June 11, 2009

Pictures of the Past

There is a picture on my desk at work . . . there are several actually. Each one reminds me of a time in my life when I was happy, when I was having fun, when I was loved.

Things have been rough here lately, that hasn't been a secret. The loss of my sister has reminded me that I need to tell those that I love, daily, that I love them. I LOVE YOU! You know who you are. It has also reminded me that I can't forget to have a good time and make memories, for myself, for my boys, for myself . . . Joyce had fun wherever she went and it was usually fun being with her.

I miss my sister. I miss being able to finish someone else's sentences, I miss the knowing glance that declared without words "damn, nice ass" ;) I miss giggling at inside jokes that no one else would ever get. I miss, most of all, being able to laugh at eachother and our family's quirks. Making fun of mom's broken English isn't quite as fun without my sister. . . dancing the Time Warp, singing the songs from various musicals won't be as fun either.

I have a picture . . . one picture from nearly every Christmas or summer in which my sister and I are dancing, fooling around, dancing . . . we do a lot of dancing at my house . . .

Here is one. I don't post pictures of myself, but I'm wearing her hat so you can't really see me - plus it is blurry cause it is scanned. My hair is really long there, I'm thinner, etc. This picture sits on my desk at work, if I remember correctly (by the car in the background) it was 1995 or so, at Assateague Island, Maryland. We were camping. I just arrived from Philadelphia, wearing my favorite cut-offs (and likely a bikini under that big t-shirt). I just noticed, I have pretty feet. . . ;)

I have no idea what we were doing in the picture . . . I'd guess finishing some sort of dancing. She kept this same picture with her, by her bed. I love this picture - I miss my sister.


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May 06, 2009

Out of Pocket

As I will be out of pocket until at least the second week of June. . . away from my baby . . . away from my pups . . . away from my baby . . .

I thought I'd throw in a classic Oddy nostalgia piece . . . cause I spoke to the subject yesterday and we are getting together for drinks before I leave for parts unknown . . .


My first love . . . well second to pom-vodka martini's neat . . . was Hair. I called him Hair - his hair was as long as mine. I have likely blogged on him many times before, in fact, I am likely repeating myself here.

He moved into my school district in the 5th grade. That's right. I fell in love in the 5th grade. We became fast friends, if only because he shared my snarky and self-deprecating humor. His older brother had a decent ride and he'd ride us home from school now and then.

We got on great. My folks worked, so we were latch-key kids. His moms sat on the couch and ate cookies, smoked cigs and drank herself into a daily stupor, mine worked . . . we were kindred.

I fought for him - you know the new kid in school, the cute, mysterious boy who'd maybe hide in the closet with you and get to first . . . or second base . . .probably just first . . . Long story short, I won.

He was my best friend and by the time we reached the 7th grade and full-on puberty . . . he was my boyfriend. My "boyfriend". That sounds so trite and meaningless. It was more than that. He was quite possibly (at that time) the other half of my soul. In fact, to this very day, he is my oldest and one of my dearest friends.

The 7th grade brought the onset of school dances, boy-girl sleep overs and strip poker! ;-) We broke up by the end of the year, though we remained friends. We were back together as a "couple" by the 10th grade - sorta. We'd had a heart to heart during one of our marathon soap-opera watching sessions. We'd decided, as teens often dramatically do, that those we love-leave so we'd not "commit" because then neither of us would leave. Our attempts at profound existential statements at the age of 14 or so were not that well-thought through.

That summer I left for the beach for two weeks. He'd found another while I was gone. . . sorta. . . I brought home a gift for him - an airplane made of beer cans - one of the kitchy souveniers from a street vendor and all was right in our world.

I was thinking about that tchatchky the other day. I'd asked myself whether it'd survived our childhoods. Like a time capsule of a more innocent summer. That summer where we'd sit in the dark in the trailer park he lived in and play guitar and sing - doing our best renditions of Janis or Van or Jim Morrison or whatever was out at the time. Camp fires at the lake, sneaking a toke or a beer or going for a joy ride.

