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My humorous thoughts about life.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mom's Revenge



For those who remember my last week's Wordless Wednesday post, Jo suggested I do the same to my kids' pictures. However, I didn't have to do much, they'd already done it to themselves.



Miami, Florida 1949

We've all heard of visits from spirits. This actually happened in my family, and here's photographic proof. My youngest daughter accompanied my parents on their honeymoon in 1949!




Super Dan
The Jolly Green Giant and Smurfs have nothing on this character. Watch Daniel flex his muscles for the blue ray. When he was in preschool, I used to pin pillowcases to his back so he could run around saving the world. Not much has changed.




Six Eyes
Sweet Judy would never alter her Mom's picture and had nothing to do with last week's post, but I wouldn't want her to feel left out, so here is six eyes--no multiple personality disorder here.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Best Brand of Fertilizer - #GBE2

What's That?

This week's GBE 2 prompt is a picture. Unfortunately, this plant is something I've never seen thriving in our yard. My husband and I tried to plant one and fertilized it with advanced college degrees. You know how it goes:  BS = bull sh*t; MS = more sh*t; PhD = piled higher and deeper. I guess we didn't add enough manure to the plant because it didn't bear fruit for long.

Maybe my degrees were all wrong. I received a BHS instead of the standard BS. It stands for Bachelor of Health Science which is a joke because I never had the clinical ear to be a speech therapist and listen to kids say, "Ew, ew, er." As for the Audiology part, I dropped it after noticing the people who worked hard for more sh*t degrees only to change jobs before thirty. You can only push buttons for so long.

So with the desire to make loads and loads of money, I pursued a more sh*t degree in Special Education. Our high pay is the reason the economy is so messed up. Just ask any of those politicians who are pushing anti-teacher bills. Since my career wasn't bearing fruit on the money tree, I could only hope the husband bought the right brand of fertilizer.

He holds three degrees. After receiving his BS, he went on to pile it higher and deeper, but lawyers do it wrong. After the doctor of jurisprudence, he added more sh*t. The tree started to bear fruit, but so did we. Three little money suckers swung from the tree's branches and turned it into firewood.

Now the monkeys are trying to add fertilizer to their own trees. Hopefully they're buying the right brand of manure at their institutes of higher education! I know the son did. A degree in Economics landed him an instant job straight out of college.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Spilling Guts

Should I or Shouldn't I?
Several bloggers discussed whether or not to spill ones guts out in posts. I say, "No." It's a messy business that will result in me tripping and pulling five feet of intestinal material out of my body. Of course with that, I could have a fine jump rope but probably wouldn't feel like skipping. I mean who wants to jump rope with your guts sticking out? Plus while everything's open, I could pull out excess fat. They call that a tummy tuck, but this would be a homemade one that wouldn't cost ten-thousand dollars. All I'd have to do is spill my guts, pull out fat, then shove the intestines back in. I'd probably lose forty pounds, so on second thought--okay. Maybe we should spill our guts out after all. But not in front of the computer because if one bleeds on the keyboard the computer might crash!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

GBE2: First Love

At our wedding reception, my brother warned my husband to be wary about what I did to my first love. I tore my love into pieces then cried at the departure, but it wasn't totally my fault. Being the youngest of four, I tended to listen to the bad advice of older siblings. He who shall not be named told me to rip my love so that I could spread its joy around and have plenty.

Micky the Monkey
Waaaa! Blanky. **sniff** I tore it into multiple pieces then rummaged through the scraps for one smidgen large enough to rub against my nose as I sucked my thumb. That was a dirty trick to play on an unsuspecting toddler, but not to worry.

My mom paid $2 for a stuffed monkey at the grocery store, and he replaced my torn blanky. I named him Micky after Micky Dolenz from the Monkees because Micky was so cute! He also made me laugh as he banged his drums and did silly stuff on TV. Everyone else was in love with Davy Jones, not me. I liked Micky.

I also had a little crush on Robin from the Batman show . . . until he took off his mask. :p . . .  He was ugly underneath, so it was time to forget about television and focus on real boys.


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day Wherever You Are

Theodore Paull
On Father's Day I'm reminded of my dad and our thirty-one years together. I used to complain about how unfair it was to have had so little time with him, but after chatting with various people about their childhoods, I stopped. I'd rather have had thirty-one years with mine than sixty-two with yours. Hopefully your dad was great too, but I've heard multiple stories about abusive fathers. This is not one of them!

