Friday, April 30, 2010

Vintage Grandparents

I was a lucky little girl in the grandparent department.
Above we have me and my Grandma Gladys just after my Grandpa Arthur's funeral. Grandma Gladys was always "put together". I never saw her in pants until she entered a nursing home. She always had some earring/pin set on. She made incredible fried chicken and served us Raisin Bran with A&E half-n-half on it. In Blue Danube bowls no less. She had a life sized porcelain cat that we would "pet". I look and act a lot like her, which probably bugged the crap out of my mother. That and the fact she called my Dad "Tommy" in her extreme Southern Iowa accent.

My Dad said that once as a very young boy in Chariton, Iowa about 1937, he was picking on a black kid who would walk by their house. He'd tease that boy, then run for the screened door when the kid took after him, lock it, and make faces from behind the door. Evidently Grandma had been watching. So one day she quietly locked the door before Dad could get to safety. She let that kid clean Dad's clock, and he got the message.

My maternal grandparents Gie and Ginny at Uncle Sam and Aunt Mogul's wedding, sometime in the 1950's. This was taken in the front yard of the farm house. Beautiful June days in Iowa always make me think of them.

Gie and Ginny at Lake Kabetogama. People were probably thinking "Oh how cute - that old couple is helping each other" but we knew the truth. Grandpa was trying to tie fishing line with his GIANT work worn fingers and Grandma was swearing at him. Actually in this photo Grandma had a fishing hook caught in her hand, and Grandma was getting it out.

As a little girl, my Grandma Gie once remarked to me that I was pretty. I said "maybe it's because I take after my Grandma". She replied "You do take after your Grandma, the other one, and she's beautiful". You were too Grandma Gie.

Those two were thick as thieves.

Grandpa Ginny. We all adored him. He was handsome and funny and hardworking. Eating cheese and crackers brings back his memory.

Again Grandpa Ginny, building the "new" barn in the early 1950's. Look at the size of his forearms! And look at that beautiful Iowa June sky. He would often quote the poem that begins "And what is so rare as a day in June? Then if ever come perfect days . . . . . . "

Ginny playing with Grandchildren, about 1960

My Mom and Grandma Gie, Ames Iowa, for Uncle Sam's college graduation. My sister #2 looks just like Grandma.

This is what turkey will do to my relatives on Thanksgiving. Gie and Ginny are napping on the couch. On the floor is Uncle Smartass. Probably 1967.

Grandma Gladys and my Uncle Jim, career Navy pilot.

Grandma Gie, one year before her death at age 96. I LOVED this woman!!

Here's what makes me sad - that my own parents died so young, and my kids' surviving Grandma lives 1500 miles away. As far as grandparents go, my kids got robbed.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Busy as a . . . .

I've been busy as a one-armed wallpaper hanger, as a one-legged man in an ass kicking contest, as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs, as a (fill-in-the-blank). April/May is one crazy mofo season.

So I'll just offer up the swill floating through my mind:

1. Every single Spring I am flat-out stunned by the beauty of blooming trees, leaves, daffodils, tulips, lilacs, etc. Especially the lilacs. I don't think I will ever take those visions for granted.

2. Thanks fer nothin T-Paw. Your extreme budget cuts mean our city can't offer cheaper pool passes to low-income families this year. So poor kids not only endure the bitter taste of poverty, now they can't even cool off in a tax-payer funded municipal swimming pool. A pool that their parents' tax dollars helped build, and keep staffed and maintained. Way to go you greedy rich Republican snob. Socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor. Is there an adult in the state house I can talk to???

3. My new lower-back-pain-hindered exercise routine is to walk at a moderate pace with my belly tightened, my buttocks clenched, and my thigh muscles taut. It looks like a very seriously cranky person taking a leisure walk.

4. The verbal bashing of the MOTHER by the CHILDREN stops right here right now. I am taking no prisoners.

5. I hope every single person who took a bonus from bail-out money steps in a pothole and twists their ankle. Or gets their Jaguar keyed.

6. Mexico should invade Arizona and establish martial law: all gringos in their homes after 9pm and all of them must carry papers at all times.

7. MAN those blooming trees smell good!! And the frogs singing in the backyard marsh are amazing.

8. Ink cartridges from "Cartridge World" are incredibly cheap because there is NO INK IN THEM!

9. Imagine if the teabaggers where black or Latino.

10. Two fun and dirt cheap vacations coming up this summer!! WHOOT!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Vintage Cousins

Today's theme is COUSINS!
I was, and still am, quite lucky in this department. On my Mom's side I had 22 of them, and most are more like siblings to me.
My maternal Grandparents lived in a HOTEL! In about 1962 they bought this business, and in 1967 moved to town. A beautiful old mansion built in 1912. They rented rooms, and served a giant lunch everyday in that dining room. Mostly to area farmers in their small town. I'm sitting on the table.
Cousins on my Dad's side. I'm in front - my Dad is holding me. I never knew my Grandpa, he died shortly after this gathering. He had lung cancer due to black lung and asbestos from years in coal mines and plumbing jobs. I look a lot like my Grandma, in the back. The little old lady was my great-grandma Peggy. She immigrated to America from Sweden, alone, at age 16.