When I'm down . . . really, really low, I think about that summer. I sing the soundtrack to Hair the musical and I think about how much fun we had being kids.

I wonder if my child will have that much fun being a kid. The world is a scary place. The ideas espoused and the views supported by those currently in power scare me . . . and I wonder . . . I wonder if my child or other kids will ever be able to have that much fun being a kid ever again. So I get low. Because I don't think I'd trade that summer and its memories for anything and I want my kid . . .even if he shouldn't be . . . I want him to have at least some of that kind of fun.

And when I'm low, really low, I will think of Hair . . . contemplate the cosmos and where our place is in it . . . and imagine that the tchatchky beer can airplane is still out there somewhere helping some kid have a great summer.

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September 17, 2008


I was reminiscing the other day about 1990 a year in which I was enjoying looking 18, though not quite there - if you know what I mean. When I close my eyes I see myself as that teen girl, getting whatever she wanted, doing whatever she wanted and not caring about consequences. I wonder where that spark for life went. Byegones . . .

I had a boyfriend then or there about if you could call him that. He was more than a boyfriend really or maybe less a boyfriend more a friend my first true love and my first true heartbreak anyway, he was my off and on for many years my f*&k buddy as it were. To this day, I consider him my oldest friend.

Lets call him Hair or Starshine, which is what I called him and still sometimes do. I was going through a Hair the musical phase and well the nicknames fit him. His hair was nearly as long as mine! That and since I picked him up or woke him up for school most mornings by singing Good Morning Starshine . . . the names were tailor-made.

Anyway, I was thinking about 1990 which made me start thinking about him. There were surprisingly few days for years that we spent time apart. Seriously, we were together EVERY SINGLE DAY for several years. The only time we were not together was when I went on vacation or he went to his dads. I remember one summer especially, where I spent a lot of time in Eastern Shore Maryland. I remember coming home that summer with a really silly gift for him (a plane made out of Bud cans) only to find out hed decided to start dating a new girl. Unluckily for her, he liked me better . . . *snicker* and we picked up where we left off poor girl.

So, I was thinking of him and how I would run to him as my standard. We werent exclusive, hell we never even admitted to being a couple save for sophomore year in high school and a brief few weeks in junior high. Yet, he was my standard, my constant, my best friend. I held his hair when he puked, hed hold mine . . . you get the picture.

Despite dating or just casually screwing other people (we were in high school in the boonies, there was nothing else to do), we were together nearly every single day during high school. It was not unusual that I would turn to him when I was lonely or turn to him when I was crazy. So, as an adult I wonder, why it feels unusual that I turn to him still? Not physically not now, we are different people now. No, I turn to him emotionally though in a less obvious way, I still turn to him or rather I think of him when I am in a spot. In fact, Id avoided emailing or calling him until very recently, despite all the issues weve had lately. I broke down and called him (we usually only chat by email). It was like jumping into a wayback machine and turning it to 1990.

His voice is exactly the same. He still makes me laugh and I could close my eyes and remember walking arm-in-arm with him down the biology hall in high school with the biology teacher calling me Mrs. *Hair* and me rolling my eyes. I never wonder what if because I know if we stayed together we would have killed each other we would have seriously hurt one another. No, I never wonder what if with him. But I still hold a place for him in my heart, and I like to think I hold a place in his if only as the annoyingly persistent, yet constant force of nature from his teen years.

He continues to be a source of amusement for me. We email, talk dirty, discuss our children, say naughty things, discuss our spouses, say mean things, and in the end we are still dear friends.

