Friday, August 15, 2014

Diggin' up Bones

The KITP told me a story about my Dad when he was working.  It is a cute one and some of my friends who are archeologists or aspiring dirt diggers might get a kick out of it.

When my Dad was alive he worked for LaBarge Brothers which was an oil and gas pipeline construction company in the Syracuse area.  In other words he dug big ditches.  Some jobs would get pretty interesting especially if they were digging near historical areas, which is what happened in this particular case.

One day while they were digging in Syracuse, the archeological experts who were on the ground were watching, the guys decided to have some fun.   It was lunch time.  While my Dad’s crew ate lunch the archeological experts combed over old blueprints and such.  My Dad said, “Watch this!”  He then threw some chicken bones in the hole they were digging and covered them with dirt.

The next day they began digging where they threw the bones.  My Dad looked down and said, “Holy shit!”  He called the experts over and showed them the scattered bones.  Well the experts cordoned off the area and set up a grid around where the bones were and began sifting.  Meanwhile the construction guys were told to stop digging immediately.  It was all they could do to not laugh.

After about an hour of sifting and analyzing and such, the experts said, “You can continue digging.  These bones are fowl.”  My Dad and his crew laughed and one of the crew said, “Hey, Red, I see they found my chicken bones!” 

This is just one of the many fun stories of the construction site.  Stay tuned for the red light district job hunt story!

Until the next time…..Keep on diggin’!


Monday, July 21, 2014

This is the Con that Doesn’t End…..sing it with me!

Well, another Con has passed and yes, I had the time of my life.  Kind of sounds like a song, doesn’t it!  It is, if you look at it.  There is plenty of music that can be related to the Con.  All happy stuff too because attending the GCLS makes me feel so good!  I get my “fix” which is supposed to last for a year, but rarely does.

I flew this time with Con Duck, Lil Dutch and we picked up DC on a layover.   I arrived a day before the festivities began.  There were others already gathering.  There were familiar faces as well as new ones.  Let the annual hug fest begin.  What is great about the Con is it is like the last one never ended.  It is as if we just drove to a new place and met up again. 

The fun part of everyday started with breakfast.  We had a large group at our breakfast table. A large, loud, laughing group.  No topic was off limits.  I think we shocked our poor server.  She had this shell shocked look on her face, daily. The staff gave her a reprieve after the first day and other servers came.  There was one faithful one.  He was a nice young man who had more femininity than all the women at the Con combined!


The days were filled with master classes, panels, author chats, readings, greetings and signings.  It was impossible to attend all of them.  Dang it!  I really wanted to.  I split my time between all.  I can’t say which one I like best because they all were great.  Each one had a special perk to it.  Being assaulted by tennis balls was one!  The bedazzle conversation during lunch break was an eye-opening conversation! 

The night time was filled with dinners, fun, partying and yes, hugs and laughter.  All nights usually started in the lobby with interesting chatter.  One night included reviewing lessons from a very interesting book! Being a non-drinker has its’ perks.  Like telling really drunk straight women, “I am allowed in the girl’s room” and “No, I do not show my vagina to drunk straight girls.”  True story.  I was not offended, I thought it was hilarious.

Karaoke was a hit! It was hippie night.  The tie-dye attire, peace signs and free love were all part of the program.  As per a tradition I started for myself last year, I danced with my very dear friend, Sheri.  She is a great dancer.  Then, it was on.  Dancing all night, but only to the fast ones!  I closed the bar with a few others!  Fun stuff.  I think I threw a hip!

Awards night is always my favorite.  It is time to play dress up.  The ladies who wore dresses and fancy suits looked stunning.  The ladies who wore suits and other attire looked handsome.  Me, I rocked a tux!  I showed the picture to my Mom, aka The Kick in the Pants, and she said, “Wow, you can clean up good.  You actually look like a grown up!”  Congratulations to all the awardees and also to the nominees in the different genres.  What comes after the awards?  Dancing, of course! 


I danced to all but one song.  Half way through I stripped off the cummerbund.  A little while later the jacket came off.  By the end of the evening the tie was off too.  I was hoping for a few dollar bills, but realized all these women spent their money on books. Sigh.  The evening ended with me once again closing the bar.  Joe, the security dude, and I helped the DJ pack up her stuff.

