Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Hillbilly Knows No Fear!

 Happy Summer, everyone!! Officially, it's not summer yet; that's about 3 weeks away. Here in Crazy Land though, school's out, so it's summer! Vacation has begun, and I'm going to let The Hillbilly do the heavy lifting today. Today he's going to tell you about growing up manly in the fifties and sixties.

Growing up as a hillbilly boy, there were a few things that I came to understand.  They were basically, that you will not be a wimp, sissy, scaredy-cat, or any other such weenie-sounding descriptive term.  I learned to overcome my fears, be a man, be tough, work through the pain, etc.  Rah!  I learned to respect the danger but not necessarily be fearful.

 For instance, Dad told me to beware of rabid foxes.  People were being attacked and bitten by rabid foxes, so beware.  He would tell me to carry a big stick when I was out tromping around in the wilds so that I could beat off those rabid foxes.  

Actually, because of his continued warning of rabid foxes, they became about the only thing of which I was particularly worried.  But instead of carrying a big stick, I carried a broken piece of cast iron that looked like a medieval weapon that could split a man from stem to stern.  It looked cooler than a stick!  I never got to use it though.  Never did see one of those rabid foxes or for that matter, any other kind of fox. 

Being afraid of the dark was a big no-no!  After dark, my parents would make me deliver things to neighbors who lived a quarter mile away.  And I would say, but there are rabid foxes out there!  That excuse didn’t work.  So I became unafraid of the dark.  I was taught that there were no ghosts.  So I would ride my bike or walk through cemeteries in the dark.  I was fearless!  Come to find out,  after having it instilled in me to not be afraid of such things, I found out that my fearless dad had not been that fearless of the dark, or that brave about walking through cemeteries at night.  Oh well!

If we went to the river where there were cottonmouths, copperheads, rattle snakes, and so on, he would stomp through the snakiest looking places and not be watchful.  I would be following him and thinking, it is usually the last one in line that gets bitten.  I grew up doing the same thing.


Since we were not allergic, we stomped through poison ivy the same way.   I was taught to not show fear around animals because it might provoke their predator instinct.  

Actually this worked pretty well with animals and those who might try to bully me.  That was a good thing, because my mom was a little careless about picking me up after baseball practice and the coach would leave with me all alone there.  Which, realizing that I was 8 years old, I don’t understand at all.   I would sometimes wait for an hour!  

One day, 3 boys, (2 larger boys, and 1 smaller boy), came to me and said this boy can whip you!  And I just looked at them and said I don’t think he can!  Fortunately, they decided to keep on going.  Did I mention that this was the park where they found the friend of mine that I spoke of being murdered by the hitchhiker in my last post!  Mom and coach, what were you thinking!

I had to be tough because I rarely went to the doctor.  Mom had a doctor book!  Mom studied the doctor book.  It was probably from back in witchcraft days.  You know what I mean.  With cures like, step on a nail – step on a cats tail!  I am kidding, don’t call Peta!  Actually, when I stepped on rusty nails and had to pry boards from my foot, Mom had me soak my foot in kerosene for 30 minutes.

By Longhair at en.wikipedia [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
  Kerosene had great healing powers.  Who knew?  A friend of mine was jumping a creek and put his foot in a copperhead’s mouth.  What did they do?  Yep, you got it!  They soaked his foot in kerosene.   

Yes, sure it had lead in it, but so did all the paint with which I was surrounded.  I am sure it didn’t harm me!  Wait what were we talking about?   Okay, maybe it affected me some?  But what if I did lose 30 points or so of IQ because of lead.  That would still leave 170 points or so.  Oh!  Wait!  170 was what I once weighed!  Maybe it was 17 points.  It is making my head hurt just thinking about --- whatever we were talking about! Maybe I should go soak it in kerosene.

From the Hillbilly’s corner

I'm linking up here:

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Random Blog Prompt Saturday

Well, school's out FINALLY!!! That last week was the longest month of my life! Now, I know I have neglected my blog and my readers, and I'm sorry. I really want to write you all a post, but my head is aching and my brain is dead. Therefore, I'll do what I always do in this situation: Random Blog Prompt!

As I'm sure you recall, I totally stole this concept from my daughter, but since this one is being posted on Saturday instead of Friday, she has no reason/right to kick about it. So without further ado, let's begin the random blog prompts.

