Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Miswords and Miscommunication

Many times I have written about Jesse's misuse of words. When she was younger she called the hazard lights in a vehicle, tragedy lights. "Better turn on your tragedy lights, Mom." always cracked me up. Then there was the time she said something about shaking macarenas. Once she say's something wrong, it is difficult for me to come up with the right word, because her wrong word is so close to the right word. It took me forever to come up with maracas for macarenas. There was also the time she used Nipitor for Neosporin. She still misuses words - and she still falls into fits of giggles when you point it out to her.

On Saturday we had the GGs, and we took them to WF with us. On the way over, we were going to stop in Thornberry (a small farming community north of WF) where Jesse was house sitting. The reason she was house sitting was to help hatch guineas. Why these people went somewhere when they had eggs ready to hatch in the incubator, I don't know. Why they left Jesse in charge, I don't know. Since the guineas had started hatching, we were planning on stopping by with the GGs to watch the process.  Jesse sent us the address of the house (way out in the boonies) and a photo of the entry way, which was a cattleguard. I showed the photo to the GGs so they could help locate the house. GBN1 said, "Oh, it has a caddilac." Of course, she meant cattleguard. She said it several times even after I corrected her. It made me giggle every time.

Jesse came home Sunday afternoon for Father's Day. She was done house sitting and hatching birds. At one point, we were discussing some Neem Oil that I had bought. Exbootneck   had shared with me that Neem Oil could be used as an insect repellent on dogs, and that the oil has many other uses for people as well. I was planning on using it to rid the dogs of fleas and ticks - hopefully. At another point in the weekend conversations, Jesse asked me if I was going to put the Neem Oil into a spray bottle. I told her that I had thought about that, but that I had thought about putting is straight on, but putting it in a place where it could not be licked - like the back of the neck . Yada yada. Jesse blinked at me. "Well, it is supposed to be pretty strong stuff." Blink, blink. Confusion.
 "What are you talking about?"
 "I'm talking about putting Neem Oil on the dogs - where they can't lick it." Jesse started laughing, "Oh, I was talking about putting it on myself as a natural insect repellent, and I was wondering why you  thought I would lick it."

Monday, June 15, 2015

Summer Car Trips

Well, it is summer. My thoughts turn to the mountains. In my pre-married life, I would be in Red River by now. By the last day of school my dad, who was a school principal, would have the truck and the car loaded up.  Dad drove the pick-up with sideboards, which he had made, and the truck would be full of furniture, appliances, carpenter tools, luggage, etc. Mom drove the car, also packed to the hilt, and had all us kids. Hmm, do you think Dad did that on purpose? Actually, we took turns riding with Dad in the truck, but usually it was me that rode with Dad. The first day school was out, he would do the last minute packing, and we would head west to Amarillo. We often spent the night in Amarillo or Dumas, TX.  I learned to swim at the motel pool in Dumas. I have lots of stories from those trips to RR.

One year Dad had bought a new car - a Buick Electra 225 (1974). It was a four-door something like this.  We all thought it was huge, and it was. So, we all packed more stuff. Dad ended up renting some sort of luggage carrier that set on the top of the car to hold all our junk. It irritated him that we all packed more than usual and still there was not enough room. Looking back, it was funny.

Before the Buick we had a 64 Chevy Biscayne - the family car something like this. When my brother and I learned to drive, the Biscayne became our car. Because we went to the mountains every summer, the Biscayne did not have an air-conditioner. Later Dad had one put in - it set under the dash in the floorboard on the hump between the seats. Both parents smoked cigarettes and with the air-conditioner going, Dad would not let us roll down the windows.  We kids would fight for a window so that we could barely crack the window and hold our noses close to the crack and get some fresh aire now and then - Pure misery!