Although he never hit me, he could snap me into line with a look  for it was critical not to disappoint him. Unlike most children today, I had fear mixed with respect when it came to my father. When I became a parent, he told me, "Don't ever hit your children, but don't ever let them think you won't." Yep. He had me fooled.

Dad had a funny side too. Having grown up during the depression era, no one spent money on luxuries such as getting one's teeth straightened; so, Dad enjoyed making us laugh by squinting his eyes and showing his skinny little teeth with spaces between each one. Still, I couldn't wait for my handsome daddy to come home each night. My siblings and I listened for the groan of the garage door followed by a steady bump, bump, bump up the staircase. We'd charge out of bed to hug Dad who would remove his sports coat and replace it with his worn, blue terrycloth robe. I loved when Dad put me in bed because he'd tuck me in with a series of geeks, ya it was goofy but so was Dad at times. Although my kids' memories of my father are sketchy or absent, they know what geeking is all about.

He hated this picture but I love it!
Dad loved to tell pop corn, such as how his classmates nicknamed him Tadpole. A teacher with a thick German accent called attendance: Ted Paull came out sounding like tadpole, and the name stuck. Dad had his own nickname for me BooBoo, and my sibs had their fun with theories of where that name came from.

A cornier pop corn came from Dad's boyhood walk to school down Flora Place. Every morning the neighbors would lean out their windows and sing, "Theodora don't spit on the flora." Fertilize the lawn with that story, which always sounded best coming from Dad.

When an earthquake shook our house, Dad hollered, "Florence [my mother]! Quit jumping around up there!" But don't think he didn't care deeply for her. He showed his love and devotion through constant care for Mom when she became ill. He quit working and socializing to be by her bedside while she lay unconscious in an Iowa hospital. Refusing to leave her side, his stress became evident when he lost control of his Diabetes. Mom's health improved while Dad died of "total system failure" in 1993.

I miss my daddy on Father's Day and every day, but I have been blessed to have married a kind man who is much like my dad.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Meet Knob

Jeannie Campbell is hosting a blog hop and contest about getting to know our characters. So please meet the main character of my Work in Progress. Then you may buzz over to her site and meet other fictional people. How To Connect With Your MC


Knob's formal name is William Donald Donellson, but he received the nick name of Knob after Slater announced that his shaved hair made his head look like a door knob. Knob is a respectable name for an amazing, tough soldier. Unfortunately as the butt of the fifth grade, Wimpy Will has never felt like a tough anything.

Thanks for the interview. I'll answer the questions as best I can because I always do.

Question 1: What is your greatest fear? 

Gee, that's a tough one because I'm scared of everything. My brother died from falling off a bicycle and bleeding to death. I know, it sounds weird, but he had a disease called hemophilia and the doctors couldn't save him. Although I don't have the disease, you'd think I did by the way my mom hovers over me. I guess I'm scared of getting it. They say it's hereditary, so what happens if one day I catch hemophilia, start bleeding, and can't stop it?

Question 2: What is your biggest accomplishment?
I'm smart. Two years ago I won my age group in The Under the Arch Chess Tournament. I almost won again last year but a girl named Haley beat me. She's the only one who can beat me at chess, and I'm a little knock kneed at the thought of going up against her this year in the ten-year-old's category. Okay, I confess, I kinda like her, so scratch out my answer to question one. I'm most afraid of Haley--which is probably why I lost the tournament.
 
Question 3: What is your biggest regret?

I regret letting Randy bug me all the time in class. He always bullies me, but I've never stopped him because I'm kinda chicken. If I tell him to leave me alone, he might punch me, make me bleed, and do it in front of Haley. So on second thought, I guess I'm most afraid of Randy Butcher.

You didn't ask me what's been bugging me, but I'm going to tell you anyway. No one has gotten to meet me because my author has not gotten my story into query shape. It needs a lot of revisions. Here's the start of my story, MRS. ZIMMERMAN'S DONUTS by Joyce Paull Lansky. If you like it, tell your agent or editor friend about her because I want to be famous. Err, maybe not. It might be scary.