The first time you drove a car. What was it like? Okay, first can we discuss the sentence structure here? If that period were a comma, we'd be fine. As it is, we've got a sentence fragment. This annoys me. Don't do it again. Now, to answer the question, the first time I drove a car it was like riding in a car except I was in a different seat. Also, I was in control of the vehicle...or not. I don't really remember since it was...ummm...a few years ago. As in almost 40 years. Thanks for making me say that.
Not really me

Did you and your mother share an interest in any special activity? Yes, we were both interested in me. Looking back that may have been a little self-centered of me.
Really me and Mama

Are you involved in any clubs or extra-curricular activities? All my activities have been extra-curricular for the last 35 years. Thanks for making me say that.
Oh, thank Heaven for 77.

Tell your life story from someone else's point of view. Well, I see several problems with this. First,  my life story is a bit long for a blog entry. Second, there would be large gaps because no one else was with me every moment of my life, nor did anyone have access to my thoughts. Third, I don't know my life story from anyone else's point of view. I only know it from mine. Finally, that would be boring for everyone.

My favorite animal reminds me of... a dog.

What do you think about while you're exercising? I'm sorry; you have clearly confused me with someone else.
The way I usually exercise.

Okay, how would YOU answer any of these questions. I'd be interested to know. And how do you like my new signature?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Feuding with the Hillbilly

The Hillbilly is not actually feuding, and I'm not actually feuding with the Hillbilly. Even though...

 We had this conversation the other day when he waited in the car while I ran into the mall the other day. I was gone for ten minutes! TEN!

When I returned he mentioned a "gal" he had seen walking across the parking lot. "She really had a graceful walk," he told me. "I thought she was coming to a car near here, but she walked clear across the parking lot."

"You were watching her walk?"

"Well, I was parked way out without many cars around me, and I just noticed her coming this way."

"And you watched her walk all the way across the parking lot?"

"No, baby, I didn't watch her the whole time.... I just checked every once in a while to see how she was doing."

"Okay, I'm going to give you a chance to get out of this. Did she walk better than me? Be careful how you answer." 

I gave him a chance! Clearly there's one correct answer here! Unfortunately for the Hillbilly, he's the most honest man on the planet.

"It was totally different; there's no way to compare. You take cute, little short steps that make your bottom twitch. She was long-legged. It was completely different."

"Well of course you can compare!"

"No you can't. They're not even the same thing."

"I'll help you out. One of the walks belongs to the woman who could sleep with you...or not."

Poor Hillbilly. Once he started that conversation, he never had a chance.

But that's not what I came here for today. The Hillbilly wants to tell us about hillbilly feudin'.
(Not Actually My Hillbilly)

A Note from the Hillbilly:

Well, sometimes those with inquiring minds ask, did you ever know people that were involved in them thar feuds?  Of course, I immediately know that their inquiring minds were like mine and not that inquiring when it came to the English language.  

But in answer to their question – yes!  A friend of mine lost his dad in one of them thar feuds.  Actually there were eventually about six people killed in that one, but that was in the 1940’s in a lot more hillbilly area than I am from.  Why, it was practically in Arkansas! 

Focus! Don’t get confused; I come from a much higher class of hillbillies.  I mean there are “HILLBILLIES” and there are hillbillies.  Come on guys, you can tell that I am a high class hillbilly.  Why, I am practically royalty as far as hillbillies go!
In thinking about this though, I realized that I  have known a fair amount of people that have been murdered or have murdered someone or killed someone in self- defense.  In fact, for a small town and its surrounding area, where very few murders are committed, it seems like I know an inordinate amount of them.  

There was the one fella that killed his "friend" and the friend's girlfriend.  Arguably, the depth of their friendship could be questioned!  I worked with him!  I was in management, he worked around our paint line.  Come to think about it, it seems as if we had our share of problems with those who worked around that line.  Another past employee who had worked on the same line wound up on the FBI’s most wanted list. 

Perhaps it was due to too much paint fumes.  At any rate, the man who killed his friend and the friend’s girlfriend, had two uncles who were supposedly killed in self- defense, by another guy that I knew. 