Ive often wondered if it is wrong that I still love him or rather the thought of him as he was in 1990. I wonder whether the sands of time have stayed still in my mind too long. I wonder if he remembers what he wrote in my high school year book or if hed forgotten that Kansas Concert. I wonder whether the footprints we left on the beach at the lake those many years ago remain, whether our laughter still hangs in the air at the old trailer park. I wonder whether when he hears Clapton or Ozzy, he remembers sitting around a crowded smokey table singing Layla or If I Close My Eyes Forever in rounds. I wonder if he drinks bourbon on the rocks out of an ice-tea glass in my memory or if when he watches episodes of As the World Turns, he thinks of me. And then I smile. A big broad smile, because I cant forget. I havent forgotten late nights, guitars and beer. I havent forgotten getting kicked out by his mom, getting sick in the big tub or fights in the parking lot with rivals. I havent forgotten school mornings, chocolate chip cookies in the afternoon or Dairy Queen the only time he ever paid . . . I havent forgotten phone calls made from a payphone at the beach, or impromptu band practice at my house. I havent forgotten detention during sex ed because our notes made the teacher blush.

I can remember snippets of conversations - or arguments - I remember what some friends wore then, i can remember the exact things we said, the exact song playing and why I was crying when we drove home from the Clapton concert. I remember the truly sad and heartfelt conversation we had right after a family funeral and a visit to his wacky aunt's. I remember learning to play Euker (I can't play now). I remember curling up on the couch with him after school, while his flavor of the month got pissed off (I dont remember any of their names). I remember getting alcohol poisoning - from booze he bought me - on my 16th birthday and sleeping in his sister's tub. I remember all of that like it was yesterday. But I can't remember what I did last week.

I havent forgotten ball practices, walking to Eriksons for ice cream, cards or trivial pursuit and much, much more. I bet he has. I havent forgotten because some small part of me believe me a very, very, very small part of me wishes those days never ended. Days when I felt like I belonged for the first time ever. Though Id never ever want to be a teen again, some part of me misses the freedom. Reality, however, grounds me. Reality, with a little paranoia mixed in for good measure. Im ok with who Ive become, but my life and experiences were in part shaped by him and for that I thank him, until I reminisce again . . .

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August 27, 2008

Firsts - UPDATED

UPDATED: So, the first day went off without a hitch, but the boy, when asked how his day was, replied "it was ok, but the snacks and lunch were yucky. They made me eat stale pretzels and a whole hotdog. Yuck." The boy, like me, is a foodie and was not pleased with stale pretzels and hotdogs. Guess we will be packing lunch from now on.

Today is the first day of Kindergarten for my little man. He isn't really feeling his best and he is a little upset that his summer is over. He is also very excited to start.

So, here is my little man on his first day of Kindergarten and getting on the bus. Here is to firsts. There will be many more but this one is just a little bittersweet.

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May 27, 2008

What a Weekend!

Can I tell you how much fun we had? On Friday morning, we headed down to Orlando for a four day stay at the Nickelodeon Hotel with my son and nephew in tow.

The boys didn't know ahead of time and I purposefully kept it that way. When we pulled into the parking lot, the car exploded into shouts and dramatic shouts of "my dream come trues." That was just at the parking lot. They had no idea what awaited them:


The hotel was great for a 5 and 6 year old. They met some friends:

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They swam:

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They goofed:

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They got along!

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They smiled:

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That was worth it right there. But, the Boy got picked for a poolside show and was ecstatic. He was on the Blue team for the game "When Life Hands You Lemons, You Make Lemonade" He was the "cup" and the team took "lemons" and squeezed them into the "cup." The first to the finish line won. Unfortunately, his team lost, but Below is what happens to the winners!

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Even though his team didn't win, the workers were so sweet to the kids.

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In fact, everyone at the hotel was sweet - out of their ever living minds - but sweet. The kids loved every second. The Boy exclaimed with arms outstretched, "I love this place!" and "I want to live at Nickelodeon." They were sad to go. The fun they had, the memories, it was worth every second.

On a side note: I got to catch up with three wonderful ladies. The Happy Family welcomed the Boy and I into their home. The kids all got along wonderfully, my son discovered lizards. Then I met Sticks and Bou came with her family. It was great. So much fun catching up with these people in person rather then on their blogs. I love putting faces to the blog voice!

Thank you VW for your hospitality. Thank for Sticks and Bou for showing up to meet the Boy!

It was a fabulous weekend and now, I need to get back to work! Hope yours was wonderful too.

