Posts Tagged ‘Grandma’

 XUP’s post *XUP* brought up another side of the large family debate.  To recap, there was dad, mom, brother(10 years older) and me in our house.  Quiet does not even begin to describe our house.  If television had never been invented, we could have lived in a morgue.

I loved going to my sister’s house (she lived with my grandmother and my aunt) for holidays.  On Christmas, Mom always worried that we had to leave our toys, but I think that set up for me that holidays were about family.  They were not about money spent on gifts, or the size of the turkey.  They were about sharing.

I loved picking out which gift/s I was going to take and show my sister.  She is ten years older than I am.  I loved opening the car door and waving to my aunt, with her movie camera going.  I loved going into the house and having all the aunts hug and give me a sloppy kiss and then into the kitchen where grandma , who would play the piano on rare occasions, would sneak me bits of my favorite food (generally desert).  I only have two cousins on that side of the family.  They are both male and both older, so there was not a lot of interaction going on.

In the summer, we would have a rare treat of a small Dairy Queen cone, on the way home.  Every season had it’s own special treat and memories.

I only remember one or two family gatherings with my mother’s side of the family.  I was very close to one cousin, out of eighteen, and being a loner do not really remember doing much there. 

That side of the family has some wonderful people and then some truly unbalanced ones who insisted on starting a fight every gathering.  I am sure that put a damper on the whole “get together” thing. 

The fun parts though were when my uncle played fiddle.  I loved his scratchy cigarette voice and also the humor of one of my aunts.  The really sweet, large family aunt made the best apple desert in jelly roll pans and I would go, fights or no fights, purely for her cooking.  Gosh, we have a theme going here; my need for desert.  But, that is for another post. 

I am a loner, but I would not give up the large family gatherings, fights and all, for anything.  It was the exclamation point on a long quiet sentence.

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Letter to my daughter:

I want you to know that your childhood has now become my childhood.  It is not my fault. I did not steal your childhood, even though it was far more exciting than mine was. 

When grandma tells you the story of her taking me to the beach, as a baby, and not realizing that the sun reflected off the sand, and she felt so horrible because my little feet got burnt; well, just remember that it was your little feet that got burnt, your mother who was stupid enough to not realize the sun reflected off the sand and, even though I had you under the umbrella, your feet got burnt. 

But, don’t feel bad because I got like a third degree, vomiting in the pharmacy burn which she has forgotten all about.  So even though she thinks your incident was poor little me, it was actually you.  She came over to my house to take care of you and me because I should have been in the hospital; but she has totally forgotten that I was burnt to a crisp, or that it was NOT her fault.

Then, there is the little matter of the weeping willow that I was so upset about when lightning struck it.  Only lightening never did strike the tree I played under as a child.  Grandma had moved, by the time you had your own weeping willow to play under, and it was that weeping willow that was struck by lightning.  

In the beginning, I corrected her, but what does it really matter?

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Okay, I have lived with four teenage boys, long enough to know that if they hand me a movie and say, “Grandma, you’ve just got to watch this.” My first question should be, and was, “Is this a shoot em up and kill them movie.”


“Oh, no.” They declare.  “It’s really good.”


In what depths of their male brain do they think that Boondock Saints is NOT a shoot ‘em up movie?  Dialogue toward the end of the movie even announces there have been seventeen murders. And, pretty nearly all these murders were done with weapons; namely guns, boys.  Shoot ‘em up, guns.


First, let me say that I like Willem Dafoe’s acting; usually. I like his name: Willem, not William—although he was named William at birth, Willem and Dafoe. It’s a cool name and I remember him from Platoon and Mississippi Burning.  And, I also thought I remembered him from China Beach, but apparently, he wasn’t in it.  Hmmm?


This SHOULD have been a good movie.  It’s a good premise, but, it’s not well directed.  They have taken perfectly good actors and told them to do the worse overacting on earth; especially Defoe.


Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus play fraternal twins; one of these two actors was quite impressive and that is despite the hideous directing that the other actors followed. Unfortunately, I do not remember which was which.  But, they played vigilante meatpackers.


Okay, I simplified there, but hey, I have this firm belief, and this is from direct experience so please do not get irate meatpackers, that people who work in butchering plants tend to be affected by the killing in the long run.  Violence can be one result. Well, these boys see it as their mission from God to murder “bad” people and they start with Russian mobsters who are going to close their favorite Irish pub.


This may, in deed, be justification in the eyes of most of the world but they don’t stop there and the shooting just goes on and on and on.  And, unfortunately, so does the over acting.  


