So, This Happened:

Yes, this really happened. I have no idea why my brain thought it needed to throw out those two particular words this week. I don’t know anyone named Culpepper, and I can’t even remember when I last heard or read the name. I’ve never cooked brisket, or considered cooking brisket; in fact I don’t think I’ve ever eaten brisket.

But I guess if there’s a character named Culpepper in my next book who likes brisket, you’ll know why.

Please tell me I’m not the only one with a brain that wakes me by spewing random words…

53 thoughts on “So, This Happened:

  1. Pingback: T&A and Dickie-bergs, Oh My! | Author Diane Henders

  2. Random words? Yes. and names too and sounds, and snippest of stories I so much! would like to know the end to. I like writing, and my brain is obviously working while I sleep.
    Briskets are something new to me. Now I am hungry and just have to find out how to get and prepare it here (Denmark).


    • Welcome! To be honest, brisket is new to me, too — although I’ve heard of it, I’ve never actually tried it. Maybe my subconscious was telling me that I need to have some new food adventures. 🙂

      I sometimes dream of stories while I’m in the throes of a book, too — if only the dreams still made sense when I woke up…


  3. If you were a Western Movie fan, you may have seen The Culpepper Cattle Company? That would at least connect you to brisket logically. Brisket used to be a cheap cut of beef until people learned how good it was and how many ways to prepare it. Like chicken wings.
    Can’t say I dream random words but sometimes think them when I am awake and say them out loud. I worry about me.


    • LOL! My grandfather used to do that, and he lived to a ripe old age with no more brain farts than the rest of us; so you’re probably okay. That habit is likely in my future, too — as it is, I’ve developed a disconcerting habit of letting my thoughts show in my expression. Maybe that wouldn’t be so bad for a normal person, but I’m a thriller writer. I’m sure it’s alarming for bystanders when my face suddenly contorts with homicidal rage for no apparent reason. 😉


  4. LOL….I have woken up to many weird things over the years, but this one is new to me. My stuff is typically sounds that inspire weird dreams. Most alarming one was waking up hearing someone next to the bed breathing in my face (and I’m not talking about my wife who was in bed with me)…..I was in a deep sleep and it took me not a split second to open my eyes to a small 3 year old staring at me. I had taught her that if she needed anything in the middle of the night “wake up daddy, not mommy” (I can back to deep sleep rapidly, not so my wife).


  5. I did some research for you. Okay, I did a fast google search and discovered that Honey Brook Farms in Culpepper, VA sells a nice beef brisket.

    Maybe it’s a call for you to go to Culpepper and buy a brisket.

    Just a thought.


    • That’s it! You’ve cracked the code! Virginia’s a bit of a commute for me, and the pandemic might put a kink in my trip; but at least now I know there was some logic behind this sudden visitation. (That’s what I’m going to keep telling myself, anyway.) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Earlier today I was watching a random you tube video that said the song “Crimson and Clover” came about because the songwriter kept waking up with those two words on his mind. Don’t know for sure if it’s true, internet “facts” being what they are, but I thought it was interesting that, today of all days, you posted two words you woke up with. Lol! Not sure how Culpepper and brisket could make a song but stranger things….

    I don’t wake up with words on my mind but with songs in my head. Every night a different song goes through my dreams and I hear it for at least an hour after I wake up. The songs don’t always have anything to do with the dream itself, which is weird. Last night, however, the song kinda fit. I had several random dreams where I fell or tripped and I’d lay on the ground while “Walking on Sunshine” played. Evidently walking on sunshine makes me clumsy, lol.


    • LOL! Isn’t it weird where our brains go when they’re supposed to be resting? It’s very cool that you hear songs in your dreams — I don’t remember ever hearing a song in mine. I do, however, get random daytime earworms that stay with me for weeks and weeks. Extremely annoying!

      Hmmm. “Culpepper and brisket / Oh, how I miss it…” Nope. Just doesn’t have the same snap as ‘Crimson and Clover’. 😉


  7. Diane, you might want to check out this page for various Culpeppers you might have come across in pop culture as you were growing up. The name “Colonel Culpepper” kept popping into my head every time I read “Culpepper”, and I thought it was connected with a comedy show or comedian, so I googled “Colonel Culpepper comedy” and found this:

    Or maybe you already did that; if so, disregard!


