My best friend died today…

My Dear Friend: Sharon Elliott just died. I am so sadden to know she will no longer be available to me for our phone calls and visits. But, I am relieved that she is no longer suffering. I think of…

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My best friend died today…

My Dear Friend: Sharon Elliott just died. I am so sadden to know she will no longer be available to me for our phone calls and visits. But, I am relieved that she is no longer suffering. I think of the many fun times we had together. My wonderful Ron enjoyed her and we inclued her on many of our vacations. Her quirkiness kept us laughing and she enjoyed being the rebel. We adored her. She was a wonderful friend. When I needed her she was always there for me. She was one of the most generous people I have ever known. I have seen her through the death of her husband and great love of her life. For one year after Richard died I kept her with me. She would go to work and back to me, she would go home on the week-end long enough to check her mail do her laundry, get fresh clothes, then back to me. We would stay up most of the night, smoking, drinking and talking and talking and talking and laughing and laughing. It took a full year for us to talk her pain and grief down to where she could manage it.  God, I loved that girl.

When she had her face lift she came from the hospital to me. Against all advice she refused to wear a hat and insisted on sun tanning her face. She worshiped the sun and kept a tan most of her life. Sharon seldom followed the Dr. instructions or any one elses. She was a rebel and delighted in blazing her own trail. We agreed to not discuss politics. I loved her so much that I closed my eyes, ears and mind to her lack of knowledge and quietly accepted that she was a “dumb Pollock”, when it came to politics. There was no point in trying to change her position on a subject once she had set her mind. I learned early in our relationship, that I could spend hours trying to enlighten her with my vast knowledge, resorting to badgering and conjoling her with my intelligence and verbal skills. She would sit back and allow me my fun and never interrupt as I adnosium lectured on and on. When I had finished she would look up at me with her cool green eyes and say very calmly: “I disagree”. End of discussion. God I loved that girl.
When I moved up to the Delta, she bought a house boat there. She no longer worked so she and I both being single, tore the hell out of that crazy Delta. I would cook and take all the food to her house boat and she would invite everyone she encountered aboard to eat. That is how I met my Ron. Sharon ran into a lady on the dock and invited her to join us. She was a long time friend of Ron’s and was in San Francisco on business. He invited her to spend the week-end on his sailboat before she returned to Portland. So the two of them arrived to dine on my craw-dads. Ron and I started talking about boats and going to Mexico. We never stopped talking and we went to Mexico together a few months later and have been together ever since.
Ron loved Sharon, he use to say she was our great source of entertainment. The three of us had so much fun together. When we moved up to our Ranch, Sharon came often. Now Sharon never came empty handed. She and I both enjoyed gourmet food and cooking so she would come with a trunk load of exotic food from Trader Joes and of course boxes of farm fresh produce from the many farm stands she drove by on the way to our Ranch. I had horses. Sharon loved horses. I spent most of the time she was around them trying to make sure she did not get hurt or her harm them. She had no common sense when it came to horses. Thinking she could read their minds and they would send her messages of what they really wanted.(“No Sharon, they cannot eat a whole bale of Alphalfa each.”) I forbade her from wearing her ever present flip flop shoes around the horses, for fear of her getting stepped on by their hoofs. She had no fear of them and did not exercise common caution when around them. I talked her into volunteering at Saddle Pals in Sacramento. That did not work out so well. They fired her. How does anyone get fired from a volunteer job? Well, perhaps one has to be Sharon Elliott . She told me the horses told her they wanted to eat the nice green grass on the other side of the fence. So she opened the gate and let them all out. It took many hours to round them all up. Sharon laughed and said she knew the horses enjoyed their adventure. God, I loved, that girl.

I needed $60,000. Sharon said she had it.  She sat down and wrote me a check for that amount.  I said ; “Let me get you an IOU.”  She said:  “Don’t bother,  I know where you live.”  God, I loved that girl.
Ron and I lived together for many years before we finally decided to get married. Of course, Sharon was my Matron of Honor and Kim Grover was Ron’s Best woMan. We got married on Valentines’ Day at the Court House in Oroville. They had it all set up in the Court Yard Garden with an Arch Way, it was lovely. Sharon got lost driving from our Ranch to the Court House. I had to send my son David to find her and lead her to us. She took this honor to heart, she showed up wearing a dress (first time I had ever seen her in a dress) and high heeled shoes that she had bought for the occassion. I think it was the first pair of high heeled shoes Sharon had worn in 30 years. She had great difficulty walking in them and my son David carried or supported her most of the entire event. She finally said; “Screw them”. threw them in her car and went bare footed. We didn’t care, that was Sharon and she could pull it off. We continued on to a Wedding Dinner and Show at Gold Country Casino. Sharon looked elegant in her fancy Matron of Honor Dress and carried herself so well that few even noticed her bare feet. God, I loved that girl.

