Category Archives: Family

Middle Fingers and Corn Dogs

sillylily

Happy Birthday Lily Belle

Today is Lily Belle’s 6th birthday so I joined her at Kindergarten to eat lunch.  The “special” table was full so we sat with the regular people.  It’s also Frozen Friday so we chose ice cream sandwiches for our treat.

Once we sat down I noticed Ms. Ratched, the lunchroom and #walkdontrun monitor was walking  towards us so I said, pretty loud, “Lily, since it’s your birthday you get to eat your ice cream first!”  Lily replied, “I know! Yay!” Ms. Ratched slowed her giddyup just long enough to shoot me a scalding glance but obviously thought better of correcting me before she sped off to find another rule breaker.

One of my favorite events at school lunches is when Ms. Gable counts down from three to zero, at which point there is either total silence in the room or, and I’ve never actually USA: Demonstrators March In National Day Of Action On Immigrant Rightsseen this play out, some kind of hell to pay.  All of my grand kids enjoy this little activity as much as I do and we sit with our arms raised and follow along, folding down each of three fingers until we are left with a fist in the air.  Silence Power!

Two tiny children sat across from us and seemed to be enjoying the activity as well—maybe even more than us.  When talking was allowed again, the tiny boy leaned towards me and confided, “She (pointing to the tiny, grinning girl beside him) has her middle finger up.  That’s a bad word!”

Lily, ever her father’s child, dabbed her napkin against her chin, shoved another bite of ice cream sandwich in her mouth and asked me why a middle finger is a bad word.  I said I didn’t know.  I shrugged.  “Some people just think that,” I told her.

birdTiny Boy assured me that IT IS A BAD WORD! and said he was going to tell Ms. Gable. Middle Finger Girl grinned as Tiny Boy watched her hands under the table, presumably flipping him off, his eyes wide with a consuming and absolute joy.  Lily peeked under the table and shrugged.  My exact sentiment about the whole middle finger debacle. “I’m Telling!!” Tiny Boy said, over and over again.  He looked at me, likely for advice and backup.  I shook my head.  I advised him not to tell.  “Just eat your lunch,” I told him. He raised his tiny arm and looked around desperately for some other adult.  Ms. Ratched, perhaps.  For sure Ms. Ratched would want to know about Middle Finger Girl.  I leaned towards Tiny Boy.  “Nah…put your arm down.  Don’t be a fink.”  Middle Finger Girl grinned my way.  Apparently now bored with the whole thing, she dunked her burnt corn dog in a glop of ketchup. I told the Tiny people it was Lily’s birthday and they were pretty excited about that.  “I’m six!” Lily told them.

Before I could finish my burnt pizza, Lily interrupted the meal with an unscheduled tour of the condiment table, advising me to hold my tray under the ranch dressing pump whilecatinterest she pushed the silver knob down.  “Watch this!!” she told me. The Condiment Monitor eyed us, blank faced. Unimpressed. I told Lily I loved the ranch thing.  She grinned at me. “Yeah, me too,” she said. The Condiment Monitor coughed/grunted which I took to be an attempt at laughter or feigned interest in our delight. No need.

We realized too late that lunchtime was over and Lily had not eaten any of her crunchy corn dog. The Trashcan Monitor reached for her tray and said, “All finished?”  I advised him that she was not finished and he snapped his hand back, grabbed the trashcan handle and marched off to line it up with the others. He shot me a look from the trashcan lineup.

Lily worried about eating in the hallway as we tried to catch up with her classmates who were lined up and wandering towards a classroom.  Ms. Ratched lead the little people in  straight rows, reminding them over and over and over again to keep their hands to themselves and stay in line and “Stop touching people Miranda!”  and, of course, “WALK DON’T RUN!!”

Lily managed to get about half the corn dog bitten off the stick and somewhat chewed by the time we reached the front doors.  She handed me the stick with the remaining chunk of dried up, would-be corn dog and smiled up at me, mashed hot dog and bits of sugary cornbread spilling out of her mouth.  I told her happy birthday and kissed her tiny nose and she skipped down the hall with her tiny friends.  Happy Birthday Lily Belle.

lily1.jpg

Lily gazing at Luz’s birthday cake

Tagged , ,

TBT: Swimming With The Fishes

I haven’t written anything I can publish for public consumption lately but I came across a photo I promised to share with Sir Ozzy a long time ago.