    • That’s awesome — who knew? M*A*S*H and the Beverly Hillbillies are the only shows I ever watched from that list; and it was a LONG time ago. Now I’m afraid to contemplate what else my brain might dredge up from the depths of memory. 🙂


  8. Daunte Culpepper, former Minnesota Viking. Watch much football? I don’t wake up spewing weird thoughts and words but I often have really bizarre dreams that make no sense, would and could never happen except in an alternate universe, and leave me shaking my head when I wake up.


    • The only football I watch is the Grey Cup and the Superbowl. Which is actually pretty impressive (if I do say so myself), considering that my total TV-watching is about an hour per month, including those two games which skew the average. Hubby and I have a system: He starts recording the game on the PVR while we go about our business; and with only half the ‘real’ game left, we start watching from the beginning and fast-forwarding through the commercials. We end up watching the end of the game along with everybody else, with MUCH less time wasted. I have to accelerate my beer consumption to keep up, though. 😉

      I get those bizarre dreams, too. They make perfect sense while I’m asleep…


  9. That is so funny. Yet it’s not. As I hate it when stuff like this happens to me. Sleep is elusive and precious. My mind is busy enough during the day. To keep going at it at night too, really annoys me, especially as it’s usually bullshit thoughts that don’t even make any sense. At least my dreams are exciting and adventurous, but those thoughts… Anyway, I’ve never heard of Culpepper. Is that truly a name? A spice? A vegetable? Kind of cool to have a creative mind that keeps bugging you, though, as you seem to take advantage of it in your writing.


    • You’re right, I (mostly) take the monkey-mind in stride as a side-effect of my work. And I know Culpepper is a name; but I don’t think it’s anything else. Unless we ‘creative brain’ types decide to get creative and make something up. Hmmm&hellilp; 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I rarely get enough sleep, so I am usually so tired I never wake up during the night. And rarely dream. So I’m no help, unless you’d like me to recommend you aim for being sleep-deprived.
    Does it take you long to get back to sleep? If so, this would be a difficult problem to have.


    • It all depends. Sometimes I drop off again right away; other times I lie awake for an hour or more. Whoever said ‘variety is the spice of life’ clearly wasn’t talking about the random machinations of my brain. 😉 I hope you’ll soon be able to get a bit more sleep.


  11. On a cross country trip, after hours of driving, My Bride, Barb, was fast asleep in the passenger seat of the car. We were on a particularly rough road. She suddenly sat upright and shouted “Watch out for the Turtle Necks!” She would never have believed me if we had not had another couple in the back seat to witness her subconscious outburst.
    We still occasionally mention it when driving on a rough road.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bahahahaha!!! That’s hilarious! I’ll remember to be wary of turtle necks from now on.

      That reminds me of a pair of our elderly friends. All their married life, he’d been the driver on long road trips; but his health finally made him concede to sharing driving duties with his wife. They were halfway across the prairies and he was dozing in the passenger seat when suddenly he bolted up in a panic and demanded, “WHO’S DRIVING?!?” Never lived it down…

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Random words? Well, no. Or at least not yet. But pretty much everything else. Bright lights shining in the bedroom window turned out to be the neighbor who bumped the switch on his cab-mounted spotlight while exiting his truck after coming home from two and a half days non-stop on the oil rig he was working on. Easily forgiven, that. I’m amazed he could still navigate.

    A loud thump and rattle the other night turned out to be a 3.7 earthquake centered four miles from our house. A long string of flashing red lights and many sirens screaming by on the main road a block and a half from our house several weeks ago? No clue. Never did find out what all that was about. Nothing in the papers or on the news. Zip. Nada.

    Neighbor coming and going at all hours on his Harley with straight pipes and the throttle wide open? For years? Problem solved. He moved. Suddenly. (Or that’s what another neighbor said…rather shifty eyed just before he changed the subject.)

    But random words? I should be so lucky. 🙂


    • Yikes. Remind me not to piss off your neighbour. (Or you, for that matter. I’m wise to those ‘I have a friend/neighbour who…’ stories.) And an earthquake? In Texas? I didn’t realize you were on a fault line. I just researched it, and sure ’nuff, you are. Dang, I learn something new every day.

      I agree, your other neighbour’s lighting offense is forgivable (if disruptive). Maybe he’ll give you a spare set of keys to his truck, just in case…? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I can thankfully say that random words have not woken me out of a sleep. Yet.

