Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Medusa has nothing on her!

What makes us say and do these things?
It was another day of belly laughing. I had a two hour lunch with a dear friend. She is hysterically funny, has a wonderful and sometimes warped sense of humor. She said she is concerned that on the verge of her fiftieth birthday, she just might be on the verge of menopause.
"What ARE hot flashes? I don't think I've ever had one. Everything in the lady department seems to be regular. But I think it's menopause causing my erratic symptoms."

"Well, then, what are your symptoms?" I asked.

"This crazy snake lady comes out of my head, (she entwined her hands overhead like she was doing the Flamenco), wraps around anything or anyone that gets in my way and makes me say things I would never say. I am losing my filter."

I told her that I'd read somewhere that elderly Native American women are forgiven all of their foibles. They can get away with saying anything after menopause.

"Since my husband lost his job, he tends bar sometimes at an upscale restaurant. I am not jealous. I knew he would be out late, so I went to bed. During the night our six year old had climbed into bed with me. When he rolled over and plowed into my gut, I sat up and looked at the clock. This snake-head lady erupted out of my head. I dialed my husband's cell phone. He answered after a few rings and sounded groggy (or drunk). I tore into him. 'Do you know how unfair it is of you to make me worry like this? A phone call is all I ask for. There are only two places you could possibly be at this hour, either at a bar or at someone's house. It is 2:30 in the morning and all I want is the truth from you. Where the hell are you?!' "

Quietly, he replied, "In the other room, trying to sleep in our son's small bed."

We were laughing so hard and loud, gasping for air. The manager at Panera Bread Company walked over to us, and when he saw that he did not have to dial 911, he feigned interest in removing our dishes. I teach preschool, and I know the art of distraction vs. confrontation. I'm sure he would have urged us to take it down a notch or leave, except he caught a glimpse of the snakes unfurling from our menopausal heads.

Care to share your embarrassing moment? Laughter is good for the system as long as you're wearing a discreet wet your pants pad.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

What happened to you?!

A precocious, pie-faced, blue-eyed, four-year old boy walked up to me and stared.
"Hey, Miss Linda, your new hair color is darker."

"Yes, I got my hair cut and colored."

"SO, I guess they left the color on a little too long?" He looked puzzled.

"Well, it is darker. What do you think of my new hair?"

He walked around me giving me the once over. "I like it! I REALLY like it."

He redeemed himself. One day, that little boy is going to make the headlines, the girl's blush, his mama cringe... the big times. He reminds me of one of the Little Rascals.

He was merely making an observation, so I didn't correct him. My philosophy has always been, children should be seen AND heard. I've heard it all.

If you are a writer, it is important that your character's voice be heard, too. Do you censor your characters or allow them to speak, unfiltered?


Monday, October 20, 2014

It was no masked man

Damn Sam! I held my breath and tried not to move a muscle at 3:30 a.m. when I heard an intruder in the bedroom poking around in my jewelry on the dresser. He who snores loud enough to wake the dead was silent and on the far edge of the queen size bed. I wanted to reach over and poke him to see if he was breathing, but I knew he'd be all goofy upon waking: HUH?WHAT? and probably get us shot. I lay quietly in the pitch dark as the robber rummaged, making his selection. My heart was thumping wildly, and I had to pee so badly. And then I saw him. He thumped all 17 pounds of his fat butt down with a thunk, dragging a necklace across the floor and set off the bathroom motion-activated night light.
Fifteen minutes after his reprimand he assumed this position and snored worse than you know who.
"Yeah!" I said, "Sleep you goofball, now that I'm wide awake."

Friday, October 17, 2014

Tripping around town and quick thinking

Guess where I took my class today.
We went to a pumpkin patch. I have been taking students on field trips to Stuckmeyer's Farm for many years. After several days of rain, the sun came out, and the temperature climbed. It was a beautiful day for a hayride through the growing fields. It is amazing to see corn on the cob growing on a stalk, or broccoli and cauliflower growing out of the ground. We also saw cute wooden cartoon displays tucked among vegetables and along the creek bank. We found Dumbo hovering overhead.
Does anyone know what this is?
It is a corn apple. When Kyle, who is 21, was two years old, he asked for an apple. I peeled it and he threw a tantrum. He wanted a RED APPLE.

