Hard Candy Christ

Well hello and where ya been?! No matter. No one’s interested in your excuses anyhow. The important thing is that you’ve made it back just in time for an enjoyable seasonal anecdote.

But first, let me explain that when my parents come for a visit from Virginia, we usually play lots of board games. During one of their more recent visits, we played Like-Wise which is a board game where you have to answer category questions while trying to match other people’s answers and thus gain points.

My mom answered two-and-quite-possibly-three of six category questions with “Dolly Parton.” I have never heard my mother before (or since) make mention of Dolly Parton. I didn’t even know she knew who Dolly Parton was. No one matched her Dolly Parton answers so she didn’t get any points. But my kids came away from that game with the distinct impression that Grandma is a huge Dolly Parton fan.

So imagine their joy and surprise when we got in the car yesterday after the first mass of Advent to find that the carol playing on the radio was by Grandma’s fave – Dolly Parton!

I’ll give you one guess as to what Dolly was singing. That’s right!  Her all time, best-selling holiday song, “Hard Candy Christ.” I even got a picture of it on the dashboard display.

Grandma’s religious too, so any reference to Christ is right up her alley.

Sissy’s take on the whole thing? “Oh my GOSH! Grandma would LOVE this song!”

And really, who doesn’t love hearing a bosom-y gal sing about Jesus as a red and white striped, peppermint flavored baby sitting in a feed trough. Feeling hungry? Break off an arm of the Beloved Savior and enjoy! Num, num, num.

Hard Candy Christ. Yep, what a Christmas classic. Thank you, Dolly! Really puts you in the spirit of the season.  You too, Mom?!

Five Years Old

My blog is now FIVE YEARS OLD! Can you believe I’ve been offering witty insights to the blogosphere for that long?! I’ve been offering witty insights live and in person for far longer, but that’s not the point.

You know who else is closing in on five? Our darling dog, TeddyBear. He’s the cutest little feller though somewhere along the way ohhhhh about year four point five we learned that Teddy couldn’t close his mouth all the way.

Sissy suffered from the same issue and so her braces were taking FOREVER to straighten her teeth out. Until the appointment where Toofuses Doc discovered that the top and bottom edges of her canine teeth were slamming into eachother so he filed ‘em down and voila! Straight albiet needley teeth. Wish I’d taken an emery board to that nonsense sooner.

Anyway, Teddy suffers from the same issue where his top and bottom canines prevent his mouth from closing all the way. As a result, his front teeth are a bit…lacking…in their alignment and we don’t love him enough to get him braces.  So now he has a bad case of what Sissy’s bestie calls “little kitty teeth” and Hubby calls, “teeth that look like tombstones in an Irish graveyard” because they’re tinier than normal and all slanted this way and that.

But in honor of how much we love him and to celebrate a bit early his fifth birthday, we each created a poem for him portraying him as another creature. No, this is NOT weird in anyway and yes, this IS what you do for dogs you don’t love enough to get braces, thanks for asking. Also?  He would never wear his retainers afterwards, so there’s that argument too.

Without further ado, here are our original Odes to Teddy-as-another-creature poems in no particular order.

Sonny:
Teddy is a little lamb
He plays the fiddle in a little lamb band
The ‘and.

Sissy:
Teddy is a little kitty
His front teeth are itty, bitty
And his breath is really sh**ty
But he’s so cute and so pretty.

Me:
Teddy is a little bear
He hurt his paw flying through mid-air
What is the lesson there?
Always beware the l’il bear dare.

Hubby:
Teddy is a little man
He plays the fiddle in a little man band
The ‘and.

Stranger Danger

Periodically, I think about Stranger Danger.  Mostly at inopportune times, when suddenly it occurs to me I haven’t discussed Stranger Danger enough with my kids.

And while most kids may be startled and thrown off by this approach, my kids have learned to roll with it – as one would when one has such a charming and fun (not to mention pretty!) mother.

Case in point?  This latest example of The Stranger Danger Talk.

Hubby and I were at the airport earlier this week getting ready to ship the kids back east by themselves to visit my parents (thanks, Mom & Dad!).