Sharon always sent me a wonderfully thoughtful Birthday Present and card for my Birthday. When I turned 76 this past March I didn’t hear from her. Her phone message center was full and I could not get a call through to her. When my Birthday came and went with out a word from her, I told Ron we have to go to Sacramento and find her. I found her in a nursing home. I went in and there she was looking White headed, (when had she stopped coloring her hair auburn?) She looked so small and frail and very lost. She had some dementa. She said she had been there a month and she had only been there three days. After getting her home with her Grandson; Joels’ help. Joel and I went about trying to get her affairs in order. I set up a new will and a Quit Claim Deed for Joel. Her son Mark was in the Hospital dieing. Sharon had had open heart surgery and was in declining health. Joel and I expected both of them to die shortly. Mark surprised us all,  made a recovery and returned home to take care of Sharon. Hospice was called in. I called and talked to Sharon often and even more often to Mark. He did an admirable job caring for this difficult woman who liked to challenge everything and disobey all instructions for her well being. Joel loves his Grandma and he tried his best to do right by her. It took a lot of courage for the both of them to deal with her. She was often demented and even more often cantankerous. I would talk to them and then tell Sharon,: “Knock it off! Stop Bullying them. “. She would giggle and admit that she was exercising her power. As their Mother and Grandmother she still had that power over them. When she went into the hospital this last time. I did not feel the need to go to see her or to phone her we had so many hours of talking. We had said it all to each other. There was nothing I could do. I had promised her that I would see to it that her wishes were carried out and would comfort her son and grandson through their grief. That is what a friend does for a friend.
My friend Sharon Elliott died today. God, I loved that girl.


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A Star Shines In Paradise…Sisters and Cancer

Happy Birthday Linda Dunlap…August 18th.


A Star Shines in Paradise…..Sisters and Cancer

My sister; Linda Mae Dunlap born Aug.18, 1941 died of Cancer Aug. 6, 2003. After a fourteen year battle, which she fought gallantly.

My sister and I spent most of our lives at odds either fighting or not speaking to each other. She was an alcoholic and a mean spirited drunk. I was her favorite target. She liked to tell people that she grew up in the shadow of her beautiful sister; “The Star”. She also, would say that I took all of her boy friends away from her. This was far from the truth, as I left home at age 15 and she did not have her first date until she was 18 years old. We were eighteen months apart in age. She told these sad tales of woe so much that I believe they became her reality.

I spent most of…

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Mrs. Binghams Sixty Year Old Secret….

The Government needs to stay out of Women’s Wombs.


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Mrs. Binghams Sixty Year Old Secret….

I believe the Government shouls stay out of Womens’ Wombs.


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The Gift of Time… is well spent.

The phone rang and Ron brought me the phone, I was watering the garden. It was Suzette. I have known her since she was a child. She was blessed with stunning good looks and a simple, loving mind. She was a wonderful worker and as an adult she crewed on the Mariner II. She was a talented Hair Stylist and made a good living. But she loved the fun and glamour of the Mariner. She also, loved to party, drugs and booze were her constant companions. I was looking out the porthole in the galley, while prepping for a cruise. Doing work that Suzette was supposed to do. She was constantly late. But, she would work twice as fast and her sunny disposition would make all her tardiness seem unimportant. I watched as she veered from one side of the dock to the other. I gasped as she recovered her balance in time to prevent her reeling body from going into the water. I met her as she was about to board the aft deck. She looked up at me with a big smile and said: ” Well, I made it, Mary.” I said, ” Yes, you did it again, Suzette. But, you are in no condition to work. So turn your pretty little self around and go home.” She looked up at me with her big brown innocent eyes and giggled; “Okay, Dokay, you call me when you need me, Mary.” She saluted me, and turned heel and staggered back up the dock. Shouting over her shoulder; “I love you, Mary.” as she chuckled at her efforts to master her walk down the plank. “I love you too, Suzette,” And I did and do. How could anyone stay upset at this childish woman so full of sweetness and fun? She is now suffering from MS and is in a nursing home after having been widowed. Her speech is very impaired and it is difficult to understand her. But, I manage to get the jest of her dialog. A nurse has put my phone number on speed dial. So, I often get random phone calls from her when I flash through her mind. She has called this time to apologize for the death of a cattle dog I gave her twenty five years ago. She was living on her Grandparents 300 acre ranch in Martinez. I rescued the dog from a city yard and took him out to Romars’ Ranch, a produce farm that Ron and I owned. Unfortunately it was located near a busy highway and I feared that “Shep” would be run over. So I called Suzette and asked if she would like to have him. She was delighted. He was a wonderful dog. He became her constant companion. Unfortunately, her Grandfather backed over him with his truck and he died. Suzette was filled with guilt. So, she was calling me to tell me how badly she felt about his death. I assured her it was not her fault. And we talked for about an hour as she assured me she would be getting out of the Rest home and when she did she wanted a Schnauzer puppy. I said when she got out we would deal with the puppy. She giggled with glee and said; ” I loved working for you, Mary. Because of you, I know what Pate is. I was watching the food channel and they were making Pate. I was the only one here that knew what it was. You taught me so much.” I had finished watering my garden so I ended the call and told her to call me any time she wanted to talk. I am her link to her past that was a joyful time and the least I can do is make myself available when she wants to relive those adventures. smile emoticon heart emoticon

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Merritt G. Smalley,III aka Gordo, my youngest child dies.

