with his white Monte Carlo at an estimated speed of 55 mph to 70 mph.

Johnny Lee Butts was African-American.  The driver and two passengers were Caucasian.

Source WPTV.CM – News Channel 5


I spilled eleven years of my life in the county where this heinous murder happened.  Officer D.A.R. is a police officer in Batesville, ONE of the two county seats.  Fitting, for an area where as recently as 2008, when The Eldest attended high school there, they still held separate proms disguised as “private parties”  where the attendees were rather bland.  I’ve met John Champion, the District Attorney.  I’ve driven past David M. Bryan Sheriff’s Complex more times than I have fingers, toes, and extra fat on my hips.  I served a year on Panola County’s Grand Jury, voting for indictments of Panola County’s alleged criminals.

I could make your toes curl with recitations of the experiences of racism I’ve witnessed first-hand in that Mississippi county.  But I won’t.  CNN already did that for me.  I could give you my thoughts on whether or not this senseless murder was a hate crime.  But I won’t do that either.

Because my Mama taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”

Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, comment on this blog posting, like it on Facebook, or Follow @MamaBreadBaker on Twitter and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”

© 2012 CThacker

A Bean Counter is Never the Life of the Party – Unless They’ve Turned Humor Writer


I spent 20 years in the accounting field.  I was never expected to be the life of the party.  A bean counter never is.  If I occasionally zipped out a zinger that made people laugh, it was just a bonus.

English: Picture of Azuki Beans. The ones show...

Day in…day out…I counted these.  I was so boring. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But now that I’m a writer, and more specifically a humor columnist, I carry a special new responsibility.  I’m expected to be the life of the party; even if that expectation is only in my mind.  I just can’t seem to help myself.

We had dinner with another couple last night and my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  The wife is a former co-worker of mine.  She caught me up on the office gossip that I could not have cared less about.

Which brings to mind the question, why do people say “I could care less”?  If you could care less, then wouldn’t that mean you have some measure of caring when you are trying to purvey the message that you really COULDN’T CARE LESS which is what you should have said in the first place?

Who’s on first?  I Don’t Know.  Then who’s on Third?  Who’s on first?

Abbott (right) and Costello, 1942

They just don’t make Sunday afternoon movies like they used to make.  Abbott (right) and Costello, 1942 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So back to dinner and how my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  I felt an unbelievable pressure all evening to provide snappy one-liners.  I did a good job, too, which is surprising because another friend of mine–yes, I have more than one–was always the one that should have manned the 1-800-OH-NO-SHE-DI’UHNT Hotline.

I did it at Bunco the other night too, but since my Compadres for the evening could have been subscribers of the suburban paper that carries my humor column, I censored myself a little more.  Except for when we were in the garage and my filter completely disintegrated to the point that I called my son an asshole for a laugh.

It went like this:

Soccer Mom1:  Your husband is such a great soccer referee…our girls just love him.
Soccer Mom2:  Absolutely!  He’s much better than that other referee.

Soccer Mom5: (‘Cause Soccer Mom3 & Soccer Mom4 were huddled in the bathroom talking about the other 9 soccer moms and the sub they invited, being me) The one with the red hair?

Soccer Mom2: Yesh (’cause she was tipsy), that’s him!
Me: That’s my son.
Soccer Mom2: OMG! I’m so sorry.
Me: It’s okay. I know he’s an asshole.

<Everyone laughs, which was really the point.>

The Eldest didn’t think it was too funny when I told him about it later that night!  In retrospect, I can understand how he could actually care less about the situation, whereas I really couldn’t care less that he could care less.

Who’s on first?  I Don’t Know.  Then who’s on Third?  Who’s on first?

So back to dinner and how my newfound responsibility got me in trouble.  We laughed and laughed and talked about the dedication of my first published novel that is going to read, “To Denny.  If you hadn’t fired me, I wouldn’t be where I am now.  Thank you.  No, really.  See that picture on the back jacket?  That’s me! Thank you.”

Then Chief Money Maker said, “You got fired?  I thought you quit.”

“Kinda sorta both.  When I asked if I’d be eligible for rehire and he said ‘We’ll see after the two weeks’ I figured those two weeks of doing nothing I’d planned to do at the office could be more fun from the comfort of our sectional sofa so I just didn’t go back.”

Chief shot me a look.  I smiled and said, “But hey, I bet this would make a good blog.  Who wants a boring ole bean counter anyway?”


***Legal Disclaimer***

Any resemblance of Soccer Mom1,Soccer Mom2, Soccer Mom3, Soccer Mom4, and Soccer Mom5 to the actual Soccer Moms I based their representation upon is purely accidental because I’m not that great of a writer.

© 2012 CThacker

The Spotlight’s on You! Vol 1:2


As part of “2013 Means Bigger Better Things”, I promised to showcase a blog posting from one of the previous week’s new subscribers, or someone who left a comment on my blog.  Subscribe to my blog, or stop back by and comment on new blog postings, and one of your blog posts could be featured next week!


The blog I chose for this week was posted by Cathy Cantu over at “5 Minutes for the Frazzled Mom.”   She dropped by and commented on a couple of my blog postings and is also a subscriber.

The post I chose caught my eye because Cathy can peg us women in a way I’ve yet to see anyone else come close.  Her post “Solving World Problems One Riblet Basket At a Time” pokes some fun at the differences between men and women when it comes to socializing.

By Cathy Cantu

“Studies show men talk to each other about four subjects: work, women, sports, and caulk….

If you just laughed, go on over and check out the rest of her post.

Thanks Cathy!