As we were waiting at the gate, I took a look at their tickets and noticed that while they were both in the same row, one was seated by the window and one was on the aisle.  Which left a whole seat open in between them for…duhn, duhn, duhn…STRANGER DANGER!

So we discussed all the ways they could avoid being separated by a stranger intent on sitting in between them on the plane.  But because I can’t leave well enough alone and now Stranger Danger is in my head, I asked them both quietly what they would do if a stranger did sit between them despite their best efforts and tried to touch my babies-on-a-plane-by-themselves inappropriately.

Sissy, not at her first Stranger Danger rodeo, immediately launches in to how she – if the stranger is a guy – will punch him in the throat and groin while shouting “Stranger Danger!”

Sonny, watching Sissy go through her Stranger Danger motions chimes in with, “I call what she’s doing the Pinocchio Approach.”  At which point he mimics a wooden boy whose puppeteer is pulling on his strings such that his right arm and right leg are moving simultaneously in a punching/kicking motion.  Up and out.  Up and out.  Up and out.

Ok, good.  They know some stuff.  The Pinocchio Approach is a nice touch.

So I pose my next question, “But what if it’s a woman?  Stranger Dangers aren’t always men.”

To which Sissy replies with, “then you do THIS!” And she demonstrates with more hand motions – two fists coming straight at my chest.

I back away and say, “REALLY?!  Did you learn that somewhere??”

She says, “No, but I know when I get hit with a softball in the boob it really hurts, so I figured that would work.”

Hmmm.  That’s a great point.  I’ve gotten a chestful of soccer ball myself and what she says is true.

But since we haven’t heard nearly enough from Sonny on the topic, I turn to him and ask him what he would do during Stranger Danger.

He said that no matter who it was, he’d punch them in the stomach and then shout, “I’m not going to like your social media posts!”

And thus concludes another successful conversation on the topic of Stranger Danger.  Stranger Danger 2017.

Thanks for stopping by.  Where have you been these last few months?  I missed you.

Don’t be such a…Stranger next time.  Heh, heh, heh.

Brace Yourself

Sonny just got his braces off. While that was happening in the orthodontist’s office, I ran to the grocery store to get his post-braces “gift” comprised of all the candy he couldn’t eat (and claimed he didn’t eat) while he had braces.

Side note: not sure if he actually stayed away from things like Starburst and Jolly Ranchers for the duration since there were a lot of weird scenarios involving popped brackets and broken wires which started with the unbelievable, “I was just standing on the playground when allofasudden my bracket popped off.” Yeah, right.

The grocery store was a bit limited on containers to put the candy in so I opted for a slender lime green plastic pitcher. Something akin to a big beer mug from the Löwenbräu tent at Octoberfest.  Except lime green.  And plastic.

When I presented the whole thing to Sonny in the car after he got his shiny new toofuses, he exclaimed, “Wow! This container looks like one of those Huge A$$ Beers from New Orleans!  Remember those, Mom?!”

No. Nope.  Can’t say as I do, and the more important question is how do YOU?!  And did you just say the word a$$ right out here in the open?!  “Whattcha talkin’ about, Buddy?”

Him: “In New Orleans, on Bourbon Street, all of the unprofessional bars were selling them. Don’t you remember?  They all had signs advertising Huge A$$ Beers.  We didn’t see those beers or signs at any of the professional ones.”

Hmmm…professional and unprofessional bars? Ok, I’ll bite.  “Wow.  I’m not sure what exactly an unprofessional bar is….?  And also, you have to stop saying A$$.”

Him: “You know, a professional bar is one where they have seats and you can go and sit down and maybe even order some food. The unprofessional ones were selling the Huge A$$ Beers and there was no place to sit and you just had to take your beer and go.  They were pretty ratchet, those places.”

What did I just say about saying A$$?! And it sounds like someone spied with their little eye lots of unprofessional…bars on Bourbon Street and didn’t say boo about it at the time.  “Ah, yes.  Those are called storefronts or something.  Where all you can buy are huge…beers and then leave.  I do remember those.  They were pretty nasty.”

And there you have it – how to graciously receive your post-braces gift after you’ve recently been to New Orleans.

Lost _ _ _ and Found

As I was driving Sonny to school this morning, there was a contest on the radio where people were calling in to share the weirdest place they had ever found something they lost.