Another acquaintance, (not a friend; remember, I am a classy hillbilly), a motorcycle gang leader who claimed to have murdered various people, was killed.  This was after he had supposedly gotten religion.  I am not sure his religion ran deep because he had gone to collect money with the assistance of a ball bat and was shot and killed!  
(Not actually the motorcycle gang leader)

Word to the wise, don’t go to a gun fight with just a bat or a knife! Hello, was  I the only one who watched Raiders of the Lost Ark?  

Let’s see, then there were the two guys who lived about a
half mile from me that were ambushed on some back road.  That one looked kind of professional.  I think the truck they were in had about two hundred bullet holes in it. 

(Not Actually Their Car)

 Then there was a car dealer I knew, who was thought to have been killed professionally!  And let’s see, there was the friend of mine,(a really nice guy), who picked up one too many hitchhikers. This hitchhiker had just murdered someone minutes before he killed my friend!  Then there was the murder at one of my favorite pizza places, (I missed that one by minutes, it happened right after I left).  I knew the victim and the shooter. 

Then there was the guy my brother-in-law wanted me to arm wrestle.  My brother-in-law was running a rec-center that his dad owned.  I was talking to him from my car and he started begging me to come in and arm wrestle this guy. 

I was not too excited about the idea because it wasn’t something I went around doing and I was just getting over a shoulder injury.  But he kept begging.  He told me that this guy thinks he is good but that he almost beat him.  Finally, I asked who is this guy?  He told me and I then asked, isn’t that the guy who was 6’3” and weighed 213 about 10 years ago when he was only 13 years old?  He says yeah, he is pretty big, (a huge understatement), but he isn’t that tough! 
(Not Actually the Guy)

 He kept begging, and I finally agreed.  I went in, took one look at this guy, and immediately thought my brother-in-law hates me.  This guy was about 6’5” tall, probably about 350 lbs, had a huge chest, shoulders that looked about 3’6” across, arms the size of my legs, and he had huge biceps!  He was dressed like a mountain man and looked like the quantity of steroids he had taken far exceeded his IQ!  I was silently saying to myself, self, you’re going to die.  I am 6”2” and at that time, weighed about 180 lbs.  Hmm, wouldn’t I like to weight that once again.
At any rate, with great trepidation, I arm wrestled this guy ---
and put him down so quickly that he and I were both stunned.  So, he had to try me again and lost just as badly.  Yeah!  Who da man now?  No, are you kidding, I didn’t say that out loud.  I may be a stupid hillbilly but I am not dumb and suicidal.  I quite respectfully got my backside out of there.  He was not a happy camper.  

But speaking of dying, within two months he was arrested for murdering a man.  Obviously it wasn’t me, because you still have the great privilege of reading my posts.  Aren’t we all so happy about that?  Well okay, at least I am!
Seriously, I looked at feuds and murders.  I could just as well have looked at suicides or death by drug overdoses or alcohol poisoning. Whether in hillbilly land or in the big city – they have one thing in common.  They may have been caused by drugs, (buying, selling, partaking), alcohol, illegal activities, sexual escapades, etc., but really, all were caused by bad choices.  Choices that escalated to even more bad choices that led to a very permanent ending. 

Unfortunately, many times innocent people also get caught in the middle of this destructiveness and also pay for it with their lives.  We need to not only be aware of this in our lives, but need to emphasize this over and over again to our children and grandchildren. 

From the Hillbilly’s corner


Thursday, May 17, 2012

You Should've Said, "Would've" When You Could've

People are lazy. There. I said it. We're lazy, and it shows in our speech. We speak in contractions, sometimes without even realizing it. Today's lesson is about  the most common example of that phenomenon.

My students are often surprised to learn that the terms would of, could of, and should of don't actually exist!  Why is there confusion? Why do we see these terms used even by adults? Because people are lazy. We speak in contractions.

The correct terms, of course, are would have, could have, and should have. How do they sound when we contract them?

  • I would've been on time if Godzilla hadn't been trashing the city.
  • I could've won on American Idol, but I don't like to show off.
  • I should've bought the Hope Diamond when I had the chance. 
Exactly! It sounds like would of, could of, should of!

