Make it “Theme Thimple”

When little kids lose their front teeth, sometime between 5 to 8 years old, they acquire (for a time) the most adorable lisp. Around that same age, they also develop an appreciation for themed learning opportunities and events. (Put those … Continue reading

Encounters of the Creepy-Crawlie Kind

Rodents and spiders, snakes and crawdads, slugs and salamanders, insects and warty toads, and caterpillars of every variety – in my life I’ve held each of the above-mentioned critters (and then some) in my very own hands. With my rural upbringing … Continue reading

Overtaken by Offspring (A Serial Theatrical Production)

Overtaken by Offspring
(A theatrical comedy about family get-togethers)

ACT ONE, SCENE ONE:

Lights come up on the family Matriarch as she sits in her recliner, nodding off to sleep. Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Matriarch awakens in a startled fashion, and makes her way groggily to the door. Opens door to Delivery Boy.

Delivery Boy: Telegram for Mom
Matriarch: (Yawns rudely) That’s me.
Delivery Boy: Sign here, Mom….ummm, I mean Ma’am.
(Matriarch signs)
Delivery Boy: Thank you, have a “good one!”
*{Please note: “Have a good one” is NOT an acceptable way to wish people a good day (if that is, indeed, what you are attempting to convey). “Have a good one” is a useless, grammatically incorrect statement….a good what?! A good lunch? A good commute to work? A good cry? A good laugh? A good report from my doctor…? A good nervous breakdown?! WHAT THE HECK do you mean by “one?”}

Matriarch closes door, fumbles around for reading glasses so she can focus on delivered telegram she holds in her hands, finally finds a pair and gets them correctly positioned on her face, and reads: “Extended family members to arrive next Tues (stop); Driving down from MN with camper (stop); Will camp out with you and rest of family (stop); Will expect all siblings, in-laws, and nephews to be in attendance (stop); Get EVERYTHING ready.”

Tired Matriarch looks at calendar and collapses.
Lights fade for end of Scene One

ACT ONE, SCENE TWO:
Scene opens on Matriarch with pile of papers in front of her, as she writes frantically on one of the papers.

Matriarch (talking to herself, as usual): “Okay….meal list complete; packing list complete; time to work on my shopping list, and then a detailed plan of action for the next four days so that I can be ready to go when the family camping reunion commences. Friday….at work all day; husband & I out with friends in the evening. Saturday…at work all day; to grocery store in the evening; Sunday…to Church in morning; get busy preparing all the meals we will need while on our campout. Monday….work all day; in evening, start packing my personal needs for the campout, also, clean the ENTIRE house and prepare to house numerous lodgers (i.e, twelve people, counting me) in case heavy rains come and we are forced to bail out (literally and figuratively) and head home for dry and comfortable housing. Tuesday…finish any last-minute housing and food details, pack personal belongings and food, rent moving van, head out to our Indiana property for the family camping adventure.

Lights fade as Matriarch climbs into bed and immediately falls asleep, murmuring something about bug spray, bubble wands, and big bottles of wine. The director thinks it best not to disturb her for a curtain call. Check back late next week when this delightful, dramatic comedy presentation continues with ACT ONE, SCENE THREE, when the Matriarch waves good-bye to her older daughters, sons-in-law, and five grandchildren as the visit (finally) comes to an end. 😄

Thirty-six Years of Adventure

On this day in 1982, I set sail on an Ocean of Blue. It was the beginning of a great venture of discovery on the Great Sea of Life and Love. My first mate was my husband, Ron, and we … Continue reading

The Near-Miss Adventures of Motoring with the Mr.