I asked Sonny if he had ever found something in a weird place.  He hadn’t. Shocking, I know. But he in turn asked me the same question.

So I told him. I told him.  I told him the straight up, no holds barred tale of the Catholic School Girl who desperately wanted her ears pierced.  But her mother was worried that she couldn’t become a nun if she had pierced ears, so didn’t allow her to.

This is a completely true story wherein our plucky young heroine eventually convinced her mother she wasn’t destined for the nunnery and ended up getting her ears pierced in 8th grade.  But this isn’t that story, so we continue on…

Back to that part where our female protagonist desperately wanted pierced ears but being in 6th grade, with a morally opposed mother, could only get ahold of those round gold MAGNETIC earrings (which looked eerily like hearing aid batteries…except gold…and magnetic) from Fashion Bug.

She wore them to Catholic school one day and discovered after the first hour of class, that while the back of the right one was still stuck to her ear, the front had entirely sheared off and was nowhere to be found.

Rats! RATS!!! RAAAAAAAAATSSSSS!!!! <– This is all Catholic School Girls are allowed to say when earrings go missing – magnetic or otherwise.

Confession time. She is I.  I am she, and when I got home at the end of the day and changed out of my school uniform, I found the earring IN MY BELLYBUTTON!!!  Just sitting right THERE.  In my BELLYBUTTON!

Top THAT story! Weirdest place to find something lost – my BELLYBUTTON, I say!  And no, I didn’t call in to the radio. I only shared it with Sonny.  Well, and now you. 

Also? Due to this lucky happenstance and my fervent prayers to St. Anthony which were clearly answered because he had nothing more important to find that day, I now consider myself the original inventor of the belly button earring.  Alright, alright.  It was the one point oh version of the belly button earring, and they’ve come a long way since then.  But then again, who hasn’t?!

Bourbon Street

I just flew in from New Orleans, and boy, are my arms tired! Guck, guck, guck; That never gets old.

Hubby and I took the kids there for spring break. We stayed on Bourbon Street, because that’s the kind of parents we are.  (We also had the Voodoo Daiquiri from Jean Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shoppe.  The Voodoo Daiquiri’s other name is Purple Drank for some vague reason having to do with Everclear.  That’s ALSO the kind of parents we are.)

Anywho…as soon as we dropped off the luggage in our hotel room, we were out ON Bourbon Street, introducing the kids to the magic.

Now let’s pause here and recall how the weirdest stuff happens to me all the time – and how Sissy has been apprenticing with me in recent years so I can teach her how it goes. Yay, Mini Me!  Also, Hubby and Sonny always walk a minimum two blocks ahead of us for some reason.  Go figure.

Given that back story, is it any wonder that within our first sixty seconds on Bourbon Street, a woman on the complete other side of the street begins to beeline for us, holding her beer-in-a-plastic-cup out in front of her like she’s in some sort of relay race.

As she stumbles across the cobblestones towards us, Sissy and I are mesmerized into a standstill, watching her come closer.

Just when she reaches us, she trips on some uneven pavement and her sandaled foot SPLASHES into one of those charming brown Bourbon Street puddles. Even though we’re on the sidewalk awaiting her arrival, the splash is so massive that the nasty water goes ALL OVER Sissy’s flip-flopped feet and ankles. GAACK!

The puddle this woman stepped in apparently contained an even deeper puddle, and we’re all horrified, the strange woman included, heavy on the strange, to see her foot sink to mid-shin. GAAAACK!!!

As she tries to right herself, she GRABS MY ARM, HOLDS ME TO HER and flounders into an even deeper puddle than the first. Because I’m now attached to this woman as an unwilling participant in her three-legged beer run, I get the secret sauce this time around.  Up to my knees. GAAAAAAAACK!!!!

Eventually she’s back up on solid land, whereupon she lets go of me and stumbles on, laughing with her friends, not having spilled a drop of beer. Sissy and I are left clutching each other and making retching noises as brown water drips down our legs and everyone on Bourbon Street gives us a wide berth like WE’RE the ones causing the problem.  Per usual, Hubby and Sonny are nowhere to be found.