I thought fast. "Buddy, I don't have any red apples, but I do have a corn apple if you want to taste that."

I coaxed him with the same peeled apple with two corn on the cob holders inserted in top/bottom and he ate it all gone. Thereafter, he requested corn apples.

When you have toddlers you have to think on the fly, or the pot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A little something for my fellow writers

A wonderful website for all my writer friends:
You can spend a long time here. Have fun.

Thank you for the cat names. I think we have decided to go with Friskee because he is the laziest old boy you've ever seen. Like calling a huge guy,Tiny.

Mevely we also liked Sweeney, so you get the book. Send me contact info at and I'll give you your title selection.

Kathy, kudos to you for taking your dad's cat.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Name the cat; win a book

We have adopted my son's eight year old cat because he did not make the adjustment when he went back home after being with us for five months. We went to visit him a week later and he was crouched under the bed, terrified of the dog and rambunctious kids he grew up with. He'd been under the bed all week. I couldn't stand seeing him so traumatized, and when Bill looked under the bed and saw him shivering, wide-eyed, he nodded. I scooted the cat out with a broom and he ran right to me and rode home in my arms.

He's home. He became accustomed to a quieter lifestyle, and must have wondered where the heck he was (they built a new home) and where we had gone. When I put him down in our house, he purred and rubbed against everything. He would not leave us alone. I'm sure it was his way of thanking us.

He's a big fat cat, with a hang down belly, although he looks smaller in the picture above. No matter how quietly I sneak down the basement stairs, he hears me and comes bounding after me with thump-thump-thump. He wants to be near us. Climbs on one of the office chairs to be next to me. He's a sweety boy.

He's so easy going, maybe even a bit slow in his processing, but he loves his toy mice and tosses them. He also likes to leap and catch a stretchy band toy. He's OURS.

I need your help. When my son and his family adopted him as a kitten from the Humane Society, they kept the name he'd had from his previous family. TWEENY sound silly. We've tried calling him Buddy, but he only responds to that high pitch "EE."

So, who has an idea for his new name?

Bill, who babies him to excess and sweet talks him, and takes him outside to sit with him and brush him on the patio table, calls him Queeny. I have called him Twinky, but I would sure appreciate YOUR ideas.

If I choose one of the names you suggested, I will send you a Chicken Soup for the Soul book or Not Your Mother's Book. GO!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

25 years ago I influenced a doctor

 Nana's girl, Ashley Anne was born to my daughter on Oct.12, 1989. Tracey was forced to deliver a couple weeks early and was induced in the afternoon. I lied to her all day as her contractions worsened and the numbers climbed...I told her they were half the intensity and coached her to breathe. At 11:30 p.m. I coaxed her to work harder, because if she had a Friday the 13th baby, I said I would call her Freddie or Jason.
I told the doctor we didn't want a Friday the 13th baby. At 11:48 he tried to plunger her out, but no success. I nagged and nagged. At 11:58 he tried again, and at one second after the stroke of midnight on Oct. 12th she was born. The nurse who recorded the birth shouted, "12:00.01 a.m. Friday, October 13th." I shot the doctor a look, and he said, "It's not Friday the 13th until one minute after the stroke of midnight. Record her birth as October 12th." We exchanged smiles.
Yes, we were once young, thin, so in love with one another and our first grandbaby. We are no longer young and thin, nor do we have natural color in our hair. This baby has given me more laugh lines. She was very bright and precocious with an above average vocabulary.
This is Nana's girl with her baby boy. I am so proud of the woman Ashley has become and the accomplishments she has made so far. She was raised by her mom, my mom, me and Bill. She had a lot of positive influences, and I know Liam will too, with all of us, his daddy, and his daddy's family doting on him.