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January 28, 2008

Pajama Day

The Boy and I decided that yesterday would be pajama day - as in never leave your pajamas all day!

We left the house twice - and wore our jammies both times. Once to the corner store for milk, and once to the corner store for munchies.

On Saturday I had purchased a Wii!!! Yesterday, the Boy and I broke it in. We boxed - he got a KO in the second round. We fished - he scored 1400 points during the timed fishing. We bowled - he got three strikes in a row. We golfed - he got par on the first three shots . . . do you see where this is going?

My four year old child - the one who ran naked through the house last night before bed with a purple towel wrapped around his head proclaiming that he was "Professor Quirrell" and that if I didn't "watch my step he would unleash the guy under the turban."

Too funny. Needless to say, although I had my ass kicked by a four year old - I had a wonderful Sunday!

How about you?

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January 15, 2008

Worst Mom Ever

Since I am totally in the running for the world's worst mom ever, today I took the day off.

Today was "take your mom to school day" otherwise known as parent visitation day at my son's preschool. So, since, before two weeks ago, I'd never set foot in his school, met his teachers or met any other child in his class, I thought I should go.

I got to watch the kids play, perform, do class work, learn the number 6, sing a song about a hippo, recite the pledge, the Lord's prayer and the rubber ducky song. I got to partake in animal crackers for snack and follow my son around.

What a wonderful day. I am so glad I took the day off for this. I slept in, had breakfast with my husband and child, took my baby to school and later had icecream for a snack after school. If you haven't done it lately - take time for you or your family - you don't know what you are missing. Oh, but I am sooooo not school mom material - just saying.

Tomorrow it is back to the daily grind, but I will tell you, today was heavenly.

My hubby and I haven't been on a real vacation since 2001. We've never been on vacation as a family. Sure we have had a long weekend here and there, but no vacations. In just two VERY SHORT months we will be going on our first vacation in 7 years and our first as a family.

My New Year's resolution was to spend more time with family and friends. I think it is actually going to happen. If I didn't do any more than parent visitation day at the Boy's school today, I have fulfilled that resolution. Last year I could probably count in hours the time I spent with my family. This year I'm making those hours count.

So, here is a toast, to spending time with family and friends and friends who feel like family - to making time to do it right and to rum punch in two months! *cue calypso music and fade to black*

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November 01, 2007

The Haul

This is my baby's haul. He got washed up after trick or treating, took off the spidey costume and dumped out the haul. The only things missing were what he ate "on the road" and a can of soda someone gave him. Oh, the toys . . . specifically the hot wheels were given to him by the neighbor in his "trick or treat" bag - she is such a sweet neighbor!

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October 29, 2007

Be Afraid!

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October 15, 2007

Pumpkin Head

Though his 'hawk is still slightly visible - as the shave job didn't hide the top entirely, he is still cute! Come on - you know he is!

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September 27, 2007


As I slave away at the day job, I suddenly remembered something from my childhood. Well, suddenly is not a very good description. The memory sort of snuck into my mind like a foggy reminder of days past.

You see, when I was 2, my mom was admitted to the hospital with complications from pregnancy. Since my dad was blue collar and was working steadily at the time, he was unable to take off work to look after me. Each day, on his way to work, he would leave me with family friends.

Now, these folks were not ordinary folks. They lived in a house that sort of looked like the pre-oil Clampett homestead. The grandparents lived in a two room apartment above the garage/shop. They had 5 large Great Danes who resided in the family room, and when I say resided, I mean it! One sat in a lazyboy all day. One sat across the couch all day. One laid beside the coffee table and one in front of the tv. The last would follow you around getting under foot whenever possible. Being a tiny-two year old, these dogs seemed to me to be horses and they allowed me to treat them as such. In addition to the 5 dogs, there were assorted cats, birds and children. I was weary of joining the clan.

Each day at drop off, I would wail at the thought of having to go into that house. So, the only thing they knew to do was put my favorite record on the turntable and dance. Once my mind was on my favorite song, my daddy would slip quietly away. My favorite song? I know you are dying to know . . . Hot Legs by Rod Stewart. Don't ask!

