Settle in, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy your stay here at Shelly's. The pie is great, the coffee pot is always on and soon you will find this to be the best place in town. SOON TO BE AMERICA'S MOST READ BLOG

Thursday, September 21, 2006


All of the spinach poisoning as of late has caused me to lie awake at night in fear of killer vegetables that once roamed the earth in yon days of Cushman Scooters and Packard Clippers. As a point of truth, if one was to play Franky Avalon backwards on their Sears & Roebucks hi-fi set they would have heard the insufferable prophetic words–"I will return in the next millennium as the Anti-Vegetable to destroy mankind."

Once again returning to the facts, my produce phobia started many, many years ago in a land called puberty where my parents spent way too much time trying to get me to eat nourishing vegetables. My mother would had better luck trying to teach a duck to sing opera.

Fortunately my parents were carnivorous Lutherans. Our family consumed pot roasts nearly as often as we bathed. Chicken, burgers, steaks, hot dogs and other assorted animal parts enthroned our table along with, of course, a plate of Wonder Bread and oleo. Meat, whether cooked on the G.E. oven or over the coals in the backyard, sustained my little body. If it mooed, cackled or oinked we ate it. And yes we had vegetables, gardens full of them.

Although we had the forbidden spinach patch, spinach never unnerved me as much as one vegetable–the beet. Those hideous ruby red globes were known to strip wallpaper if you cooked large quantities in an open kettle. Never in any biological studies had man considered the little head-in-the dirt vegetable poisonous, unlike the tomato which had been cursed throughout the Victorian age as a lethal dish.

My father took great delight in his homegrown beets. I can assure you his sensory depravation came from a Scandahovian upbringing. Quite often a Swedish table is set with all sorts of obnoxious sea foods of which spinach may or may not be part of, but I am sure beets are a national treasure. Dad's fondness towards the little red creatures caused him to grow what seemed to be acres and acres of Beta vulgaris, and my dear sweet mother canned them by the truckload.

I could always tell when my mother had the urge to kill me. In the early autumn, when the sounds of geese could be heard heading south, and the chill of the surrendered summer air had set in with the shorter days of October, a musky-dank odor crept over the neighborhood. Children in my classroom refused to sit near me because foulness permeated all of my clothing.

Year after year the story never changed for the those who were in charge of fostering and nourishing my tender youth–can beets, gag their daughter and nearly strike the death blow while she existed in a weakened condition, then never be arrested for their cruel and unusual punishment. Oh yes, I threatened to run away but where, I plead would a little waif like myself run too.

I knew if the vegetable police captured me the wardens would force me to ingest immense portions of beets for all three meals. Raw bets, cooked beets, curried beets, beet borsch and worse of all, fried green beets, would be shoved under my vaulted prison door. If I refused surely a large-bosomed matron would tie me down and force said vegetable down my throat.

My retaliation for beets climaxed one foggy December afternoon when my mother placed a huge bowl of the red devils on the table. My siblings harbored no ill feelings toward the ruby killer, yet it was known all across the family table that if I so much as touched the red blood to my tongue I would explode into a gastric eruption of Biblical proportions.

The problem is, and this has been proven in laboratory experiments, beets cannot be cut up into tasteless bits and covered with mashed potatoes and gravy in hopes of killing the taste. Another truism–all the ketchup in Toledo could not mask the moldy taste.

The innocent December day began when we, as a family unit, piled into my father's Rambler station wagon in order to shop for our annual Christmas tree. There was an air of excitement this day, though the sun chose to hide behind the gloomy clouds of Northeastern Ohio. All of our town seemed to be walking about in a festive holiday mood so prevalent in the days before the malls.

After the tree had been selected, we spent the rest of the afternoon at a company-sponsored Christmas program. Yes, it was the holidays and all we needed to do was wait for that long slide toward December 25th. Childhood was so divine.

When we arrived home the aroma of pot roast and baked bread filled our home. After supper we would put up decorations, dress the windows with stencils and Glass Wax™ and best of all hang the ornaments on the tree. There was just one thing between me and the tree–beets. The orders were given, clean your plate or there will be no tree decorating.

I pulled out all the stops. It became a showdown between mother and I. As long as those beets remained there would be no Christmas decorating. Child abuse comes no more contemptible than this. From around the corner my brother taunted me, "We are almost done. You better hurry or there will be no more room for you to decorate."

