Saturday, December 28, 2013

Limburger cheese and Sardines

It's been a lifetime ago, but my nose can smell it like it is right here as I puppy-sit my grand dog.

New Year's Eve every year when I was a little kid was at Grandma Burkhart's house.  The old ladies and the little kids.  A night of disaster waiting to happen.  

Liberace on PBS in all his glitter.  Snacks in the kitchen.  Plastic horns awaiting lots of blowing.  Ultimately being taken away when we would hide them in the bed and blow them all night.  There was nothing scarier in the darkness than Aunt Thelma without her wiglet when you are a little kid except...

Limburger cheese and sardines in that cabinet in the kitchen.  Grandma Fuller would open it, and the smell...it was not for anyone who didn't have a steel stomach.  She would eat it at midnight saying it was for luck.  It was a witch's potion for longevity I think.  All it did was give me nightmares and her bad breath! 

New Year's Eve is upon us again.  No cheese, no sardines, no wiglets,  just the memories of relatives trying to take care of 3 rambunctious little kids who have all grown up really well.  I guess the cheese and sardines worked.  Maybe the wish of luck wasn't for her, but for us.  

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas thoughts - I am a lucky woman

For my kids
For my husband of 25 years
For my dogs
For my crazy parents who made me crazy and my bros 
For my Son-In-Law
For the Abrams 
For unanswered and answered prayers (Yay God!) 
For my wondrous friends
For my new job
For my straight teeth
For my coworkers in the Q unit
For my grand-dog 
For Christmas music 

For everything and everyone in my mind that isn't coming to my mind... I love this time of year.  Lessons are always taught to me.  Each year I get a little better at listening to them. 

And I can't close without, BOOM!  Ian, I will never forget you! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Something is clearly wrong with him

The picture tells the tale.  25 years.
Was the night before New Years and all through the house
everyone was stirring even a mouse.  
The church was decorated by the patrons with care 
in hopes that a wedding would take place there.  
The people were dressed up all beautiful I had said 
while visions of marriage danced through their heads.  
Michael in his tux and I in my dress 
were just settling in for a go of it, more or less.  
When just a bit later there arose such a clatter, 
Michael sprang to his Jeep to see what the matter.  
Into the world they flew like a flash, 
Erica, Erin, and Emmy (they would require a lot of cash).  
Many times over the years we played in the snow, 
and I would gaze upon my man and my girls until I would glow.  
Year after year wonderous things would appear 
including many dogs, cars, happiness and tears.
Life happened, many times lively and quick
Sometimes slower, when someone was sick
The great times how rapid they came
I know I yelled and shouted and sometimes called coaches names
Now baking, and cooking, cleaning, and fixin
Building and replacing, barking and licking
To the top of their class, to hear their names called
Kick away, hit away, play away, all
We tried hard to make our way, even when inside he would whistle
And away the years flew like the down of a thistle
But I must exclaim as I am amazed to still be his wife
25 years down, let's have 25 years more of a wonderful life






Friday, December 6, 2013

The First Snow

The first snow of the season is always so fun.  It makes me happy and nostalgic.

Junior running relentlessly through the snow as if he is laughing and singing with his hair blowing in the breeze and then running upstairs and jumping under the covers.
Emmy shoveling with her dad.
The girls making snow angels.
Bundling the girls up until they couldn't move to play outside. Warming them up when they came back in.
Hot Chocolate.
Norman stuck in the way back because the snow was too high.
Seeing only Sunshine's head.
Carving out a path through the backyard so the dogs could poop.
Eating snow.  Before your mom told you what was likely in it. 
Salting the back porch so Lilly doesn't slip and hurt her bum leg.
Getting hit in the face with a tobaggan and having my braces fall off.
Forts.
Icicles hanging from the roof.
Tunneling in the storm of 78 to deliver papers.
Cream horns at the bakery.
Watching snow flakes land and realizing just how beautiful they are.

Enjoy the snow.  Keep your heart warm and your memories close by.  


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Take that candied yams!

I wasn't always the super pleasant person I am today.  I know it is hard to believe.  I once had a temper and was kinda mean to people.  I know, say it ain't so...

My favorite "you are outta your mind" episode occurred one Thanksgiving.  Everyone kept asking me "do you want help?"  Now if I want help I will say I want help.  After the 10,000th time of hearing that, I had just opened the oven where the candied yams were baking.  I picked up the pan and the load shifted.  Yep bad news when you are talking about yams and aluminum.  So in one of my epic moments, I decided to just throw the pan on the floor and proclaim "I need a bit of help."

My mom was like "Jesus Shelley, all you had to say was stop asking me for help." Oh snap, the eyeball rolls, laser-eye looks, and snarky remarks clearly didn't speak loud enough.  Sunshine enjoyed the yams.  I think my kitchen is still sticky in places from that day and it was over a decade ago.  I don't know if that speaks to my cleaning abilities or the force I exerted on that food item.

Happy Thanksgiving to all and may you always have much for which to be thankful.  Gobble Gobble 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Big Norm

Today would have been Stormin' Norman's 17th birthday.  He was a phenomenal dog.  A miniature schnauzer of which nothing was miniature.  He was salt and pepper in color, had oversized organs and was a hulking 40 lbs.  He would lumber about all the time.  Nothing really made him crazy.  When he would go outside he would mosey about for a long time.

In the winter when the snow flew, he would go to the back of the yard and then refuse to come in.  We would have to go lift up that lug and bring him in.  He was heavy.

He was the first dog we ever had that Michael liked.  He would pet Norm in secret and then deny it if we asked.  He would rub Norm's belly and if we came in, he would act as though Norm had gotten in trouble.

Norm had a chair.  It was the blue lazy boy, which clearly described his nature.  If someone was in his chair, he would just hop up there and sit right on them if he had to.  He and Erin fought about that chair for a long time.  Now Elly lays in that chair.  

Junior reminds us of Norm and on this day, it comforts me to look at Junior and remember Norm fondly.  I do so hope there is a dog section in Heaven.  Norman is there sitting in a comfy chair and eating a bone.  He is likely sitting next to Sunshine whose beard is orange from just having raided some Angel's garbage who ate Spaghettios. 
Elly enjoying Norm's chair 


Cinder Elly, Cinder-Elly!

This is Elly.  Erin rescued her from the shelter.  She has 3 legs as a result of an October car accident which is what led her to be in a shelter.  She is healing well and is adapting amazingly.  She has more spunk and life in her than most 4 legged animals and most 2 legged people! 

I get to puppy sit her on weekends when Erin has to work. She is so loving.  When she comes up to you she leans into your body to rest her little tripawd frame.  She has a tongue about a foot long that you don't even see coming and then BOOM, you have been slobbered upon.  

If the Disney story is any indication of how her life will turn out, this Cinder-Elly is in for the best life ever!
 


Thursday, November 14, 2013

It all started with a Big Bang

It's 8 o'clock.  Time for the Big Bang Theory.  We watch every Thursday night.  Usually our eldest serenades us with the theme song.  She, though, is living with her husband out of state.  Funny how you miss what seemed like a little thing.  Then as if on queue:


We are serenaded yet again...via text.  I love my children.  Happy Throwback Thursday.  What happy memory are you having tonight? 




Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Crisco, butter knife, and a tic tac

Desperation is the mother of invention, or something like that.  Well, actually I think it is more like, I think a butter knife will work.  MacGyver has nothing on me.