My husband likes to drive, which is nice when we‘re on a long road trip. I usually offer once or twice to take a turn, but he always declines.  It saves me from the stress of navigating through the highway … Continue reading

More Roadway Ramblings with my Roadster, Louie the Shark

I’ve been much too serious lately. I’ll blame it on winter’s enduring stronghold in the Midwest (give it up, winter…we’ve had it up to our eyeballs with your silly shenanigans…but, then again, we haven’t been dealing with Nor’easters!). In an … Continue reading

Close Encounters of the Spiritual Kind (Elder Care, Part II)

In my last post, I shared my personal views on elder care. There are many reasons for finding ourselves in this mess. First of all, let’s be honest, a lot of us are just too busy (or, too far away, … Continue reading

Tuckered-out in the Twin Cities

“Our family is really close, because we live in a small house!” This is a direct quote of my oldest daughter, from way back when she was about 8 years old. Yes, we were close, all right, with a small cape cod, 3 bedrooms for five people, and only one full bathroom. You learn military scheduling and crafty maneuvering in such tight spots, and even with those skills, inconvenient glitches often occur. With a useable toilet in the basement, bunk beds in the big girls’ room, and an extreme distaste for clutter, we survived quite well.

My two oldest daughters, now married mothers/homeowners, also have small houses. This simple living is the best choice when mama wants to be able to give her attention full-time to the little ones. However, now that we live further apart, these tiny houses are starting to cause us trouble. I can no longer find a workable, comfortable plan that will allow our oldest daughter and her family to bunk with us. And, with their growing family, the rest of us now have to travel in shifts to go visit them in Minnesota. We pushed the limits this time, by four of us coming at once. My middle daughter, her husband, and their foster baby, along with me, are all here at the same time. I got bumped out of my usual basement bedroom for the sake of the three of them. The oldest sent out a message through a neighborhood social media site, asking if anyone nearby had a room to rent. (I am so proud of her for doing this, because it is totally something I would do….have already done! 😉).

It took a few days, but some lady living close-by, in half of a duplex, replied to my daughter’s request, to say that I was welcome to stay with her, no charge! (A great example of utilizing my, “It never hurts to ask” life philosophy!) It’s a lovely little home, very clean and nicely decorated, and wonderfully quiet….except for her little dog. He’s a sweet boy, but it’s one of those “yippy” breeds of canines (by which I mean that he has a high-pitched, piercing bark that penetrates all possible defenses deployed for blocking out unwanted noise). That does not bode well for someone like me, who has trouble sleeping in any bed other than her own and needs absolute silence. The first night of our stay, I did not sleep well, mainly because of the new environment. By the second night, I was exhausted and ready to get a good night’s sleep. It was going really well until 5:30 am, right after my “landlady” left for work. Apparently, doggie sensed my presence, and thought I should wake up and keep him company….or, maybe there was just a squirrel outside. Whatever it was, the yipping started and didn’t stop. I grumbled to myself, pulled out my earplugs, turned off the fan, and went to tell him to be quiet. He did so….for about 3 minutes. I got up again, went to the bathroom, and told him again to be quiet. He obeyed. I laid back down, and tried to relax. Not happening, because now I am wide awake. I gave up and rolled out of bed once more. I shuffled downstairs to the kitchen, and fumbled around for a source of caffeine. Too tired for a shower, I headed over to my daughter’s house with my hair sticking out every-which-way. I somehow managed to make it through an entire day of baby bouncing, baby talk with so much smiling my cheeks hurt, reading to the older girls until my throat was feeling scratchy, playing pretend, and helping to hand-wash the dishes after supper. Luckily for me, the little ones go to bed pretty early, normally tucked-in by 7:30pm. By 8:00, I was at the “boarding house,” getting ready to settle in for (what I hoped might be) a long, winter’s nap.

I am happy to report that my landlady was also looking forward to sleeping-in that morning, so that meant that doggy would be sleeping, too (and quiet!). I slept until nine o’clock the next morning (over nine hours!). I had a nice, leisurely breakfast, chatting with my newest friend, then took a shower. My oldest daughter texted me to see if I was okay. The next daughter down called to tell me that the granddaughters were getting impatient, wondering where Mimi was. Gee whiz, people, give this old girl a chance to catch up on her sleep and squeeze in a quick shower. I should be there before the little ones head down for their morning naps! Tell them to start working on a stack of books for Mimi to read, and I’ll bring my throat drops. Gotta capitalize on this time together, so I’ll push myself to the limits (and sleep in as often as possible!).

Beyond Lullabies (Part 2 of the Family Saga)

In my last post, I rustled up the courage to share the painful truth of my childhood. I prefer not to leave it at that. I want you to know about the perceptible (albeit modest) healing that came to pass … Continue reading