I became a desperate child. Could I consume the retched plate of beets staring back at me? "We are almost finished," returned the voice of my brother. "Oh, there it is, the angel, we almost have it to the top."

Mom had no intention of giving in. The clock ticked away. Without secret x-ray vision I had no idea how much truth my brother was dispensing. Calculations were running through my fevered mind–365 days before we decorated again. Ten little bites and the beets would be gone. Three huge bites and the plate would be clean. I opted for the three big bites and a large glass of Kool-Aid as a chaser.

With ferocity never known to my little body I chugged beets and ran to the livingroom. A bare tree sat in the corner. I'd been had. Next thing I knew a tremor developed deep within my stomach and before I knew it, the livingroom rug, the box of decorations and half the tree had been coated with a substance recently devoured in the three big bites.

Mother never argued with me over the consumption of beets again. The red stains on the carpet, although faded, remained embedded in the fibers, always serving as a permanent reminder of one girl's struggle with the sinister beet.

As a grown woman I have learned to eat my vegetables. I am my own boss. I cook my meals, buy my own groceries. At Christmas I decorate my own tree. But, this one thing I can guarantee you-there are no red stains on my carpeting

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Some years ago a research group with highly stuffed pockets and somewhat less density in their brain department spewed out some worthless information about tobacco. Forgive me as the time has eroded from my mind the exact numbers and pertinent statistical information needed to make this a scholarly presentation. In a huge pile of some medical lectures this was their conclusion; " A whole bunch of children ate cigarettes during a certain time span. Some of those nicotine-munchers got sick, a few gagged and few more deposited their lunch in inappropriate places."

Now tell me, my good readers, just who kept track of children-eating-cigarettes, or should I say children who eat/ate said cancer sticks, coffin nails, or Kentucky Gold, and why is a wide-eyed raving consumer group sucking up my tax money keeping tallies on, well, oh the heck with it--you know a story is coming, so allow me if you will to tell you about my Grandpa's Copenhagen Jone's

Now for all you well-traveled readers who may have "Googled" Denmark, houses of ill-repute or little mermaid statues, nay, thou hast come to the wrong place. The Copenhagen of my narrative is a slimy fermented sewage-like compost that my dear ol' Grandpa stuffed into his cheek on a regular basis.

An important factor needs to be mentioned here. I come from a multi-cultural family. On one side we have the Nordics, of which my name implies, then we have the Celtics to whom my sister mistakenly claims to be the predominant blood transfusing through our veins. But when I think of her unstable thinking process, perhaps she is right unto herself.

Back to Copenhagen. This story is from the part of my family that comes from Kentucky. That's right, tobacco-chewin', slow talkin', white-sock-wearin', front-porch-rockin,' Kentucky. I long ago veered away from my hayseed family tree, keeping a love for bluegrass and a hankerin' for storytellin'.

My sister's make believe world assumes they, our family, hold roots in Ireland, but go back three generations in Kentucky and the lineage gets a bit fuzzy, so I would be hard pressed to figure out exactly where my dear old gramps came from. I am certain a UFO fits in this story somewhere but finding the spot to insert the well-worn reference has me befuddled. Besides my theory is my mother's clan came from Scotland

In the wee years of my developing life my grandmother's sleeping arrangement had me confused. Gramps slept clear at the other end of my grandma's boarding house in his own little sanctuary where he seemed quite content to sit and listen to the old box radio that sat on the dresser next to his worn suspenders. Under the bed he kept an old peach can used for the ‘baccy spit.

One day when my age caught up with reasoning, grandmother sat me down and gave me a stern look while she rolled a little lace handkerchief nervously between her fingers. Her words cut into my soul as she said, "Never kiss a man who insists on putting horse droppings in his mouth." Now the clouds rolled back and darned if Copenhagen wasn't the culprit. The dark juices rolling from gramp's cheeks killed grandmas libido.

In my eighth year grandpa beckoned me to come to his side. I innocently took the two well-worn quarters he placed in my palm and scurried off to fulfill his orders by heading to the corner store in order to fetch him a couple of cans of Copenhagen. I had not a clue that soon a savage right of hillbilly childhood was about to be inflicted upon me.