Bunco – The Divinely Appointed


Bunco Group Member – the coveted suburban title to which every soccer mom aspires.  In a lost scroll found, archaeologists learned that on the eighth day God created Bunco groups consisting of twelve women.  After these first divinely-appointed women, the only way into a Bunco group was/is by death.  It’s like Supreme Court Justice Appointments for Mini-van Moms.

I think this is the most absurd thing I can imagine.

And I hope someone dies soon so I can get an appointment to the group in which I’ve served as a sub the last two months.

It takes networking, politicking, and a current member with dangerously high cholesterol to get an appointment to a Bunco group.  You could always start your own, but it wouldn’t be recognized as “Original Lineage” by the Garden of Eden Bunco Association—whose motto is “Bringing you the gossip since Eve bit the Apple”—or Southern Baptists.

English: Stacked pink lady apples. Français : ...

Which must, by decree of Moses, be served at every Bunco meeting–with marshmallow dip! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And don’t get fooled by one of those impostor groups either.  If you get invited to a “BunKo” group, steer clear.  Every tried and true member of the society knows that it’s BunCo with a big fat “C” and it’s derived from the Latin words “bunimus cominus” which means, “Girrrrrrls, get your biscuit buns over to my house so I can tell you what that tramp down at blah blah blah blah.”

I subbed for a group for two years.  My own mother was a member.  I still couldn’t get an appointment.  One time, Old Miss Louise had a heart attack and my Mom immediately called to let me know it looked like a spot would open.  Then her call waiting beeped.

“Hold on and I’ll get rid of them,” she said.

While I waited, I planned the menu for the first night I’d host my new Bunco group.  I think Old Miss Louise had June.  The cinnamon tortilla chips and pumpkin dip would be refreshing.  Or maybe it was January.  Those would still work.  Pumpkin is holiday-ish.

I heard the familiar click that everyone in the Back to the Future Era knew meant the person was back on the line and my Mom said, “Are you still there?”

It was required when you click back from call waiting to ask that question.

I said, “Yeah.”

“False alarm.  Old Miss Louise just had gas from eating down at the Horseshoe Corral.”

And that’s the closest I’ve come so far to getting in.

The last two months, I’ve subbed for another Bunco group.  I’d like to say that these ladies are lovely; that they are some of the classiest women in the area.  I’d like to, but these are some kind of craaaazzzy ladies.

And exactly the kind of Bunco group I want to join!

I’ve got my target locked and loaded and now all I have to do is sit back and wait for someone to die, or transfer.  But even transfers can get tricky.  I understand waiting lists are long, and many a man wears on his back the footprints of corporate ladder-climbers all because their wife refused to move for his promotion until a suitable Bunco group could be secured.

It’s that kind of serious!

Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, or comment on this blog posting, and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”

© 2013 CThacker

Dr. Phil Asks “How’s That Working for Ya?”



You’ve got to wonder about the kind of life someone lives when they’ve emailed the Dr. Phil Show only twice in their lifetime, and both times a producer has called to request they appear on the program.

Well, I can tell you it is pretty normal—except for those two things I emailed the Dr. Phil show about.

English: Phil McGraw photographed for the cove...

English: Phil McGraw photographed for the cover of Newsweek magazine by Jerry Avenaim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my defense, Dr. Phil has some misleading web forms.  He has an “Ask Dr. Phil” section where, by nature of its name, I thought it to be exactly that.  So back in 2005 I emailed Dr. Phil a question about a pressing life situation.  I expected an email response from a psychology intern on the “Ask Dr. Phil” staff that would offer up some sage Texas advice like, “When you walk a mile in someone else’s boots, you’re a mile farther down the road than you were before.”

Instead, I came home from work one afternoon to find the message “Call Dr. Phil” written on our family message board.  That’ll put dinner on hold for just about anyone, I betcha!

I called the number which put me through to an assistant producer.  She explained they had an upcoming show on the topic I’d emailed about.  “Do you think your ex-husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”

Officer D.A.R. barely tolerates existing on the same planet with me.  I knew there was no way he would agree to sit on a stage with me. Besides, he hates doctors.  Especially ones that might tell him what an idiot he can be at times.

So recently, I had another pressing life situation and, because I suffer from the inability to learn from my previous mistakes, I shot another question off on the “Ask Dr. Phil” section of the website.  A couple of days later, while I sat waiting for my minivan to be cleaned, my cellphone screen announced a call from area code 323, Los Angeles, CA.

I immediately thought, “This must be the Dr. Phil Show calling about my Ask Dr. Phil question.”

Ok, not really.

I thought it more likely to be a skip tracer—calling the wrong number, of course—and sent the call to voice mail.

Lo and behold, when I checked my voice mail, it was Julie from the Dr. Phil show with a request that I call her back as soon as possible.  So I did.  This time it seems I’d caught their attention with a situation they’d never heard of before.

“Not even Dr. Phil?” I asked.

“Not even Dr. Phil.  And we’re very interested in having you on the show so he can help your family.  Do you think your husband would be willing to come on the show as well?”

In that moment I realized I was 2 for 2 in “Ask Dr. Phil” situations, neither time resulting in a solution because it required the presence of a man, past or present, from my life.  There was no way Chief Money Maker was going to sit on stage and publicly discuss family matters on television.  Besides, he hates doctors.  Especially one’s he thinks are a discredit to people everywhere bearing the name “Phil.”

“Well why did you write us?” asked Julie.

“Because your website says ‘Ask Dr. Phil’” I exclaimed.

“And how’s that working for ya?” she shot back.


Subscribe to Crumbsnatcher Tales by entering your email in the box on the right, or comment on this blog posting, and you will be qualified for a chance to have your blog showcased Sunday in Mama Bread Baker’s “The Spotlight’s on You!”