There were several children in this clan. The oldest was P.L. She was a good 7 years older than me, I don't quite recall exactly, but I think it was 7. I remember she would dance to Hot Legs with me, swinging me around the room and rolling up her pant leg in a Rockette's-like routine. I would be in stitches. She would play with me, dress me up and otherwise dote on me - she had brothers and sisters but I guess they didn't allow her to play with them like a doll and I did.

I grew very fond of P.L. over the years and she of me. When I was 5, P.L. was diagnosed with a massive brain tumor. Several operations and other treatments left her wheelchair bound, bald and a shadow of her former vibrant self - but I still loved her and she me. Whenever she would have a particularly bad day, she would shrug it off with a beaming smile and suggest a dance - or rather a roll in her chair - around the room to whatever was a favorite song of that time. I enjoyed jumping into the chair and careening around the living room and down the chair ramp to various musical selections.

P.L. was a big country music fan and through Make a Wish or some other terminal illness connection, she met the Oak Ridge Boys, Alabama, Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton and even the President. I remember the pictures around the kitchen of those meetings.

When P.L. was 14 - maybe even 16, the brain tumor grew with renewed vigor and P.L. was dead before the year was out - specifically, early October. It was the first funeral that I can remember attending, though I know I attended at least one prior. She was my best friend, or so my young mind felt, and she was gone.

Her passing was celebrated with a party, the way P.L. liked to do all things. We danced around the living room. New dogs had replaced the danes and new music had replaced Hot Legs. The adults all got drunk and the kids all snuck drinks. P.L. would have laughed heartily at us from her chair. Over the next several years, P.L.'s dad would be further stricken with a genetic degenerative bone condition, one brother would give over to drugs, the other would begin to develop the degenerative bone condition, her mom would eventually die of breast cancer and her sisters would each have children before the age of 18. P.L. would have smiled a beaming smile at each of those hardships and soldier on despite them.

I do sometimes think of P.L., I spent such a large part of my childhood with her family and with others who knew her, yet, I can barely remember her features - save her beautiful, wide smile and wispy blonde hairs that never, ever grew back.

Still today, I can close my eyes and see every dirt-filled crack of the clan's house, I can smell the rancid stale whisky from pop-pops (P.L.'s grandad) glass, I can see the smoke rings from his pipe, I can hear the sliding sound that Dot's (P.L.'s grandma) walker made across the room, I can smell pot from the boys outside, I can see the always-green swimming pool, the pony tied out back, the dirt path to the woods. I can hear Hot Legs and the scratchy record we played. I can hear P.L. laugh at my dad's bad jokes, see her smile, but I cannot remember her features.

Every year, nearing October, I begin to think of P.L. even more, what she would have been like had she survived her brain tumor. I think of how different I would be if I'd never entered that house for all its filth but all its love as well. I wonder why I still think of P.L. and that picture of her with Alabama on the wall.

And every year, nearing October, I hum Elvira to myself, because it happened to be one of her favorites and to this day remains one of mine. Not because of the silly lyrics but because of the way it made P.L. giggle, smile and twirl her chair.

So the fog creeps away, and I'll go another year without thinking too much about P.L. till October comes round again. and I'll leave you with Elvira - not the busty vampiress, but the song:

That girl can sure enough make my little light shine
I get a funny feelin' up and down my spine
'Cause I know that my Elvira's mine

So I'm singin'
Elvira, Elvira
My heart's on fire Elvira
Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow
Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow
Heigh-ho Silver, away

Tonight I'm gonna meet her at the Hungry House Cafe
And I'm gonna give her all the love I can
She's gonna jump and holler 'cause I saved up my last two dollars
We're gonna search and find that preacher man

Now I'm a singin'
Elvira, Elvira
My heart's on fire Elvira
Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow
Giddy Up Oom Poppa Omm Poppa Mow Mow
Heigh-ho Silver, away

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August 22, 2007


I've been blog boring lately haven't I?