Before the Biscayne, we had a Rambler - something like this. The Rambler was my favorite, because the front seats laid all the way back. My brothers and I would lay the seat all the way down and go back and forth from the front to the back seat easily. Then we could all take naps. When you rolled the windows down, it was like one giant window - no separation. It was a fun car. It was in the Ramber that Mom was driving over the Old Pass in Red River. The Old Pass was serious switchbacks up a steep mountain. It was so narrow that two cars could not pass. If you met another car, someone would have to back up to the switchback. Drivers would honk their horns as they rounded the switchbacks, because they could not see around them due to trees and mountain.  My brothers were in the Rambler with Mom on one trip. My brother Craig was six years old while Pete was an infant. Pete was crying, so Mom told Craig to change his diaper. Craig unpinned the diaper and in six-year-old-boy behavior he yanked it out from under Pete - sending baby poo all over the car. Mom said she wanted to gag, but she had to wait until she got over the Pass.

Of course there is also the story of Dad driving our old 55 GMC pick-up truck loaded down with appliances and furniture for our cabin. Dad had a blow-out just before we started up the Pass. The blow-out shot our truck out through a barbed-wire fence and across the pasture with Dad trying to control the truck and me bouncing all over the cab. My box of kittens went flying. When we came to a stop, Dad put his head down on the steering-wheel and laughed - he was relieved that we were not on the Pass when he had the blow-out. My mom came running up hysterical - screaming. My grandmother came running too. I didn't know what was going on. Why would Dad suddenly drive out across the pasture? But I gathered my kittens in the box. Dad went back to Eagles Nest and bought a new tire. We continued on.

One memorable trip, we took our Siamese cat, Penny, with us in the Biscayne. She didn't ride well in the car, so Dad went to a veterinarian and got some sort of pills for cats - to calm them. The pills had a horrible effect on our cat. She went crazy in the car, and she shat all over everything. My mom's mom was with us on that trip. We were constantly pulling over to clean cat poop. Then we got a wheel stuck in the soft shoulder of the road. Dad blew by us in the truck. My grandma thought he was not going to stop. According to my mom, Grandma, picked up the back end of the car so that we were no longer stuck. I guess the thought of being stuck in the hot summer sun with three kids and a shitty kitty was too much for her. She was a strong little woman. I take after her. The cat nearly died by the time we got to RR. It had no hair on its backside and was so weak it could barely walk. It crawled under the porch of the cabin and did not come out for a week. But it lived! It was one of our best chipmunk catchers. That's another story.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

Birthday Baby Girl

Happy birthday to Jesse. I hope you had a great day. Mine was very busy with grand-babies. This weekend we will party hardy celebrating birthdays and end of the school year. I went looking for some photos of you to post. Since you were three in this pic, I thought I'd post it again. Thirty years later, you are still pretty sassy and cute.
And then I liked this pic of you in Hawaii. Maybe I'm needing a vacation and this looked like a good one. Or maybe since last week I posted one of you on the beach, a grown-up beach pic would be nice.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Return of the Stooges

While searching my post, I came across this little jewel. It is worth sharing again:

Life with the Stooges

A funny thing happened yesterday as we were leaving for church. We were walking out the door when I thought of one more little thing to entertain GBN1 in church. I wanted to grab a few colored pencils - they are perfect for GBN1 – she can color without making a mess and pencils do not taste as good as crayolas. There is a filing cabinet near the front door which contains much of my art supplies. Because I am not a neat freak, the top of the cabinet has lots of containers of paint brushes, pencils, pastels, colored pencils and various other piles of stuff. As I reached up and grabbed the can of colored pencils (keep in mind that I am a short person) I heard something fall between the cabinet and the wall. For just a split second I thought, “Great, I knocked something off – I’ll get it later.” Then I heard a “Pssssst” that did not bode well. My next thought was that it was probably my aerosol can of fixative – toxic, but clear and fairly harmless. Then, like one of the Three Stooges, I pulled the cabinet and looked behind it. I was instantly covered in black spray paint. Like an oil gusher, a can of black spray paint was spewing its guts. Of course, I screamed and Toby came running to see what the commotion was. I grabbed him in time to keep him from looking directly into the line of fire and ruining his Sunday clothes as I had just ruined my pretty yellow sweater (although it would have been funny if he had done the same thing that I had just done – two stooges are funnier than one). As the gusher began to subside, we were able to cover the can somewhat, but black paint was everywhere. It seems that when the can fell, it struck the corner of some framing glass that was stored between the cabinet and the wall. The glass broke and the can was punctured. Black paint covered the floor, wall, filing cabinet, and some of my art supplies. Fortunately, we were able to get the paint off of my ceramic tile – the grout was a bit more difficult. The wall and front door will have to be repainted. My clothes were ruined and my new tennis shoes were speckled. The clean up process was not fun. It took some effort to scrub the paint off our bodies. Toby’s hands were black from gathering up the can and other stuff covered in paint. Turpentine is a great exfoliate – takes the paint and skin right off. It took a while for me to calm down from the excitement. Since there was no real harm done, I had to laugh at how silly I must have looked when the paint hit me – like a stooge. Of course, we were late for church and had to sit on the front row.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