Got a piece of loose carpet, tuck it with a butter knife
Need paint opened and stirred, butter knife and plunger
Want to open the washer latch before the washer stops, butter knife
Your dad wants to make a point, butter knife slips right to your chest
Need to open mail, butter knife
Open the back of a watch, butter knife
Need to turn a screw, butter knife

Then there is Crisco...fries chicken, eliminates creaky hinges, removes bags under your eyes, great to make cookies, and outstanding as a night hand and foot cream.

I'm gonna go suck on that tic tac and then break someone out of jail with my cool household items...

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Damn Zombies

Someone slap me.  Every once in a while I get the feeling that I can handle a spooky movie or tv show.  Tonight was one of those nights.

Twenty minutes into American Horror Story and I am a wreck.  I am in a hotel in another state with all the lights on and the door bolted shut.  I have a fork damnit!

Really?! How ridiculous am I right now?

At least I will be able to see the Zombies in the doorway of my suite before they lick my bones clean and likely use that fork I was protecting myself with to eat my eyeballs.

One day I will be free to watch these shows without the "after effects."  Until then I relish the weekly challenge!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Tootsie Pop

As I look at all the inventive Halloween costumes that kids wear these days, I am reminded of the costume I wore when I was 9.  My mom made me a tootsie pop.  That's right.  I was a bright red sucker.  Explains a lot.

Many a Halloween we traveled about our neighborhood that was rich with kids and houses that gave out lots of candy, popcorn balls and other great things.  The best was the house that gave out FULL SIZED Hershey bars.  You waited all year for that day.  I remember coming home, pouring out the candy on the floor, having my mom sort it for razor blades and other murderous devices.  In the background would always be a scary movie.

Channel 59 had the best horror flicks.  The classics with Boris Karloff, Vincent Price, and Lon Cheney.  I always loved when this most spectacular holiday fell on a Friday or Saturday night because then I was allowed to stay up and watch the whole movie.  I would finally fall asleep when my little eyelids could no longer stay open after hours of waiting for the Mummy or Frankenstein to break into my room.

Ah, the good ol' days.  I still love watching those old movies.  I am glad no monsters will be breaking into my house to haunt me...or will they...mwahahahahahahaha!!!!!  



Friday, October 25, 2013

They want my fries

These are my terrible dogs.  This is what I see after a long week of mentally tiring work and all I want to do is eat my waffle fries and ketchup.  Where do they learn this look?  Why do I give them my fries?  Why is my finger in this photo? What is the meaning of life?  Why did those kids steal my bike when I was 11? Clearly I am mentally tired and can't focus... Who am I talking to?  Is this my blog?  I'm going to bed.  


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Have you ever...

- Gotten out of the shower and your hair is still dry, damnit
- Pumped gas and then realized you never turned off your car
- Drove into work, got out of your car, locked it, and then realized it is still running
- Filled your car with groceries, closed the trunk and realized your keys are locked inside along with your kids who are all under 4 years old.
- Pulled into McDonalds, placed an order, almost get to the window, realized you didn't have your wallet and just drive away.
- Forgotten to pick up your child from after school activities after a long day's work 
- Left a full cart of groceries in the middle of the store after your kids said "I want that" one too many times
- Worn one blue shoe and one black cuz you had to be to work at 3 am and you dressed in the dark 
- Hated the color of your outfit so you went to the mall at lunch, bought another and threw the other one in the trash.

Yeah, me neither... 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Bill

So today Erica and Joe went to the Commissary.  Erica called me and said, "I'm going to pick up a bag of Twizzlers and leave them on the front porch."  Bill used to do that.  Bill was my husband's dad.

It was an interesting relationship with Grandpa Bill.  Many a time when the girls were young, I would get off work, pick them up, and upon our arrival at home there would be something sitting on the bench on the porch.  Candy, pork chops, all kind of things.  Never a note, just a gift.  Personally I think he was making up for maybe what he thought were failings with his own children.  We all have the things we would have done differently.

During this time, he would help us out if I had to work late or Michael did, and pick our girls up from school or take them to practices.  He would never go in.  He would sit in the car and wait for them.  I think they really loved it.  I think he enjoyed it.  I know I really appreciated it.  

Bill died from the big C and was cremated.  I think before he passed he reconciled all those demons he had from a life that in many ways was hard lived.  Now this next part can be taken in different ways.

We still have his ashes.  They are in a flask in the truck.  When Erin used to drive the truck, she would open the console and say "Hi Grandpa."  Yep, that's how we roll.  We don't just carry around memories...

He definitely had an impact and loved the girls.  It was fun to take a trip down this particular memory lane.  We still have the bench on the porch.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Best Places to Pee

That's right.  I have decided that with my worldly travels over the last 13 years I should write a coffee table book on the best places to pee or rather "what to expect when peeing in different countries."  Why should great experiences such as this go unshared?  Exactly, it is my duty to do this.  I think I have some friends who would be all in and help me write it (for a cut of course!)... Andrea, Pat...

Chapter one:  Pay for Pee: 30 pence or no peeing at the Basingstoke train station
Chapter four:  Men and Women welcome: Hope you are comfortable peeing with others - the Netherlands 
Chapter twenty-six:  Only sexy women allowed: Brazil.  Actually all women in Brazil see themselves as sexy.  We could learn much from them!

Look for this interesting and informative piece of reading at a bookstore near you soon! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

What's in a name

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a commonly quoted part of a dialogue in William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet, in which Juliet argues that the names of things do not matter, only what things "are".  

Well let me tell you THAT is BULLSHIT.  The government better get their act together right now.  They got Erica's name change wrong on her social security card and then they shut down. 

Because the name on it rhymes, I thought it would be kind of entertaining.  Well, bad parenting moment.  She was a little angry and by little I mean REALLY PISSED!!!

So I am now getting in my car and am headed to Washington DC.  As a parent it is my job to assure my children's happiness.  For those who know me, get your bail money ready.  Chances are my influence will be misinterpreted (clearly due to my sparkling personality) and I will be tossed in the federal klink.  

Congress, you best start preparing for my arrival.  



Everybody was Kung Fu fighting

I worked for Osco during college.  It was the 11-7 shift.  Yep all night long.  It was just me and the Pharmacist.  This was back when there was regular tv and no shows were on after like 2 am.  So I would come in and wait for the other girl to leave.  I would grab a little tv from the electronics case, plug it in and watch this station that only showed Kung Fu movies.  

Usually about an hour after the movies ended, I would fall asleep behind the register.  No one ever came in except the alcoholics to buy the cough syrup that was behind the pharmacy counter.

All was good until one night whilst I was asleep on the job, there came a pounding on the register counter.  I banged my head on the counter as I stood up and promptly said, "I wasn't sleeping."  The police officer just laughed and said, "Yes you were."  He then told me that I was probably really lucky I had fallen asleep because a guy had just robbed the store and they caught him as he was leaving.  Turns out the Pharmacist was asleep too.  

The funny thing was that there was a Dunkin Donuts just behind the Osco and there were always like 3 cops there.  This was one of them.  I suppose I could have tossed out a joke at that moment, but considering he agreed not to tell my boss of my slacking off, I remained silent.