Looking around the Internet, I found these examples. You know...on pages written by supposedly literate adults.
  • Tom Brands could of, should of, would of  {Blog headline}
  • If Bernard Hopkins would of fought a "Prime" Cory Spinks back in 2004 who would of won the fight? {A question on answers.yahoo.com}
  • Disappointing - Not What Walt Would of Wanted {A review of Disney Cruise Lines}
  • There's an entire blog called Who Would Of Thought and another called Wish I Could Of. These seem like very nice blogs, but their message is obscured by this incorrect language.
Here's my personal favorite:
  • What I Wish I Would Of Known in College to Get My Dream Job Faster {This on a blog by a gentleman claiming the credits "SEO, Social Media, Online Marketer."}
I can think of one thing you should've known!

 I hardly know where to begin with this last one, so please insert your own snarky comment here.
So for those of you who didn't realize you were making this error, now you do. Stop it!! Thank you very much.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

In Which I Willingly Embarrass Myself

I was NOT a high school hottie. Actually, I'm so old that the term "hottie" was not even in use when I was in high school. But Liz over at bellebeanchicagodog.com is hosting a little get together and has invited her fellow bloggers to share their high school senior pictures. Because I'm a joiner and a go-along kind of gal, I have chosen to participate in this little exercise in self-humiliation.

Unlike most of the young ladies participating in this online spectacle, I was not a senior in the big-haired eighties. I graduated in 1977 (class motto: Oh, thank Heaven for '77). We didn't have big hair, but we had gauchos and cowl necks:

I know.

And big glasses. We had really big glasses!

So to recap: Big glasses. No big hair.
The second part of the assignment is to include a more recent photo of ourselves. So here's sort of what I look like now:
With my little sister who really was a high school hottie!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Time Travel Tuesday

Let's return to November, 2011 for Adventures in Pregnant Jogging:

An Apology. Sort of. More or Less 

originally posted 11/25/11
We celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday at my mom's house. Today we celebrated at our son's house.  I am up to my eyeballs in turkey. Turkey contains tryptophan, an amino acid which makes one sleepy. I have been consuming mass amounts of tryptophan for two days now. This is the excuse I have chosen to use for not having a blog post ready to go today. I've reached early evening and still have nothing to say.

However, I didn't get this close to the end of the month only to fail now at NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month). I have successfully written 24 blog posts in a row, and I'm going to get 6 more finished and pat myself on the back.

So let me tell you about our quarter-mile dash through Downtown Disneyland last week. We met our son and daughter-in-law and The Athlete in Disneyland. After an afternoon and evening of riding elephants and watching parades, we went to dinner (aka supper, according to The Hillbilly). We chose a restaurant on the end of Downtown Disney that is farthest from the place where our shuttle would pick us up to deliver us safe and exhausted at our hotel.

Notice the Little Mama is extremely pregnant!

Have I mentioned that the daughter-in-law is 7 months pregnant? And after a full afternoon of singing birds and boat rides that took us around the world past singing children (sing it with me now!), and a really good, filling dinner (supper), we found ourselves 1/2 mile from the shuttle bus. 10 minutes before the last bus for the evening was scheduled to leave. With a 3-year-old and a very pregnant young woman. We found ourselves with 2 choices: 1) walk back one mile to the hotel or 2) spend the night in Mickey's house. Granted, option number 2 would have required CIA training which none of us had. My Hillbilly, The Son, and I resigned ourselves to the walk. Little Mama had other ideas.
Still quite pregnant.

She pointed that belly at the parking lot and turned on the afterburners. "I am NOT walking back to the hotel!"  Not one of us was able to keep up with her. The Son carried The Athlete, The Hillbilly pushed the stroller, and I just hustled. Half way through the Gumball Rally, The Hillbilly could see that the son was weakening. Little Mama was still out in front and not looking back. The Hillbilly and the son executed an in-flight trade off, stroller for Athlete.
The Hillbilly trades off for the Athlete

I looked ahead and saw the security checkpoint. Little Mama sailed through without stopping. The Son shoved the stroller through and waved as he went past. The Hillbilly followed right behind. I stopped, opened my purse, shut my purse, and hurried on, falling behind. Ahead of me, Little Mama was cutting through traffic in the shuttle area, The Son close on her heals with the stroller. The Hillbilly was telling The Athlete, "You may have to carry Grandpa the rest of the way."

The shuttle was in sight. Little Mama found new reserves of energy and reached the bus as it was closing its doors. I held my breath.... and the doors opened. Little Mama hopped on. The Son proceeded to fold the stroller, and by the time he finished The Hillbilly, The Athlete and I were seated, panting and sweating, on the bus.

The Son stepped onto the bus, looked at Little Mama and said, "We could have walked in a leisurely fashion to the hotel without killing ourselves like this."

And Little Mama looked at him with that air of contentment that only a pregnant woman can summon up. And she just smiled.

So, anyway, I'm sorry for not having a real post prepared for you today. I promise to try harder tomorrow.

read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Mother's Day Card

This is my mama:
She's beautiful!!

So is this:

 And all of these:

I'm the older girl there.

That little rugrat is my daughter, Alyssa
After Daddy's stroke

Granddaughters and great-granddaughter

The funny thing is, to me she is all of these women, all at the same time. But she is so much more than these pictures show. 

These pictures don't show:
  • the strength of her faith
  • the honesty of her character
  • the constancy of her love
  • the depth of her wisdom
  • the purity of her soul
  • the creativity of her mind
 Inside, this woman is a rock that has weathered many storms and stayed firm. She is the rock to which I am anchored. She is the sureness of my life.
My mama is the source of all that I am. I am grateful to God for giving her to me, to lead me, to shape me, to love me into the woman I am.
This is my mama!

Monday, May 7, 2012

5 Things That Drive Me Crazy--About Myself!

I know you're used to me ranting about the horrible state of grammar and punctuation on the Internet (and elsewhere), but today is going to be different. Today I'm joining the Listable Life link-up and hanging out at Yeah Write. Today this rant is about me because I can easily think of 5 things that drive me crazy about myself.

But first, thank you, Jen, for this:

Before we get started, however, I have to share this with you because it's just too funny, and you know I love you and want you to enjoy life. I'm just that kind of grandma. So let me tell you about what happened in class today. One of my students was giving an oral presentation on her research into the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle, she assured us, pointing at a map, is located in this general area:

I think perhaps a tad bit more research is called for.

 Okay, so about those things that drive me crazy about myself. Here we go, in no particular order. Okay, in the order they happened to pop into my head. Don't be so picky. Here they are:

1. The overwhelming first place annoyance has to be my own insecurity. Call it low self-esteem, insecurity, social anxiety, whatever the current buzzword is now. Folks, I was voted the shyest girl in the class of 1977. There was a reason for that. Even now that I am putting myself out here for the whole world to examine, I am my own worst critic. If a post doesn't get any comments, I'm sure it's because I'm a boring person. Even though I hope to be successful with my blogging someday, deep inside I don't believe it will ever happen. 
      Fortunately, I recognize that my insecurity is not reality-based; it comes from within and is not attached to anything that happens in the real world. I learned long ago not to base my actions on my feelings. My feelings aren't to be trusted. They are, however, annoying, and they take a lot of work and energy to ignore. And sometimes I fail, and the insecurity wins.

2. My short attention span. (There was seriously a 5-minute gap between the last sentence and the next.) I didn't always have a short attention span; I blame the computer. Wherever it came from it is impacting every area of my life, and I need it to stop. Any suggestions?


3. My skin. There is just nothing right with it. It's hard to  pinpoint what I like the least about it, but I think I'll go with the skin cancer. And I'm serious when I say that's just one of the things I hate about it. I have the driest skin on the planet. My skin drinks moisturizing lotion and then begs for more no matter how much I give it. Also, there are the freckles. I've never been a fan of the freckles. But yeah, I've gotta go with the skin cancer. I try to warn people about the sun. I wrote a post about it; you should check it out. Suffice it to say that I've recently had my semiannual date with liquid nitrogen, and it wasn't fun.

Surgery: 9/2010. That's my forehead, y'all. Not a good hairstyle for me.

4. The fact that I procrastinate. Sometimes for years! If it's not the last minute, it's not being worked on. I started my taxes on April 17 this year.


5. My house! Okay, it's not the house that drives me crazy; it's the clutter in the house. I have a bad case of CHAOS: Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome (thank you, Flylady). There will be no graphic illustration of this because I would hate to have the world see this mess. Trust me. It's cluttered. I have wonderful intentions of getting it all cleared up, but...well, see item #4. 

Well, there you have it. I have poured out my heart to you in a warm, open self-pitying manner. Now it's your turn. Leave a comment so I don't go into a total decline. What drives you craziest about yourself?