The Landlady

Be One with the Shovel…

Now in Assorted Colours!
Cardiogirl said that in her comments yesterday, and I’ve adopted it as my new “creed” of sorts. It just works for pretty much everything, wouldn’t you say?

Crap piling up? “Be One with the Shovel.” Live in Canuckia? “Be One with the Shovel.” Gotta get rid of that pesky bill collector? Yeah, it works for that, too.

It also reminds me of yet another Ruby story. This one came from this particular little one liner from Ruby, awhile back…. Yeah, the one at the top, there. Or just under these words you’re reading right now, to save you a little bother…

“She’s still mad at me for that time I hit her over the head with a shovel.”


“She” is Ruby’s little sister, Joycie. Joycie had a hard life with Ruby, as a kid, apparently. They laugh now about it (rather hysterically, at times), and Joycie forgives all. In fact, she’s can’t remember for the life of her why Ruby hit her in the head with the shovel in the first place.

“She musta been mad at something I said, I guess,” is what Joycie says. “She was always mad at me for something.”

And Joycie was always getting hurt as a kid, anyway…. What difference is a knock on the head with a shovel gonna make? Joycie remembers worse “accidents”.

Like the time her brother was running down a hill ahead of her, rolling a barrel-hoop. For reasons unknown, he decided to pick up the hoop halfway down the hill and pitch it up over his head behind him. Of course, it struck Joycie right on the forehead and she’s still got the scar to prove it.

Then there was the time all the kids were sliding on the ice with their boots – they didn’t all have skates, but boots worked alright – and Joycie wiped out and cracked her head a good one on the ice. Her mother (yeah, the lady with no. forearms.) taped her up good – so good, that she managed to tape Joycie’s eyelid open. And it stayed taped open for a week. I think those people had it in for poor little Joycie. It’s a wonder she survived childhood.

I got the chance to sit and talk with Joycie’s all-grown-up daughter, “Lucy”, a while back, and tried to get a few stories out of her. She immediately looked at Joycie and Ruby and said, “Do you remember the time Donah picked all the blueberries?” They started laughing (hysterically), and they stayed laughing for about ten minutes, not a one of them able to spit out a coherent word. I felt very left out of the joke.

”Who the hell is Donah?! I finally yelled.

“Donah, is my ex-husband, the cheap bastard,” replied Lucy, and they all promptly went into hysterics again.

“Remember the wine-glasses on my anniversary?” said Lucy. Laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh….

Finally, she tells the story about the three lead crystal wine glasses she got for a wedding gift. Why three instead of four, was beyond her, but she always wanted that fourth glass, so she could offer wine in matching glasses when another couple came over.

One summer, Lucy and Donah were camping in a trailer on the week their wedding anniversary fell. Donah very mysteriously disappeared into town on the happy day, returning at night-fall with a bottle of wine and a box wrapped in pretty paper, which he handed to Lucy.

When she opened it, she was moved to tears to discover not one, but three more lead crystal wine glasses to match the ones she had in her china cabinet.

“Oh, Donah… now I have a set of six! Thank you!” Donah grinned and opened the wine.

It wasn’t until they returned home, and Lucy set about putting the new glasses into the cabinet that she noticed the first three were gone… When she confronted Donah, he admitted that the bottle of wine was the actual anniversary gift.

“I told you he’s my ex, right?” laughed Lucy.

“Okay, but what about the blueberries?” I demanded, which set them all off again for another ten minutes, but I finally got that story, too. Poor Donah. It wasn’t really his fault, but the poor bugger sure had some stupid luck…

He was out fishing one summer day, and on his way home he decided to visit Lucy’s aunt and uncle, who were “trailering” for the summer. He found the trailer, alright, but no one was there. He decided to wait for them.

He waited.

And waited.

He noticed there were blueberry bushes all over the area, laden with thousands of the biggest berries he’d ever seen, and, noticing a half-gallon plastic bucket sitting by the trailer, he decided to pick Aunt and Uncle some blueberries while he waited for them to return. It wasn’t long before the bucket was brimming with berries, but there was still no sign of Aunt and Uncle, and finally, he put the bucket next to the trailer door, where he knew they’d see it, and drove home.

He went back again a few days later, and there they were, so in he went. After a bit of conversation, he asked them if they’d found the blueberries. Uncle quickly turned the conversation to the fish he’d caught that morning.

After a bit, Donah asked again about the blueberries, and Auntie showed him the new curtains she’d made for the trailer.

Finally, when Donah asked again about the berries, Auntie said to Uncle, “We’re gonna have to tell him, I guess,” and turned to Donah.

“Donah, that was our pee pail.”

* * *

PS – Check it out! Another “new” word!! I clipped this from “My Thermos”. You should check that out, too.

clipped from


(’s definition)
n. a protologism combining blog and ego. Used to define the ego of a blog or blogger. Like personal ego, blego may be good or bad.
blog it

AND….. This is right cool. ElitALICE found it first.

Random Song for the Day: ”The Last Resort” – The Eagles

8 replies on “Be One with the Shovel…”

That was absolutely hilarious! I laughed more than I have all week…thanks!

You know I love Ruby stories, now you’ve slipped Lucy in on me…she must be a hoot too! Damn…we, their public, have to see pictures of these ladies!

Tell them that I’m beginning to think they are just too good to be true, that I think you’re making it all up, and won’t believe it until we she the gals!

Thanks for your post Les…they do me so much good.

Les Says: I’ll tell them, Mushy. They won’t care, and will tell me so – at least Ruby will… and one way or another, I’ll end up looking like an idiot, won’t I? 😉

This is hilarious 😀 !

Thanks for the good laugh 🙂 !!

Les Says: No problem, Nicole… that’s what I’m for. Or, rather, that’s what Ruby’s for. 😀

LOLOLOL! Pee pail! I think I gasped loudly enough to wake everybody up around here. And the wine glasses! GREAT stories, Les. Ruby’s family is something else!

Les Says: I KNOW!!! And they don’t know what the big deal is! Go figure.

Oh, wow. You hang out with SUPER COOL people. And I loved how you connected back to Joycie’s mom who accidentally taped open her eyelid. OUCH. With. No. Forearms.

You KNOW Ruby is a find, right? And you are writing a book about Ruby’s story, right?

Les Says: Weeeel…. I’m *supposed* to be finishing a fictional short story based on the true story of Ruby getting handcuffed to a drunk in a backwoods bar… I keep forgetting that you weren’t ‘here’ for that story.

And I KNOW that Ruby saved me from myself a year ago, by telling me stories, and feeding me coffee and cigarettes.. er… I fed *her* cigarettes. I wish there was a way to take her blogger-stalkering when I go. I would love for you all to meet her.

Oh yeah, Slightly Mordant has a caricature who someone else drew for him. The guy’s name is Elliot Cowan and this is his site:

I wonder if that guy would draw a caricature for Ruby, Joycie, their mom. Minus. Forearms. And all the other players. Then we could sort of “see” what she looks like, but it wouldn’t be her actual picture.

Mik’s caricature is here:

Les Says: I had started some sketches of Ruby and The Little Drunk for the ‘The Waitress’ series, and thought “Aha! Maybe I could ‘draw’ her from photos for the blog?” When I asked permission, though, Ruby nixed the idea. Now I’m not even allowed to take a photo of her face just for ME to look at.

“I wonder if that guy would draw a caricature for Ruby, Joycie, their mom.”

Why don’t you ask him?
He’s very easy to find 🙂

Les Says: Well, hey, Elliot! LOL! Welcome to Where the Walls are Soft…
I will most certainly be asking you about many things… 😀

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