The last morning was full of hugs, laughs, helping each other with bags and reliving the Con all over again.  The coolest thing is, I posted a picture of myself and Katherine V. Forrest.  Well, a guy, an author, who I graduated high school with responded and said he edited books with her before.  I mentioned it to her while toting her bags to the airport van and she remembered him.  Such connections we have.  Amazing.  Ok, back on task. 

This brings me to the conclusion of my blog, but not to the conclusion of the Con.  Like the title of my blog reads or sings (I hope you get an earworm), “This is the Con that doesn’t end, it just goes on and on my friend!”, we will all stay connected until next year and will keep talking about our adventures. 
*NOTE* All of my Con Pictures are on my Facebook page...Go take a peek!

Until next time …….Dutch

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Road to the Con 2014

The road to the Con this year is taking a different turn.  I have to fly this time.  By myself even. Am I scared, hell no!  I love me some airports.  They are the best place to people watch besides the mall!  I plan on taking it all in and taking copious notes in the process!

The plan for this year’s Con started even before the end of the last one.  I stepped one foot into the hotel in Dallas and was hooked!  People knew me before I was even there.  I have Facebook to thank for that (Cough).  I post quite regularly and keep up with the latest happenings of most of the authors and readers.  I had built long lasting friendships before arriving at the Con.  Now I was actually there!

The ladies who belong to the Golden Crown Literary Society (GCLS) are one of a kind.  First time Con attendees or Con Virgins will be welcomed with open arms into a society that is better than any I have ever belonged to before.  That was the first time I had been a vir….Oh boy, I am getting off track.  I am supposed to be talking about my “road to the Con.”  I guess that Facebook quiz was right, I have ADHD.  I get sidetracked rather quickly…squirrel!!!

Ok, back on track!  Towards the end of the last Con they said we could pre-register for Portland!  Holy crap, really?  I was on that like flies on…you know!  I registered on my smart phone!  That was the “smart” way to do it.  Now all I had to do was finish retiring, save money, wait for the hotel stuff and get a plane ticket.  That was the easy part, well kind of!

Plane tickets to fly across country aren’t cheap.  You almost need a second job to buy one.  Come hell or high water I was making it to Portland.  I set my travel websites to alert me weekly to the fares.  Finally it dropped to a manageable dollar amount and I clicked buy!  Next thing on the agenda is to pack.

Some of you may know a friend of mine who packs like 5 months early for an upcoming vacation.  I am not at all that organized.  If I did that I would forget everything.  I imagine I will be packing my suitcase right up until the time my mother comes to get me to drive me to the airport.  My motto is, if I forgot it either I don’t need it or the town I am going to has a store.  Look out!  I do need to come up with some sort of “hippie” attire for karaoke night.  I also have no clue what I am wearing awards night.  I have 15 days to figure it out!

The morning airport ride will be fun.  We will be getting up at the butt ass-crack of dawn.  My flight is the first one out of Syracuse.  My mother, more commonly known as The Kick in the Pants, says, “I am not coming into the airport.  You are a big girl now, so I am dropping you at the curb.”  Wow, I am chopped liver now.  She will be jetting off to meet the Coffee Bar Babes at Wegmans right after.

I hope to see all of you at the Con!  If you have never been, you must go, if not this year then next year.  It is an experience that you will never forget.  I may even drive to the one next year.  I love road trips.  Last year’s road trip was epically hilarious.  I have pictures to prove it!

Look out Portland, The Dutch is coming!  Watch out Washington-Dulles and Dallas-Fort Worth…..I am flying through, unsupervised!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Con Views from a Con Virgin..GCLS 2013

I have read a few authors perspective on the GCLS Con.  I thought each of them were great in their own way!  I am going to offer my views from a reader’s perspective.  Thank you for taking time to read my little piece of the pie, so to speak.  If I leave someone out, do not take it personally.  It would take a whole book to describe everyone and everything.

My decision to go to the con was made over Facebook by conversing with someone who wanted to car pool.  We chatted a few times and the decision was made and I registered.  I had read all of the blogs and posts from last year and thought I would give it a go.  It took the prodding of many of Facebook friends to make this happen.  See the Con adventure story below.

