Thursday, April 26, 2012

Hillbilly Charm and Rugged Manliness

Here he is again!

Well, it has been quite a while since I have made a posting for Cynthia. I am sure everyone has been waiting breathlessly to hear from The Hillbilly. And of course, I truly don’t want someone passing out while they wait. 

Today I am going to give you a change and move forward to a somewhat more recent time.  I know that Cynthia has told you some about how we met, but I want to go to what I would have to call our first true date.  We had spent a few evenings together attending a large church meeting and taking her niece out to various activities.   We had enjoyed ourselves and had laughed a lot but had really not had time to be alone and have any serious conversations.  So I took off early and we went to The Lake of the Ozarks for lunch. 

Lake of the Ozarks Official Site

 If you have never been there, it is called the Dragon Lake.  It is shaped like a dragon and has over 1300 miles of shore line.  It has many houses that are larger than most movie star’s homes, and they are mostly vacation homes.   It has huge condo complexes, boats on it that are monstrous, making it great for skiing or jet skiing.  The water temperature gets to being like bath water in the summer so people don’t freeze their  tookus off, (which I personally have no desire to do).  It is a good fishing lake.  Shopping is good.  There is lots of entertainment.  There are great restaurants; in fact some of my favorites in the entire country are there!   They have deep fried lobster there.  Boy is that rich!   And for the golfer, last I heard there are about 22 golf courses (pasture pool as we hillbillies call it). In fact when I still lived in the area, it was listed in the top ten golf destinations in the United States.  {Cynthia's Note: If it sounds like The Hillbilly is trying to sell you some land, he may be. He still holds a Missouri real estate license.}

After lunch we went on to Ha Ha Tonka State Park.  To my way of thinking, it is Missouri’s prettiest state park.  We did some of the walking trails and enjoyed the scenery.  I was particularly enjoying it since Cynthia’s looks were improving it for me!  (Hey, I am a guy!) 
Ha Ha Tonka

At any rate, after a couple of hours of this, Cynthia’s complexion began becoming rosier and I am thinking that she is being affected by my hillbilly charm and rugged manliness!  (Hey, don’t knock it---she did marry me didn’t she?)  But about that time, she says, I think I am getting too hot and need to get to air conditioning and get something to drink.  {Cynthia's Note: It was the 200% humidity that was the problem!}

So I rushed her to the car.  Got the air conditioning going.  I got her something cold to drink.  Took her to the river where she got to put her feet in cool water.  Basically, I babied her!  So on this trip, she got too hot and got her first and only tick. {Cynthia's Note: TICK!!!}  Boy do we hillbillies know how to show a girl a good time! 

Though it was hot, I am sure that much of Cynthia’s getting overheated was partly the heat but mostly being close to my aforementioned hillbilly charm and rugged manliness.  As is stuttered in one country song ,th-that’s m-my st-story and I am st-sticking to it!

from The Hillbilly's Corner.

I'm linking up here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Alison's Baby Bash

A really great blogger and all around nice person, Alison from Mama Wants This  is having a baby! I mean, not like right this minute. As far as I know. But some friends are throwing her an online baby shower, and I'm so happy to participate. As a baby shower guest,  I'm linking this blog with our shower hostesses, Ado, Stasha and Erica!

This virtual baby shower has three games to play.
 1. Post your favorite baby photo telling us why it's your favorite & add a quote about motherhood.

 This is my brother and me with our father. Daddy is no longer with us, and this brings back so many memories. See that little bookcase on the left? That is sitting in my classroom right now. On top of it you can see Daddy's coffee cup. It contains coffee with "just enough milk to take the wang' off of it." Next to that is (I think) his bowling trophy from his league's one championship season, the year I was born. The night I was born happened to be league night, so of course, after he took Mama to the hospital, he went bowling. It was the fifties; men didn't go into labor and delivery; they just sat in the waiting room. May as well go bowling.  That night he bowled his one and only 300 game. You just have to love that!

With my mom
My quote: If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been. 
 That quote pretty accurately sums up my mom.

2. Guess Alison's baby's due date, weight, and height.
 No baby should weigh over 7 pounds. That's just my rule. My babies were 6 lbs 2 oz and  6 lbs 11oz, and that was plenty. For that reason, I'm guessing Alison's baby will be exactly 7 pounds and be born on Mother's Day because that's just so sweet. Ummm, I suppose 19 1/4 inches is about right.

3. Pin your favorite ideas for baby shower gifts from Pinterest.
I had to cheat because I couldn't find anything I liked on Pinterest. These came from elsewhere on the Internet:

(Cynthia's note: When I originally wrote this post, I included a link to an adorable little fireman's outfit. That link no longer works. But it was really cute!)

So, congratulations, Alison, and best of luck. I can't wait to see pictures of your little fireman!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Quotation Marks: Everybody's Talking

Alisa asked about quotation marks. When do you use single quotation marks as opposed to double quotation marks. You know, one finger air quotes, or two finger air quotes?

