Monday, July 19, 2010


So Downie has hit the nail on the head again, and lest I were to take over her blog with a mere comment I'm writing part 2 on mine.   Don't misunderstand me, I'm grateful for the ideas and how it takes less space to store it.  It's just that I haven't joined this century.  I can't afford it.  But then again, I can't afford not to.  We have an extensive collection, but the new format is always more expensive, the converters, the speed at which it becomes obsolete...

Nearly a year ago I purchased a digital record converter.  SO EXCITED!  Now, not so much.  After installing the software and getting all set up I've found not too terribly outdated computer didn't have an internal speaker... doesn't that come standard, no.  I don't know where to begin looking for one, and don't want to buy one just to find out there's something else I'd need to get it going.  GOOD GRIEF!

And I'm so totally in concurrence about the life expectancy of CDs and DVDs.  How many have been pitched because the kids still live here.  Does anyone out there have blueray?  Do they really NOT get destroyed?  I know they play DVDs but CDs too?

So here I live in my techno-blur of Records (yes 33 1/3, 45...) VHS tapes, 35 mm film camera, slides...  I have a desktop computer... Can you say 8-Track tape (no, I don't have any of those)?  Talk about something that never wears out.  Heck, last I knew my mother still has her old reel-to-reel.

I hate change I can't keep up.  But, I suppose this isn't the only thing in life in which I'm outdated.  (I'm sure I've all too clearly given away my age.)  Besides, if these companies really want it to not be pirated why not get credit for old devises and recordings. Please, tell me I'm not the only one that has herself strung out over the decades.

Friday, July 16, 2010

An island trip

About a year ago my, then, 5 year old was invited to see the inside of the plane a friend of ours flies.  My son, Scotty, asked if he could fly to an island.  The pilot, thinking theoretically, replied yes.  So my son was ready to go.  Disappointed he resigned himself to a mainland visit of a non-moving plane.

We've made many attempts to help meets this innocent dream.  After asking a few weeks later when he would be going I decided to be a good mother and make cardboard boxes into planes for he and his friends, run down the sidewalk and take flight into our imagination.  A great deal of fun and effort later, it was insufficient to quench his desire.  After a year he's decided that he'll go on his church mission to Japan (since that's where Daddy went and it's an island.)

But he's still making alternate plans as this isn't a given and he'll be assigned the destination for his mission.  He's taken a fondness to dinosaurs and is determined to be a paleontologist.  He told Daddy the other day, "When I grow up to be a paleontologist I'll tell all the other paleontologists that we should go to Dinosaur land to find bones, it will probably be on an island so we'll have Pilot Jimmy take us."  (His brother now 21 months has taken a fondness to aircraft of any sort and are called 'flys'.)

I love the dreams of a child.  There are no limits or lack of confidence, no dream too and is taking measures to find happiness in every hope.  Let your dreams soar little one.

Kid's theories

I love the things kids come up with. 

 Some of my faves are my husband's theories on death when he was a child.
  1. There were only 2 ways you could die, as he was often warned of the first, getting hit by a car or, as in the old movies, getting shot.  As a result, and grandpa was old, he went around telling his friends his grandpa was shot.
  2. Then he started learning about heaven.  How do you get there...?  A GIANT Ferris wheel, that's it!
  3. But wait, if you get on while you're alive you have to die when you arrive at the top... a giant shoots you at the top, of course.  (Apparently he forgot getting run over.)
What are your favorite kid theories?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

You might be in Texas...

On a recent trip from the Ft. Worth area... and realized... only in Texas!  I recalled the culture shock I went through in moving here.  So here are a few of my own hill folk jokes...
  1. If you are certain the locals are speaking English, but you can't understand them...
  2. If a house is trimmed in burnt orange...
  3. If you watch more High School than Professional football...
  4. If the homecoming corsage weighs more than your date...
  5. If you the tumbleweed is larger than your SUV...
  6. If your belt buckle weighs more than your shoes...
  7. If you can drive all day without leaving the state...
  8. If you see more Rebel than US  flags..
  9. If your jeans are so heavily starched that they hold you up...
  10. If your limo has long horns on the grill...
  11.  If buying a family-friendly vehicle consists of buying a king-cab rather than a standard cab pick-up...
  12. And lastly the one that brought it all to mind...If you can pick up a snack for yourself and alfalfa for your livestock at the corner service might be in Texas.
What are some of the things you enjoy most about the Six Flagged State?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Man-sized job

As you well know I grew up with brothers.   I think very well of men and have no desire to demean them, but I do not understand them even after being surrounded by them my entire life.  At times they are hard workers anxious to please and make themselves useful, and at other times I feel like I have to nag to get them to do it, we women get tired of waiting around and do it ourselves.  And at other times we just want to test our talents and try our hand at something different than the norm of running a load or fixing a meal no one will enjoy.

Can I be self sufficient without offending my husband's or any other man's, for that matter, sense of masculinity?  And does that somehow make me less feminine to be more adept at 'manly things'?  It certainly doesn't make a man feminine to change a diaper, it just makes them less inept. 