By the time I’m finally able to convince Sissy that the water most likely does not contain human feces (although she’s had a Hep C shot, so she’s good either way), we’ve caught up with Sonny and Hubby and relate the horrifying goings-on.  I’m PISSED that Hubby left me with nothing but a teenage girl as a barrier to the lunacy so I give him what for.

At which point he turns to Sissy and says, “Look. I’ve seen this movie before.  So it’s best to walk with a purpose.  If you hang back with her – here he hitches his thumb my way – she’s gonna draw you into her vortex.  Every time.”

Oh, so somehow this is MY fault. In which case: You’re welcome, Mini Me.

I taught that girl everything she knows.

The Luck O’ The Irish

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day 2017, let me tell you about our own encounter with…The Luck O’ the Irish.

We recently took a trip to Ireland. On Aer Lingus.  And sat behind literal Irish twins who were about a year old.  We had those four seats in the middle of the plane, with Sonny and Sissy in the middle of the middle and an extra gap between them caused by the doubled up arm rests.

The reason this gap is important will be revealed in a sec.  Hang on to yer everlovin’ hats!

About an hour into the flight, the twins are peeking back at Sissy and Sonny.  So cute.  Playing peek-a-boo.  Rosy cheeked and dimpled.  Golden curls.  When ALLOFASUDDEN!!!  Vomit comes shooting out of the extra wide gap in the seat in front of us.

Gaah!  Gaaaaaaah!!!!  GAAAAAAAH!!!!

It was like that Saturday Night Live skit where someone has a hose in their sleeve and holds it strategically beside their mouth. Stuff was coming out of one of those little Irish pieholes in such quantities it was not humanly possible.

And Sissy and Sonny, leaning in to the adorable game of peek a boo (one for me! one for you!!), get totally sprayed. Until it was ALL over them AND their backpacks (filled with snacks, games and even winter coats) which they had dutifully placed underneath the seats in front of them like good Aer Lingus citizens.

I almost started vomiting my own self it was so awful – and that was only hour one, ONE, of a SEVEN HOUR flight. Guh.  Guh.

B’gosh and begorrah, my friends! That is what’s known as the Luck O’ the Irish.  Except they spelled ‘luck’ wrong.  It should’ve been spelled p-u-k-e instead.  The Puke O’ The Irish.

Yep. That’s about right.

Sláinte!

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom! We called twice.  You must’ve either been on the computer…or in bed.  Hope it was a great day.  Love you.

Lucky Thirteen

Sonny is thirteen years old today. Or as he puts it, “Yippee!  Now I get to become all awkward and weird!” Yep, there’s that to look forward to, assuming of course you’re not already, bah-dum-bump!

So in honor of Sonny’s birthday, I thought I’d share with you my three favorite things he speaks into fellow wrestlers’ ears when he has them down on the mat. Side note: Sonny is from the “Stay down; I said stay down!” school of wrestling.  I’m sure there’s a technical term for it.  Win-by-pin, maybe?  But whatever it’s called, he gets ‘em.  And holds ‘em.  And never lets ‘em go.  All while whispering one of the following:

  1. Shhhh….there’s a bald eagle over there. Don’t move, you might scare it away.
  2. What? What?! What are you doing with your life?!?
  3. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?

How creative!  How fun and fresh!  Yay thirteen!  Nooooo, not awkward or weird.  Yet.

And no, Grandma.  Of course he doesn’t actually whisper these things into anyone’s ear.  He just jokes about doing it.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, our wonderful wrasslin’ boy. Thanks for being so amazing and for keeping us laughing. We love you more than we could ever say [she said in a whisper].

Astral Float for Two

My L’il sis and Bro’ in law got Hubby and me an Astral Float for Two for Christmas. Yep.  Nope.  Yep.  This is a real thing.

When we called to make the appointment, we inquired as to what we should bring with us. Please say swim suits. Please?  Pleasepleasepleaseplease!  They replied with, “nothing” which naturally meant I had to bring my swimsuit anyway.  Just in case.

What is an Astral Float for Two, you ask? It’s as close as you can get to riding on Space Mountain without actually being on Space Mountain because you are instead floating naked in a sensory deprivation tank filled with body-temperature salt water.  Expect you’re by yourself while your husband is in another room in his own sensory deprivation tank filled with HIS naked body and some salt water.  I know he didn’t have his swimsuit on because I had it in my purse which was in my room with me.