Let's start basic and get more complex. Feel free to drop out anywhere along the way. Well, be sure to learn what you need, and then drop out.

Basic uses for quotation marks:

Quotation marks are used to surround the exact words of a speaker. You do not use quotation  marks if you're just giving the general idea of what someone said or putting it in your own words.
               NOT: The Princess told me "she likes cake," if you mean that The Princess is the one who likes cake (she does). She may be a princess, but she almost certainly did not use the exact words "she likes cake," when referring to her own love for goodies.
You don't use quotation marks after the word that as in:
              The Hillbilly said that he was going fishing.
Now sometimes we don't actually use the word that when we could:
             The Hillbilly said he was going fishing.
If that would make sense without changing the meaning, don't use quotation marks.

So, quotation marks. Exact words. Got it.

Another use for quotation marks is in the name of a short story, chapter, poem, episode of a television program, etc. In other words, a small piece that could be part of a larger piece. The larger piece (a book , a play, or entire television series) should be italicized or underlined.

But what about those single quotation marks?

               Alyssa said, "The Monster's first sentence was, 'Go bye bye.' The Princess said her first sentence much later."
 Use single quotation marks inside a quotation about something someone said. I quoted Alyssa, and she quoted The Monster. The double quotation marks are around Alyssa's exact words. The single quotes are around The Monster's exact words. Now if The Monster had also quoted someone, we would have reverted to double quotation marks within the single quotation. Don't worry though because he's 19 months old, and he's never quoted anyone. Just know that you want to alternate doubles and singles for quotes within quotes within quotes....

And, well, really that's it. The only time you use single quotation marks is when writing a quotation within a quotation. I suppose I could have just said that in the first place, but you know how teachers are. We have to make sure you get it all.

Just for fun let's get all quotation happy and color code quotations within quotations:

Helen said, "I received this letter from John which says, 'I agree with Mark Twain who said, "A person who won't read has no advantage over one who can't read. " I'm sure you agree as well.' I do agree, but my favorite quote from Twain is, 'A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.' Experience really is the best teacher."

Red = Helen
Blue = John
Pink = Twain as quoted by John
Green= Twain as quoted by Helen

Helpful or confusing?
If you learned something new, let me know in the comments. It makes me feel useful. Also, be sure to ask any other grammar or punctuation questions you have. You know I love to answer those!

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Spring Break Version of Random Blog Prompt Friday

*Disclaimer: I blatantly stole the idea of Random Blog Prompt Friday from my daughter, Near Normalcy. It would be totally inappropriate for me to use this marvelous idea for what to write when you're too lazy to think of something original without giving her due credit.

Me with my amazingly creative daughter and my daredevil sewing wizard son

**Disclaimer: Although the title of the post contains the words "Spring Break," there really isn't anything about spring break here. I used the term purely for SEO purposes. But I am actually on spring break, so it's not completely inaccurate or pandering to Google.

With the required funny just-because-I felt-like-it disclaimers out of the way, let's carry on with the actual random blog prompts:

What are your hobbies? Why do you like them? Oooh! A question I can answer semi-seriously! At this point, blogging is a hobby. It's certainly not a paying profession. I like it because I get to write and people read what I write and tell me I'm wonderful. I like it when people tell me I'm wonderful. Also, because of my blog, I've made friends with some wonderful, sweet, intelligent, zany people, and I like all of those qualities in a friend. I like rich in a friend too, but that doesn't necessarily help me in the virtual friend world, and also doesn't seem to have helped me in the real world friend area either.

My other hobby is photography. I like it because I'm too uncoordinated to paint. 

My Camera. Well, not my actual camera, but one just like it.

Moving on.

What's the hardest thing you've ever had to learn? Algebra. If my brother hadn't majored in physics and my best friend majored in math, I would have had to drop out of high school. This is why I majored in English.

The other hardest thing (you know you can't have two hardest things, right?) I've ever had to learn is that you can't marry someone expecting to change him into the person you want him to be. You have to marry someone who already is the person you want him to be. Okay, the actual learning of that lesson was easy; the process of living with that lesson was hard. This doesn't appear to be a humorous answer at all. We need another question.

What is truth? About a three-quarters of everything I've written in this blog since it began. 

Children are... what you have to put up with if you ever want to have grandchildren.

Us with The Newest One and The Athlete
The Monster
The Princess

Is true love real? Absolutely!! But it's not something you fall into, and a lot of people confuse love with romance or attraction. True love is full of respect and admiration. A lot of people need to learn that. True love means putting up with each other's imperfections. Like when he leaves paper towels all over the kitchen. Or how he tells you the same stories over and over. This does NOT mean putting up with abuse! That's not an imperfection; it's an inexcusable flaw.

The Hillbilly and I are blessed with true love, and I admire and respect him even though he insists on referring to the Internet as Google. As in, "Which icon do I click to get to Google?" Either the E or the fox in a circle. "My Google isn't working. Is your Google working?" No, and neither are any of the other web sites. The Google appears to be down, Dear.