Today is my son Merritt G. Smalley III, aka “Gordo’s 46th Birthday. I allowed myself a day in bed. To grieve his death. I slept, went on Facebook and watched Dr. Phil, in between some tears and some giggles as I allowed memories of Gordo to wash over me. I miss him, but most of all I regret what he could have been. He was the brightest of my children and had the most potential.He should have been an Attorney like his Father or Computer Executive as he had a natural ability with computers. I loved his charm and his active mind we would discuss current events, politics and literature. I adored his sense of humor. We enjoyed each others company. Yes, I miss him. God Bless my lost son…. please say a prayer for him.


Dear Folks,

The dogs woke me at 3:00 a.m. with their insistent barking.  I could see the security lights were activated.  The dogs were grouped in a pack at the yard gate.  I went to see what was causing all the upset.  Two Sheriffs were standing there.  My heart skipped a beat.  Only bad news comes delivered at 3:00 a.m. “Please God, don’t let it be Ron.”

They asked if I was, Mary Smalley and I if they could come in, they had some information they needed to give me.  The dogs were jumping up and down around them.  They asked if the dogs bite.  I warned them about “Breezie”,  being very protective of me.  One of the Officers said; ” Oh, they are Schnauzers, they are a friendly breed.”  Just as Breezie snapped at his hand when he went to pet him.  Fortunately his teeth hit his heavy wrist…

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Last Rare White Mini-Schnauzer Puppy Sold..

Molly May was bought by Susan Radcliffe and now resides with her cousin; Mr. Gibbs, bought from me four years ago.  They now all reside in Anchorage, Alaska.  Molly May will go to Susan’s office each day with Mr. Gibbs.  They are a very happy family.

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Only one sweet Rare White Mini-Schnauzer Female Puppy available.


Only one available….

What a perfect Valentine gift.  All givt wrapped in her Red Sweater.

What a perfect Valentine Gift.  All gift wrapped in her new red sweater.  AKC reg. Mini-Schnauzer female puppy. Call Mary 530-589-4450 

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And God makes Woman…

Please read to the end…
By the time the Lord made woman,
He was into his sixth day of working overtime.
An angel appeared and said,
“Why are you spending so much time on this one?”
And the Lord answered, “Have you seen my spec sheet on her?
She has to be completely washable, but not plastic,
have over 200 movable parts, all replaceable and able to run on diet coke and leftovers, have a lap that can hold four children at one time, have a kiss that can cure anything from a scraped knee to a broken heart     and she will do everything with only two hands.”
The angel was astounded at the requirements.
“Only two hands!? No way!
And that’s just on the standard model?
That’s too much work for one day.
Wait until tomorrow to finish.”
But I won’t,” the Lord protested.
“I am so close to finishing this creation that is so close to my own heart.
She already heals herself when she is sick
AND can work 18 hour days.”

The angel moved closer and touched the woman.
“But you have made her so soft, Lord.”

“She is soft,” the Lord agreed, “but I have also made her tough.
You have no idea what she can endure or accomplish.”

“Will she be able to think?”, asked the angel.

The Lord replied,   “Not only will she be able to think,
she will be able to reason and negotiate.”

The angel then noticed something, and reaching out, touched the woman’s cheek.
“Oops, it looks like you have a leak in this model.
I told you that you were trying to put too much into this one.”

That’s not a leak,” the Lord corrected, “that’s a tear!”
“What’s the tear for?” the angel asked.

The Lord said, “The tear is her way of expressing her joy, her sorrow, her pain, her disappointment, her love, her loneliness, her grief and her pride.”

The angel was impressed.  “You are a genius, Lord.
You thought of everything!  Woman is truly amazing.”

And she is!
Women have strengths that amaze men.
They bear hardships and they carry burdens, but they hold happiness,
love and joy.  They smile when they want to scream.
They sing when they want to cry.
They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous.
They fight for what they believe in.
They stand up to injustice.
They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution.
They go without so their family can have.
They go to the doctor with a frightened friend.
They love unconditionally.
They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards.
They are happy when they hear about a birth or a wedding.
Their hearts break when a friend dies.
They grieve at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left.
They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart.
Women come in all shapes, sizes and colors.
They’ll drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you.
The heart of a woman is what makes the world keep turning.
They bring joy, hope and love.

They have compassion and ideals.
They give moral support to their family and friends.
Women have vital things to say and everything to give.



PLEASE pass this along to your women friends and relatives
to remind them just how amazing they are.

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