I stayed awake after that.  And I paid attention to the movies.  The next robbery, I was going to bust a move on those criminals.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Annual

Ah, a woman's favorite time of the year - the annual exam.  It used to really bother me, then I had children.  Once you have had that many people see your parts, the annual is a non-event.

Doctor: I have a student doctor here today, may she observe?
Me: Sounds great! Don't judge me...
Doctor: We only do Paps every 3 years now, so you don't have to have one this year.
Me:  I am so disappointed. 
Doctor: I see you need to have a mammogram. I will get you scheduled.  Can you do it before you leave? 
Me: Sure.  I thought this morning when I got up that it would be a great day for boob-smashing.  Turns out it will be.
Doctor: Do you check your breast regularly?
Me: Nope, that's why I got married, so I wouldn't have to mow or check my boobs. 
Doctor:  I do enjoy your visit every year.  You make me laugh.
Me:  it's what I do.  Thanks Doc. See ya next year, same bat time, same bat channel.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Not exactly calm

Today is the wedding day.  I awake and begin to let the dogs out.  Lilly doesn't move at all.  Immediately I am like, well if she is dead I will just cover her up and avoid any discussion of her so as to not upset anyone.  At that moment she looks at me like 'you are one neurotic woman' and starts downstairs.

I complete this task and Michael says, "Where's Emmy?"  Shit. She went to a sorority thing and didn't come home. Great...she's been eaten by wolves.  How will I explain that without alarming anyone on this day?  Maybe it will be like Sixteen Candles when everyone forgets about Molly Ringwold's character.  Then the garage door opens as if on queue and as she walks in, Erica beckons her to the bathroom to help with hair.

So far I have been prepared to explain two deaths...I think I am handling this really well...


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Seven Days

No I am not talking about that crazy horror flick where the girl comes out of the well. 

There are just seven days until my eldest gets married.  I can hardly believe how fast the time has gone from childhood to this moment.

She has always been the experimental child.  The first always is.  You try everything on them and then adjust with the others.  I have apologized over and over for this.  

They just left for the bachelorette party.  It is simple and tasteful.  That is her style.  Although there is a designated driver (our under 21 child), we're not stupid.  

If I had to do things over again would I change them?  Sure I would.  I know more now.  I hope she learned as much as I did and knows better when she is raising her kids.  

I think we might have to get in a trip to an orchard before she rides off into her life.  One last hurrah with just the five of us. And me taking 2000 pictures like it will bring the past back or freeze time. 

Life is good.  Don't look back, just forward.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

He was never sick

This is probably the grossest thing I have written about. Autocorrect thinks I am talking about hockey. 

I don't remember my older brother getting sick when I was little.  Now he had the occasional horrible illness like chickenpox and mumps, but that's kinda it.  I think I know why: hockers.

When we were little we had a house with a pool.  Around the pool was a red fence, at least I think it was red.  The cool thing for my brother, cousins, and all his boy friends to do was muster up slime from their innards and try to hit the bottom of the fence just right so it would dangle and dry right there.  Yep long lines of dried snot just beyond the picturesque yard that we spent time on our hands and knees pulling weeds in. 

As I sit here I can hear them laughing.  My brother's laugh was contagious.  (When he watched Monty Python downstairs at night I would hear him laughing as I lay in my bed and I would start laughing.)  Laughing and spitting.  I am certain that anything that entered their bodies that could possibly be sucked up was and then it was left as 70s yard art. Viruses, bacteria, and likely other nasty boy stuff never had a chance.  The really disgusting thing for me though is that I am quite certain on occasion it would fascinate me so much I would wander over and touch it. Okay, nothing will ever be grosser than that. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Almost lost a dog today


See that dog peering over the screen and the mammoth spider?  Sampson came close to meeting his maker today.  As I took him out back this morning to give bones and water to the dog next door, I saw it, but he in his vigor did not.  He went flying out the back door.  As he passed through the outer edge of the web the spider quickly dashed in his direction.

I can admit that apparently I have found the extent of my love.  If you move through a web with a monster spider on it, I will not save you.  There I said it.  I will indeed stand watching as you are eaten and will only then probably go get a bottle of Raid and spray everything within my vision stream until nothing moves.  

It would have been just awful enjoying the first Sunday of the NFL season if the morning would have gone horror movie wrong.  Enjoy the day everyone.  May your day be spiderless. 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

They're heeeere

Well it appears someone is in our house. Okay we may be just a little jumpy...you be the judge.

Erica and I were just sitting in the living room this evening watching the news.  Well sort of.  I had my head in my iPad and she in hers.  A commercial came on, then it happened.

Just as the commercial was transitioning back to the news, a person appeared on the screen for just a second and said "Erica." Then the news appeared.  The silence in our living room was deafening.

I looked over to Erica and she was already looking at me.  "Did you hear that?" I repeated, "Did you hear that?"  Erica finally spoke and said, "that was super creepy."  We sat in silence for a while longer.

Let's hope it's not a poltergeist and that it is in a good mood...always.

My hair is still standing up...I guess the Halloween season has officially begun.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This little dog

This little dog occasionally acts out by pooping on the floor.  He barks a lot.  A lot.  If a truck passes by, someone slams their car door, or he gets spooked - he barks.  Most of the time he doesn't even know what he is barking at.  

He thinks he is the boss.  He acts like the boss.  If he feels like you are ignoring the boss, he poops.

This little dog is named after Stormin' Norman.  Norm passed in 2009.  Junior reminds us of him although he is less than half Norm's size.

He is protective.  He isn't afraid to take a nip at someone who looks like they are trying to get close to me.  He is goofy and joyful.  He loves to jump up in the chair and snag any food you have left behind on a plate.  He likes to look like he didn't do it.

Is he well trained, no.  Is he smart, yes.

Every day I come home I hear him joyfully barking waiting for me to come through the door.  Every day I am thrilled he is there. 

This little dog runs in a circle when he wants a walk. He is tired after we get to the corner and back.  When he is tired you have to carry him and he lays like a dead weight in your arms. He loves to ride in the truck on the center console.  He can be the boss there.

This little dog loves other dogs.  I am certain he judges them.  He knows he is better, but he befriends them nonetheless.  

This little dog....

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Throwback Thursday

For this Throwback Thursday I remember Mr. Hultgren.  He was my 6th grade teacher.  He was an old but long and lean glass of water.  His voice was deep and thunderous with an old man scratch to it. He taught me the words gestalt!  And gesundheit!  He loved to use German words in class. 

Edgewood Elementary is where I spent 5th and 6th grades.  It was a nice school in a great neighborhood.  We had a lot of cool playground toys.  And yes we had a cement playground area not the rubber ones or wood-chipped ones of today. We had this one really cool apparatus.  It was a huge round metal swing set with a great big blue ball that hung from the top center beam on a chain. That was the toy of choice.  We had to have a sign up list to get to play on it.  Everyone would swing and kick that ball around.  It was GREAT!  Then someone stole it...  We didn't need a sign up list after that. Mr. Hultgren would say that they must have needed it more than we did.  

I met some memorable kids that year, Dotty Linsemeyer, Joy Buckingham, Lori Marriott, and Mark.  I don't remember Mark's last name, but he was one of those boys who had facial hair already.  I stayed away from him.  I can still feel his eyes looking at me.  Made you feel dirty.  I think he had a lot of sex, even at 12. 