It’s a photo of me fishing with my Uncle Joe a thousand years ago in the Florida Keys.  Joe was my dad’s brother, the two of them formidable members of the Fighting Bell Boys and along with the third member of this obscure but infamous trio, is retired to the great beyond. At least two of the Fighting Bell Boys are remembered with some measure of fondness.  My father isn’t one of those.

The boat was rumored to be owned by Jimmy Hoffa (uncle Joe had connections, he told me).  I ate a  raw shrimp on a dare that day.  All sailors eat raw shrimp, the fishermen told me. Looking back I realize it was just another cruel joke I fell for in my youth – never one to pass up a challenge of my grit and determination to fit in… somewhere.

I don’t have bad memories of this particular trip – it’s all part of the strange texture of my life.

fishing1

Be sure to check out Sir Ozzy’s blog for fun stories about his travels.

**I forgot to add that I caught several of those fish on the table there.  My stomach was black and blue the  next day from the fishing pole.**

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Nursing. It’s for Other People

shotI wrote this short piece for my blogroll blog and I don’t have many followers over there so I thought I’d drop a link here to share a quick story.  Also there is a link to one of my favorite bloggers (nutsrok).

 

 

I encouraged and consoled and used my best confidence-building pep talks during these calls but I worried.  I was out of my league. I could no more be a nurse than fly to the moon.  I lack empathy.  Continue…

 

Tagged , ,

Facebooking with Grandma:

Social Media 101 

 

selfie (3)

I took a quick scroll thru my FB feed before bed last night and recognized a particular young woman’s selfie among the hundreds of other selfies.  She is a friend of one of my kids and was dressed in some kind of lacy, low-cut top with plenty of cleavage on display. Continue reading

Tagged , , , ,

To My Husband’s Sisters-in-Law

july2013 visit VACATION MO 018Waz up?  Stop by anytime.

Looking for the Money Shot in Iowa

I remind myself constantly that cameras – while they may not lie exactly – only reveal snapshots.  How many times have you been questioned about the look on your face at a particular moment, “Are you mad?”   “What are you thinking about?”   In reality, your nose was itching, you remembered a forgotten task, you had a foot cramp,  or actually, you have no idea why your mouth turned up or your forehead wrinkled.   Looking at photos of my own self, I often wonder, What Was I Thinking??

Cameras hyper-focus an audience on the face and body language of its subjects.  We have these two-hour time frames during televised debates to stare at (and listen to) people talk and display a whole range of emotion, physical reaction and thought.  What  looks  like an arrogant smirk may well be the result of holding back a fart.  These are, after all, human beings.  Farts and all.

Televised debates are incredibly powerful influencers because we are so visual and so vain and so attracted to perfection and so fickle- always looking for that one tell-tale moment when the candidate reveals the whole Monty with that one  expression (the money shot?).

Or, maybe I’m just shallow.

I think these GOP (and most) candidates are courageous and patriotic and ultimately, love America.  I had a moment last night while watching the debate  when I was overcome with patriotism.   I watched these people on the stage in various camera angles, up-close-and-personal, and I just felt so strongly about all of them.  I was proud and touched by their courage to be up there. I was overcome with gratitude to be an American and I thought, for a minute, that these candidates are all mostly good, or want to be, and mostly trustworthy and mostly meant, or wish they meant, everything they said.  It was weird.

All of that, I think, is a result of  ‘seeing’ the people instead of  just hearing them.  I can’t help but wonder how much that affects my opinion and I am trying hard not to let it.  I often wonder how just ‘hearing’ and not ‘seeing’ the campaigns of 2008 would have changed the result.

Like so many other people watching, I am listening for ideas, platforms and issues that speak to me directly and that represent my exact vision of my country.  Therein, of course, lies the real debate.  What, exactly, is my vision?

I am certainly not liberal but I am also not a fringey right wing zealot.  Libertarian ideas appeal to

Here.. put this on…

me but I refuse to try on Ron Paul’s tin-foil cap – although I have toyed with the idea.    Other than the isolationist concepts, he has some pretty appealing platforms.