I straightaway returned with the two cans of rotten silage. Grandpa opened one of the cans and with his two aging brownish fingers lifted a scrap heap of the canned substance into his mouth then sat back in his cane rocker and comfortably stared into space. The shredded sludge foamed as he masticated the rotten substance. Soon little streams of blackish brown substance began to trickle down his gray stubbled chin. After a good soaking atop his dingy yellow long johns. He reached for the peach can, spit out the hazardous waste, waited a spell then repeated the same process. My grandpa was in red-neck heaven.

For whatever reason I had never before watched the whole process and found myself mysteriously fascinated by the whole scene. After he regained consciousness gramps offered me a pinch of the devil weed. I placed the most minute amount of the tobacco in my mouth that I could get away with. In a matter of seconds death was imminent. My face first turned red, then two shades whiter than the painted Victorian porch where I sat. I started hallucinating. Giant rivers of foul-smelling brown sewage flowed through my fevered mind.

When grandma heard my merciless screams she came running with a tin pail of water to flush my mouth out. Normally, according to early medical journals, it took at least two gallons of fresh water to dilute the toxicity of Copenhagen, but sadly she was too late. Sweet Grandma, who once warned me about biting into the poison brown apple, proceeded to take a lawn rake and beat my grandpa with strength only read about in hero comics.

Alas, it was too late. My DNA code degenerated into a radically different ancestry. I quit school in the third grade, threw away my shoes and started sitting in trees playing a banjo. Because of the times, I am certain no statistics were ever recorded of my ingesting the counterpart of three bottles of Jack Daniels in one nibble of venomous horse manure. Without the great university study, I was just one of a thousand other kids who consumed a substance known to cause a total neurological shut-down.

Thank you grandma for your down-home wisdom. Although I never heeded your warning about consuming vile substances, I can honestly say–I never kissed a man who chewed. Now, if only I could wear shoes again.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Several years ago, or quite a few, depending just how one judges time, I took an afternoon trip to a quaint town bordering between Amish country and rolling hills that offers great enthusiasm for hikers and canoeists alike as the tranquil rivers gently roll through the gentle countryside. As I walked the streets of this historic Ohio town, I happened upon a privately owned bookstore. Not expecting as much excitement as, let us say Borders, I rapidly scanned the shelves. My mind sadly took second place to my stomach which sensed the corner bakery where the cinnamon rolls are worth giving up your life for.

After scanning the shelves of somewhat dull books the time allotted for hunger pains to climax into death ran its course so an exit for the bakery had to be now or never. Charging for the door, my eyes caught the cover of a book by an author I had met more than a few times. The old cowboy bard, Baxter Black it seems had published a new book so I laid down a pocketful of shillings and decided his cowboy philosophy along with a hot cup of coffee and that darn warm cinnamon roll were foreordained to share my table at the corner bakery.

As some of my reading audience may recall, I dabbled in the cowboy poet circles for a few years as both a beginning versifier/storyteller and journalist. I sauntered along side of all the big fellers who could shoot off a cowpoke tale, or verse of prose faster than John Wayne could swagger in a hula hoop contest. Baxter Black, as luck would have it, was one of my first interviewees and after a few minutes of listening to him I had no choice but to fall in line with the other men and women who told tales of better places far away from the big city bravado.

It is often said, and likely is the truth, my adult years were mainly spent in the vast upper regions of Minnesota, just a stone throw from that odd river that flows the wrong direction, The Red River Valley of the North, where my travels often took me through a municipality where a large sign read, "The West Starts Here." Far as I can see that pertnear made me a cowgirl.

Now it is only forthright to admit a lapse of common sense overcame me when I failed to live out certain ethnic duties and traveled from Minnesota to Kansas, then off to California. Like a female version of Will Rogers, I hung tight to straight-shootin' midwest wisdom. In other words, I was a rube, a square peg in a very oblong society--so in the circle of Cowboy Poets I found a group of people that had nearly as much sense as myself.

It did not take long for a fire to start smoldering in my solar plexus, not lethal chuck wagon-chilli-fire, but the very flames of life itself. The troop of word weavers spoke smoother than fine whiskey, a substance never having the opportunity to touch my sacred lips. Listening to such lyrics made me want to grab a chance to get on stage and wax eloquent.