Sixth grade was one of my favorites.  Ah, Throwback Thursday, remembering the good ol' days.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aunt Thelma rides again

Emmy is working on her photography project and has our dining room all askew.  And funny enough Aunt Thelma is here.  How do you say? It's a fruit themed project. Each photo has to have a word associated with it. Em picked strawberries. And everyone knows Strawberries = Jello = Family.  Every holiday; every year. 

I still remember the crying when she came flying down the hallway at my grandma's house without her wiglet on and scared us.  She didn't have a lot of hair and we didn't recognize her.  She was so ahead of her time.  Now wigs are all the rage. 

I am sure Aunt Thelma is smiling.  She lives on through her great, great niece's artwork. 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The original street walkers

Why did this come into my mind? I have no idea...

When you think of a street walker and you are my age, that is typically better known as a prostitute. But I know who the original street walkers were; my great-grandmother told me.

I was probably about 9 or 10 and was at my grandma's house.  We were watching the news which came out of Chicago.  There was a story about crime and cracking down on a ring of prostitution.  My grandma said back in the 20s women walked the streets to get away from their husbands always wanting sex.  There was a lot of drinking and carousing so the only way women could catch a break was to walk the streets until late into the morning when they would return to a sleeping husband and some peace. 

Apparently that was mistaken for illicit activity and the term stuck.  So now you know.  Once upon a time women walked the streets to get away from sex. Now they walk the streets looking for it.

That's a history lesson I definitely remembered. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Penance

Sometimes you are given certain opportunities to help you see things you didn't before.  If you are lucky enough, you realize it and use it to make yourself a better person. 

Lets hope I am seeing the signs properly and will use this information to not only improve myself, but to give back to others. 

As the water falls from the sky, I am learning to dance in the rain. 

Peace out my homies 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Please put my teeth back

I had braces when I was 12.  And I haves braces again. My orthodontist used to be a professional football player.  He is a great guy. 

Today he asked me when I wanted them off.  Since I can't hit my daughter's wedding, I said by Christmas. This is well ahead of schedule, but he said "okay."

I should have more fully evaluated the impact of my response.  I am certain he used all his strength to pull my teeth out of my head and replace them with straighter ones. 

Okay, maybe that is an exaggeration, but I would like my previous teeth returned.  I can't even eat jello with these. 

Christmas better be f$@&ing amazing...

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Uncle Wilmer

I received a call this week that my cousin Chris passed away.  I hadn't seen him in many years, but instantly thoughts of his father came to my mind - Uncle Wilmer.

Uncle Wilmer was an interesting man.  He never showed up to dinner on time and always left as dessert began...but he never left without a piece of cake in his hand.

His favorite was my little brother Darren.  Uncle Wilmer didn't know sign language but they could always communicate.  They had their own personal language.  He visited Darren on the night of his death, that I know for sure.

He was the original Leroy Jethro Gibbs.  By that I mean he was building a boat in his basement.  I always wondered how he would get it out and to this day I don't know the answer to that.  

He worked years at Carson Pirie Scott and there was a place downtown too.  He sold suits.  He always wore a suit.  He had many very expensive suits.  He was a well dressed man.  I remember visiting him and my Aunt Dorothy was a seamstress there.  

Rest In Peace Chris and I hope you have already seen Uncle Wilmer.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Look at that tongue


That is the tongue of a happy dog.  Isn't it fun to see how a simple little walk makes a dog so happy.  I wish we could all be satisfied so easily.  

This has been a long week.  It started really rough, but by the grace of God it has ended really strong. I was asked early this week if I appreciated a certain something from my past.  After having that conversation, I had the strength to do the things I needed to and I have made some great connections with people.  I have experienced the best of people for the last several days.  I guess you could say I have a happy tongue too.  

Let the weekend begin,  Junior has already left to go enjoy it.





Thursday, August 15, 2013

You wanna do what?!

So when you have 5 weeks until your daughter's wedding, the last thing I think of doing is hand creating wedding invitations.  However the gene pool created by my husband and I, meaning our kids, clearly believe that is what you should do.

Erica said what she was thinking and Em created the look.  Then came the putting together of the pieces.

That's when, as my friend Vashti says, they were in a fight.

Nothing like the pressure of a wedding to bring sisters together (that was sarcasm).

Well tonight all seems back to normal.  I hope we don't all freak out before the magical date.

Stay tuned my friends....




Saturday, August 10, 2013

What is LOVE

What is love? People define it differently.  Here are 2 examples from our house:

Waiting 525,600 minutes for a Ben's Pretzel at the State Fair, and

Thinking of getting a tattoo of the paw of the dog who once vomited in your mouth


We hope you find love...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What Not To Wear

Today I became a clothing hypocrite.  My new job requires very different clothing than what I wore at my old job.  I went out tonight and bought...are you ready for it? Are you sure?  

POLOS

Yep that's right.  It is the best thing to wear in the plant. Easy, no muss, no fuss. 

I was a clothing whore.  It's true.  I loved my colorful skirts, tops, and shoes.  I loved my 6 inch heels.  Now I am back to my short self.  It's probably best that my not so phenomenal legs are back under fabric.  I did though love my painted toes.  No polish now...BOO.  

Such is the price you pay for what you want sometimes.  Anyone need some clothes?  The local Goodwill is about to have a windfall of a certain size.  



Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Put a leash on her

Ah, State Fair time.  Fried, well, everything, fountain Pepsi, and Ben's Pretzels.

Have I told you about the time we lost Erin at the fair?  Yep, one second there, the next she was gone.  She was always one to wander, this time it had impact.  She was only 4.

In that moment people multiply by a thousand and time stands still.  You can't see straight, your mind races with where she is, what you should do, how you should do it.  You struggle to push horrible thoughts out of your head.  Everyone is suspect.  I am certain that State Police officer stills remembers me.  Especially since I grabbed a hold of him as I proceeded to tell him how he wasn't acting fast enough.  

Last year we celebrated that moment by stopping at the State Police booth for a sticker and an identifying wrist band.  This time, however, Erin was an adult and was more interested in which officers were single.  Funny how I can still see that moment clearly and she has no recollection.  

We put a leash on her after that.  It kept her safe and me sane.


Saturday, August 3, 2013

Say Yes to the Dress

I totally forgot to publish this...

Today we went wedding gown shopping with Erica.  Two dresses into trying gowns on she knew what she wanted.  She obliged us like the brides on Say Yes To The Dress do by trying on dresses we liked that she clearly didn't.  She was worried about me liking the dress.  It isn't about me.  The day we are preparing for is Erica's day.  She found her YES dress.

As the session went on Emmy noted the "look" I get on my face when I am trying not to cry.  She kept saying, "you have the look, you have the look".  Yes I did.  My job is to be strong and positive.  I did not want to cry.  I waited until Erica was back in the fitting room and let a few tears flow. 

Today was an emotional day.  I didn't have a day like this when I got married.  Hell, I rarely did things properly when I was 22.  I made rash decisions and blew threw things.  I am still not one for all the details.  I figure if I was that messed up and have made it 25 years, Erica and Joe will have little trouble doing the same.  

Thank you Alfred Angelo Bridal, Kelly the Manager, and Alex the wonderful sales person who worked with Erica.  What's next on the list...



Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Little Things

I started a new job very recently and the people are always the hardest part to leave behind.  My heart is heavy sometimes thinking about it.  I know I will keep in touch, but it's the knowledge that you don't get to see them all the time.  I didn't take advantage of the opportunity to visit with them like I should have or sometimes didn't appreciate them like they deserved.  SO THAT'S WHAT MAKES THIS NEXT PART SO SENSATIONAL!!!

