Archive for June, 2008
My grandmother was an interesting lady. I believe I’ve mentioned before that my family is Irish. Well, my grandmother was definitely a good Irish gal. She was full of personality, had a temper, and was red-headed to boot.
Her name was Charlene. She would fuss if I tried to lift something she felt was too heavy for me and point out that it would give me a pot belly like her. Her mother made her lift heavy things all the time. She looked out for her daughters and granddaughters that way.
But she didn’t think twice about spanking my bottom with a flyswatter when I needed it or pinning a sock (tattle tail) to my jeans if I became a bit of a, well, tattle tell.
She was also a most excellent cook. She baked heavenly bread. I cannot eat homemade bread without thinking about my grandmother. She made and decorated cakes. She made enormous pots of spaghetti. Enormous pots! Of course, she was usually feeding masses of people. She only had nine children of her own, and at the moment, I lose count of the grandkids. There were a lot.
And I was the oldest.
Back to the cooking for a bit…
Whenever we had family get-togethers or holiday parties, my grandmother, without us really knowing it, supplied most of the food. We knew she cooked a lot, but everyone else always brought a dish. My grandmother died in the spring of my junior year in high school. It was very sad and unexpected.
Shortly after, for Father’s Day, I believe, the family had gathered at my grandfather’s house. It was pot-luck, so everyone contributed a dish. After about half the people in attendance made it through the serving line, we noticed something. We were almost out of food! There wasn’t nearly enough to go around! We had been so used to grandmother’s many dishes added to the buffet and no one considered what her contribution had been to serving our hungry horde. She had obviously been feeding about half the family!
Most of my life was spent living next door to my grandmother.
My mother’s youngest brother is only two years older than I and we were often playmates…and often managed to get into heaps of trouble. Like the day we were supposed to play out in the yard so we would be out of the grown-ups way. We raided the shed, got the tools we needed to “break-in” one of the bedrooms, and spent the afternoon reading. Which doesn’t sound so bad except for the damage we did to the house breaking in. I don’t think it was minor.
Or when we found a razor and decided he should give me a haircut. A few minutes before time to get ready for church. He gave me the lock he lopped off the top of my head so I could show all my friends at church! I was so excited…I thought that lock of hair the coolest possession. Neither my mother, nor his, were much impressed.
My grandfather was a truck driver for most of my life, although he did many sorts of jobs. He was often gone. When grandma happened to be home alone at night, she would often invite me over.
So, I spent lots of time at grandma’s house.
Sometimes she and I would watch movies together…like The Bear. She would make me hot chocolate or chocolate milk.
Sometimes we baked. We baked lots of bread. We baked cakes. And once, she looked up a recipe for Black Forrest Cake, because I had tasted a Sam’s sample while shopping with her and thought it was good. She helped me cook it.
Sometimes we would plant things. She really liked cedar trees and cactus. I remember helping her with cactus on several occasions. She didn’t particularly have a green thumb (which is probably where I inherited my lack of green thumbiness). But she tried anyway. Maybe that’s why she preferred heartier plants.
And then, she would show me things. One time, she showed me a diamond she had. It was teeny, teeny, teeny. It wasn’t set in any jewelry. It was in a velvet bag. I thought it must be the coolest thing in the world. She told me when I was older she’d have it put in a ring for me. I was in awe of that diamond.
Then there were the cameos. And really, my grandmother loved cameos. She had rings, and necklaces of all sorts with cameos. She thought they were beautiful.
And often books were what we looked at. She worked in a college bookstore, and was an endless supply of those books that come with the “magic” pen with an orange cap. You know, with the invisible ink…you could play basketball in those books. I have NO IDEA what they are called. Sorry if I’ve confused you. I loved those books though!
But one day, she showed me a songbook. It was a songbook full of music from the 20′s. It was orange, and brassy. It has large black lettering and a blond flapper chic on the cover. I would pour over the pages of that book. I never heard the songs sung. I was just amazed at the lyrics of the songs. They seemed so funny! I could read that songbook for hours.
Then, in sixth grade, I took one year of band and piano. (I was a clarinet player). I learned to read music well enough to get an idea of what the tune would be to the songs. This added an new level of interest to the songbook. Songs written and performed years before my grandmother was even born!
And what songs they were!
I can’t remember many of the songs, in particular. I do remember one about a baby growing up in the woods and being fed by the birds.
But there was one song that stuck out. And after all these years, I not only remember the title, but remember most of the lyrics, and have a good idea of the tune.
A few nights ago, I asked my husband a dumb question. (It was late. Give me a break.)
I asked him if he thought Google was named after Barney Google and his googly eyes. Josh thought I had lost my ever-loving mind. What, pray tell, was I talking about. About that time, I remembered that the word google is a real word, and a number word, and made better sense than googly eyes.
But an idea came to me. Google. The internet. Barney Google. A song I never heard before except in my head. I bet you anything it is on YouTube.
