Sunday, January 30, 2011

Raw Hide

During a trip back home, you never know what kind of stories will pop up. Today, my family and I were talking about spankings when I recalled my only memory of a belt spanking. My brother Doug and I were into it, can't recall why, and I called him a bastard. Oh, the horror! Such a strong word. Well, my dad was non too happy about this absurd word. And I remember my dad taking off his belt and me running like the wind. I should have run for the door. Dad would never have caught me. Instead, I was cornered in a bedroom. I learned a lot from that experience. I learned that if I was ever going to call my brother a name, I was going to do it when dad was not around!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

That's For Girls

Apparently, only girls should take dance lessons. Jack likes some kind of show on TV that features four teens who sing and dance, so I suggested he take dance classes. "No, that's for girls," he replied. He seemed upset that I even considered signing him up for anything involving dance and girls.

Jack love to play ball. Today, he was itching to get out and play. I suggested we sign him up for tee ball someday. "No, that's for girls," he said. I think Mike and I were finally able to convince him that boys and girls play tee ball. Too bad you have to be kindergarten age around here to play tee ball. Jack would play better than some of the appropriately-aged kids.

Did you see the hooligan running in church after mass was over? Yes, that was Jack. I don't know why he thinks it's okay to throw caution to the wind and run down the aisles and through the pews. Most of the people were gone by then but there were still a few lingering. I looked up and saw a woman a couple of pews back laughing. I had to laugh too. Too bad it's not proper to run in church. Jack has the power to make me laugh when he's being a naughty boy.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Goodbye India

I am worn out. Over the last couple of months I have been working on a video promoting the local university and city to India. Yes, India. Turns out they have really smart people there who have money. Well, we want some of those smarties and their money would be nice too. And, while you're at it, why don't you send your kids to college here? Anyway, after 9 interviews, 22 pages of transcribed interviews, several script revisions and a multitude of skipped lunches, the majority of the 10 minute video is done. Three people viewed it today. A few more will view it on Monday. Hopefully, there are no more changes so I can move on to a different project. I felt exhausted this afternoon, like my brain had checked out for the day and was replaced with fog. To celebrate the almost-end of this project, my husband took me out for dinner tonight. And guess what we had for dinner? Mexican! And you thought I was going to say Indian.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


You may know that I visit a few friends in a nearby retirement home. I started this church ministry as a way to honor a grandmother who died while I was in college. Grandma Rose was half of my namesake, a cute, pudgy woman with a German accent. I can still remember her heavy voice. Some of the things I recall - she always had a steady supply of microwave popcorn and Juicy Fruit gum. She shooed cats off of her carport with a broom. And she grew the best tomato plants.

Back to the people I visit. They have become wonderful friends. They live in small, over-priced rooms that resemble apartment complexes. With the close quarters, they get to know one another a little too well. And, at a time when you would think age would begin to equal our differences and yes, annoyances, they only seem to exacerbate them. Thanks to my friends, I get to hear about the politics of the place and some of its quirky residents.

One of my sweet friends is 97 years old. One glance her way and you'd think she was merely in her 80's. A week ago, she described one of the residents like you might describe someone in high school. The annoying character is a male who likes to have his way. "No one likes him." He has requested that some of the BINGO time be converted to UNO time. She said he reminds her of a pig. This is the story he likes to tell people: when he was born, his parents put him in the cellar to see if he would grunt or cry first.

Totally cracked me up.

It is almost refreshing to know that we don't lose our sense of the annoying when we get older. If anything, we are more likely to lose our tolerance and say something about it. When you're close to 100, you might as well speak your mind.

The Knock Out

Mike was clocked by our four-year-old nephew this week. The object hit - hard. When I look at Mike I do a double-take. It looks like he has purple eye shadow on one eye. He's being a big baby and won't let me take a picture of it for posterity or at least a good laugh. All he needs is some mascara.


Jack is a quirky little boy. He likes things to be in order, the way they "should be." You could call him anal retentive. On the way to work this morning, Jack mentioned the frost still on my windows. Now, the majority was off but there was still a little on the edge. He mentioned it once. I said, "Mommy's driving." And then he mentioned it a second time, "You gotta get that off."

At three-years-old, you never know what's going to pop out of Jack's mouth. This morning, Mike tried to hug him and after a little while Jack said, "You're crazy." A little later, I tried to hold him and he said, "You're crazy too."

Speaking of "too's"...if you say that you like something and Jack also likes it, he will say, "Me three," not "Me too." After all, he's no longer 2. He's a big boy.

As we were gathered for dinner tonight and praying before our meal, Jack was acting up. I said, "Don't you want to thank God for our blessings?" Jack said, "No, thank Jesus."

We went to a family get-together last weekend and Jack made a few new friends. Later when we prayed and thanked God for our blessings, he thanked God for the "girl friends and boy friends" he made.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Another Jack Zinger

Jack took his sealed sippy cup and gestured it to Mike tonight. "I'm spraying you daddy." Then threw his free hand in the air and said, "Just kidding!" This happened several times to Mike and then me. What a goob.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jack, the Sly One

I am so glad to be home tonight safe with my family. I am amazed at how much snow we are receiving this year. There have been times in the past when I have moaned about the lack of snow - not this year!