The text I got this morning from someone very dear to my heart:

What day is it? HUMP DAY!! Whoop Whoop!  I hope you are having a great first week.

Yep, you guessed it, the Geico Camel commercial.  My wonderful friend put me on top of the world when I saw it.  They would say this every Wednesday.  I am soooo lucky.  I need to remember that.



Sunday, July 28, 2013

So let it be written, so let it be done

Break-ups are inevitable as you grow up and sometimes as you grow old.  It's all about how you manage them.  Here is my girl tip to create some humor for the moment.

Remember in the movie The Ten Commandments when Pharaoh Seti says "Let the name of Moses be stricken from every tablet and book.  So let it be written, so let it be done."  This was my mantra for boys.  When they got into their weirdo fickle moods and felt the need to move on to another girl with some stupid line, this was my response: Let the name (insert boy name here) be stricken from our hearts and minds.  So let it be written...blah, blah, blah.  If they were moving on, so was I.  It helps to actually say it out loud with friends and then burn something of his in effigy.  Voodoo dolls optional. 

Favorite "I'm leaving you" lines:

"I don't know what I want right now" (no, you just didn't want to spend money on Prom) 
"I don't see a future with you" (I never saw a past or present, I just thought you were nerdy cute)
"You're not Christian enough" (you aren't evil enough) 
"She gave me sex" (and probably STDs) 
"She is prettier and tall" (okay that was true, but I have a way better job and haven't been divorced 3 times)

Girls, Enjoy life.  Sometimes live just for the moment.  Be self confident.




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dreams really do come true

When you wish upon a star, makes no difference who you are, everything your heart desires will come to you...

People asked why I waited until the girls were grown to take them to Disney.  The answer is in these photos.  This memory will last a lifetime.

The excitement in their eyes and voices made every moment worthwhile.  

Dreams really do come true; even for moms. 

May all your dreams come true... 


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Scared Senseless It Explains A Lot

You would think being afraid of the dark and having ghosts around would be enough to deter me from scary movies but no.  I think I was probably 14 when my friends and I went to see our first scary movie.  It was The Burning.  Sounds horrifying doesn't it?  We said we were going to see a Dustin Hoffman family flick - Kramer vs Kramer.  

So we went to the night show and were absolutely terrified.  The show opened with these kids setting this nasty guy on fire.  Then the next 90 minutes was blood, hacking, screaming, and more blood.  There was also some of my screaming mixed in.  I am fairly sure no one survived which makes you wonder how anyone knew it even happened; nonetheless, we left the theatre scared out of our minds.  I have not seen those actors in any other movie so naturally you have to assume they were really killed. 

I got home and was instantly quizzed about the movie I said I saw.  Good thing I saw the trailer for the Hoffman movie.  Then came the long dark walk of fear upstairs.  I could have swore the burned up guy was in my house.  I probably only took 2 breaths the entire night under my covers.  I was so tense I ached all the next day. I could hardly stretch my fingers they were clenching the sheets so hard. 

Did I learn anything?  Nope.  The next scary movie that came out we lied our way into.  I am fairly sure 20 years of my life was shaved off watching those flicks.  One day I'm gonna want that time back...

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

You will see it again at breakfast

Remember the days when you were at the table as a kid and didn't like something that was on your plate for dinner.  Remember how your parents understood, you asked to be excused, and then went outside to play.  Remember?!  SNAP OUT OF IT

You know damn well you had to sit there until you ate it.  Back in the day, you sat there until you filled your mouth with it and then swallowed it.  I remember sitting at the table for hours and not giving in.  I remember seeing that same damn thing on my plate for breakfast...AND NOW IT WAS ICE COLD.  One time my little brother completely filled his mouth with mashed potatoes (he hated them) and sat there gagging, eyes watering, until he was finally allowed to leave.  I think he got special dispensation cuz he was so stinking cute.  I didn't have that "out."  I was a smart mouth and rebel. 

Who made up that rule "you at least have to try it?"  I said I didn't like it, protested when it was put on my plate AND THEN was punished for not eating it??!!!  Somehow as an adult I see absolutely nothing rational about that approach.

To this day I refuse to eat asparagus, Brussels sprouts, and God help me if I ever am exposed to bean soup.  I just vomited a little in my mouth thinking about it.

I am sure I was supposed to learn something from that experience, but I'll be damned if I can't think of what that would be... Eat what you like my friends.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

He has a fag in his mouth

It is so hot here.  As I was standing outside yesterday talking with a really good friend of mine and butt sweat was running freely, we were reminded of Nebraska, July 1997.

We were in Fremont.  We drove to the outskirts of town and began our work.  It was the hottest part of the summer and it was so humid.  The temperature was 115 degrees inside the metal building.  There were huge tanks and about 19 cats.  They were there to keep the mice down.  They roamed freely in and out of the building and rows of corn surrounding us.

The molasses started to flow, the sweet smell filled the air sending out an invitation...and the flies started to arrive.  As we continued making the liquid feed, the number of flies increased.  We were sweating profusely by this time.  The flies were walking around the frame of my glasses and sitting in my hair.  The cats walked along the edges of the large vats of our sugary smelling mix.  It was clearly one version of Hell.  I visualized that if I didn't become a better person, the end for me would involve a room filled with spiders or this - suffocating humidity, cats, and more flies than the Amityville Horror.

Just then one of the workers began counting.  When he counted 19, he hooked up the hose and began to pump our mix through the hoses to the outside storage tank where our study would commence.  I asked him why he counted.  He said "the cats" as though annoyed with my question.  "Sometimes they fall in and clog the lines."  That is one of the most disgusting things I had heard to that point.

I have never been so happy to be done with a day and change out of my clothes.  I think I just threw them away.  You can't get sweat like that out, ever.  The night though was filled with the best steak I had ever tasted and gambling at the local casino.  At the very end of the evening, we had to stop at the local Walmart and get some buckets for the next day.  As we walked through the parking lot toward our motel, my co-worker proceeded to say "look at that guy over there with the fag in his mouth." I didn't hear anything after that.  "Um, what, that is completely inappropriate?!"  I am pretty sure the look on my face clearly shown what my mind was thinking...He immediately realized what he had said.  Fag is English slang for cigarette.  I think that may have been one of my first cultural differences experiences.

I have captured that in my little book of sayings I have heard over the years.  It is between "I don't have a pot to piss in" and "Cold as a witch's tit."  


Monday, July 15, 2013

She doesn't do math

Emmy is sitting counting the money from her piggy bank.  So far she has 3 rows each with 9 stacks of 4 quarters.  She says "what's 9 x 3?"  I just look at her.  

Emmy:  18
Me: no words just a look of disgust of my parental failure
Emmy:  30, no 27
Me: oh.my.God.
Emmy:  I told you I wasn't good at math.

Not good??! this is cause for concern.

Emmy: what's this 10 pence?  I don't accept foreign money.

At least she knew it was foreign.  Ah, art majors...I feel quite confident the man who invented the Coin Star had a child who couldn't multiply.  



Thursday, July 11, 2013

We have to move...