Mrs. Zimmerman's Donuts


            Every Friday after school, Harrison Zimmerman invited popular boys—not me, over for a stupid end-of-the-week celebration. His mom, the best chef in St. Louis County and co-founder of Zimmerman’s bakery, would fry up homemade donuts dipped in thick chocolate sauce. My mouth watered as we drove down Aberdeen Avenue and I breathed in the scent of those gooey pieces on a bed of powdered sugar.            
By the age of ten most guys had wolfed down seven-dozen pastries or more, but I’d never even tasted Mrs. Zimmerman’s donuts. I convinced myself that it was because my mom would’ve fallen into a tantrum at the thought of me swallowing anything slightly junky. She usually made a fuss over eating healthy as if my gut would explode if the tiniest bit of sugar or grease tickled my insides. But the real reason I’d never eaten the donuts—the fact that bothered me even more than Mom’s obsession over food, cleanliness, and safety—was that Harrison had never asked me to come to his stupid party. Actually, no one had ever invited me to go anywhere; but things were about to change.
  

That's what's been bugging me, but it's okay. Slater moved to town,
and he's going to help me be cool. See ya later.   ❧ Knob
                                                                


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Cake in the Rain

Buy One At Kroger!


Someone left the cake out in the rain. I don't think that I can take it, 'cause it took so long to bake it, and I'll never have that recipe again. Oh, noooooooo!

No drama here! Please; it's just dessert.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Keep Your Pants Dry --CONTROL #GBE2



Control
For wee-little tots control means keeping your pants dry all day long, holding your temper when someone grabs your Tinker Toys, and not throwing the dishes into the bin just because that's what we do every day. I didn't mean to upset anyone. I was following rules. We put the plastic dishes in the toy chest at the end of the day. How was I supposed to know the girls had "special" permission to set them up in the case? I went on auto pilot pulling the plates off the shelf and putting them away until the teacher yelled at me and made me sit in the corner because I'd lost "control." At least I didn't wet my pants.

A few years after that, I lost control when the zoo lady skipped me when it was time to pet the snake. Everyone else got to touch it accept me, so I did what any little kid does: I cried. The teacher brought me into the office to touch the snake and I even got to see its cage. Then I got scared and wet my pants. (Just kidding)

Skipping a lot of years, I entered middle school where I could never control my mouth. How does anyone expect twelve-year-olds not to talk? Of course the only time I really got in trouble for talking was the time when it wasn't exactly my fault. I was honestly trying to get my work done in study hall, but Julie insisted on talking to me. She said, "I think Miss Fillipone is a good teacher."

I gave her a simple, "Ya."

Next Miss Fillipone yelled at me for talking! I laughed. I shouldn't have laughed, but it was funny. I got in stay-after-school kind of trouble while Julie, who laughed too, went unnoticed. Though angry at the unfairness of it all, I kept control in front of the teacher's desk. Didn't defend myself, didn't argue with her, didn't even look her in the eyes. At least I didn't wet my pants.

That sort of control,  not telling someone what you really think of them, has gone MIA in my adult life. In fact, it's my biggest problem. I tend to lose control and state exactly what's on my mind. It's the sort of thing that has gotten me in trouble with authority figures and makes my kids' boyfriends and girlfriends fear me. Really, I'm not a scary person--just an overly honest one who will blurt out the truth when everyone else is trying to hide it . . . but at least I don't wet my pants . . . unless on a roller coaster.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Gone With A Handsomer Man - Review




I hit the jackpot when I won Gone With a Handsomer Man by Michael Lee West from http://www.beckypovich.blogspot.com/. This delightful new release tells the story of Teeny Templeton, a young woman in a lot of trouble. When her x-fiance´ is murdered, she finds herself set up as the prime suspect, so she turns to an old high school boyfriend turned lawyer, but the flame's not out. The book is complete with well-developed characters, a multi-layered plot, and the charm of cooking in Charleston.




You may learn about author Michael Lee West at http://www.michaelleewest.com/content/index.asp or check out her book trailer below.


 




Thursday, June 9, 2011

Paul Revere and Other Myths

Our Next President?
I recently had a story published in AppleSeeds Magazine about Paul Revere's ride. According to Sarah Palin, I got my facts all wrong. Paul Revere rode up and down the streets ringing a bell to warn the British that we were going to lock and load. What's even more amazing is that I actually met someone who tried to convince me that Palin was right! If that's the case, we can change all kinds of historical events to meet our needs. Hmm.