The First Annual Newhall (California) Cowboy Poetry Festival presented the opportunity. With a pen and reporter's notebook in hand I interviewed many of the legends of western poetry and music. I absorbed the rhyme and rhythm of their parlance and went home to create my own epic. Two days hence forth, with wobbly legs, I walked up to the stage. The glare of stage lights nearly mesmerized me as I chanted poetry of my days along the backward flowing Red River where, according to the sign on Highway 10, the West began.

Sadly my stab at cowgirl poetry did not quite reflect the romantic wild west image Remington painted on canvases. I finished my 30 minutes of fame with a yarn, not the rhythmic canter of the popular cowboys. I started out proper, but my tale of serenity and closeness to God got lost in the uppity-urban setting I lived which in turn set off cowboy alarms. It was a greenhorn's mistake. Flat out storytellin' broke the firm tradition planted by the gun totten', lasso swingin', rodeo ridin' cowboy poets. My finish was salsa from New York City.

In a moment of crazed thinking caused by grabbing a branding iron and engraving "loser," across my forehead, a savior from out the crowd came to my rescue. A gentleman from Poland informed me my stage presence was the first thing he understood all weekend. "You my friend," he said in a Eastern European inflection, "are a storyteller, not a poet."

I smiled and finally figured out my life's calling. I ran around hither and yon for numerous months with the likes of poets like Baxter but I warned all listeners before hand I come under a separate calling, that is I am a tall-tale-storyteller not a poet laureate.

I sort of yearn for the days of cowboy poet festivals. Baxter's publication caused a cloud of loneliness to fall over me. There is a shortage of cowboy ways in these parts. To even discuss my feelings about the serenity of territories such as Montana causes my Ohio friends to break out in a scalp rash since they sit about and scratch their heads. Yup, cowboy poetry makes our locals a bit confused so I attempted to start a replacement. There has to be some place here bouts for regional rural poetry.

Having roots in the great corn state of Iowa and being of Midwest stock, the thought of a Pig Farmer Poetry Festival came to mind. One could rhapsodize the melodic words of riding a John Deere tractor across the endless rolling black soil hills, or the heartbreak of a failed corn harvest. And if one was so inclined, you can speak poems of moving northward to North Dakota to plant taters.

But friends I moved a little too far east. Just about as fer east as anyone should move, I dare say. Sure we have agriculture here, but it is different and what there is, is quickly being turned into housing–houses way too big for families to live in. The fields don't fall off into the horizon and the cattle are well, diary cows. Never are cowpokes seen ridin' the fence line being the fences here are electrified wires.

I need your input. Could Ohio accept a Dairy Farmers Poet Festival? What would rhyme with barn cleaner? Does our muddy Tuscarawas River have the same illusion as the mighty Rio Grande. Does seeing a ground hog hold one spell bound as happening upon a 700-pound grizzly bear? I just cannot close my eyes and envision this.

If you, my dear readers, know a little about cowboy poetry and have a yearnin' to create something new, scrawl me a few lines of Dairy Farmer Poetry and I will ponder this event for a moment or two. Who knows, maybe you have poets blood flowing through your veins?

Ol' Bess and me
sure know the way.
Wake up every mornin'
and work for little pay

Our jobs are bout the same
she gives the milk
I clean the barn
even tho my bod is lame

If'n any of us had a lick of sense
we'd both start walkin
lock the gate on the fence
and git paid jus fer talkin'

Monday, September 11, 2006


Today, six years hence liberals are still arguing about the war. How many of us have forgotten. I haven't. I still cry and as I am putting this up once again I weep. So we never forget I shall repost the woman I was picked to honor

As often is the case we awaken every morning, rub the sleep from our eyes and gulp down that cup of coffee as we head for the front door and move on to our assigned duties. For some, this is driving to classes at the nearby college, running off to the gym for a workout then stopping at Starbucks for a mid-day break with friends and associates.

For others it is off to the daily grind. Office workers, waitresses, bus boys, sales personnel, cab drivers, it makes little difference, the big city takes in the whole brigade that keeps America running–twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Men and women alike go to the big city and the city purrs like a warm kitten.

September 1, 2001 the city quit purring. New York City was attacked by Islamic fundamentalist who had a two part objective–to kill innocent civilians, and bring our nation's economy to a crawl. The Twin Towers, an art work of glass, steel and beauty, fell to a heap of dust and bent steel before the eyes of shocked onlookers, taking with it approximately 2,996 victims.