And guys, I was not disappointed.
I give you, with all my heart, a song that took up hours and hours of my childhood. That I have only recently heard sung for the very first time. I hope it amuses you as it did me!
I give you Barney Google. I song that reminds me of my grandmother since she first introduced me to it!
Ummmm….yummy summer goodness.
I love a good popsicle. And although my kids are content with the el cheap-o package of popsicles I can pick up from the store, I’m afraid they don’t do much for me. My tastes are much more refined. Yes, I like classier popsicles.
I thought it might be fun to do a popsicle round-up, as these summer days get hotter and hotter. How about pulling out your favorite popsicle recipes, experimenting with fun flavors, or whatever, and coming up with popsicle ideas to share. All fruit popsicles, chocolate popsicles, fat free popsicles…the more variety the better.
I’m thinking about having a round-up the week after Father’s Day. Like, how about Friday, June 20? I may try to get a Mr. Linky working, and you can link to your popsicle recipe from there!
And does anyone know, should popsicles be capitalized? My spell check really wants that to happen. And if it should be capitalized, does anyone know why?
And yes, I could Google that myself, but I’m laaaaaaazy!!
You, know, sometimes you realize you are in a situation, one you never, ever expected, and wonder, “Dear God, why me?”
I had one of those very, ummm, interesting incidences a few months back. At the time, I thought, this story is completely bloggable but I wasn’t sure how to put it to protect the guilty. Or whatever. But I’ve done some thinking and now I’m sure I can safely share this story.
But I’m warning you…it’s crazy!
I have a very good friend who is recently divorced. Now, I’m certainly not a big fan of divorce but what this girl was going through was rough.
One of the reasons she was getting the divorce was due to drug use by her husband. Admittedly, this girl had participated in this with her husband before, but was trying to change her life. Her husband found her new way of thinking as boring and often claimed she was “not any fun” since her change of heart. This is just part of the reason the divorce took place, but I’m sharing this part because it comes up as a big part of this story.
While this couple was separated, my friend would sometimes stop by her old home to collect things of hers or her boys. Her husband knew she had a key and this didn’t seem to be a problem at all.
One day, while my husband and I were actually getting ready to go to a Spiritual Discipline conference at a neighboring church, I receive a phone call.
The phone call is from my friend, who is in tears. Sobbing. She wants to know if my kids are home. Hmmmm…
I tell her they are actually loading up in their grandparents vehicle at the time. She was going to babysit for us to go to the conference.
Still crying she asks, “Can I come over? I’ve done something stupid and I don’t know what to do now!”
I assure her that she can come and we will help the best we can. All sorts of things are going through my mind. I have a feeling it’s bad, but as good an imagination as I have, I couldn’t figure out what could have my friend so upset.
My kids pull out and my husband comes in. I inform him that my friend is stopping by and that she’s upset. We are pondering what could be going on when she pulls up in the drive.
She walks in my house apologizing, hoping we don’t get into trouble. I’m beginning to get nervous, but I pretty much trust this friend. Then she begins…
She went by her old house to pick up a few things. She needed to go to the bathroom and when she gets there she sees this on the counter…
And she opens her purse and pulls out a plastic bag of white powder.
I’m dumb and innocent (in some ways) and ask what is that?
“Meth” my friend and husband say at the same time.
This is when I’m asking that question to God, about why me. I’m sitting here looking at a bag, I’m guessing is a large amount of drugs, sitting right there on my coffee table in my living room. It’s holding around two cups of white powder.
She then bursts into explanations. “I saw it and freaked. I grabbed it thinking I’d bring it to the police, and then while driving away I thought, Oh my gosh, I’ve got drugs in my car! I couldn’t decide what to do. I almost brought it back, but then I just couldn’t think so I called you guys…”
Well, since I haven’t a clue what to say I ask, “Ummm, is that a lot?”
My friend, who has a drug history, says all the drugs she’s seen in her entire life didn’t add up to that much. Then she bursts into tears, apologizing and asking what she should do. Should she bring it to the police, should she return it to his house? More tears.
My husband, who is a rock, let me tell you, takes control.
He calms my friend down. He tells her we will call the police from our house, explain the situation. They may yell at us but we are reporting what happened. It will be okay.
And that’s what he did.
Funny thing is, I’m sitting here wondering how long I must keep illegal drugs in my house before an officer gets here. Josh kept getting redirected over and over again as to who he should be calling. It took an hour for an officer to get here.
But my friend had finally calmed down. I get her to eat something.
Then the officer pulls up.
My husband explains the story, and as predicted, he yells at my friend. But after he chews her out really good, he turns nice-cop on us and tells us what to do.
He takes the offending bag off my coffee table (thankyouthankyou) and shows sincere astonishment at the amount in the bag. He claims this could be one of the biggest drug busts in awhile (yay! from my house!). He has my friend follow him to the police station in her car to give a report.