    But the job of “adulting” often results in either panic attacks or stupid random thoughts jolting me out of a deep sleep. Did I lock the garage or the back door? I forgot to pay the water bill! What was that jiggling noise by the side door? I forgot to log out of my computer! Did my better half leave her car unlocked again? I forgot to text my buddy about meeting tomorrow! How am I going to get that rusted bolt out of that lower control arm? My 7/32 drill bit is dull! Do I have to be somewhere tomorrow? Aha! I can use a multidimensional array in my PHP script! Would it be better to drive all the way to Boston vs. stopping overnight in Utica, New York? I left my tube amplifier on! Did I put more Diet Pepsi in the fridge? I forgot to check the smoker temperature before going to bed!

    I am surprised I did not wake up to the number 150. The online magazine I write for is doing a special for our 150th issue in November, and I spent the evening searching for anything about the number 150. (I’m doing the “trivia” article.) Things I cannot mention are the 150 mosquito bites I feel like I get during a bike ride along the Clinton River Trail, the 150 pounds I wish I weighed, and the 150 random profanities I share with anyone in earshot when I’m working on one of the cars in our hooptie fleet.

    Brisket? Not a huge fan. I’ve never done a beef brisket on the smoker but have had it at a BBQ restaurant. It can be tasty, but it can also get a bit fatty. I also had one that was so salty I couldn’t eat much of it. It’s also gotten very expensive for the cut of meat that it is. We do have corned beef brisket around St. Patrick’s Day, though–I stew it in a Dutch oven with beer rather than broth, and it’s been a hit. It can be a bit salty, though, so it’s a once-a-year treat for us.


    • Mmm, now I’m thinking I should try brisket at least once!

      I feel for you about your ‘150 on the brain’. I do my very best to stop working by 9:30 PM every night, because otherwise whatever I was working on haunts my dreams all night long. Unfortunately, I get ‘focused’ on my work (which is a polite way to say ‘obsessed and oblivious to everything’) and rarely remember to look at the clock until it’s too late. But I wasn’t researching Culpeppers or briskets that night; so who knows?

      I have those random ‘adulting’ freak-outs, too. The worst is a recurring dream in which I’ve forgotten to feed our cats. In the dream, I’m certain they’re dead after weeks with no food or water, but I have to go and check; knowing full-well that I was the one who killed them through neglect. It’s a horrible dream, but it makes me glad I never had kids. If I had, the dream would probably feature dead children and that would be just too awful. Fortunately, we don’t have cats anymore — our beloved fur-buddies died of old age years ago, in the most comfort I could offer. But the dream remains. Sigh.

      Leaving tube amplifiers on is a reasonable fear for me, too. Hubby’s current business is repairing electronics, specializing in tube amps and old tube radios, so our place is littered with high-voltage behemoths. Malfunctioning high-voltage behemoths. What could possibly go wrong…?


      • Brisket is an unusual topic. Mostly because it’s regional, or seems to be. And preferences vary. Widely. And NOBODY ever says, “My briskets always suck,” even when everyone else who tries them says they do. Regardless of ‘region,’ trim your briskets! Yes, leave a little bit of SOFT, THIN fat here and there, but cut the THICK, HARD fat away RUTHLESSLY!! And if you like to cook your briskets with a thick cap of soft fat, GET RID OF THAT MESS BEFORE YOU SERVE IT!!!.

        Yes, fat is flavor. Every YooToober and social media ‘expert’ with a cheapo grill and a cell phone camera spouts that mantra endlessly. And mindlessly. A LITTLE FAT is good. HUGE GOBS OF IT IS NOT GOOD!! IT’S NASTY!!! TRIM YOUR FREAKING BRISKETS. Then season them. More than you’d think. Get crazy, but NOT STUPID. Moist, lean, tender brisket is delicious! It’s heavenly! If it’s not moist, lean, and tender, it’s TERRIBLE. Regardless of region. 🙂


        • I didn’t realize brisket yumminess was regional, but that makes sense. And I’m definitely with you on the fat content. Some = Yum, but too much makes me queasy. (Or should that be ‘greasy’?) Now I can see that this topic requires considerable research. Lots and lots of tasty research… 😉

          Liked by 1 person

          • Research is good. I’m in the process of zeroing in on “my” BBQ rib recipe currently. I’ve got the “taste” part pretty much nailed. Still working on the “juicy” part. Last rack was delicious. Just a bit dry, though. But I know what to do to fix it.

