Success

Right off the top of my head, I can’t think of anything more gratifying than having successful, happy children. (Should I call them off-spring now that they’re over twenty-five years old?) I didn’t care what they did for a living as long as they were happy. If you have a job you love, every day is a good day. Both of my sons love their jobs, so I am a very happy Mama.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

 

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This is where I annoy you

Few things are as annoying as someone telling you their dream. Not the dream about moving to the beach and becoming a world famous candle maker, but the dream they had last night while mouth breathing with their eyes closed.

Guess what treat you’re in for?

If you can interpret dreams, well, I would really appreciate your insight into this.

In my dream, my mom was alive and we were in Fr. Foster’s class at St. Vincent’s Cathedral. Mom told me she had had a vision about me, and Fr. Foster had had one, too. I said that was cool, especially since Fr. Foster doesn’t have visions.

Then, we were in the church standing in front of the alter rail. Someone all in white moved from left to right in front of us. I asked Mom what her vision was.

“You get to go where you’ve always wanted to go,” she said.

“Where’s that?” I asked.

“You die,” she said.

A couple of weeks ago I dreamed I died. What in the world does this mean? I bet the dogs have something to do with it. They’re little 12 pound lapdogs, but they’re master bed hogs. They fight over who gets to sleep on my pillow, nicely snuggled up to my face so I breathe in dog fur. Somehow they double in weight, making it nearly impossible to scoot them away with my sleep-dead arms.

I’m healthy. I feel good. My bangs are finally growing out so I’m enjoying better hair days. I really don’t feel, or even smell like, death.

If I do die, I’ll let you know.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

It’s a Struggle

The first Yiddish word I learned was kibitz, and I was the prime kibitzer in my family. Later I became a great buttinski. If I heard a conversation, I joined in. When telephones were attached to a wall, my mother never had a conversation by herself if I was within earshot.

My parents sent me to school with a stern warning: If I got spanked in school, when I got home I was to tell them, and they would spank me harder. School spankings were not allowed, period.

Mrs. Hoover spanked me in the first grade for talking without permission. I was called to the front of the classroom where I stood in front of the entire class and was spanked on my bottom. Public humiliation was a huge deterrent in the 1960’s.

I wore a pretty plaid Kate Greenaway dress, and those little anklets with lace trim. Girls who wear Kate Greenaway dresses should behave much better than that!

The ruffled crinoline petticoat dulled the swats.

I continued my wicked ways through the fourth grade. I was a sneaky child. I never once told my parents I got spanked in school. It was never mentioned on the report cards, even though it was always noted that I was very talkative, talked out of turn, and never pulled very good marks in citizenship.

Good heavens! Everything was so dang interesting! I was interested in everything except keeping my opinion to myself.

I got caught in the fourth grade. One evening I was sitting in the bathtub and Mama asked me what that was on my hip.

Nothing, I said.

There’s a bruise, she said. Why is your hip bruised?

I fell down, I said.

No, you didn’t, she said. Your whole hip is bruised! What did you do?

What did I do? A girl and two boys and I were pushing and acting up in the water fountain line in PE, which was a colossal no-no. I don’t remember the PE teacher’s name, but he was a young man in his 20’s and he sent all of us to the equipment closet for licks. I was a skinny girl, but I had to bend over and grab my knees just like the boys, and he busted my butt with his wooden paddle with the dirty white tape wrapped around the handle. Oh, my gawd that hurt! There was no petticoat to protect my skinny butt. I tried so hard not to cry. Crying was more humiliating than the spanking.

Today, the teacher and the school would have been sued. They probably owe me thousands of dollars for damages.

I didn’t get spanked again, but my mom did something worse: She told my beloved grandmother. This is going to break her heart, she said.

No! Not break my Gaga’s heart!!!

Then we found out the teacher was in such a horrible mood that day because he was having to ship out to Vietnam.

Yes, let’s vent on small children.

But, I continued with my running commentary on everything. Mystery Science Theater was based on me. I talked through every movie, every TV show. So did my mom and my sister. We had the greatest time! We were more entertaining than what we were watching! Well, whoever was sitting near us wasn’t amused.