The Adventures of Burnie and Dutch”, Beth Burnett and Mary “Dutch” Deutcher:

The adventure began when Beth arrived at my house very early in the morning on Weds.  We threw her stuff in the Jeep.  My daughter entertained her with a billion stories before we left all in the span of 30 minutes and we were on the road.  I had never met Beth in person before this.  The minute we got on the highway she zonked out.  I can’t imagine why.  She had only driven 12 hours to get to my house.  Good thing I had the radio to keep me company. Well, to show all what my road trip with Beth started out like, here are the pictures: 

Away We Go

See The Drool!!!!!

We kept Pam and Cheryl up to date all the way while we were on the road with texts and pictures.  When we arrived in Oklahoma, we stopped at the toll gate and the conversation went like this:

Toll Guy:  Four Dollars.  How are you?

Me:  Great, how’s it going?  Can you get the wind to die down a bit?

Toll Guy: You’re in Oklahoma….Deal with it!!!

Wow, he didn’t even crack a smile.  Oh well, on to Texas.

We arrived at the hotel already famous or infamous!!  We decided to enter the hotel looking like dorks.  It was cowgirl hats, sunglasses, shorts and sandals!  Yep, we embraced the tacky tourist dorkiness.  First person we run into, Isabella then Linda Kay Silva!  What really cracked me up is all the people who knew me and I didn’t know them….yet!  We checked in and let the Con begin!

The first night was meeting people all around.  I met Bev Prescott, Chris Paynter, The Lovely Miss Phyllis, Nikki Smalls and the list goes on.  It was crazy fun.  I had met most of these people on Facebook, but to finally meet them in person was really cool.  The next “meeting” crew was Jeanne Magill, Donna Wells and Salem West.  That was when the lovely picture taking began and never stopped.  Within the first 10 minutes of being in the lobby, I was up in someone bed!!!  It’s not what you think….or is it?
Guess who's bed I am in?

While at registration and meet and greet, my lovely daughter called.  She is 20 and should be able to handle things while I am away.  Apparently not.  I called her back.  The conversation is as follow:

Me:  Katrina, I am in a room full of hot lesbians.  What the heck do you want and why are you bothering me?

Katrina:  Mom, don’t do that to me!  I am at work and you are on speaker phone!

Needless to say, she never called the rest of the conference.  Back to the meet and great.  I guess I am totally like my Facebook persona because I met everyone I know and they said so.  This could be good or bad.  I am hoping it is good.

The lobby and the bar were “hang-out central.”   I met some awesome people and people I have connections friends outside the GCLS with.  There was also a group of MPs.   It was there I gave Donna Wells my camera, gave her a quick lesson, and let her go crazy.  It was photo bomb central and usually I am kind of shy, but I decided to let my hair down! If you believe that, I have a nice bridge to sell ya!  She was an awesome photographer and a lot of fun Every time we took her picture she was laughing!  She grabbed my camera on Karaoke night and at the Awards/Dance.  Thanks Donna for taking all those awesome pictures!
Army Military Police (MP)

The classes, panels, coffee chats and readings are what filled our days.  I enjoyed all of them and took something valuable from each.  I appreciate what all these women do.  Each author/writer has their own way and own personality.  I found myself at ease talking to each and every one.   There was always something to do an if you weren’t interested you could head out into the “dry” 100+ degrees of Dallas.  I chose the Con activities.

The author autograph session was cool.  They were willing to sign books that I had purchased over the years.  That was the best part.  The author with the largest stack for me was Gerri Hill.  She was very kind and signed them all the while carrying on a conversation with me.  That was too cool.  I even got to sign an autograph for someone.  Me, I am not famous! 
Look....I am famous

I was honored (I guess that’s the word) when I was invited to dinner with Isabella and the group from Sapphire.  It was lots of laughs and it was great to get to know everyone.  When we got back to the hotel, one of my friends asked how I scored dinner with Sapphire.  I said, “I got it like that!”  Not to mention, my traveling buddy is one of their authors too!