Did you know that our fore fathers started the electoral college not because they believed the commoner wasn't smart enough to vote but because starting a college would get them more prestige, better paying jobs, and noticed by the ladies? That's right. Unknown to the public, the electoral college is actually a place of higher learning. Where else would folks learn how to make those powdered wigs?

And the crimes of taking over land from the Indians is all a myth too. They gave it to us because they liked how we taught them how to hunt, fish, and pop popcorn. We even showed them how to add sugar, salt, and preservatives to make this healthy food stick to ones insides and make one fat. Next, Indians enjoyed pilgrim led aerobics instruction.

 We were also overly kind to our Japanese citizens during World War II. We sent them off to fine spas where they got to enjoy saunas, steam rooms, and sushi. Then we taught them how to play soccer, a sport that originated in the United States, so they could all become brilliant soccer moms like Sarah Palin.



So remember, vote Sarah Palin for President. Humor bloggers need her stupidity to keep the jokes coming. If you want more laughs, here's a link to Steve Colbert's incredibly funny clip. http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/388583/june-06-2011/paul-revere-s-famous-ride



If you like Catch My Words, please click on the white picket fence or the snippet. Thanks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Wedding Hop

It's been a lot of months since my husband's friend entered into a second marriage, a year since our son's friend tied the knot, and another year before that, we had attended my nephew's wedding. Being the social outcasts that we are, people aren't banging down our doors to spend time with us. However, something odd happened on Memorial Day Week-end: two of our good friends' daughters got married on the same night, starting at the exact same time, and we successfully attended both weddings!

Knowing that one ceremony would be conducted in the most judicial of manners without much foofaraw, we attended that one first. The bridal party stepped about ten feet into a beautiful, plant filled room, and said your basic English vows--without the word obey. Somehow that important word for grooms has slipped out of the current vernacular. The groom said, "Ouch!" when his beloved slipped the ring on his finger, and she didn't even slap him. My husband thinks she hurt him with the ring, but I took it as him making fun of his new state of holy matrimony. According to Papa-In-Law it was a little of both. He'd burned his knuckle the other day but also has a great sense of humor.

After the vows were complete, we hopped in the convertible and drove a few blocks to the Botanical Garden where the 5:30 wedding had not even begun. We arrived in time to sample a few amazing appetizers, then watched men in black hats dance the groom to the bride so that he could lift her veil and make sure he was marrying the right sister. However, with the bride being a triplet, I have never been able to tell her from her sister anyway. Hopefully, he married the right gal.

The beautiful wedding included a long walk, maybe half a football field, through an outdoor area and Jewish customs such as the bride circling the groom seven times, chanting Hebrew verses, and a smash of a glass. The marriage was conducted by the groom's Orthodox Rabbi father who lives in Israel; however, the groom does not practice Judaism to the degree of his family.

After the vows were exchanged, we hopped back in the car and headed to the first wedding. We enjoyed visiting with a fun crowd and eating fried sweet potatoes; however, I didn't have any of the bacon-wrapped shrimp that I couldn't have gotten at the other wedding. The music was upbeat with Cee Lo, Sweet Home Alabama, and YMCA.  In fact, one dude walked around with an afro wig while the DJ had the folks on the dance floor wearing Village People Hats. The party was a lot of fun, but the other wedding would be serving dinner at 9:30, so we hopped back into the car and off we went.

We arrived to a New York band playing cultural music while people danced on two sides of a wall: men on one side and women on the other. The waiters served a wonderful trout dinner, and then the wall came down. The religious folks left the room while men and women danced together to rock hits. This was the compromise the groom had agreed upon with his family. Amazing!

Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and only missed two notable events: seeing our friend's weird solo dance and the second couple hoisted in the chairs to the tune of the Hora.

If you like my post, please click the white picket fence or the snippet.



Sunday, June 5, 2011

Lost and Found #GBE2

#3 = Lost and Found

I'm not sure exactly when it happened, perhaps in the year 15 BC (before children), my mind started to gradually slip away. It wasn't anything dramatic like space aliens ringing the doorbell and asking for brain samples, but rather a slow deterioration of sanity.