Text messaging with my youngest

Emmy: there was a seven foot spider in the tub.  It tried to eat me.
Me: holy sh*t
Emmy: I kept trying to drown it but it kept coming back
Me: did you set the house on fire?
Emmy:  I was standing on the ceiling trying to kill it. 
Me: WTF
Emmy: WE ARE MOVING!!!
Me: I guess that's our only choice
Emmy: you don't understand Shelley, it was massive.  You know that shower scene from Psycho?  That was me, except with a spider
Me:  LOL
Emmy: this isn't funny
Me: I have called the bulldozers

I love my life.






Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I need to find the people

My eldest just came home from the grocery with quite the story to tell.

Erica - Mom I just had a big event at Marsh
Me - what's that?
Erica - I was in the canned vegetables aisle when I dropped a glass jar.  As it fell in slow motion toward the ground, I tried to catch it.  I soon realized I couldn't so I tried to jump out of the way.

Me - I didn't say anything at this point.  You have to understand that Erica has some really interesting moments in life.  When she was 6, she cut the back of her hand at the knuckle with scissors.  We are still trying to figure out how she could have cut herself at that angle.  It was impossible unless she is an alien.  When she was 11, she slid into home plate and broke through both lower leg bones.  Did I mention I didn't believe her when she said she was hurt and made her stand on it?  Nothing like a proud parental moment when your child stands up and the top of her leg goes one way and the bottom another.  But I digress...

Erica - after the jar smashed on the ground, I looked down to make sure I wasn't cut when I saw the blood draining out of my foot.  I knew I had to find the people.  I had to find the people and get help.  I needed to stay conscious so I could find the people.  I looked to the end of the aisle and saw the cashier.  I need help here!  I need help!  A jar broke, I need help here!  

Me - nope, there's nothing to say...

Well, the manager came over and saved her.  Good thing cuz she is fixing dinner tonight.  

Oh my children.  They are priceless.


My sleeve filleth over with emotion

I have decided to change my life significantly by changing jobs.  When I went I to work yesterday I was fine.  Today however, emotion was sitting heavy on my sleeve.  All day long I felt like I would bust into tears at any moment.  A couple of times I did.  People coming by and wishing me well.  People coming by just amazed that I would make a change after 18 years.  "You have bigger ones than I do," is my favorite line so far.

I kept telling myself that there were also people thrilled I am going.  That would make me chuckle and you can't cry and laugh at the same time.  

Coming up with creative titles for each and every message I sent out to folks letting them know how they have made a difference for me got harder as the day went on.  Memories coming back like a sudden flood.  

I have been blessed to know some really great people.  I have been even luckier that some said I could be their friend.  Friendship is such a big deal to me.  

I am thinking of the message I want to leave behind to my greater team.  It will have to be creative and unique.  I look forward to that final message because after that I move on to what I hope to make an exciting and impactful future.  


Friday, July 5, 2013

Her big girl pants have arrived

We are just a week away from the big moment.  I have had 22.5 years to be ready for this.  I guess I am.  Her daddy clearly is not.

From the moment I held her little bald head in my hands and looked into her sparkling blue eyes, I knew this day would come.  I had all these plans to be the best parent ever.  Yeah, that got derailed here and there.  More than a few times I have made the walk down the hallway to apologize for my higher than reasonable expectations. She is her daddy's girl.  She has his sense of caring, his ability to be nice to people who just piss me off, his inability to lie.  All amazing qualities. 

I have pushed her over the years because I knew how much potential she had.  She always hit the mark and then went a little further.  She believes in commitment.  She gives people second chances and third.  She is beautiful, intelligent and know what she wants to do.  She has successfully kept me out of jail helping me walk away from situations when someone just wronged her.  And I don't mean piddly crap.  Okay, maybe this is a slight exaggeration... 

She has gotten the job right out of college that she wanted.  We are so excited for her. Some time in the next week we will begin to gather all her things and transfer to her some of our things so she can start out with everything she needs.  That has always been our desire, to give her what she needs.  Now it will be from a distance.  

7 days.  That's all I have left.  I know how excited she is (she mentions it every day and has a countdown).  She is moving to the next exciting chapter of her life.  I guess I am too.  Her daddy, however, will likely call or text her every day.  I think it will take him a few more years to let go.  He still sees her like this: 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Independence Day and the Pickle

Ah, the 4th of July.  It has always been a memorable holiday.

For years when I was a kid MC had a parade.  Every year we would go down to Franklin Street early in the morning and set up our chairs to hold our spots.  Then we would watch the parade, which started promptly at noon, and it was a great time.  OMG, remember the Shriner's driving those tiny cars? I can remember the sun on my face and always seeing this one boy who was so cute and lived down the street from my Grandma Frageman.  I only saw him briefly once a year.  Ah, romance.  I am certain he had no idea I even existed. 

The year the guy threw some lit firecrackers and they burned Erin.  Yep that was the first time my husband almost got into a fight.  Good thing we always had a car full of bats.  They tend to deter people.

The time the police came to my parents and Darren turned over our entire stash of illegal fireworks.

When I went with my boyfriend's family to the beach for the fireworks show and then...never mind...

The time they were swinging Darren around and he landed on the fireplace.  That required stitches.

That year I was playing with lit firecrackers as a kid and one got in my armpit.  I clamped down and it exploded.  Yeah that left a mark.

The best though was the time Bob was lighting M80s in my parents' back yard.  My mom told him to stop but he didn't.  The last one he tossed into her garden and blew her pickles right off the plant.  She was so proud of those pickles.  Things did not go well after that.

I hope nobody saw that

I just walked through a spider web.  I don't know how you react to that kinda thing but for me it is quite theatrical.  I always say a little prayer hoping no one saw it or caught it on video.

Sometimes I wonder how I can move that fast, spin that well without falling, and how my hands don't just implode from the flailing about.

Here's how it goes:
I curse 
Then I imagine that there are now 50 to 100 THOUSAND little spiders on me.
Then I laugh at myself and say, Shelley, get a grip
That never works so I proceed to try to wipe off the invisible web that has completely engulfed my body and rapidly slap off any and all lingering spiders that I walked through.
For the next hour I constantly look at my clothes expecting a tarantula to be sitting on my shoulder

Heaven forbid the day one is actually there.  Only one thing is worse...spiders flying through the air on little silk parachutes. 
  

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Let the sarcasm begin

I am certain this is the moment.  Look at her.  She is doing it.  She is coming up with her first sarcastic statement.  

I can tell.  Look at the intent in her eyes.  You can see her formulating the words.  "What the hell is this? I asked for white."  "You call this a good frosting job?"  "What? No 4 tier Disney princesses cake?"

I am sure of it now. I bet this was the first time she thought about calling me "Shelley" instead of Mom.  Yep, now I know what she was thinking: "You call this a birthday cake, Shelley"


Clothespin and a towel

I never needed money or access to the Internet to make my child a superhero like I just heard on the news tonight.  All I needed was a bath towel and a clothespin.  

Pick your character name, throw the towel around her shoulders, attach the pin at the front to hold it on and voilĂ , superhero.  Hours of fun.  

Erica running and yelling "Darkwing Duck!" Erin running and kicking, using all her Kung Fu skills.  Emmy following, laughing, repeating, and using an occasional "yeah" when she couldn't repeat them.

I can still see them.  I can still hear their little voices with that southern twang.  Imagination and some household items was all that was necessary.  Appliance boxes, pots and pans, towels, and your mind.  What could be more powerful?!




Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Retirement job idea #7

Pooper scooper. 

I might as well take money from those willing to give it for a job I do for free now.

I'm good at it.  I can now make my yard feces free without any negative shoe impact. 

I must share this talent with others.  Too many shoes go to die in garages country-wide after landing in a pile.  

Yep, putting together my business plan now.  

Saturday, June 22, 2013

This is all I have to show for it

Almost 25 years ago I embarked on this journey of impending marriage and children.  Here are the top 10 things I have learned:

10. If you get married right after advent, the church is already decorated...score!
9. Contrary to popular belief a woman can work right up to and on the day of her child's birth.  I can give 3 examples.
8. If you tell your boss you are having contractions, he makes you leave work.
7. You can break the sound barrier driving to the hospital when you live in the sticks and your child has a major asthma attack.  You almost get there before you left.
6. Compromise is a well traveled road.  So is "because I said so." 
5. Having the principal at school call you and say, "Mrs. Abrams, we caught your daughter on video doing..." is just as exciting as you thought it would be.
4. I love city water and sewer
3. You do not become your mother.  
2. Dogs know English. Don't let them convince you otherwise.
1. The bathroom is no longer your private place.  Someone always shows up. 

I'm ready for another quarter century.  Live long and prosper. May you never be alone. 




Monday, June 17, 2013

And the Verdict is...

So a couple of weeks ago I was called to jury duty.  I dragged myself down to the courthouse and patiently awaited for my release without serving just like every other time.  But it was not to be.

They called us into the courtroom.  One potential juror after another was dismissed.  For some crazy reason they decided to keep me.  They asked me if even though I had been a victim of crime and have a police officer in my family if I could be fair.  I really hoped I could be.

It was a police action shooting.  The defendant was accused of attempted murder of a police officer.  The prosecutor slowly built the scene of the event, street by street, car by car, officer by officer.  I felt like I was on Law and Order.  Lt. Van Buren was a witness for the prosecution.  Jack McCoy teased the facts out of each witness and painstakingly presented each piece of evidence.  I could picture the scene.  Then Abby from NCIS showed up and led us through the evidence and taught how to match bullets to guns.  I could smell the gun powder.  We watched her walk the scene.  

Then the officer who must have a higher purpose took the stand.  The defendant shot at him with a semi-auto gun that got jammed after 2 point blank shots had missed him.  His wife in the courtroom not showing emotion. He stopped a couple of times to collect himself.  It was poignant.

Did you know that officers never cut directly around the corner after a suspect as they can be ambushed.  They "slice the pie."  They swing wide to get the full picture of the area.  The officer that finally downed the suspect after much chasing and shooting was amazing to listen to.  He recalled the events like Briscoe, but was more savvy like Ziva David.  

After building the case with vivid detail the prosecution rested.  The defense stood up and the defense rested.

Then the psychiatrist and psychologists testified.  The defendant had a mental disease but all felt he was lucid that day.  He had worked, he had gone to a bar, he then threatened some people and that's when everything turned bad.  That's when the officer caught up with him.  That's when he pulled out his gun at point blank range and fired.  After falling back, the officer returned fire hitting the suspect.  The suspect turned and ran, finally being brought down blocks later - a clean shot to the shoulder by a 27 year veteran of the force.  Clearly he played the role of Gibbs, stoic, experienced, and confident.

Then 12 angry men went into the jury room to deliberate.  It is just like in the movies.  There is always that one person.  That one who doesn't pay attention to the facts and evidence, who has an agenda.  We ate pizza, we voted.  We voted over and over and over.  We told the judge we were at an impasse. He told us to keep deliberating.  Just when I was ready to go all spider monkey on the one outlier, he asked us all to holds hands and pray.  WTH?  Facts, evidence...there is no praying in the courtroom.  He said a very, very nice prayer and then clearly and quickly said - guilty.

We returned with the verdict and Judge Judy read it. Guilty. Guilty with mental defect. Guilty. We all stated we agreed with it.

Then came the hard part.  After a couple of days listening to the story, learning a lot, and deliberating someone's long term fate, I thought that was all the emotion there would be.  I was wrong.

As we left the building to go to our cars, there he was...the officer, and his wife.  She hugged me so tight and cried.  She was pregnant.  He was emotional as well shaking everyone's hands.  I was the last.  I didn't know what to say.  He had faced death head on and lived.  I shook his hand and just simply said, "There must be great things ahead for you.  Good luck."  

Away I went to my car.  It is an experience I will remember for a long time.  I will continue to watch all my cop shows knowing there is always poetic license, but there is always truth.
 


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Past friends future happiness

So today we celebrated my mom's 75th birthday.  People were there that I hadn't seen in about 20 years.  It was amazing.  I had begun to forget some of the conversations and great times we had together.  It all quickly came back and I now remember why I am one of the luckiest people in the world.  For all the crap there is amazing joy packed away that was brought to the front of my mind again.  

My probably favorite relative of all, Jana, was there.  She put up with all my shit when I was a kid and never told me it was wrong even when she should have.  She is a wonderful woman.  

I hope the joy I am feeling in my heart stays for a while.  When I am with these folks I remember that I may not have had my shit together as a kid, but I turned out just fine.  

I usually don't give hugs, but today I was hug-happy.  I think my heart grew 2 sizes today. 

Kenny

Ah Father's Day.  This is a day when I think about all the men in my family past and present.  What a lot they were. There were good ones and there were bad ones.  The one that comes to my mind this year is my Grandpa Fuller.  I don't know why, he just popped in there.  He's been gone a while.  

I don't remember a lot about him, you know that whole "other" side of the family thing.  I do remember though his 3rd wife   Helen's voice when she talked to him."Oh Kenny" she would say in this laughing totally happy sing-song voice.  By time I knew Helen and really Grandpa, she was already blind.  But she was a joyous woman.  She would say even with us little kids around that Kenny loved her for her boobs.  She did have GREAT BIG boobs.  Then he would reply how he did love them.  They would laugh, I would laugh. Kenny was a little guy.  He had been a navy man and I think as part of that became a drinker which turned to alcoholism. You could find him every day at the FOP. The first 2 marriages didn't work out, but this one seemed really special and happy. I enjoyed going over to their little white house.  It wasn't much, but it was good.  I think he made things right in the end.  I think all fathers try.  I got their kitchen table and dishes when they passed.  When I get one of those dishes out I think of him.  I hope he and Helen are in Heaven and he's getting a face full of his favorite thing. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wow that's a lot of suds

Have you ever put dish washing liquid in your dishwasher?  Or how about your washing machine?

I have a bit of advice for you.  DO NOT FILL THE SOAP COMPARTMENT FULL UP.  

That's a lot of suds man.  A lot.

Pisses your mom off too.  Like a lot.

Suds + Pissy mom + Laughing kid = beating of your life

Here's hoping your kids are more intelligent and less inquisitive than me.  

Monday, June 10, 2013

I see dead people...well sorta

I have dishes and furniture from relatives past.  I find it difficult to let it go.  

I have dishes from Grandpa Fuller.  He will be a great blog topic soon.  He was very entertaining along with his wife Helen.  I can still hear her laugh.

I have night tables that were my husband's Grandma Dorothy's.

I have table coverings that were my Aunt Thelma's and Great Grandma Burkhart's.