I offer to go pick her kids up from daycare and deliver them to her parents. I tell them the story and utterly shock them. They offer to meet me halfway to pick up her kids so that my husband and I can still make our conference.
I drive up to the meeting place, and lo and behold, there is my friend waiting to get her kids. I was shocked, thinking she would be tied up at the police station for awhile. She gets out of the car laughing, telling me I’d forgotten my cell phone and she couldn’t get me on the phone.
She had followed the officer to the police station. They had run a quick test on the contents of the bag…the offending white powder was nothing but epson salt.
Alas, there still have been no illegal drugs in my house! Of which I am greatly relieved!
We so often focus on the longing to keep our babies small. I often do. Just look at this recent post. But there are really some great things about kids growing up.
I mean, for one, my ten year old can do laundry, dishes, and help with the baby. I think everyone needs a ten year old before they have a baby. No clue on how to make that one happen yet. I’ll get back with you if I figure it out.
But my favorite, or my favorite tonight (the help with the laundry sometimes gets to the top of the list) is being able to share literature!
But now that she’s reading my books, the things I read for pleasure, it’s just too much fun. Shiloh started Anne of Green Gables a few days ago. I love to hear her laughing in her room and when I inquire find out that Dianna got drunk while having tea with Anne, or Anne just managed to dye her hair green and the such. It’s so much fun to sit on her bed, or the couch and discuss the finer points of Anne’s horror at having to be rescued by Gilbert, and rejoicing when she finally got a dress with puffed sleeves.
Tonight, when I checked on her it was, “Oh Mom! Matthew died! Why did it have to be Matthew?”
And I patted her head.
I remember. I , too wondered why it had to be Matthew. I still wonder.
And I’m loving this bit of my daughter’s life.
A bit of conversation that took place between me and Baby Bekah today.
Mommy: Bekah, stop tearing up those DVD’s!
Mommy: Hey, leave those books alone!
Mommy: Ack! You just tore a page out of my Spanish Bible!
Mommy: Look here! Look at all these toys! You have toys! Play with toys!
Rebekah: No! No! No!
Mommy: You never play with them. They are collecting dust.
Mommy: Look! Look at this puppy! It barks!
Mommy: A glow worm! Rings! A piano! You can bang it and make lots of noise!
Mommy: A baby! Give the baby some love.
Mommy: Look, pull this string and this moon sings! Look! A Kitty-kitty! Don’t you want the kitty?
Mommy: Come on, play with toys!
Mommy: Toys! Toys! Toys!
Rebekah (smiling): No! No! No!
Then she reaches for a DVD.
Welcome to my life!
Gone like a freight train,
Gone like yesterday,
Gone like a soldier from the Civil War,
Gone like a ’59 Cadillac,
Like all the good things,
That ain’t never coming back,
She’s gone, gone, gone, gone,
Except, well, I’m coming back.
Which this song may well be saying since it has the nice use of a double negative there at the end. I suppose, technically, ain’t never coming back does mean I’ll be coming back? Right?
I have a teacher’s workshop, for an entire week, get a weekend off, then I have another three days. And this all takes place in a town about four hours away from here. Which interferes with Vacation Bible School and causes all sorts of babysitting mishaps. Not to mention a whole horde of problems. Like messing up my entire summer vacation! But I’m not bitter….
So I’m gone.
I have posts ready to go up each day, so I’ll have posts here. I just won’t be able to moderate comments. If you comment and it doesn’t show up, I promise, as soon as I’m back on Saturday, I’ll get your comments up!! I am not ignoring or deleting you! Well, unless you are spammy!
See ya later!
Okay, this is funny guys! Enjoy!
HT: Stand Firm
At 9:15 on Saturday evening, knowing I have to get up and go to church in the morning, and that at least one kid, and myself still need baths, this question runs through my mind.
Is it too late to watch Pride and Prejudice?
I’m afraid I know the answer. I’m afraid it’s not the smart choice.
What would you do?
Listen to The Red Hot Chili Peppers of course.
I love all of you
Hurt by the cold
So hard and lonely too
When you don’t know yourself
I know. I’m creepy.
Maybe I can win better music? Like this?
Shannon is giving away 20.
What do you do when you are up too late?
* slept until 8
* ran errands
* rocked Rebekah for about 2 hours
* had a friend and her kids over for lunch and sprinkler play
* oversaw the making of paper dolls, paper masks, paper water bombs and newspaper hats
* took a long nap (I know, I shouldn’t need a nap when I sleep that late!)
* played a Battleship with Landon
* played Scrabble with Shiloh and Landon
* picked Scrabble up a second time after Bekah got it back out and dumped it all over the living room.
* washed and dried two loads of laundry
* swept the kitchen, dining room, and living room
* checked the mail
And it’s not even dinnertime yet!
Oh, guess what’s for dinner? Grilled steak and baked potatoes! Yum! (Oh, did you hear I was dieting?? Shhhh…..)