Also? There’s no orange asteroid which periodically flashes across the sky like in the real Space Mountain.  You’re in a sensory deprivation tank after all, so all you can see is a deep, dense black that is the same whether your eyes are open or closed.  Snippets of the movie “A Cure for Wellness” flash through your mind until you become increasingly worried that no one will hear your screams if you start feeling tentacles.

It seemed like I spent the first thirty minutes fooling myself into thinking I did…and then I didn’t…and then I did have to go to the bathroom. Eventually I talked myself out of the bathroom thing because the bathroom was all the way down the hall, no robes were provided, and my swimsuit was high and dry right next to Hubby’s in my purse.  Why didn’t I put on the swimsuit? It would have been helpful with the bathroom run.

At some point, the voices in my head died down enough for me to begin to relax. Until I slowly started to realize that I could hear OTHER voices, through my ear plugs AND the sealed door of my deprivation tank, two different voices talking somewhere down by my feet.

Ack! ACKKKK!!  Screw the tentacles, THIS is the biggest fear!!  That there are people who accidentally stumbled into MY deprivation tank room and will shortly be throwing open the tank door and exposing me in all my glory!  Why are there two of them? Are they checking on me?  Or do THEY get to float together while Hubby and I had to stay separate but equal?

So I’m straining to hear. Straaaaaaaining to hear.  Trying to pick out a word or two and deciding if I’m going to be all friendly and casual when the tank door opens “Hiya!”  Or all super pissed, ready to go ham and shout “Shut the door!” to whomever is out there.

It dawns on me, but not soon enough, that the low rumblings and alternating higher pitched whining noises are actually coming from stomach. Oopsie. Tee hee hee.  Stupid chili cheese fries for dinner last night.  And for the record, those noises all sound different coming through salt water and ear plugs.

It’s such a relief that no one’s about catch a glimpse that I do actually become quite zen. Until I start wondering whether L’il Sis and Bro in law would ever get something like this as a gift for my parents.

Since it’s stream of consciousness time, I’ve moved on to thinking about when my parents lived in a mineral spring spa town in Germany and my aunt came to visit.  She convinced my mother to “take the waters” with her, have a spa day and get a massage. Except my mother, who hadn’t ever had a massage as far as we knew, ended up wearing her jeans on the massage table.  It’s become something of a family joke.  At which point I picture my mom wearing her jeans to the astral float.  And I start laughing.  And laughing.  And laughing.

Then the ghostly music begins to play which was my cue that my time had come to an end.

And none too soon.

Ahhhh, relaxing!  Astral float for two.  Jeans not recommended.

Stock Show

The Stock Show is in town! I don’t know what it’s all about exactly, not bein’ from these here parts, but it’s a hot field trip ticket for the 2nd grade and under set in the Denver, Colorado area.  Back East, we take field trips to places like Philadelphia or to see a Broadway Play in New York City. Stock Show?  Makes me feel like my kids are deprived.

We were talking about it at dinner tonight, and Sonny – whose favorite field trip WAS the Stock Show – chimed in with, “Yeah, it was the best! At the end, you could even buy a chicken for $20!!”

Oh boy, can you just imagine what Colorado mothers do when their kids show up from the Stock Show field trip with a chicken in tow?!

“But I didn’t have any money with me so I couldn’t get it.”

Phew.

“But that’s nothing; Bestie was going to get a PEACOCK!!”

Good lord.

“But he didn’t have any money either and then he fell asleep on my lap on the bus home.”

And there you have it. The best field trip of all time.  And also the reason you should never, EVER, send money with kids on a field trip.  Can you imagine what that bus trip home would’ve looked like with Sonny trying to tend a chicken AND a peacock while Bestie snoozed away?!?

The question naturally came around the table to Hubby, who’s a born and bred Coloradoan. His favorite field trip when he was in grade school??

Yep, you guessed it. The Stock Show.

Gosh. The Stock Show is starting to sound like a lot of fun.  I should git’ me there real soon.  I just won’t bring $20.  Or even $50.  Don’t want to be tempted or anything.  Also?  The nap at the end sounds very promising.