My son Christopher was a delight to me because he joined in in my movie commentary. That annoyed the heck out of my other son and my husband, so Chris and I had to sit away from them in theaters so we could whisper in peace.

Good ol’ Chris inherited my kibitz-ness and got into trouble in school for talking out of turn. How could I punish my own Mini Me after those awful parent-teacher meetings? Fortunately, he never got the paddle.

Recently I’ve become a Benedictine Oblate. The greatest challenge for me is to zip my lip and be quiet. Not everyone needs to know what I’m thinking. There is much to be heard in the silence. And a bit rougher translation is shut up, sit down, and let God take care of it.

Oh, it’s a challenge. I’ve been an Oblate for at least six years now, and keeping my opinion to myself, sitting down and letting God take care of it, is a continual struggle. There’s a time and a place for everything, even for goofy talk and hot opinions. At least when I talk out of turn now, I won’t get a spanking.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

That windy day

Interesting windy day here at the office. The front door kept blowing open which is a little unnerving. Come on in already!!

One time the door blew open and Andre walked in. He’s light on his feet and just appears.

Again the door blew open, and Mauricio walked in. I’ve known him on Face Book and today he showed up here in person. When the door blew open again he left with a box of tile.

Then the door blew open, and a man wearing an “I Fratelli” uniform walked in asking us if we wanted free pizza. The folks he delivered it to had ordered too much and refused two boxes.

Yes, yes we will accept free I Fratelli pizza, thank you very much.

Just another blustery day in Texas.

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

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NYE

New Year’s Eve 1999 I stayed up to midnight to see what was going to happen. Rolling over into the new century meant certain doom. The power grid would shut down. Satellites would fall from the sky. Riots would break out. My mom told me to lay in a stock of food and bottled water just in case.

When I remembered to stock up, I bought a flat of green beans from Sam’s, and a case of bottled water.

My young sons and I stayed up watching TV. We alternated between Dick Clark, a “Twilight Zone” marathon, and a “Monk” marathon. I was a newlywed at the time, but my new husband couldn’t stay awake. I didn’t know if I should let him slumber through the end of the world or not.

And then, midnight came.

And nothing happened. It was just another new calendar page.

The next year we stayed up again. Someone said the new millennium didn’t start until 2000 became 2001.

I remembered to buy another case of water and restocked our small supply of green beans.

The boys and I watched the same lineup. Husband fell asleep. And then, midnight came.

And nothing happened.

Every single thing has changed between then and now. My young sons are grown young men out on their own. My mother is no longer with us. My sister is a grandmother. Dick Clark passed on and left us with Ryan Seacrest. All of the wonderful electronic gadgets that were shiney and new at the turn of the century have helped separate us from each other. People don’t talk anymore: we text. And texting isn’t even in English. We text in an odd abbreviated language.

This year, when 2016 became 2017, I couldn’t even stay awake to see the new year dawn on the east coast. I was dozing at 9:30 with my old husband snoring next to me, and our small dogs burrowed under the covers. “Monk” is no longer in syndication, and I didn’t feel like watching “Talky Tina” again (yes, Telly Savalas deserved the fall down the stairs) or the super creepy story of the little girl who fell out of her bed into another dimension.

I’m so blasé about the whole thing, we didn’t even have green beans. Nor did we have blackeyed peas and cabbage. Just slept, woke up, and had coffee on the first morning of the new year.

 

Having a wonderful time! Wish you were here.

 

 

The end of 2016

I like this time of year between Christmas and New Year’s. With everyone on vacation, the commute to and from work is easy breezy, especially this year when we’re blessed with extremely unusual summer weather and dry roads.

The Grim Reaper is busybusy removing our pop icons from this plane. The latest is Michu Meszaros, the actor who played Alf. Yesterday the Grim Reaper reaped America’s Sweetheart, Debbie Reynolds, who passed on to the next plane the day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died. She was at her son’s house planning her daughter’s funeral, and now, Todd Fisher has to plan the funeral for his mother and sister. That is heartbreaking.

It’s curious to me that so many noteable people are dying this year. I mean, who watched “Tammy” and “Star Wars” and said, “Those ladies are going to die within hours of each other in 2016?”

I hope the quota has been met and you and yours make it successfully to 2017.