The movie could have been good.  Troy Duffy was the writer and director and I recommend he stick with writing.


Don’t go out and rent this DVD, just read the plot on Wiki and be done with it. The Boondock Saints – Wikipedia, the free


Wikipedia tells me that there is a sequel in the future. 

And, that Willem Dafoe has been smart enough to turn it down.  My words, not theirs.

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Master’s daughter, a/k/a BrainDebris on WordPress, has graciously shared her phenominal memory with me, and given me a list of reminders so that I may write about grandma.  The first one, Macaroni and Tang caused me to laugh out loud; just those few words. And, I will share with you in a minute why I laughed, but some of the things on the list are just are not jogging my memory.

Like what is the Dress Boobs story? Was that cloth hankies instead of kleenex? Lace hankies, maybe. Mom does tend to keep her kleenex in her bra and sometimes a breadcrumb trail of them everywhere she has been, but I’m stumped by Dress Boobs?????

This issue fits in with another notation on the list: Nasal spray, kleenex, and bras. Mom was addicted to nasal spray. She has the worse sinus infection in the world, and it has lasted for forty years or more now. I think she puts off getting something done about it because she heard that surgery would give you two black eyes, and how would that look with her lipstick?  But, that’s not hilariously funny.  I think you should keep these stories daughter as my memory is shot.

I have to return the list of Grandma’s stories to Master’s Daughter. Especially since I have no idea what Flip Flops and hidden socks is.  Oh, wait, it just hit me, honest. It was all because Dad was quite convinced that mom’s washing of his clothing was the reason his clothing wore out.  If mother would just not wash it so much, he would have socks of steel that lasted for decades. So, dad took to hiding his socks. First, he would stuff them up his pants leg at night, so she wouldn’t collect them off the floor. When she got onto that trick, he got more creative. As time went on, she would have to search drawers and under beds for the illusive, but durable, dirty underwear. 

I am willing the following stories back to Master’s daughter, but I’m keeping the three last because I do remember them. Feel free, BrainDebris to add comments.

Ziplocs at the Wedding buffet
Before there were paper shredders
Aunt Lydia’s zucchini: I do remember, but I’m pretty sure you will tell it better
Aerosol deoderant: Ditto
The infamous bedspread: Hey that’s your story already, not mine to tell
and thou shalt not fart: OH YEAH!!

The 21 year baby book: I actually did tell this one a few days ago (July 2: Moms Cloud Tags, apparently they have to leach out of my brain in their own good time. Again, I’m sure there is more to the story that my daughter could add. She could dramatize her sorrow at being the only child not having a completed baby book. But, don’t let her fool you, she had a perfectly good zip lock full of bits of paper memories.

Macaroni and Tang: I have mentioned before that mom has a bit of an obssessive compulsive problem. She also has a fear of insects. I probably have memory problems because mom used so many pesticides, as I was growing up, that it damaged my brain.

Mom and dad retired to Arkansas, and as anyone knows who has lived in the South, there are a LOT of bugs. HUGE BUGS! Her house in Arkansas sported numerous hanging stripes of poison; which have since been taken off the market. To this day, she laments that she cannot find a hanging poison strip.

In a continuing effort to keep bugs out of food, mom took to saving glass jars. Salteens were taken out of their packaging and put in glass jars. Tang was taken out of it’s container and put in a glass jar. Now, why anyone would even buy Tang, to begin with, is a mystery to me. Mom was a lady of the fifties though and she had probably found a cake recipe to make using Tang. She has them for Mayonaise Cake and Fruit Cocktail cake and they are both, actually, very good. But, everything was taken out of it’s packaging and put in glass jars; which is what led to the Macaroni and Tang incident.

She had a glass jar of macaroni (taken from Mac & cheese box) but she could not put the cheese packets in it as that would have contaminated the macaroni. Okay, it comes that way in the box, but —.  Then, for some totally unexplainable reason, she did not just put the cheese packets in a jar but took the cheese out of the packets and put that in a jar. Anyone see where I am going with this???

One day, she had company and decided to make the children Macaroni and Cheese. The “cheese” was just not blending in like usual, so she added quite a bit more than she thought she should have to. When she served it, children all around the table spit it out, with unanimous “Ehuwwwws!”. You see, cheese from Mac and Cheese looks exactly the same as Cheese and Tang. She had served Macaroni and Tang and her grandchildren still talk about it to this day.

Of course, it’s not as bad as her friend who TWICE, not just once, but TWICE, cooked her frozen pizza upside down. I’m telling you that whole era is damaged from the bug strips. 

I believe I shall save, badonkadonk waiter for a future post.

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