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Betty’s Week

By Betty Shearer

    On the news last week I heard that it was the 40th anniversary of the release of the movie, “Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.”

    I’m sure Ed, Jim and I saw this movie in the theatre very soon after it was released because 40 years ago Jim would have been seven and he was not very old when we saw it. I’ve seen bits and pieces of this film through the years on TV.

  This 40th anniversary announcement came at a very interesting time for me. Several weeks ago, when the temp was in the 40s and 50s, I found a Wonka chocolate bar at The Bargain Basket – never knew there was an actual chocolate bar by this name until then.

    I’m not a big chocolate fan, but bought it just to see if the candy was actually good. It was, but still I only ate one little square from what was an eight section bar. Threw the rest into the spare cup holders on my van console. That was fine even with the temps rising into the high 80s and even low 90s because it was wrapped back up and even had a paper towel under it.

    That was, it was okay, until last Wednesday morning when I needed another cup holder and without looking pushed a Coke bottle into the holder, which had the candy bar in it. It was liquid and squashed out in all directions.

    I cleaned up molten chocolate for a couple of hours. It went everywhere. It got on my Coke bottle, thus onto my hand and then onto the steering wheel. It was also in all four spare cup holders, on the dash, on the carpet and just about anywhere else it could go. Needless to say that sorta spoiled my appetite for Wonka Chocolate. This is a cute movie and the candy is excellent – but do eat the entire bar or store it in the fridge.


  We’ve been working on the graduation section. Have all the biographies for the seniors set. Most of this class plan to get more education and I’m proud of them for this. Congratulations to each one of you.

  I’m still not through selling the ads for the section. If I have not called you, and you want an ad, just call me at 473-1473. The deadline is five o’clock Friday, May 20.


  Friday I stayed home for the first time in many weeks. Had to wash clothes and dishes. Some of the pots and pans went back to Easter morning. Thought this was terrible, but then realized that Easter was not that long ago. They were not really dirty pans, just my biscuit bakers, which you really don’t wash very much, and the roaster oven that I’d kept them warm in.

  I also had to water the plant in the sunroom, which should already be in the yard. I forget to tell the boys to put them out when they’re over mowing grass and Jimmie has been much to busy to come and help me. One person just cannot lift those heavy concrete pots. They are great, but you really don’t move them around very much.

  Then I did another job (Jmmie will be so proud of me) that I always save for her. My sticky boards had several little lizards on them and I don’t even look at those things and I certainly don’t touch. I decided that I really needed to put down new boards though, so I got real brave, picked them up, put them in heavy zip lock bags, and then into the garbage.

  The only lizards I’ve seen so far this year has been little chameleons that are playing on the porch. They run when I come out, so they’re safe for now – just don’t come inside with me.

  Carolyn says she let a little brown lizard run over her foot one day last week—she was holding something for Bo and could not turn loose. She says immediately after it crossed her foot it ate a great big spider. Now she’s a lizard fan.

  The tales being told over the weekend were of worse critters, though. It seems snakes are very bad this year – heard reports of moccasins, copperheads, and even rattlers. We’ve had copperheads and rattlers on the hill – not lately. Bo did see a huge skin, when mowing recently, but was sure it was not poisonous. I’ve seen several snakes killed on the road between the house and Pope. I’m just hoping that I don’t see one in my front yard – certainly not on the front walk or porch.


  The cry of the week has been flooding. Now this is a term we Vallians are very familiar with. The news footage of towns along the Mississippi are very disturbing, with many homes only visible by their roofs. Having had about five feet of water in the Herald building in 1984 and knowing the mess it was to clean up – I feel for these families. Our flood was up and down in a matter of hours, but some of these homes and businesses will be flooded for weeks. Don’t think they will be cleanable – probably will have to just rebuild from the foundations.

  The flooding along the Mississippi is not the total extent of it though. This morning (Tuesday) there was prediction of flooding from the Virginias all the way up the east coast to Maine.

  Jim says the answer to our flooding is to just build a canal from the Mississippi to the Rio Grand —they can certainly use all our surplus water. Right now they’re in a drought and that’s down from their usual seven to nine inch yearly rainfall. If we could get the water out west, they could grow us some excellent crops – you can get a sample of this down in the Valley where they are able to irrigate. Who knows, this may become a reality in the future—Americans are great engineers and do know how to fix problems.


  Weather temps have also been a topic of conversation over the weekend and into the beginning of this week.

  Yesterday (Monday) Francis Denham came in to bring his wife, Paula’s, Sand Hill News. He was wearing shorts and a tank top. This is fine for his work, most days. Francis is a painter. However, going outside in that stiff north wind and 40’s, he’d gone back into the house and picked up a heavy coat. Reported that it felt good.

  Then late in the afternoon mailman Cathy Odom dropped by, wearing her short pants. She said she’d frozen all day, even though the heater in her vehicle had been wide open. She says she will have on her long pants today.

  Neither of these friends had checked the weather before getting dressed. That’s my first item of the day – turn on the TV and watch the Channel 9 weather. Then I go to the closet and get out appropriate clothing. Even I was a bit chilly yesterday, though, because I’ve put up all my long sleeve knit shirts – do still have jackets hanging in the closet.


    I turned on the news last night to see how the shuttle lift-off had gone. Phone rang and I missed it. Again at 10, the same thing happened. I’m sure it went fine, though, or it would have been on non-stop throughout the evening. I’ve always been interested in the space mission and have seen most of them. I do wish this crew much success.

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