On my way home, driving through the crazy stuff, Jack decided to ease the tension a bit. Although my eyes were glued to the road, I could hear him in the back making airplane noises. "See the airplane? Made you look mommy."

What a goober! I remember doing this in gradeschool. But Jack is only 3 years-old. Where did he learn this? I asked him, assuming some kid at daycare. He said, "Me," as in, he made it up. Probably someone at daycare through who has older siblings. I wonder what he'll learn next.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Last Holiday Party

"The Spirit of Christmas."

We have had a wonderful weekend. We kicked it off by going to Jack's Aunt Jay's basketball game on Saturday. Her team won against its opponent in the tournament. On Sunday, we attended a family Christmas/New Years get-together. The day kicked off with a delicious brunch followed by wine tasting and later, the infamous white elephant gift exchange. Thirty-two people participated in the exchange. It was crazy and fun. Jack ended up with a small fishing pole - totally cute and perfect. Mike received Elvis mugs, hot chocolate and mini Elvis sunglasses. I received an adorable metallic deer, perfect for decorating. 

We stayed home today, waiting fot the ice/rain that never came. Ha, ha. It was a nice day off thanks to the wonderful man known as Martin Luther King, Jr. Back to the old grindstone tomorrow.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes

All the kiddos who plan on making their First Communion were asked to come up to the front of the church tonight. The priest asked them if they want to receive First Communion. Most of them said yes, except for one little guy who said, "I think so" which made many chuckle.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Power of the Almighty Dollar

My co-worker and I had a shoot at the local airport today. While we were there we checked out a couple of hangars with airplanes. One plane is owned by a big-time business owner. When they travel to a bigger city, they fly. Keep in mind, the city is only about 2 hours away. Isn't it amazing what money can buy?

Jack, show me one finger

But that's not the finger he held up at daycare today. (Hint: where is tall one? Where is tall one?)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Spine in Time

I am working on a video that will promote the city and local university to India. The primary objective is to attract the minds of the country's students and researchers while also attracting money and jobs for the community. We interviewed the Dean of the School of Medicine today. The interview took place in the "Rare Books" room of the school's library. The spines on the old books looked amazing. One book's title caught my eye and made me chuckle.

"A short description of the human muscles chiefly as they appear on dissection together with their several uses and the synonyms of the best authors."

Really - short?

Sometimes the Truth Hurts

The following conversation took place between Jack and me around 5:45 p.m. last night.

Jack: "I want to go to the park."

Me: "Honey, it's too dark. We'll go when it gets warmer. I'll push you on the swings."

Jack: "Yeah, you push me on the swings higher."

Me: "And when you're done, you can push me on the swings."

Jack: "No, your big butt break swing."

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

I love it when I see silly, stupid signs. Saw this sign tonight at a taco joint. True story.

"Try Are Super Nachos."

Uh, try a dictionary.

The Anti 4 Way Stop Rules

It seems that half of the drivers out there these days do not know what to do at a 4 way intersection. (Law & Order da-da sound). These are their rules.

1) Step on the gas as you approach a 4-way stop. As you prepare to yield at the stop sign, scope out the competition. Notice if there are any cars at any of the other stops, or if there are any approaching at the same time.

2) Sporadically apply the gas and brake to let the competition know that you mean business. Notice if there is something blocking your view in the cross walk lines. Determine if you will miss the object or just clip them in a harmless tag "you're it" sort-of-way.

3) Look to see if the other three cars have come to a complete stop. If so, then lay on the gas and let 'er rip. If you don't get hit, you've found an excellent way to prolong the life of your brakes.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Life In Perspective

I was waiting at the pharmacy this afternoon when I found myself sitting next to an older man. He had a bit of a cough so we started chatting about what was going on in my household. I assumed he was experiencing the same thing. "No," he said, "my 25-year-old grandson was recently killed in a car accident."

So, what do you say to that? We talked about seat belts. His grandson wasn't wearing one. The young man lost control of his vehicle on a rainy day. We also talked about texting and how dangerous that can be. This grandpa was at the store to pick up medicine to help settle his nerves and process his grief.

I remember when this state's law came out about the use of seatbelts. My dad and uncle Henry joked about printing t-shirts with seatbelt graphics on them. Like that would fool the cops. Now, using a seatbelt is a habit. I would feel vulnerable without one.

Sometimes life forces us to slow down and reflect on our blessings. I thank God for my blessings all the time, but when I hugged my 3-year-old tonight I held on to him a little longer.

...On another note, my friend's baby girl grows stronger everyday. God is great! The power of faith and prayer are amazing.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A Bunch of Sickos

Well, it's back to work tomorrow - I think. We're still in recovery mode here, pretty much quarantined ourselves during this three day weekend. Jack entertained us by pretending to be a puppy one minute and then playing basketball the next.
Hopefully, we'll feel good enough to celebrate the New Year next weekend.