Karaoke was a total trip.  Usually I just watch everyone sing.  Not this time.  I was determined to “perform”.  I did a stunning duet with Liz McMullen which I relived hours later in the hotel room prompting a noise complaint from the front desk.  Dance, OMG, I danced.  The best dance, on the dance floor, was with Sherri Campbell.  She had some medical issues and was unsure if she would be able to dance at the Con.  Well, when I first walked into karaoke, she was the first dance for me.  After that things got wild.  There was a lap dance which was recorded and some incredible shaking of things on the dance floor.  The Con Virgin Ducks also had quite the evening!  They were well photographed in various poses.   It was an incredible evening.  I closed the bar with some incredible ladies and didn’t even have a drink! 
Schileen and Isabella

The one and only....Dutch

Before the awards banquet on Saturday, I got to eat dinner with four amazing women.  The service in the restaurant was amazing Andre was the coolest server.  After dinner it was a rush to get dressed.  I chose my Army Service Uniform or my dress uniform.  I don’t know how to dress up in anything else, so that is what I chose.  I walked into the reception and the room pretty much went quiet and then the oooohs and ahhhhs started.  It was just another day in uniform to me as it has been for almost 25 years.  The camera flashes started and I felt like a celebrity.  Thanks ladies.
Liz McMullen and Me

Beth Burnett and a serious moment

The awards banquet was awesome.  I sat with Isabella, her wife Schileen, Beth, Andi Marquette, Linda Kay Silva, RG Emanuelle and a couple others.  At the beginning of the ceremony, the MC, Pennie, mentioned my name and service and gave a shout out to me and other women veterans.  That prompted a standing ovation.  Holy crap! When has that ever happened for lesbian veterans!  It was a moment like none other.  I stood proud and waived.  It was not my intention to have that done when I chose my attire and I thank Pennie and all the women in attendance for their support to the military and our veterans.  Ok, enough about that, on to the awards part.  When Linda Kay Silva won her award, our table went wild!!!!  Alan, most know who Alan is, went wild too!  Her acceptance speech was awesome.  I even got my picture with her!  We also went wild when Gerri Hill and Chris Paynter won.  Chris’ speech was so heartfelt that there was not a dry eye in the place.  Congrats to all the winners!!!!  As they wrapped things up, it was time to dance.
With Linda Kay Silva

I don’t think I have ever danced so much while in uniform.  I danced with everyone and had a blast doing so.  I was totally honored when Bev Prescott asked me to dance.  That was too cool.  She is a great dancer by the way, don’t let her fool you.  I sat out the last couple dances to visit with Chris and her wife The Lovely Miss Phyllis.  They are the most adorable couple.  You can see the love in their eyes.  Two amazing people that I am so happy to have finally met.  I was having such a good time I didn’t want the evening to end, but I did need to sleep eventually. Once again, I relived the dancing experience with my roomie.  No noise complaints this time.

Chris Paynter, Me and The Lovely Miss Phyllis 

There were no real goodbyes the next morning.  Just a lot of laughs and reliving some of the fun.  Most of what we said was, “See you in Portland, if not before.”  The ladies I met at the GCLS Con were amazing.  The amazing thing is that not all of them were there and I will get to meet many more at other events and at the next Con.  The best part is….I am no longer a virgin!!!!

One last note.  I spoke with my mother in the morning before we left and she had these words for all the ladies of the GCLS:

“To all the wonderful members of the Golden Crown Literary Society; I hope you all enjoyed your conference.  You are all beautiful, talented ladies.  Keep writing, the world needs your voice.”   Dutch’s Mom, aka The Kick in the Pants

As a final note: All my pictures appear on my Facebook.  Take time to take a look. 
Until Portland……..Dutch

Ps:  Bren Miller….are you packed yet?







Friday, June 21, 2013

Mom's Italian Boyfriend

After eating in a quaint Italian ristorante in Rome, Italy, a stroll through the city was essential to walk off the pounds of pasta we had just eaten.  My mom and her best friend, Pat, had been tipping the vino at this local eatery and were feeling a bit wild.  At the ristorante, there was a guitar player who would play romantic music at the dining tables for tips.  Luigi, as we called him, was a 5’2” chunky fella with a voice as smooth a tenor.  Luigi was a looked a bit like Danny DaVito, only cuter with his rosy cheeks, slick hair and killer smile.  Luigi did not need a strap for his guitar because it rested on his belly as he went from table to table singing classic Italian songs.  Luigi approached our table with a smile and a song while gazing at mom and Pat.  Luigi gave the impression that he thought these two cougars were a catch, so he offered to walk us back to the hotel.  He was such a nice gentleman who didn’t speak a lick of English except a few words in a song.