I want to like Bachmann.  After watching the debates (so far) I am starting to warm back up to her, although, she seems a bit high-maintenance for the job.  How long exactly, does all that make-up take her to apply  everyday?  I know, I know.  Shallow.  I don’t like any kind of religion in my politics but I do believe that we should base decisions on goodness and justice.   All of that goodness mostly comes from God, doesn’t it?   Whole ‘nuther subject there.  Extremism scares me.

I like Santorum.  I actually, probably, like him the most.  But – there’s that whole religion thing again.  I just don’t really give a shit what gay people do.  Get married, don’t get married.  I don’t care.  I do believe in a strong family unit and I don’t think it is affected by what gay people do or don’t do.  Either you are gay – or not.  Period.  I’m not.  My family unit looks pretty typical.  I don’t mind if my neighbor’s does not.

Huntsman ‘appears’ to be a bit smug and over-confident.  Maybe he just has gas.  I generally like his platforms, although, honestly, I have not studied him much.

Romney.  I like him.  He does not appear to be basing business decisions on any weird, cultish, Mormon philosophy.  He just seems like a regular Christian guy who is smart and decisive and a savvy business man.  He does make stupid faces while he listens to the other candidates.  I bet he never farts.

Perry- I just don’t know.  Hard not to like a cowboy from Texas.  He is easy on the eyes.   Is he smart enough?  Would he be true to American values?  Texas is one of the only states that is still thriving.  That says something.

Ultimately, Gingrich appears to be the wisest, smartest and most qualified.  He does have that baggage and there is something lurking there.. for me.. that keeps me reserved a bit.

I think I would be fairly comfortable with any of them.  Except Ron Paul.  I would be okay with him as VP, although Biden has proved that office to be fairly useless.

So… what are your thoughts?

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Okay, Now What?

Here's the low-revs, high-torque way to move c...

Here’s the low-revs, high-torque way to move cement blocks. And shiny! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the World’s Worst Dancer

My husband and I have a few indigenous dances we do regularly.   One has to do with dinner and my need for him to give a full account of his reaction to whatever I cook for him.    This one is pretty easy to figure out  and only gets complicated because of obvious personality disorders.

I cook because it is the only thing that I can do for him that he can’t – or won’t – do for himself. He does many things that I cannot do.  Changing the oil, putting on brakes, fixing random broken things, plunging out the toilet,  all the dirty, heavy jobs.  I can’t – and don’t want – to do any of that. When I see him carry out these unpleasant tasks, my heart is filled with a joy I cannot even put into words.  Not because I appreciate him and his sense of manly responsibility, but because I am so, so, so glad I don’t have to do it myself.

So I cook luscious meals for him that I know he could not figure out on his own and would not take the time to find a recipe.   This is the one thing I can do for him that he can’t do.  He loves food.  Almost as much as he loves a cold beer on Friday night.  He told me once that he worries about how much he loves food.  It was cute and funny but I realized how powerful food really is for him.

The thing is, I can cook fairly well but I don’t care anything about cooking.  So when I put a meal in front of him I need to know that it was worth my considerable effort. He knows this somehow.  So instead of just saying, “Oh, my gawd, I can’t believe how good this is…how did you do this??,” he pushes the food around and talks about the mower or his job or the upcoming tractor pull (my mind shrieks like a siren here) or how he needs to change some oil.

What he doesn’t talk about is how much he loves the food I have specially prepared for him.  It’s a game.  He knows I want to hear it.  He won’t say it.  So I ask.  And he says, “Yeah.  It’s fine.”  So I say, “You mean, um, like, ‘don’t make it again’ fine  Or, ‘it’s so-so’ fine or, like, exactly, what do you mean by fine?”

“Yeah, it’s good,”  is all I get the first go-round.  But it continues until I get what I want.  Which is to say, some form of, “This shit is so f*&*%&g good, you are a great – no- a remarkable- an unbelievable cook..”   Well actually, it never gets quite that good but the concept is there.  He really means to say all that stuff.  He just needs me to beg.  This goes along with his emotionally constipated personality, of which, he is a text-book example (More on that later).

But this is just the Food Dance.  I need to be told my food is good and that I am a good wife for making it.  And I am willing to beg to get it.  Not so much because I need to hear it.  More because I need to break through his control of the situation and force him to say the words.  That may go along with my controlling personality.  And, I like to win.