Maybe it started in middle school when the dorks teased me for wearing my sister's powder blue, handi-me-down gym uniform instead of the sexy red ones on sale at school. With the red garbs, one could  turn them around backwards and slide the zipper down low. Ms. "McFeel," the questionable PE teacher didn't seem to mind as long as we wore a PE uniform and took our showers after class. If not the uniforms, perhaps the brain drain came when I was brave stupid enough to get on stage in a flapper outfit and dance the Charleston with Steve Noonan in front of the laughing student body.

"What was everyone laughing at?" I later asked a friend.

"Your costumes," she said.

Yeah, right! I was almost naive enough to buy it. Junior High School definitely chipped a good 10% of mind out of my clueless head.

High school must have taken some more. Shortly after my sixteenth birthday, I got my driver's license and proudly drove into the car next to me in a snowy parking lot. Okay, I wasn't proud of hitting the car (multiple times when the honkers made me panic), but I was proud of the first time being alone in the car, until . . .

Being a mindless teen, I stuck a note about the size of a bobby pin on the damaged car's windshield wiper and crawled home to tell my dad. He took it well. In fact, he took it a lot better than the lady I hit. For the next year, my parents begged and pleaded me to take the car out alone, but by then about 20% of mind went missing, so no can do. I've only been in one other mild fender bender in over thirty years of driving daily, so maybe I found five percent between then and now.

College took more due to a little bit of drinking at parties. Alcohol has been scientifically proven to kill brain cells, so go ahead and remove the five percent I'd found plus 5% more and now I'm down to 75% sanity. Until my boyfriend said, "Will you marry me and live in Memphis?"

Marrying him was actually a fabulous idea, but I question my mental state when I said,"Yes to Memphis." If that ain't love, I don't know what is. Take away another 5% for moving to Memphis and becoming a teacher. A teacher? Did I say, "5%?" Better make that 5% for moving to Memphis and 25% for becoming a teacher. What am I down to now? 45%? Being able to do basic math means I have a little bit of mind left add 5%, but then I got pregnant. Three times. Three children.

Some comedian, can't remember who, once said we lose half of our minds with each child born. That would put me far into the negative category. Just because I scratched my head and hopped like a monkey to get my babies to smile does not mean I've lost my mind? I mean, doesn't everyone do that?

Since this challenge is called "Lost and Found," I must end with the story about how I got it all back. We put the baby on a bus this morning and sent her off to be a camp counselor for the summer. The middle one comes home in five days and stays for a few weeks, but come fall we will be official empty nesters. If that doesn't restore my mind, nothing will!



If you like my post, please click the white picket fence or the snippet. Thanks!

Friday, June 3, 2011

A to Z and Back Again


It's already June, which means the Z to A Challenge has ended. A month ago, I reflected on the A to Z Challenge, and now I must reflect again. On the plus side, it's been wonderful having a theme to guided me through the blogging world--the hardest part about blogging is knowing what to write about. A-Z and Z-A has made topic choosing easier.

I have also become an expert at choosing titles to fit the given letter. For example, "From Cage to Convertible" a letter C story about adopting a dog; "Nah, I Won't Do That," an N post to fit the "Laughter is the Best Medicine Blogfest"; or "Oh, No. Not Again" my O post about an annoying Russian dating group who Skypes me. Although these topics have nothing to do with the letter they represent, I've found a way to make it work just like one closes an overfilled suitcase. You sit your tush down and make it happen.

Also through this challenge, I've had the opportunity to visit wonderful blogs and meet great followers. I've also met one foul-mouthed screwball, but that's another story. ;-)

On the negative side, everyday blogging is not necessary. Most people don't make rounds everyday, so why write so much? In fact, my Saturday posts received the most hits because folks had two days to explore. I would like to continue blogging regularly, but leave a new post up every other day.

I hope y'all will continue to visit even though the challenges are finished. Seems like just yesterday, it was April 1st and I was interviewing Agent Harold Baer for my first A to Z post. If you haven't read that one, it's one of my most popular posts. It's especially helpful for you writer types, like me, who are trying to get published. He's a wonderfully unique agent! Check him out.

If I could get you to read any post from April or May, I would like for you to read B for Backing Israel because there are a lot of facts I'd like the world to know about this fragile situation.

Thanks!
Joyce

Wednesday, June 1, 2011