We set out from the restaurant with Luigi in tow.  With his guitar resting on his belly, Luigi serenaded us through the streets of Rome.  The streets were alive in the evening with the outdoor cafes and people walking.  We walked for what seemed like forever and we saw the Trevi fountain.  There were couples, young and old, and others surrounding the fountain tossing coins in and making wishes.  The legend is if you toss a coin in the Trevi fountain, this assures a repeat visit to Rome.   

It was there that Luigi broke out into the Tom Jones classic “Delilah.”  Well, Mom and Pat knew all the words and were singing at the top of their lungs while leaning into the fountain and splashing the waters.  The sounds of the Tom Jones’ wannabes singing, “My , my, my, Delilah……Why, why, why, Delilah” could be heard above the fountain sounds.  The couples and other visitors smiled and some knew the words and joined in.  If they had put out a small bucket they would have probably earned a few Lire.   

When we reached the hotel, Luigi bid us farewell.  All he could say in English was goodbye,  but his actions spoke louder than any words ever could.  He kissed both ladies on the cheek, held the door open for them, and bowed.  Luigi made our Italian evening very special and will always be Mom’s Italian boyfriend.   Today, some 23 years later, I was speaking to my mom about Italy.  She said, “Ahhh, Luigi, what a sweet Italian man.  He was so cute!” 

Mom (KITP), Me (Dutch), Pat in Rome at the Hotel

Peachie (Sister), Mom (KITP), Me (Dutch) at the Hotel

The Fountain

Luigi, Ah, He's so cute!!!!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Best Friend Toby

Katrina and I want to tell you about our best friend. His name was Toby.  He was born in South Carolina.  He almost didn’t make it.  He was the last of the litter at a flea market and if he wasn’t sold he was going to the pound.  Here is a little bit about how he enriched our life. 

South Carolina

While walking through a South Carolina flea market I spotted two puppies for sale.  OMG, they were the cutest yellow labs ever.  One, a girl, was jumpy and hyper, and was entertaining little girl and her family.  The other puppy, a boy, sat there and gave a puppy-size bark and gave me those eyes; the irresistible puppy dog eyes.  I was hooked and $75.00 later, Toby was saved from going to the pound and became Katrina and my best friend.

Toby’s first years were fun.  When we brought him home, he was lazy.  We took him out to potty/house train him and he laid on the ground outside.  Took him a bit.  When he ate, he had his food bowl between his two front paws and he lay down and ate.  He was so funny and floppy.

About 6 months after we got him, Katrina tripped over him and broke her arm.  He thought he was in trouble.  He lay by her bed for days looking all worried.  Toby followed her everywhere.  Once, Katrina went to take him for a walk around the block.  Well, Toby wasn’t having it and lay down and wouldn’t go any further.  I had to go pick him up with the car.  Silly boy.

When I left for Korea, he suffered separation anxiety.  He wouldn’t eat and sat by the front door at 1700 daily waiting for me to come home from work.  6 months later I did come home.  He was so excited.  He jumped on me and sniffed my face to make sure it was really me.  He wasn’t mad, he was happy to see me.  Unfortunately I had to go back, but I reassured him I would come back home again.


Toby enjoyed the road trip across the country.  He got to see lots of different things on the way to Washington and adapted well to the move.  He was lucky and had the whole backend of the Expedition to himself.  He saw the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, the Columbia Gorge and much more. 

Once again, I had to leave to go to Iraq.  He was really protective this time and didn’t leave my side while I packed.  When I came home from Iraq he was so excited.  He is a true and faithful friend.  After getting back, he needed a procedure done on an ear infection.  We picked him up at the clinic and while driving home we thought he passed gas……nope.  Toby passed more than gas and we were grossed out!  What a Stinker!


We didn’t know this would be his last stop.

When we would get home every day, Toby would hop around for a cookie and a pat on the head.  One time, we took him to the vet for a check-up.  He had a sense something was up.   When we got there he went flat out on the floor and wouldn’t move.  It was hilarious.  He looked like Rudolph, on the Christmas show, when he slid across the ice.  Legs flailing everwhere! He did the same thing on his trip to the doggie spa!  Silly boy!