Well, this past weekend, my family and I went to the beach to enjoy a long weekend. We swam, ate sea food, swam, explored. All in all, we had a great time. OOO, and I finally read the last Harry Potter book. Yay me!

So, here is the boy having fun. The dark haired boy is my nephew. He went with, he needed it. Oh, and the cute guy in the background is my hubby.

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August 16, 2007

More Duke Boys

Hey, there are some more Duke Boy pictures below the fold! Enjoy!!!

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August 15, 2007

I Love Luke Duke!

Ok, I've told ya'll here before that I love the Dukes of Hazzard! In fact, I am a Luke girl.

Yep. I love Luke Duke. In fact, I love him and I get to kiss him everyday - albeit a smaller version!

I already posted that this is "Fair Week". With Fair Week comes certain obligations, one of which is the "Kid Parade". Each year kids dress up in a specific theme, this year's theme? Your favorite television character. My baby? He was Luke Duke. The sitter's Boy was Bo Duke (cause he is younger) and a friend was Daisy. The three piled into the General Lee, and proceeded to win, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Place at the Kid Parade.

My Boy got 2nd Place. Here is a camera phone picture. I'll post better ones tomorrow!


He has the boots, the hair (curtesy of a wig since my boy is blonde), the white cowboy hat, the blue shirt, the only thing missing is the "YeeeHawww!" Ain't they cute?

*walks away singing Good Ole Boys . . . *

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August 13, 2007

Boy Fun

You know I'm all about the memories . . . with that in mind I am like the energizer bunny. Which is to say, I work long hours each week, only to fit in time for "fun stuff" whenever humanly possible.

Let me explain - I do not want to be one of those people who finds out in their old age that their child harbors some resentment because they worked too much and had no time for them. So, while I work - too much - I always find time for the Boy and that means Boy Fun!

Take last week and this week too for that matter, I worked a grand total of 57 hours with two hour commutes each day which left me out of my home for a total of 67 hours last week. Now, that doesn't leave a lot of time does it?

Here is where making memories comes in. On Tuesday it was pouring, crazy downpours. I took the boy out to the driveway where we proceeded to dance around like maniacs in the rain. Who says mud puddles aren't fun?

Then there was Thursday where the boy and I watched a Bollywood film and proceeded to dance around like maniacs singing songs in Hindi - a language neither of us know . . .

Then there was Friday . . . Wait, I know what you are all thinking! You are thinking "Damn, she dances around like a maniac a lot". You are correct, nothing throws a four year old child into fits of laughter quite like watching mommy dance around like a maniac - remember, little memories. . .

Ok, back to Friday, we went to the Farm Show. It is back to back farm shows here and we are country folk so we do farm shows - BACKOFF! We toured the livestock barns, ate corndogs and fries, drank milkshakes, listened to a blue grass band and "petted cow babies" for several hours. The boy was loving it. He loves the farm show and especially loves the pigs. He was mad I didn't let him come home with twenty baby chicks though.

Saturday he went to a picnic with my folks and just to relax a bit, my hubby and I worked at a dual wedding for 500 people. We didn't have to cook this time, but rather we just served and made sure things were filled etc . . . Did I mention it was outside in the blazing heat and in a soggy field? ack.

Sunday? Snuggle time. The Boy and I do this "kissing competition" thing. We see who can get the most kisses in when the other isn't looking. Except it is rather awkward to keep kissing his head etc . . . so, we kiss our fingers and touch each other, dueling pointer fingers. So I kept touching his nose and he thought making a pattern was fun so he'd kiss my head, my chin, my nose, my cheeks, this went on until he was rolling with laughter then to calm down he asked me to sing to him (something I don't do well), so I sang "Baby Mine" from Dumbo and before I knew it we were both sleeping in a ball on the couch.

This week? Work, work, work, interview, work and then the Beach for the weekend! Yay!

How about you? Anything fun going on?

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August 02, 2007


I have a motto for my life as a parent - it has nothing to do with discipline, that is my job. It is about being a teacher, making memories.

The motto is simple: "It is with the smallest memory that we smile".

I know, not poetic, but something I am known to say quite often. And when better to make memories than the summertime?