I'm well acquainted with hard work and am quite capable of doing it by myself.  I make my own honey-do list and sometimes I start them and other times I actually complete them. I admit, I jump in a bit foolheartedly a bit oblivious as to what this actually entails and my adventures spring a leak as it were, sitting half-baked for a good spin around the calendar.  I like the idea of being a self-sufficient Texan woman with no need of the husband that's out on the range.  I fancy myself much more capable than I am, landing me in a fix and throwing a tantrum about the nail that refuses to find wood behind the molding.  But is it good or bad?

My son, now nearly two, came out of the shoot with a character so fierce and firm as to label him determined.  I wish for nothing more than that my children's dreams come true.  I am certain that they will, nothing will stand in his way.  I hope that my characteristic will be a positive, but will I always fall short of my personal expectations?  Can you be both patient and determined, feminine and proficient?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Phone Funny

Pranks... they're the epitome of boy humor!  But that what I grew up on.  At times I often laugh too readily at the antics of my boys (even the grown one.)  And at times I put on my girl cap and have a serious lack of fun running through my veins.  You never know which one you're going to get.  That having been said, I wonder if the woman in the punch line lacked imagination, humor and all the joy that in inherent in the make-up of a boy, or was she just having a, 'I'm trying to be a responsible mommy' moment.

So after a lengthy bike with my brothers (an adventure, to which I would have never entered, had I known how long a 10 minute ride in a vehicle really was) we caught up with a few of my brothers' friends.  We didn't have a plan for what were going to do, but somehow my brother noticed the the hook for the receiver stuck (we didn't PUT the gum there, I promise.)  But we weren't the kinda folk to let an opportunity pass us by.  Now Jay, being the eldest and wisest, knew the magic of the phone-line test.  (Which still eludes me to this day.)  You dial a certain number and the phone number of the phone.  Obviously there's no one on the other end of the line, but the phone rings... duh, duh, duh.  The thus, it began.  Let's make it ring, and when someone walks by and picks it up, it'll still ring...  Let's make it ring, and leave it hanging and watch peoples' reactions.  After about 1/2 an hour of having fun at other peoples' expense, a young rather cranky woman decided to be the responsible individual who would rescue innocent bystanders from the prank.  And in all her desire to sound intelligent and capable her best statement was, "They just put it that way."

Was she being a spoiled-sport of an active citizen?  Who cares, but thankfully our fun ended soon enough that we were able to get home the same day our bums the worse for the ware, and a little lighter for having stored a memory that would last a lifetime.
They put it that way.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Old Folks

Any of you, who have ever had the privilege of having extended family live with you, should appreciate the complexities and humor that naturally develops as a direct result of their presence in an already over-crowded home.  I never thought of our family being one of these until I brought up the Fastnot family (name has been changed to protect identity, kinda.)  They had one grandpa and one adopted grandpa living with them.  They were so gracious an loving I told my mother we should be like them, not realizing that we had done just that for most of my life!  My paternal grandfather (Dad's dad), and my maternal grandmother (mom's mom).

Grandpa was the first.  With an almost bald head, which had upon it a rather odd absence of skin.  I was convinced, probably due to an older brother, that he had a metal plate in his head from the war.  He was never in the war, but it was my story and I was sticking to it.  Grandpa was a smoker; had been since he was 11.  On the national, 'get your act together and tell someone to get off their duff and stop smoking' day, I thought of him.  However, I never had the courage to say anything.  He was the man I'd been taught to respect even though he took too long in the restroom, smelled funny, and wouldn't share the only color TV in the house.  He was a gracious man who took his smoking outdoors... in the walker... down the stoop... over the grass (next to the pile of burnt rolls).  I never asked him.  Why didn't I?  After a series of heart attacks and gangrene he passed away.  But in doing so, he never left me.  We inherited the color TV, the lift chair... and the memories of a soul that touched me so deeply as to leave a place in my heart for the kiss I couldn't give upon returning from the second grade.

Grandma was next a few years later.  She came for a visit, and never left.  During my most impressionable years of middle and high school.  The crazy woman who was afraid of anything that flew, that might drink the mouth wash, whose opinion made no sense but was not worth fighting filled the bed in which grandpa used to sleep.  She had a job, was it really wise?  She drove, even more questionable.  She was the one who taught patience in drove.  She was the one who rinsed her dentures in her milk at the dinner table.  The grandparent whose politics and logic left the mind reeling as to its relevance and truth.  She drove friends home, warning us of the frigid temperature, and how the heat didn't work, so we might want to roll down the windows.  This is the woman, who made shirts into head tubins and bras on the outside of her wardrobe.  The woman who went for a walk and returned with a police escort from the far reaches of the county.  This is the crackpot who tried to scale the grandma play pen, and relieved herself in the trashcan.  A woman who tested my own mother's sanity to such an extreme as to leave us wondering who the men in white jackets would be taking away.  A woman whose memory of yesteryear rivaled that of a sage and whose recollection of the days' events were reminiscent of her days of being a babe in arms.  And to such a woman as this, I offer all the love of my heart.  For in the days when she had long since lost her voice, and mother was not able to tend to her needs, her response to a gentle word brought an innocence and purity, a wisdom and goodness that I have not seen since.  She had returned as a child to a moment of bright eyes and gratitude, and I saw her as does God.

So to everyone who suffers with extended family's near and constant presence, who bears the burden of un-rearing a parent and accepts and loves them and teaches that love to the following generation, I tip my hat, I offer my gratitude, for such love can be the key to binding the generations for eternity.