After a while we introduced Lily.  Lily was a constant companion and those two were silly when it came to getting treats.  Toby knew the trick and Lily didn’t.  Toby would sit close by and when we would say paw to Lily, Toby would give us his paw.  I think he was trying to teach her.  He did a good job, she does it now.

These are just a few of the Toby stories.  He was a great protector and friend.  You see, Toby crossed the Rainbow Bridge today.  Run across the bridge boy!  Tramp, Sandy, Rusty and Jake are waiting to show you where the treat jar is.  You will meet many new friends. 

Thanks for being the best man in our life.  Mommy and Katrina will always love you and you will live forever in our hearts.



Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Not So Frilly Dutch Goes to a Frilly Smelly Thing Chick Party

A few weeks ago I was invited to a party.  I normally jump at the chance to get out of the house, but I was a bit apprehensive this time.  I don’t usually go to these home sale parties.  I looked at my Facebook and clicked the “maybe” icon.  The party was a Scentsy ( party.  I had heard of them and maybe you all have too.  I thought, OMG, it is a frilly, smelly thing party.  EEK!!!

If anyone knows me by any interaction, you would know that my frilliness left during my school years.  Middle/High school that is.  I mean, I have worn dresses a couple of times since high school, under protest of course.  I have worn the requisite bridesmaid dresses.  You know the ones, the ones you will never wear again.  One in particular had a big huge bow on the butt!  I mean, who in their right mind would wear that again!  I wore a dress to a company Christmas party and then one to a New Year’s Eve party in Holland.  Then, of course, I wore one when I got married to the tool-box, my ex-husband blog to follow someday).  That is the extent of the frilly.  Now, the only dress I own is my uniform.  It is a clothing bag issue item for Army females.  Oh, and I have pumps. The things with heels!!!  They are the required one inch.  No higher or I might break my ankle because I have no idea how to walk in them!  That is the extent of the frilly me.  On to the Scentsy party.

The day before the party I decided to go, so I clicked the “going” icon on Facebook.  Like I said, I had heard of Scentsy before.  Hell, all the Army wives (not the show) talk about it around here.  They have to have something to talk about since we live in the middle of nowhere.  I sent the host a message and said I would be there with bells on!  She was excited and I am not about to let a friend down.  Besides, I hadn’t seen her, her husband or kids in a while.  I convinced myself that this would be fun!

The day of the party I came up with a funny name for it.  I called it “a smelly thingy to smelly up the house chick party gab fest.”  It is almost like a Tupperware party, but not.  I used humor to psych myself up.  No, really, I can have fun almost anywhere except a male strip club!  I would have fun there too if I had plenty of adult beverage liquid encouragement! Then, I would just laugh.

I was expecting a female consultant at the party, all other parties I have been to like this have had females.  I was wrong…it was a dude.  Well, I thought, times are a changin’.  He began to give his bio..married, retired from the Army (like we couldn’t tell because of the high and tight haircut), family, yadda, yadda.  He was very soft spoken.  I was like wow.  He looked like this burly dude, but practically whispered when he talked.  Kind of like he was trying to feminize his demeanor.  He was definitely in touch with his “feminine” side because he explained the scents and products with a soft, feminine air! I know all of this is stereotyping, but geez, he didn’t look like he should be selling the smelly girly stuff. 

There was one part of his bio that I had a hard time getting past.  He retired to stay here.  Don’t get me wrong, the place is nice enough, but I would like to shop somewhere other than Wal-Mart.  He talked of a higher power keeping him and his family here.  Strong magnet.  He kept going on and on trying to convince us.  I tried to stay attentive, but I sat near the snack table and the pineapple was more interesting.

All in all it was a fun party.  I stepped out of my “comfort” zone.  I left the party $75.00 poorer.  The good news is my house will now smell like a fresh baked cookie.  I just hope I don’t gain any weight from smelling it.  I couldn’t bear the thought of bringing home a frilly smelling scent.  The frilly smelly chick party was a success! 
2010 On assignment in Utah (NOT FRILLY)

1988 Bridesmaid (FRILLY Yuck)