My usual art classes with the little girls ended Tuesday - not with a bang, but more like a ppfftt. Only one little girl showed for class. It was a sign that we were done and needed a break. I had planned on doing a drawing on nice paper - do a finished drawing. The one little girl was game, and so we did a drawing of a still-life I had set up. My heart was not in it, but I kept on. The little cup in the upper right corner was a demo of light hitting an object. I needed to show one of my practice doodles. Anytime I set down with paper near me, I doodle, sketch, etc. One of the favorite doodles is to draw an object and play with light hitting it and causing shadow.  My little art student needs to practice, practice, practice. I tried to give her some ideas of what to practice on this summer. Maybe she could doodle/practice in church while listening to the sermon.  When I was her age, I was filling drawing pads faster than could buy them. So I don't really understand when my girls leave my class and never pick up a pencil or any other type of art medium until they come back for the next lesson.

My phone was not working well this morning. After several dropped or missed calls, I got my phone, a pad, and a pen and drove down the driveway a bit to get better service. After several attempts and dropped calls, I got someone who worked with me well. I was a bit hot to say the least, but I calmed down. Over two hours later, I don't know if we got much done, but the tech support said he would put a "problem ticket" on my phone. Whatever that means. He wore me down. I didn't much care after sitting in the car in the driveway for that long. When I came in the house, my phone did work better. It really does not take much to please me. Hmm, maybe it does not take much to piss me off either. You should have seen my note pad when I came in. Zentangle folks would be jealous.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Yesterday we had another big storm with strong wind gusts. The internet was down most of the afternoon and evening. Finally around 9 PM, I mentioned to Toby that I thought the wind might have blown the TV/Internet antenna. He did a quick adjustment and it was fixed.

Earlier in the day I had seen a couple of photos that I thought were really cool and would make a nice Memorial Day post. I stole them from FB along with their captions:
My friend Phil posted this photo on FB of his father after WWII in Italy.  This is one of my favorites of my Dad somewhere in Italy, near the end of World War II. Celebrating the wars near end and going home!
 Then my SIL posted this photo of her father's WWII plane.  This was the plane my Dad flew in WWII, called "Heavens Above." Had to resort to stock photo from the Lackland Air Museum, as I can't find the picture of my Dad holding his grandson (my son, now 39) as he told him the story of "Grandpa's Big Plane!" Thanks, Dad, who is now in "heaven above"...and all the many other men and women for their courage, dedication, and service!
 Since I have this great photo of my dad when he was at Ft. Raleigh in about 1948, I thought I would post it. He would have been about 20 years old. You won't notice it, but my dad's right arm and hand are crippled. He had no muscle/tendon use in it after a hazing incident at Texas A&M. He managed to hide that fact from the military doctors when enlisting. But he was smart, so the Army put him in an office and taught him to type with one finger and one hand. They also taught him to make a bed right and tight - I know 'cause he taught me too.

Thank you all who served. You are remembered.