Yay! We have successfully navigated another Random Blog Prompt Friday. How would you answer these really, really random questions?

Gonna link up here:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday for Wordless Wednesday!

Here in Crazy Land, I'm on vacation and not feeling like doing any heavy lifting. This is probably evident from the lack of recent posting. So just so you don't think I've forgotten you (you know I'd never do that!) here are some pictures from a lovely Easter spent at my mom's house. Isn't her yard beautiful?

The Hillbilly and our newest granddaughter

She thinks he's as funny as I do.

I really have no idea what this is about, but isn't she cute?

It's The Monster's first egg hunt, and he's not sure about the whole thing.

Two of our granddaughters and a friend. All of them looked so pretty!

Alyssa was not happy that I stood there taking pictures while The Monster got himself all wet. Grandma has privileges!

Our little group of egg hunters!

By this time The Athlete had had enough picture taking.

My two beautiful children. I had to tickle Ben to get him to show his teeth.

 So how was your holiday? And wouldn't you like to come have pictures taken in my mom's yard?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Welcome Spring -- Wordless Wednesday

For this week's mostly Wordless Wednesday, I'm sharing some blooms from the cherry trees in our backyard, and some smiles (and just plain mischievous expressions) from our oldest granddaughter, who turned six last week.

Future cherry pies!

The Princess -- Age 6

Monday, April 2, 2012

Family Pets Hillbilly Style

 Here he is again, folks. The love of my life. So many of you enjoyed The Hillbilly's last post and asked for more, that he was happy to oblige us all with another story from his Ozark youth. Today he's telling us all about the family pet.

On my last post, I mentioned the animals I was surrounded with and realized that I had forgotten one.  We had a pet skunk! Think about it.  I don’t know of any other family, (hillbilly or otherwise), that had a skunk.  But now, you know of a family that had one.  Congratulations!

Now, I don’t remember too awfully much about this skunk.  I know that it had been descented or deskunked as I call it.  My great-uncle had captured it as a baby, and apparently knew how to deskunk it.  I have no idea why you would know how to do such things, but hey, it is the Ozarks!  And,  apparently we became the proud recipients of his talents.

Nice Kitty?

 I am guessing that to deskunk or to own a skunk would be against all kinds of laws today, so you probably won‘t be hearing of such things again.  I don’t know what the laws were back in the late 1940’s or early 1950’s but if it was illegal, all the guilty culprits are long gone.  I guess they could  award them with a ticket posthumously. 

At any rate, if I recall correctly, the skunk's name was Stinky.  Okay, not a very creative name.  But for my dad, names were kept simple.  Dad was very bright, in fact very quick with a comeback, but he many times started out trying to speak without thinking.  So, if he wanted to speak to my mom, he might begin with one of my sisters' names, then the next, and after about the third or fourth name, he would get to the right one.  So names were kept simple.

And actually, I think that they even claim dogs and some other pets are even more responsive to one syllable names.  It has something to do with how small their brains are and how they do or do not work.  Come to think of it, I have seen a lot of hillbillies and others that should have had one syllable names.

At any rate, all of our pet names were kept simple. In fact, after we children left home, dogs' names were either Beau or Tippy.  Didn’t matter if they were male or female.  Absolutely no discrimination there.  I guess that you could say that the feminist movement began early in the Meents household.

I mentioned that I don’t remember too much about our pet skunk.  In fact, due to the various head injuries mentioned back in my first posting, I don’t remember too awfully much about anything when I was two!  And it was the occasion of my second birthday party that was the beginning of poor Stinky’s downfall.

You see,  to take care of problems, skunks are accustomed to putting their back parts up in the air, raising their tail and letting go with that skunk perfume to which we are all accustomed and know so well.  In Stinky’s case, he would do all this with no result.  So, as you can imagine, people just thought it was cute and funny.

 I am guessing that in Stinky’s mind, he was thinking, "I don’t know why I do this, but it just seems right!"  In fact, it is kind of like with cattle!  A bull calf is neutered and made into a steer while very small, but even without the proper equipment they still try to breed.  I am guessing that just like Stinky, they are also thinking, "I don’t know why I do this; it just seems right!"

However, the one difference between the two is that Stinky could adapt somewhat for his problem; steers cannot.  Stinky adapted!  At my birthday party, he began trying to get everyone's cake and ice cream.  When people tried to stop him, he used teeth and claws!  People had minor injuries and poor
Stinky faced the consequences for his actions and  became an outcast.

Now I don’t know how well Stinky made it after that. Perhaps, just looking like a  skunk and hiking your tail would keep you safe.  It would be enough to stop me,  but I suspect that poor Stinky didn’t survive very long in the wild and cruel world.

At any rate, I think that in all this,  there is a moral here.  Guys, don’t be a skunk, or you might face the consequences and be made an outcast!  And, from one hillbilly to ----- whatever you are ----- definitely avoid becoming a steer!

From the Hillbilly’s corner!