Above is one time we got almost all of us in one photo, probably about 1975.

A motely crew in Grandma's dining room.

Again at The Hotel. What an amazingly large and wonderful place for a huge family to gather. Here we are in the lobby at the snack bar.

Present day cousins. We still have a great time.

My kids love their cousin time too. They don't 22 of them, but with all the noise and mess they make it FEELS like 22. They have 6 on one side, and 3 on the other.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ANSWERS to drunk or a kid

1. Climbed into a large bowl-shaped sculpture and pretended I was cereal.
DRUNK - in front of my dorm, freshman year
2. Grabbed an electric fence with both hands.
KID - all rural kids have done this at least once. If they say they didn't they are lying.
3. Went skinny-dipping in the closed public pool.
KID - well, really a teen, and no alcohol involved
4. Cut a comb out of my hair with pliers.
KID - I wasn't real bright
5. Tore open my Grandma's screen door and ripped the lock out of the frame.
DRUNK - my college friends and I decided to "vacation" with my Grandparents and we got home a little late. Good thing Grampa Ginny had poor hearing. If he thought someone was trying to break in, he would have grabbed his pistol from his overalls on the back of his bedroom door and shot me dead.
6. Went sneaking through a dark open field only to be scared shitless by a herd of cows.
KID - actually a trick question. I was in high school at a kegger and probably the only person NOT drinking. I was a non-drinker in HS. The local police showed up at the kegger site and sat in their cars long enough to let everyone run away. I ran with a group through the woods and into an open field.
7. Used an entire roll of scotch tape to make bizarre faces with my sister.
DRUNK - good times, good times.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Drunk or a Kid?

Anitsupermom has introduced me to a fun new game: DRUNK or a KID? I'll list a few things I've done, and you guess was I drunk or a kid? Disclaimer - before you get any ideas about me being a lush, please know that I haven't gotten drunk since college.

1. Climbed into a large bowl-shaped sculpture and pretended I was cereal.

2. Grabbed an electric fence with both hands.

3. Went skinny-dipping in the closed public pool.

4. Cut a comb out of my hair with pliers.

5. Tore open my Grandma's screen door and ripped the lock out of the frame.

6. Went sneaking through a dark open field only to be scared shitless by a herd of cows.

7. Used an entire roll of scotch tape to make bizarre faces with my sister.

Good Luck!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Great TV shows of childhood #4

I purely loved "Here Come The Brides". Not because of Bobby Sherman, he kind of creeped me out. Still remember the old theme song "the bluest skies you've ever seen are in Seattle!" What warped perspectives of romance and gender roles we received as kids from the TV!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A teabagger challenge

I'm just gnashing my teeth over these teabaggers and their evil Queens the Bachmann/Palin Overdrive.

Why don't they just admit it? This has nothing whatsoever to do with taxes, and everything to do with a legally elected Liberal, and a BLACK ONE at that, sitting in the White House? They are throwing a gigantic tantrum, and I know a tantrum when I see one.

Teabaggers - answer me this:

1. Show me the taxes you claim have gone up. Payroll taxes are down, tax credits are up.

2. Where the HELL were you when W was raising the federal deficit to historic highs?

3. Where the HELL were you when W starting illegally spying on American citizens?

4. Where the HELL were you when Bush expanded the powers of the Executive branch, in direct opposition to our Constitution?

5. I thought you all considered protesting to be unpatriotic? I thought you considered criticizing the President the same as treason? Suddenly changed your minds? Or don't you have a mind to change? And what's that favorite old slogan of yours - love it or leave it??

Frankly, I defend their right to protest. As long as they aren't violent or aren't using violent language. But for Pete's Sake would our media quit treating them like it's a nation-wide movement? And anything hyped up by FOX news and their ilk is NOT a grass roots movement. These people are a disgrace - such ignorance and sheer racism.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pizza Oven Envy

This is the backyard pizza oven set-up I want. It's all in Italian - sorry - but this is what I married into. I did a pretty good job of translating according to my husband Johnny C - the native Italian speaker. It's been a lot of fun and a steep learning curve for this white AmeriCAN from Iowa.

Queste un GEEKY SCULPTURE can be seen here too.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Crap that annoys me

I'm cranky today, and here's why. I know you care.

1. The upcoming shit storm over Obama's Supreme Court nominee. No matter who he nominates it's going to be everywhere ad nauseum, and we'll be subjected to yet more crapola obstruction from the GOP.

2. This ongoing financial crisis. It's been 3 stinkin years of Johnny C's underemployment, and my hours being cut. Would someone just FIX this already and get all these Americans who really and truly want to work, BACK to work? And I don't mean minimum wage jobs.