I don't get much time off - so the Hubby, Boy and I make time. We fish, picnic, camp, swim, quad, dance, sing . . . you name it.

The past two weeks have been memory weeks. My family is having personal issues that are too much to go into here or anywhere else for that matter - so I have been taking time to just snuggle at peace with my family. Plus, it is Shark Week on Discovery so there have been several late nights and much snuggling while I'm told all about the "baby black reef tip" or the hammerhead my boy just saw on t.v.

Two weekends ago I took my boys - the Boy and the Nephew - to the Linesville Spillway - "Where the ducks walk on the fish". I've been going since I was tiny - going to feed the fish bread.

It is a carp breeding and study area in the overflow of a large lake. There are so many carp that they are literally sticking out of the water waiting for you to feed them stale, moldy, bread. Every year, I make one trip out to see the sight. It is really quite breathtaking. The lake, the countryside, the wacky fish and the ducks and geese who do actually walk right over the fish to eat up some bread too. Here are a couple pictures of the fish, the boys throwing bread etc. . . They had a marvelous time. Remember, it is the small memories.

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Then, this past weekend, I took a long weekend to camp with friends in the woods of Oil Creek Park in N.W. PA. I believe at last tally there were 14 adults and 11 kids on the trip.

Few people know that Oil Creek Park was the site of the first successful oil well in the WORLD.

Anyway, we camped, fished, swam, ate birthday cake and had a blast. The following pictures need explaining though. But remember - it is all about the memories.

Here we have the men-folk all fishing together.

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Here we have a very happy little one enjoying his birthday cake (he just turned three). Don't you just want to scoop him up and love on him?

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Two more smoochy boys eating cake!

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And here we have a fun sight, all the adult men-folk challenged to several games of B-ball by a bunch of teens. The "boys" our boys that is - actually won 2 of 3 games. By the third, they were so tired the younguns walked right over them! My hubby is the really tall - really white skinny guy in the back!

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Here we have some sort of Native pow-wow and demonstration. Yes, that is the Boy dancing with a sword!

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And last, but certainly not least, my pride and joy, the apple of my eye, my man - drinking a beer stuck to a toy paddle. He claimed his grip muscles were not working properly and he needed leverage. Whatever. I still love his dumb ass, and I sooo know what all our friends are getting for Christmas!

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The best part about the trip, and the one I failed to capture on film is that we had a major hour-long downpour. Everything was soaked, everything was in a puddle. The children discovered said puddles happily. They ran across the field and slid through mud puddles on their bellies. They went down a big metal slide and landed in a 6-inch deep mud puddle. They splashed and played and got dirty and had fun. So, when it all comes down to it, isn't that where it is? F-U-N? Memories, the things we remember or that are triggered by a sound, a smell, a feeling, a sight - usually remind us of fun or love or family. Sure we've bad memories too, but I'm talking the ones that cause you to smile without knowing it. Memories. Go out and make one today.

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Posted by Oddybobo at 08:35 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack

February 24, 2006

I Smell T-R-O-U-B-L-E

Tammi is taking a trip down memory lane about pranks she pulled as a youngster. I was not a prankster. I got into enough trouble without pulling pranks.

I have said before that my sister and I were the only asian (albeit 1/2) kids in our neighborhood and the only ones on our school bus. This fact was cause for much taunting!

Here is the thing about childhood taunting, you either act on it or dwell on it. Those that dwell tend to grow into psychotic weirdos as adults and those that act tend to grow into well rounded individuals. I'm somewhere in the middle as an adult - but I was an actor.

There was a boy, let's call him Ray. He was new to our school and to our bus route. On his first day on our bus, he sat in my seat. Now, it was my seat because I had a problem on the bus. The section 8 kids that rode my bus would taunt me about my clothes being from Goodwill (cause my mama made them) and call me names (like they should have been calling anyone names) and I, being the actor that I am, would throw punches. That got me a permanent seat at the back of the bus, away from the Section 8 kids.