            Ribs are scalable. One rack of baby back or loin back ribs and a side or two is a big meal for us. If we invite friends over, just fix more racks. Same recipe, same procedure, same cooking time. Easy.

            But brisket? A small brisket will feed us for far longer than we want to eat brisket. So I cheat. When we need to feed a crowd, I call a friend who does competition cooking. I buy the meat and he cooks it to trophy specs! And we send most of the leftovers home with our guests. That’s how I do brisket. 😁


        • Yep, you nailed it–we only need enough fat to “do the job.” Even on my pork shoulders and baby backs, I leave a thin amount of fat on it, but trim a lot of the rest of it off. The only folks I follow online are pitmasters like Harry Soo (of Slap Yo’ Daddy BBQ), and Meathead Goldwyn’s Meathead: The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling is a handy reference on our little-used cookbook shelf.

          In fact, I light my smoker using “Soo’s Donut,” which is Harry Soo’s method of creating a “donut” of briquettes and wood chunks in the bottom of the smoker, and putting lit coals in the middle–the unlit briquettes and chunks then light off gradually overnight. I bought a barely used 18″ Weber Smoky Mountain smoker at a good price, but splurged on a DigiQ temperature controller. I have it worked out to where I can put on a pork shoulder at 10pm and not have to check the temperature at all until noon the following day–it’s nice to be able to sleep through the night now. 😁

          We’re pretty lucky to have a couple of good BBQ joints to hang out at if I’m not in the mood to do all the work. They all use professional pits that stay fired up overnight, so it’s not like a cheap restaurant dumping doctored-up Open Pit and smoke flavoring on a hunk of meat and calling it BBQ. 😉

          Liked by 2 people

      • Small world–I have to ship, or drive, my one amplifier down to Virginia to get it worked on. (It costs about the same in gasoline vs. shipping, but I know it will arrive in one piece, and the shipping carton alone is about $90, shipped to my door from the manufacturer.) The facility is co-owned by one of the former technical directors of the company that originally made it, and he is also going to do a small modification for me. If the international border wasn’t a thing, I’d ship my Grundig 2420 radio out your way to have it gone over. It brings back memories since my uncle owned the same one, and I used to mess around with it in their kitchen. (Typical of older units, the capacitors and other components have drifted out of spec.)

        When you have kiddos, the sleep issues change. I’ve never had disturbing dreams or nightmares about them even to this day, but often didn’t have a good sleep since I had one ear on the pillow and the other listening for noises. Having woken up to various “situations” in their younger years, it became a habit. My oldest is “special needs” and any time she had stayed over, I was always getting up if I heard her leave her room. Now I get more worried about my youngest driving downtown and hoping nothing happens…


        • I suspect that after you have kids, you never sleep soundly again; no matter how old they are. I’m glad I don’t bear that kind of responsibility — I have enough trouble just getting myself through life. 😉

          I just looked up your Grundig – beautiful! Most of Hubby’s repairs consists of replacing capacitors and upgrading tubes for those ‘oldies’. They’re worth the trouble, though!


          • It does get easier as they get older–my youngest, even at an age of three years old, probably could have been left alone with the stove and the car keys and gotten along just fine–she’s as chill as I am, and has always been quite self-sufficient and very low maintenance. My oldest was another story–thankfully she lives with her mother elsewhere. (Let’s just say they’re well suited for each other!) It was the infant/toddler years that kept me aware of noises in the house, more with my oldest. Being empty nesters now, neither of us seem to have trouble sleeping, other than for the middle-aged aches and pains, and other worries that jolt us awake at night. (Or in my better half’s case, fretting over her son’s wedding a few weeks ago–a different kind of stress, for sure!)

            That Grundig is as old as I am, and honestly I could use a few component upgrades myself! 😁 I had to borrow one of the tubes from the Grundig for another amp of mine–it’s a Telefunken EL84 and I’m guessing it’s original, seeing the radio and tube are both of German origin, and any tubes locally purchased for replacement would have been the more common US brands like Raytheon, RCA, etc. My buddy’s grandmother owned it previously and up until the time she died, he says that radio played in her house constantly. That 50+ year old tube actually performed just as well as the new-production Mullard (made by a company called New Sensor, in Russia). hose old Grundigs are sturdy old beasts!

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