Some’s Hot, Some’s Not 06/12/13

DEATH BY AFRICAN VIOLET…..I had a bad time at my house this past week. First, a full liquid laundry soap container which contained about 2 gallons, fell off the dryer and spilled all over the utility room floor.

Then my grandson opened the refrigerator and a glass jar of raspberry jam jumped out and broke on the floor. I didn’t fuss at him because I knew something else was working.

The next day I opened the pantry and an entire full bottle of Kayro syrup fell out and busted on the floor. I have no idea why I had an unopened bottle of Kayro syrup in my pantry unless I was previously planning on making a boat load of pecan pies for Christmas and got tired and bought them. I maintain that Mr. Sam makes pecan pies much better than I.

In any event I strewed sticky syrup from my pantry to my sink, right in front of the refrigerator that I had already cleaned the day before.

Clearly something was happening in my house. I put my mind to it and after several hours of rumination, I think I know what is happening.

Several years ago when my third husband and I were nearing the end of our failed marital experiment, I had started growing African violets.

My grandmother was the type that if you gave her a goldfish, you could go back the next week and she would have several aquariums. The week after that, she would be breeding many types of fish and I would be helping her.

Someone made the mistake of giving her an African violet. The next day, she had 20 and had pulled me along in her enthusiasm.

Long before marijuana “grow rooms” had become viable, I had set up my African violet “grow” room which consisted of steel shelving outfitted with fluorescent lighting. The violets had wicks in their pots and they sat on trays containing water and a fertilizer.

I have no idea why I started growing them in such numbers. At one point in time, a friend and I rented a booth at the trade fair. We laid out the violets on our table and sold NOT ONE. We became very aggressive about selling them on the second day and decided if we could get buyers to hold them in their hands, they were sold.

Huh! Still no sales. And it was hot as hell.

Finally, we realized that people probably weren’t buying because they didn’t want to wag a fragile plant around the trade fair.

Did I mention how hot it was?

The point of telling you about the African violets is that one of the more interesting things about growing them was that every morning I would walk into my utility room and find about four little violets on the floor. They would grow during the night and push those on the edge of the shelves onto the floor. My former husband at one point during our chaotic relationship claimed that I was so mean that even my African violets committed suicide rather than live with me.

When everything in my house started throwing itself on the floor last week, I remembered his long-ago  charge.

Have I been so mean in the past few weeks that items are throwing themselves on the floor rather than continuing to live with me? Has the former husband suddenly passed on and his ghost was haunting a house he’d never lived in?

I couldn’t remember any typically mean thing I had done that week. I couldn’t remember any local politician I had picked on although heavens knows some probably needed it.

No, if inanimate objects in my house were killing themselves rather than live with me, I had no idea what  meanness I may have perpetrated. Before I could deduce  the cause, the suicides quit and my house returned to its usual calm except when my grandsons were there.

But it was a nice stroll down memory lane  even if it meant reliving my final, almost fatal, marriage.

NO TYPING….Many of you have asked me how my voice to text is working out. It’s not working out at all because many of the words do not even resemble what I say. However, that may be due to my Texas accent and no amount of scrubbing will ever get rid of that.

For example, when someone calls in the middle of my writing I frequently find my telephone conversations in my column.  You’ve probably heard the adage, “if these walls could talk.” Well, sometimes my columns can talk often about things I don’t want in there.

Or sometimes when my texting goes crazy and every word in the sentence is wrong, I’ll let loose with a string  of cuss words. I try to catch them before I send it to the editor but my fear is sometimes they’re going to slip by editor Jean. That’s why I warn her every week. Maybe the program and I will eventually make friends and I’ll never  have to type again. But honestly I’ll have  to admit that getting used to the new  laptop is much harder than getting used to the speech to text program.

B.K. Carter is the owner/publisher of the Fort Bend/Southwest Star. She can be reached at

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