Eileen is not forgotten. This much I can tell you, Ms Greenstein was a resident a Morris Plains N.J. I can assure readers of Shelly's Cafe her memory, especially today, is held closely in many people's heart.

We can never understand the thought patterns of a terrorist. Hate is a sin born in the depths of Hell and civilized nations do not cower in the gutter of human depravity. God gives us a heart of love and compassion. Today, we as Americans, once again took time to remember the many, whatever their walk of life may have been, who gave their life five years ago. God bless you and your family Eileen.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


At long last the final chapter has arived. It is a little longer than the first but hope you enjoy this romantic thriller. MAJ

"If there is anything you are looking for, maybe I can save you from digging through that stuff. Most of it has been in the barn for years."

"Oh, I'm just looking for pieces of art."

Ed shook his head in disbelief, lifted his seed corn hat, scratched his head for a moment and replied, You won't find any art work there, that's just barn stuff–you know, old tractor parts, a few old bailer gears, maybe an old milker or tow, but we never did milk ya know."

"That's just it sweetheart, pieces of life, a little soul here, a little light there, maybe a tear or two with sweat of hard life of course," she said wiping the grease on here tie-dyed coveralls. "You find these unique things, weave them together with paint from the rainbow and you have art. Now you see why they call me Prism."

During the ensuing conversation Cassandra also known as Prism, accumulated half a pickup load of twine, gears, metal shrouds and other assorted barn junk. Piece by piece she carefully examined the treasures and placed the gems gently in the bed of her rusted out International.

"You got any more pieces of art laying around," Cassandra asked laughingly.

At first Ed was somewhat stunned by the question. He thought a moment about the two pictures hanging on the living room wall. His wife bought the pair of at a booth during the Iowa State Fair about 25 years ago. The picture was made with strips of birch bark and little bunches of moss gently placed against a painted scene of blue skies with a meandering brook.

"Oh, I got tons of it, but tell me what are you going to do with, well for instance, that sprocket gear."

"Oh this", she asked, looking down through her sun glasses. "This will make a cool hanger for my story glasses."

Edwin pulled of his cap again, not knowing if he should ask any more questions. He just totaled up her collection of items once having a purpose about the farm but now, as the day came to an end found a new purpose in some flower lady's art collection.

"Well it looks like the total comes to nearly fifty-five dollars," Edwin said.

Cassandra dug through her macrame purse and took out a crumbled fifty dollar bill. "I still owe you five but I will run home and get it."

"Nah, just give me a twenty and call it even," Edwin said, shaking his head. Yesterday the pile of worn out machinery and other farm clutter didn't have a plug nickels worth of value and today it was high price art.

"You are such a sweet old Iowa farmer."

Before Edwin knew it, Cassandra gave him a big hug and a peck on the cheek. She jumped in the rickety International, slammed the truck door and drove down the dusty township road. He stood by the hay rack for about 10 minutes until Scrunchers came along. A whirlwind of confusion raced through his head. Suddenly more than ever he missed his wife. Edwin recalled how a simple hug from his wife would give him such a peace of mind. He noticed his eyes were a bit misty he reached down, grabbed the old tom cat and walked back to the house.

"Do you know what a dream catcher is, ol' boy?"

Edwin didn't have a clue about Cassandra or half of what she talked about. Prisms, auras, story glasses. Whatever those things were, the whole mess had him baffled, besides he had to throw the rest of his chicken in the oven. That evening as he wiped the supper dish's dry he still was thinking about that strange female and wondered how many people like that lived in Iowa. St. Paul perhaps, but here in Iowa?

He leaned back in the recliner browsing through the latest Farm Journal and fantasizing about the humongous 4- wheel drive tractors now available. A tractor like that would be nice, he thought, but was he really serious about next year's corn crop. He had about 50 acres on a slope and a tractor like that sure would be a dream.

As the evening news came to an end, Edwin put away his magazine and filled up the coffee pot with water. Cassandra, or Prism or whatever she wanted to be called and her dream catching auras, or whatever they were called, still rattled around in his mind. Edwin could not put a finger on this emotion. Could it be, well you know, infatuation. Nah, she was just a strange gal and that is all there was to it.