Ray sat in my seat. I politely told him it was my seat, he needed to move. He called me "Ching Chong Wing Wong" and stuck out his tongue. So, being ever so calm and collected, I told him he would get a free pass that day but if he ever called me names again - or sat in my seat again - he would answer to me. Well, Ray, not being the brightest bulb in the box, snickered at me and then sang "Ching Chong Wing Wong Bang A Gong, Ching Chong."

You see where this is going right? Well, poor Ray got a smack down. A serious beating. I was, as I have told you all before, a bully. Ray got a black eye and a bruised ego for his assinine behavior and I got my seat (though I couldn't sit in it for three days because I was kicked off the bus!)

This began, or rather added to, a theme for my life "Where Can Oddy Get Kicked Out Of Next."

Well, I think throughout junior high and highschool I was kicked off the bus about eight times. A few for fighting other kids, once for fighting with the bus driver, once for organizing a eat-in when we were strictly forbidden to eat on the bus (I even baked the cupcakes with the hot pink icing myself), and a few times for cussing and/or throwing things out the window.

In high school, I was temporarily (for a week) kicked out of my sex-ed class for talking about . . . wait for it . . . SEX!! Apparently I knew a little more than the instructor and she was embarrassed. Moving on . . .

I have been kicked out of every fast food joint in my home area. I was kicked out of Burger King for simulating that oh-so-memorable scene from When Harry Met Sally. I was kicked out of McDonalds for snapping all their straws. I was kicked out of Wendy's for insisting that they did not, in fact, make my burger my way since it was square and for the love of all that is holy, a burger should not be square. I was kicked out of Long John Silvers for screaming, "This Fish Is Made Of People!" I was asked to leave the premises of the Hot Dog Shoppe for trying to walk through the drive through, and I was asked to leave the pizza parlor for starting a tini-tiny food fight. I am sure there were others too.

Skipping backwards for a moment, as a wee-girl child, I was kicked out of my brownie troope for beating up the leader's daughter. Hey, she put toothpaste in my sleeping bag, she couldn't be allowed to live. My dad was summoned and I was asked never to return.

I was kicked out of Junior Achievement - though not my fault - because a kid brought a gun and threatened to shoot me, they asked us both to leave and never come back.

I was kicked out of a band I was in during High School because I thought, perhaps crack wasn't a wise choice of refreshments.

I was kicked out of my church youth group because the youth pastor thought Led Zep. was the devil's music and I insisted on wearing Led Zep. t-shirts to every event.

I was even kicked out of my home at 14 because I dared to question mama ( I moved back in a year later).

There have been many, many others. But my shining moment of "Kicked Out" glory was when I was kicked out of Mormon Indoctrination Classes.

Let me tell you! It is difficult to get away from those Mormon Missionaries and I got myself kicked out of class. They already didn't like me because I didn't observe the separation of the sexes, I intentionally touched the "brothers" hehehehehe-I made them unclean! Hehehehehehe.

It was during the third week of classes, we were discussing certain books of the Bible and how they differ from those in the Book of Mormon. Apparently, I asked one too many questions and I was told - no freaking lie! - that "perhaps it would be better if I left and returned when my faith was stronger." Ha! I was not mouth-agape gullible enough to get into the freakin Mormons!

All I really wanted was to wear that cool holy underwear anyway . . . But seriously, who gets kicked out of Mormon indoctrination classes?

I guess they really got miffed when they were talking about some ancient written language from the South American indians in which written accounts of Jesus walking there were preserved. Being a student of history, and third world cultures at the time, I knew no such "libraries" existed. When questioned, I was told they were destroyed in a fire (Ummm, that was Alexandria). But as the ancient indian cultures didn't have a written language, but rather wrote in glyphs, no such accounts really ever existed did they?

Like I said, I asked too many questions. I made those Mormon's squirm and they kicked me out of their class. A shining moment indeed.

I have grown though, really I have. I mean, in two weeks I'll be thirty. So I am an adult. But, I know, lurking somewhere in my thirty-year old body is yet another "Kicked Out" story waiting to happen. I just know it!

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