I have crocheted and knitted clothes/blankets that were made by my Aunt Dorothy and Grandma Fuller.

Hmmm, maybe I wouldn't hear voices in the night and be haunted by spirits if I let these things go.  And of course whenever I say things like this Erica stands in the other room and says "Shelley" in a ghost-like tone (damn kids).  But alas, I must ultimately love being spooked out of my mind because even as we move all the things we have in preparation of new carpet, I am only energized by the memories of all these people.  

Let the blog topics flow forth from undiscovered memories from those who have moved on...or have they? Mwahahahahahahaha!!!! 


Friday, June 7, 2013

When I am reincarnated, I'm coming back as your dog

My mom always says this to me.  She says our dogs are better cared for than most people.  Well, I try.

Today was one of those days that tells the tale.

I was on my way home for a half day vacation, the carpet guy was coming.  Then I got the call.  The first call was what every parent hates to get - a hysterical child and then the line goes dead.  HOLY CRAP WHAT IS HAPPENING!  I try to call back and get nothing.  Then I get another hysterical call.  
Daughter: "He's gone crazy"
Me: "Who?"
Daughter: "Junior"
Me: "What is he doing?"
Daughter: "He bit me and he's growling, foaming at the mouth and he's got Erin cornered. I am hiding in the bathroom."

At this point I thought, he's like 17 pounds, I think perhaps there's slight dramatic license with the "he's got her cornered" statement.

I arrive and grab my husband's heaviest coat lying in the garage to use as protection and throw on CUJO when I enter the house.  As I slowly open the door, there he is, all 17 pounds of him.  He looks at me from around the corner.  I can see his beard is drenched in slobber, he has a low rumbling "I am going to eat you" growl going.  I open the door further and he can now see me fully.  I say "it's me Junior."  He instantly stops and shakes his little nub and comes to me.

I scoop him up, make sure my 2 adult children have survived the attack and take off to our phenomenal vet.  Junior wines all the way and is clearly not himself.  I am told he is epileptic and had a violent attack.  Our vet verifies that yes he was probably CUJO like and the kids weren't that far off in their panicked description.

After some Valium and phenobarbital, the little dude is back to mini-schnauzer status and we can put the Stephen King novel back on the shelf.

We love our dogs very much and go to all lengths to keep them healthy.  Now if I could just figure out why their brains fall out when they enter our home...that couldn't possibly connected to me...







Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Memory of the Day

When I turned 10 I got a 10 gallon tank filled with tropical fish.  Overnight the heater malfunctioned and fried them all. 

I remember this as I sit at the EENT waiting on my youngest. 

May your fish never be fried unless you intend them to be. 


Saturday, June 1, 2013

No joy like sarcastic joy

The joy I have every day in my home is unmatched by anything else...

Emmy: Mom!  Are the dresser drawers lined to hide the penis drawings?

Yep, clearly that is something I drew and when I had children decided to hide it with liner paper.  I knew one day when you were changing things around in your room I would be found out, have to admit it, and face the music.  Yeah, we bought this crappy little dresser at a rummage sale.  Some other mom out there is safe. 


Your car is on fire

I enjoy living in the Midwest.  I tried my lot at living in the South.  Let me give you 3 key signs you need to move back north:

3) Delta is ready when you are... Once you move to the south you are no longer allowed to speak of the north or say anything in the south moves slow.  If you do, they correct you and offer you the phone number for Delta Airlines.

2) Clearly the nuclear facilities located in several places (we were within 10 miles of the Harris plant) must have been leaking radioactive materials to have bugs that big.  When you step on spiders and can feel them through your shoes, when you are mowing your grass and spiders jump off your well-house trying to eat you, and you are pretty certain you hear "get out" as bugs are chirping in the evening wind...It's best to leave.

1) There's a knock on the door.  It's a fireman.  He asks if you are from Indiana.  An interesting, yet suspicious question.  He says, "Your car is on fire."  WTF!  Hmmm.  Okay.  Yep it was.  Someone came though and lit every car on fire that had northern plates.   

If after that you decide to stay, you get what's coming to you.  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Don't judge me

As I sit here sick in my house after getting that lovely nasty cold that was going around the workplace, I am reminded of a funny yet sick event from about 23 years ago.

My grandma (my mom's mom) had just died.  We were back in my hometown for the funeral.  It just so happened that our eldest who was our only child at the time was sick.  And by sick, I mean there was stuff coming from places I didn't know could leak.  We had been to the doctor, to the immediate care, and everyone said the same thing - Pediasure.  So we bought out the local Walgreens of all they had.  I was constantly changing diapers, washing clothes, and filling bottles.  I am still amazed today, her eyeballs didn't float out of her head.  It was 3 days of nasty.  I was tired, Michael was tired, and we were sick of changing everything.

At the funeral, my parents had gotten pissed at me because I had laughed about something.  I don't even know what, but it was clearly not the time to laugh.  I don't do funerals well. I just don't.  I want to remember the good (well for me with her there wasn't good until the very, very end) and not dwell on the dead part.  I have many times told my kids to burn me up, spread me in left field, and play loud dance music at the memorial. NO CRYING!  Only talking bad about my flaws and laughing about the other crazy shit I did.  Again I digress...

So after 3 horrendous days, we were on our way back home.  Erica seemed like she was getting better, but she had one last explosion left.  She was in the back seat and we were in the front.  All of a sudden we heard it and then I looked back.  All I said to my husband was "pull over."

I stripped her of all clothing, wiped her down and re-clothed her.  I then told my husband we needed to stop at a Toys R Us or something.  He asked why and then he understood.  Sitting on the side of the road was the carseat and all her clothing.  I told him not to judge me and not to look back.  Just drive.  I am mad, I am tired, and I am not above murder at this point.  "Let's go get a new carseat."  

We drove away.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Congratulations, you're hired!

Today my middle child who just graduated college got her first job.  It's exactly what she wanted.  I have to say I am envious.  I think I am still looking for that job.

My first job was at Walgreens.  My boss used to stand behind me and rub up against me when he came for a money drop.  I think he came for something else.  He would do that every day I worked until the one day my dad came to the register right in the middle of one of these episodes.  My dad was about 6'4" and 250 at the time.  Lets just say the little boss didn't do it again.  He left the store shortly after that.

My second job was at a pizza joint.  I lasted like 2 days.  I had a softball game and missed work.  I guess that wasn't allowed at that establishment.  I didn't have a problem with it, I have no idea why they expected me to tell them when I wouldn't be there.

My first REAL job was at Merrell Dow.  I was in the pharmacology group and did mice studies. We used to do amphetamine-like studies to determine effects of certain molecules when injected.  Holy crap one day the senior scientist miscalculated the dose like by 10 fold.  We treated all the mice and about 10 minutes later they were jumping off the walls, off the little mouse wheel, off of us, it was crazy.  They were in my hair, on my clothes, I could not close their little cages fast enough before they would leap off again.  If someone would have videotaped that, I would still watch that madness today. 

I have never laughed so hard in the 25 years I have been a professional.  This one little dude would climb up the wheel to the top then jump off onto my partner.  Jim would just get the mouse off him into the cage and the little dude would jump onto the wheel to the top then onto my partner again.  It was hilarious!  I suppose you could say it has been an adventure ever since.  

Congratulations Erin on your first job.  May it be all you wish for and a little bit more.

My dad and Erin