The next morning Edwin arose early, shaved, put on a pair of jeans his wife bought him, which he hated, made breakfast and went over to an old combine and disassembled it for more parts to put on the wagon. He grabbed his coffee cup and sat on the yard chair and waited. Three hours passed by and he decided nothing was going to happen, so he went out to the pasture to straighten out some old fence posts, then drove into town for more coffee and lunch with his cronies.

As he pulled into the driveway, he noticed a large note on the hayrack fluttering in the afternoon breeze. It simply read nice stuff--will return Friday to pay for them, Love Cassandra. The name Prism was spelled in even larger print.

Edwin felt a lump in his stomach when he read the word l.o.v.e. He never said words like that around his wife, why should he, after all they both loved each other and now he knew Cassandra, or Prism, or who ever she was had touched him in a very lonely part of his heart.

"I know what I will do, find that book we had around the house with all those poems in it and write a special letter to her. That's ‘bout the best I can do for myself."

All through the evening Edwin carefully read through the poetry book, looking for something, anything he could put into his own words. He closed the tattered hard covered book when his eyes grew tired. He awoke at 4 in the morning with the book lying on the floor and the cat in his lap. He slowly moved himself from the recliner and walked over to the bed. He once again thought about that woman, until sleep overtook him. He knew poetry could never come from his pen. There had to be a better way.

The sun was barely high enough to burn the dew off the grass when the sound of a car door slammed shut out front. It couldn't be her, the vehicle was much to quiet, he thought. Grabbing a dish towel to wipe his hands, Edwin went outside and there stood Cassandra with a middle-aged man wearing a seed corn hat and behind him walked an "older woman."

"Hi Edwin, Cassandra said, "Thought I would introduce you to some special people. This is my husband Jake and my mother Inez."

"Husband, uh gee, well I didn't think you were, you know,"

"Nah, nobody ever thinks I'm married. Jake always stays about the place. Farm boy ya know. Doesn't know an aura from a dust storm."

Jake shook Edwin's hand and said, "I know this place, always thought it had the best layout in the county. Ever think of selling."

"Well I had thought about putting it on the market," Edwin said, looking back at Cassandra who had already headed for the hayrack. "The idea of wintering in Arizona has been on my mind for some time, but if I sell I won't have a place to come back too, ya understand."

Suddenly Inez looked up from her sunglasses. "You like Arizona?"

"Thinking about it quite a bit here lately."

"What's your wife say about it?"

"She died a little over a year ago. Yup, we talked about it all the time. She left way to early and we never had the chance to go."

"Oh, I'm deeply sorry, Inez said, reaching out for his hand. "Irwin and I bought a lot in Sun City and put a double wide on it, but he too died, so now I go there by myself every winter. You know, the kids got a life of their own and all."

Edwin took it all in but he was still stunned by the news and to imagine her husband was a farmer. He looked at Cassandra's mother. "You do know that you are way too young to be Cassandra's mother. Do you drink coffee"

They returned to the house Neither one payed any attention to the younger couple. Edwin put on a fresh pot and rummaged through the cupboard hoping to find the nice cups his wife used when company stopped by. Hours rolled by as the two shared conversation and for the first time in weeks, Edwin understood every word a woman had to say.

A knock came on the door hours later. Cassandra and Jake walked over to the table where Inez and Edwin were deep in conversation about Arizona. The younger two had just finished walking the corn and bean fields. After she found the creek and Jake inspected the immaculate out buildings they had something to say.

"Mr. Johnson, the two of us have been looking for a piece of land like this for a long time. If you ever think of selling it, will you give me first dibs on it."

"For sure," Cassandra said. "The creek has a lot of energy in it and the workshop would make a beautiful art gallery. Jake, well he's all beans and corn."

"Well you better think fast because Inez and I are thinking pretty darn serious about going to Arizona when the corn gets put away," Edwin said. "She might even decide to get a butterfly tatoo just like yours, Miss Prism." He felt so much alive and thanked God he didn't play out his foolishness by writing poetry to a married woman young enough to be his daughter.

He thought they, Inez and himself, could always summer out on the farm and perhaps keep his heard of Angus if the place was kept in the family so to speak.

"Oh ya, girl, your mother explained to me about those dream catching things and I figure we got enough room to haul them to Arizona and open a dream whatchama call it store."

"Cool," said Cassandra. "The energy is flowing in the right direction."