3. Teenage girls - 'nuff said.

4. The rust spots on the van. Get this - I got an estimate for trying to arrest those two 5-square-inches of rust on the fenders and the body shop wanted $2500!! Yes, that's two thousand five hundred dollars. The van's not even worth that much. So I'll continue to drive the white trash limo rust and all.

5. The nail in the van tire. Yeah, that too.

6. The phone. It rings all the time and it's usually telemarketers.

7. Gas prices. Anybody with 2 brain cells knows this is all about oil company profits prior to Americans going for Hybrids. They know oil is on the way out, and they are going to soak us while the soaking is still good.

8. Teabaggers. Idiots.

9. Tonight is the return of GLEE and I have to go to a meeting.

Maybe tomorrow I'll return to my usual grateful nature. But today I feel like blowing something up, or getting into a bar fight.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

10 Things I Hate About Commandments

Anybody watch this last weekend? I never miss it. "Oh, Moooses Mooooses"
I was going to live blog it then it occurred to me I'm probably the only person who would find that funny. There I'd be, sitting on the couch, cracking myself up like some dementia patient.

Friday, April 9, 2010

When did THAT happen?

Ever been sliding along on a nice day, your hair's done right, your makeup is on, you're wearing a color you know makes your eyes pop, and to top it all off SANDALS! You're a hot mama and you know it!
Then, you catch a glimpse in a window.
Who is that fat middle aged woman, and why does she have a 20 lb bag of dog food stuffed down the front of her pants? And is that her butt or is she pulling a float?
Oh moan I used to be cute - curvy and sexy and not too bad really. When did I become the fat mom? I've been denying my age and clothing size for a long time now, and let me tell you I can wring the bejeesus out of some good denial! My babies are 16 now, but I'm still 27. All those major league baseball players in their tight pants are OLDER than me, right? Or at most I'd be their slightly older girlfriend, right?
And who ordered up all these moles and chin hairs? And creaky knees? And my EYES are actually fading! They used to be dark green and now they are blue. And they have these wispy floaters hanging around in there when my eyes know full well they are too young for this shit. At least my monovision contacts keep me from the continued horror of reading glasses.
At least I can cook, so I'm of some use.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Then what CAN we do?

OK, ok, so we won't give any parts of the US to the teabaggers, then wall then in and make them live in their own stink. But what CAN we do with them?? Seriously folks I just can't live with people who threaten my life based on some lie they heard on FOX. I can't share my living space with people who don't read and don't listen, and who shout down the opposition and think they've "won".

Kirby has a good idea - copied from her blog:
Here's an idea, why don't we start using the provisions of the Patriot Act to round up and prosecute the Tea Baggers for all their violent fucknuttery. Then, when they start crying like the bunch of pussies that they are about how unfair and unconstitutional the Patriot Act is if it's used to put white people in jail, we dismantle the whole thing. Knuckle draggers gone, constitution restored, everyone's happy.

What do you think???

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

What if . . . .

What if we gave Texas, or maybe all of Georgia and Alabama to all the bigots, oh I mean teabaggers? Then they could secede, and have a marvelous little tea party all by their white selves and leave the rest of us alone. Of course, we'd have to give up Austin, or Savannah but I call that a small sacrifice.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

A conflicted Easter post

I told you here about my spiritual leanings and really warm Christian upbringing. Now my motto is "I'm a militant agnostic - I don't know and you don't either". I certainly don't believe in some supreme being watching our movements and answering prayers. I don't believe in a virgin birth or healing the dead. But I may believe in a collective human consciousness that works for the common welfare. I may believe there was a powerful bodhisattva named Yeshua from Nazareth. I most definitely believe in doing good, seeking peace, and honoring the natural world.

I no longer belong to any organized religion and I don't regret that choice. The Bible, the Koran, the Talmud, etc and all that hocus-pocus, greed, and power grabbing going on inside religions is the root of most of our world's problems.

However sometimes I miss belonging to a really cool liberal Christian congregation. My biggest sacrifice was the choral music. Christianity has produced a lot of hate, but somehow it has also produced some of the best choral music ever. Who can argue with Mozart's "Requiem"? And who doesn't like a good potluck?

As a teen, I sang in our church's choir with my Mom, under the direction of the fabulous Mrs. Martha Ash. A privilege I didn't fully appreciate at the time. Every year we would sing "The Seven Last Words of Christ" by DuBois. The 5th word "I am a-thirst" is performed below. This emotional piece portrayed the angry mob hurling verbal insults at Jesus. It was so powerful.

"Thou wouldst feign destroy the temple! If thou beest Jesus! Son of the Father! Now from the cross descend thou!!! Vah - Save thyself then!!"

I miss those experiences.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Great TV shows of childhood #3

I freaking LOVE the Stooges!
In Eastern Iowa, we all watched Dr. Max after school for classic cartoons and the Stooges. They don't make good kids' stuff like that anymore.