But, it feels like it has been my circus today, and I am the number 1 clown.  The day started quietly enough. I slept in a little, took a nice walk in the mountains, came home, did a little cleaning, then sat down to write.

Two women yelling threats and profanities at each other, that’s what stopped me, loud enough to be heard in Colorado. Finally, I stepped out on my front porch to see what the heck was going on. My neighbor and my other neighbor’s girlfriend were tearing into each other. Someone called the cops, the girlfriend  hightailed it out of there before they came. I crept back into the sanctuary of my house, definitely not wanting to get involved, coward that I am.


Since writing seemed out of the question now, a new plan evolved. Put the excess yellow squash from my garden to good use. I found a recipe for yellow squash casserole that sounded decadent but tasty and I jacked it up New Mexican style by adding roasted green chile and corn (CALABACITAS SUPREMAS). I had enough to make two casseroles. So, I put one in the oven, went outside to snap some green beans from the garden for another vegetable save and decided at some point to check my casserole. Upon opening the oven, I was met with a rush of smoke and a wall of flames. I quickly shut the oven door, thinking, “what the hell”, and looking at the oven gauge suddenly realized that without putting on my glasses, I had set the oven at BROILER instead of  BAKE. How could I have done this??? Smoke was filling the house. I was afraid to open the oven door again. I shut down the oven, waited a few minutes, and cautiously opened the door a crack. There was my scorched casserole. The pyrex baking dish had cracked all along the bottom, and juices were dripping out all over the hot oven. Sigh. The entire bottom of the casserole dish had separated.

 It took some careful maneuvering to slide it out intact into another dish. Of course, it was wasted, or was it? After scraping off the black crumb topping, I found the remainder appeared ??? edible. So what does frugal Sandy do? Scrape off the top and dish the remainder into another container. The oven was another story. I spent a lousy forty-five minutes doing a half-assed job of cleaning. Fans were set up to blow the smoke out of the house, and now I am eating yellow squash casserole, but the neighbors are at it again and both of them grandmothers. Damn.


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Sandra Bolton

Sandra Bolton is the author of two novels: A Cipher in the Sand and Key Witness, A Southwest Mystery. She lives in Raton, New Mexico with her big black dog, Sam and fat cat, Fidel. Writing is her passion, along with hiking, gardening, cooking, eating and laughing whenever possible. Her goal in life is to do no harm to any living thing or to our beautiful earth.