Tonight’s dance, though, speaks more to how boring and ill-suited we are to each other.  He was supposed to be at a tractor pull and I was thrilled that,  A. He did not ask me to go and B. I was going to eat Mexican food that somebody else, somebody who loves to cook, was making for dinner.   But he didn’t go to the tractor pull.  It rained. They canceled the tractor portion of the event.   He didn’t feel well.  And, to make things strange right out of the chute, he asked me to stay home with him instead of going to eat Mexican food.  I can’t remember him ever doing that before,  so, because it was so strange a request, I compromised.   I went to eat but promised to be home quickly.

I got home as promised and that surprised him because I am not generally home quickly or early and sometimes not until very late.  I think out of sheer gratitude he figured he would do something that I like to do for a change and play on the computer.  He actually pulled up a chair and suggested we look at something fun on the internet.  I assumed he meant porn so I tried to find some but he insisted he did not mean porn so I landed on – BIG ASS CHEVY TRUCKS WITH 10 INCH LIFTS on You Tube.  He was thrilled.  And felt so generous, I think.  That he would actually sit here and play on the internet, like I like to do, and to be so very gracious and magnanimous about the whole thing made him feel especially pleased with himself.

I did not have the heart to tell him that THIS IS NOT HOW I PLAY ON THE INTERNET.  And that watching big-assed Chevy trucks  in-person or on You Tube is the equivalent of me asking him to help me sew buttons on a new doll dress that I made or for gawd’s sake read a book.  For the record, I do not make doll dresses.

But, here we sat.  Him hating the computer and the internet and me hating big-assed Chevy trucks – which apparently rate a whole 2 minute video if they can sit still and spin their tires long enough to create smoke and all kinds of shirtless guys in boots running around laughing and high-fiving.  We spent 45 minutes watching this.  It was excruciating.  Possibly for both of us.

This is a new kind of dance.  Our kids are all gone now so we keep finding ourselves alone in the evening asking,

“Wanna’ watch a movie?” Nah.     “Wanna’ go fishing?” No thanks.     “Wanna learn to crochet?” Um, no.    “Wanna see if my tires will spin and smoke?”  Seriously?      “Want me to cook?”

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Cool MomMy mom now has a blog.  Nevapaints.  It’s funny.  She’s

a good writer.  I am guessing it will be wildly popular.  It has almost inspired me to get a real job.  Soon.

http://nevapaints.blogspot.com/

Too Cool for a Rocker

Tagged , , , ,

Just When you Thought I’d Learned my Lesson..

This is not my eye

I’m back.  Older, fatter and yes, smarter.

Not a day has gone by that I haven’t imagined myself sitting here, as I am now, blasting the author of some ridiculous opinion, some hideously crafted article (complete with misleading headline and obviously incorrect data) or a random comment heard accidentally in a conversation of which I was not even a participant.  To be perfectly frank, sometimes it all comes down to a stupid Facebook post.   I am constantly writing a response.  In my head.

I think of writing nearly all the time.   Whether it is a response to the above mentioned events or some evolving thought of my own which, as I am driving or pushing my shopping cart or cooking a meal or otherwise trapped somewhere without a keyboard, develops and snowballs in my mind until I am nearly chewing my teeth into dust because- as I said- I am so often trapped without a keyboard.   Or, I have a keyboard but I am somehow, inexplicably, adhering to the rules of survival and actually working.  It’s an FML kind of thing.   I want to write.  All the time.

Unfortunately (depending on my perspective at any given second), I have to shop, cook, work and otherwise fulfill my obligations as a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, friend, blah, blah, blah.. you know the deal.  You have the same deal, if you are lucky.  If you don’t have the same deal, you are either unlucky or smart (…depending on my perspective at any given second).

So, I’m back.  I have several blogs and websites.  I have not even added up my annual expense to maintain these sites.   I don’t care.  I need them.

It’s nearly midnight and because tomorrow I am booked solid with events that do not involve writing in any way, I have to go to bed.  It will take me 30 minutes to get to sleep once I get there because I will be crafting my second blog until I finally cark it for the day. 

If I stay up and write, which is what I would rather do, my other events tomorrow  will be attended with raw frustration and bitchiness.  My second goal in life is to enjoy doing things that do not involve writing or wanting to write.  It’s healthy.  I need it.  So I am going to bed.

In the words of the once revered and now scandalized ex-governor of California, I’ll be back.  I promise me.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: