Grandma and Minnie

Grandma and Grandpa lived next to Minnie and Amalie in Austin, Texas.  Minnie and Amalie had immigrated from Mexico fairly recently and spoke very little English, but that didn’t hamper their friendship.  Grandma and Minnie had coffee every morning, chatting over recipes, patterns, housework, and their shared garden plot..  It didn’t matter that Grandma spoke not a word of Spanish and Minnie knew little English.  They’d check out each other’s tomatoes, peppers, and flowers, chattering like nobody’s business. Though I was a small child when we visited there, I remember fondly that Minnie trusted me push her pretty, black-eyed baby around the yard in her stroller.I was so proud to be a big girl.

Sometimes I followeed Grandpa and Amalie  around as they smoked hand-rollled cigarettes and worked at some project in the yard or dug in the garden.  One day they made me a chair by nailing two apple crates end-to-end.  I sat in that chair as long as I could squeeze into it.  I learned my first Spanish when Amalie hammered his finger and cursed in Spanish.  Though I didn’t know Spanish, cursing in any language is cursing. I admired cursing and was always on the  alert for a tasty tidbit, since I didn’t get to hear it at home.

I was intrigued at hearing Minnie and Amalie talk, my introduction to a foreign language.  I’d jabber along, thinking, I was speaking Spanish, stopping periodically to ask Grandma or Minnie to interpret what I’d said for me.I wish we all got on with our neighbors so well.  We shared a lovely meal of Grandma’s greens, pork chops and cornbread and Minnes’s tamales and beans one special evening.  I didn’t care much for the greens, but I’ll never forget the bite of Minnie’s spicy tortillas.

All His Idea

My son recently had surgery. He is recovering well.  That is not the story.  Bud and I came to spend a few days to stay with him at the hospital and help my daughter-in-law with their two Akitas.  Akitas are huge furry dogs who shed copiously.  Every day, there is enough hair on the floor to cover a whole new dog.  The kids just moved and still have boxes to unpack.  They have an aging vacuum cleaner that struggles with dog hair and has to be unstopped every few minutes to empty. Sadly, the vacuum cleaner implements are still packed in a moving box. I am the primary housekeeper since John is in the hospital and my daughter-in-law spends time with him and tries to keep their lives going.  That being said, I need a fully functional vacuum cleaner with implements. “I am going to buy a vacuum cleaner as soon as I can get to a store.  I cant’t keep up with the dog hair with this old vacuum cleaner and a dust cloth.”

Bud thought I could.  “It vacuums just fine.  You just need to unstop it when it plugs up.”

”It does not work fine.  Take me to the store.”

“I don’t have time right now.  I have to………” He mumbled as he walked off.  He clearly intended to avoid the store.

The next day, I went to pick my daughter-in-law up after her hospital visit.  She took me to the store and I got a nice vacuum cleaner.  All the comings and goings have been hard on the dog’s nerves.  The next morning,  DIL left me at the hospital and picked Bud up, after he’d spent the night.  When they got in the house, a horrible mess greeted them at the door.  Trash was scattered all over the kitchen.  One of the dogs had dragged a box of grits off the counter and stomped them all into the rug.  There was liquid dog poop smeared in the bathroom rug.  The dogs made enough mess between them to keep that new vacuum cleaner busy for a couple of hours.

After the storm, Bud remarked to DIL.  “I told Linda y’all probably need a new vacuum cleaner.”

How did it get to be his idea?

Terrible Dad Joke

A bear enters a bar and says to the bartender, “I’ll have a………… pint of beer please.”
The bartender asks, impatiently, “Why the big pause?”
The bear replies, “Well, I’ve always had em!”

Why did the can crusher quit his job?
It was soda pressing.

What did the full glass say to the empty glass?
“You look drunk.What’s a potato’s favorite form of transportation?”
“Gravy train.”

What did one ocean say to the other?
Nothing, they just waved.

Why should you never fall in love with a tennis player?
To them… love means NOTHING!

Why does it take pirates so long to learn the alphabet?
Because they spend years at C.

 

Foot In Mouth Disease

Warning:  inappropriate language, but a good object lesson for me.

Our holiday celebrations can include thirty to forty people, since we all feel free to invite in-laws, friends, and new-comers.  Everyone is welcome and made family.  The host usually provides meat and bread, with guests bringing side dishes, relish trays, salad or desserts.  If you are ever around, you will be included.  We are an affable crowd so when everybody’s arriving, it’s often hard to see or hear who you are greeting.

I was reminded of this to my humiliation one Christmas.  I was standing at the sink, prepping for dinner when a large group came in the back door.  It just looked like our usual group of relatives and friends, when I caught a partial view of a woman coming in on crutches.  Foolishly inferring it was one of my sisters, cousins, nieces, or sisters-in-law. Instead of the polite greeting socially acceptable normal people give, I blurted out.  “Well, hello! Who’s gimpy today?” I didn’t hesitate, jumping right into the worst thing, I could have said in a situation calling for sensitivity.  Thinking  I was teasing a close family member dealing with a temporary encumbrance did not excuse me. It was not a family member,  nor even anyone I knew.  The young lady was a guest.  I never knew if she heard me or not.  I sincerely hope not, but I was so mortified.  I apologized ineptly, explaining I mistook her for family.  It was one of the most embarrassing gaffes I have ever made.  Since then, I any offensive language language under any circumstance.  There is NO right time.

 

 

Sunday Jokes

A patient says: “Doctor, last night I made a Freudian slip, I was having dinner with my mother-in-law and wanted to say: ‘Could you please pass the butter.’ But instead I said: ‘You hateful cow, you have completely ruined my life’.”

An elderly gentleman had serious hearing problems for a number of years. He went to the doctor and the doctor was able to have him fitted for a set of hearing aids that allowed the gentleman to hear 100 %.

The elderly gentleman went back in a month to the doctor and the doctor said: “Your hearing is perfect. Your family must be really pleased that you can hear again.”

The gentleman replied, “Oh, I haven’t told my family yet. I just sit around and listen to their conversations. I’ve changed my will three three times.

Big Mouth Kids

Some interesting quotes from children:  Not all from mine, thank goodness

From a three-year old boy learning to potty from his dad. “Cool penis dad!”

The same boy exiting the bathroom:  “There’s a lot of turds in there!”

My three-year-old son advising his father:  Don’t let Baby Sister in the bathroom with you.  She’ll pull your penis.  Ain’t she rude!”

The same boy to an older deaf neighbor:  “YOU CAN’T HEAR THUNDER!”  Of course he’d heard this from his father.

From my daughter standing behind a portly lady in line at the grocery story.  I gave her a look and shushed her when she tried to comment.  The lady turned to walk away and my little one chimed out,  “I sure was nice not to call her a big, old, fat lady, wasn’t I, Mommy?

My niece:  “Boogers taste like pickles.”  I told my daughter and my little grandson spoke to himself, “I like that girl.”

I told my first grade teacher, “My mama said she wouldn’t take a sick dog to Dr. Jones.  She bristled, “I’ll have you know my father is a very good doctor!”  I couldn’t wait to get home to tell Mother.

 

 

Escape Artist

Kate was an absolutely adorable little bundle of energy, her smile, a burst of sunshine.  I couldn’t get enough of her, except at bedtime.  Bedtimes were a marathon of up and down, back and forth.  She climbed like a monkey. By sixteen months, she’d mastered climbing over the rails of her crib.  With no fear of falling, she’d plunge to the floor.  In the interest of saving her brain, we had no choice but to put her in a twin bed. The total freedom of that bed made getting her to bed even more of a challenge, usually involving cuddling, books, quiet play, and numerous trips to put her back to bed.  Most of the time, I had to lie down with her till she drifted off.  As often as not, I’d be asleep first so she’d try to crawl over me to get out.

We had dinner guests one evening.  I made a fruitless effort to get her to be early. It seemed to give her extra energy for her usual festivities. This particular evening, she was proud she’d learned to take her clothes off, so she stripped to the skin before emerging naked as the day she was born.  I left the table four or fives times to times to dress her and put her back to bed.  The admiration of the guests only strengthened her determination to show off.    Bud always thought he knew a better way.  The last time she showed up, ringlets bouncing and little pink butt shining, he took a stern tone.  “Baby girl, if you pull your clothes off and come in here again, I’m gonna knock a knot on your head.”  This would have been a first if he had laid a hand on her. He put her back in bed and said in a gruff tone, “Now, I guess she’ll stay there!”

Our conversationed resumed.  I wondered resentfully why he hadn’t done that before.  After a few minutes, we heard pat, pat, pat coming down the hall.  A tiny girl, grinning like a bear eating briars tip-toed into the ding room.  Naked as a jay bird, she wore her brother’s football helmet on her head.  I guess he had made an impression.

 

The Girls Part Two

Betty didn’t consider herself a problem at all.  While her girls discussed her problems, she was having a fine time at lunch with Alan, Barbara’s ex.  Truth be told, she’d always gotten along better with him than with Barbara.  “Alan, I sure wish you and Barbara could work things out and get back together.  All couples have their little problems.  Barbara needs to get Betsy back here where we can spend time with her.  I really miss that girl.  She used to spend every Saturday night with me.  I know this is not my business, but is there anybody else?”  Betty clearly looked on Alan as a son.

“Oh no, Miss Betty.  There’s never been anybody but Barb for me.  I wish we could work things out.  I’d love to get my family back together.”  Alan brushed things over, trying to dodge a bullet.  He flagged the waiter.  “Can you get me and my date some cheesecake and coffee?  Miss Betty, do you still like the strawberry?  This place had the best strawberry cheesecake!”

“I sure do!  I ought not to have it, though.  My scales might tell on me.” Betty never seriously considered skipping dessert.

“Don’t talk like that.  I don’t get you to myself that often.  You know you’re the prettiest girl here.”  Alan grinned.

A woman in a yellow pantsuit stopped by their table.  “Well, Betty.  How in the world are you?  I haven’t seen you since you retired.  I’ve been meaning to call you, but I’ve been so busy.  All of us aren’t lucky enough to retire early like you.  I sure miss seeing you every day.  Let’s try to get together next week for lunch.  Maybe I can bring Marla if we can get off together.” She waited expectantly for Betty’s answer.

“Who’s Marla?”

“You know Marla worked with us for over twenty years.  That’s funny, Betty.”  The woman in yellow waved and went on her way.  “Call me, Betty.”

“Who was that?” Alan asked.  He was surprised Betty hadn’t introduced them.

“Uh, just somebody I used to know.  She always did talk too much.”  Betty looked disturbed and pushed her coffee back.  “I need to get home.”  She and Alan walked out together.

“It’s been so nice seeing you.  I’ve missed you.  Bring Betsy by when you can.”