My Day After Thanksgiving Post

On a typical day most of the sugar that I eat comes from fruit. Yesterday was not typical. The sweet potato casserole, the pecan pie (made with maple syrup and honey rather than corn syrup and very yummy!), the glass of Pinot Grigio… well, that was probably several days’ worth of sugar. (I count the wine because alcohol has the same effect on the bloodstream as sugar, or something like that.)

So, I had some rich food with my Thanksgiving meal and my stomach just went all stupid on me and acted like it didn’t know what to do with it. I felt fine, it just took forever to digest. It was like my stomach said, “Duh, what do you want me to do with this?” and I said, “Well, you could digest it! Your sister, my tongue, really liked it. Didn’t you notice that? Y’all are family so why not function, Family?”

I gave it extra enzymes and it was happy.

What Was Happening At My House On June 11, 1960

So, 55 years ago today, as if there wasn’t enough excitement already, I was riding my tricycle around in our house. The rooms made a loop from living room, kitchen, bedroom, hallway, bedroom and back to living room. It was like a race track. Howcome a 3 1/3 year old kid was riding a trike in the house? What was all the excitement about? Why was my grandma there and my parents leaving? Because they were going to the hospital to get my new baby brother that God had delivered to the hospital for us. Yep. That’s the only thing I would believe. My mom told me there was a baby growing in her swelling tummy and I just didn’t believe it. I had no problem believing God could just bring a baby from heaven or someplace and leave it at a hospital. Oh, and I knew it was a brother. They told me it could be a sister, but I knew that was wrong, too.

Weirdness at the Courthouse

I went to the courthouse today to pay my property taxes. (Who really owns what we own if we have to pay taxes to keep it? But that’s another blog for another day.) In order to get into the courthouse anymore, we have to go through a metal detector outfit that screens purses, wallets and bodies for metal objects. Because we had a shooting outside the courthouse, we have to do this to get in. Makes sense I guess, if your necktie is too tight. So, y’all can tell I’m not thrilled about any of this.

I greeted the fellows and put my purse in the plastic box and walked through the metal detector. They ran my purse through then handed it back to me and I started walking off when I was called back. They weren’t happy and said something about a knife in my purse. No. No knife. I don’t even have fingernail clippers. They ran my purse back through and told me I had a credit card knife in my purse. I told them they will have to show me what that is, because I’ve never heard of it.

I started pulling things out of my purse, even with them telling me not to. It seemed like they just wanted to gingerly poke around in it. I’m thinking, “Oh, no. I’m not going to stand here and play with this. We are going to empty my purse!” I am too old to be carrying things that embarrass men to see, so out it all came. All the notebooks, the Altoids boxes (one with Altoids and one with business cash), comb, coin purse, checkbook, measuring tape, calcium tablets, cards from every store around that wants to give me a card, Kleenex, etc. ALL of it. They were trying to stop me. Ha. No. We’re doing this. I know I don’t have whatever that thing is and they will know it, too, in a minute. They were a bit upset at first, and I don’t care for huffiness. I was as friendly as if we were all old friends having a picnic together in the park by the river on a beautiful day. No one needs to get aggressive with me, so I figured friendliness would diffuse that.

It’s kind of funny now that I look back. My ‘Jones’ kicked in. If you are related to me, or you know any of us Joneses, you know what that means. I really sort of took charge of things in a way, because over their protests, I emptied everything and told them to run it through empty, then put the stuff that was in the purse in the box a bit at a time and run that through, too. In the meantime, they kept trying to explain what those credit card knife things look like. I’m sure they thought they could find it if they looked, and I was acting like the stupid thing was invisible and could only be seen by their metal detector. They did run it through empty, then ran some of the stuff through just loose in the box. I even tossed in the Wet Ones pack and told them to scan that, too.

One of them (there were four or five guys making sure our courthouse is safe!) looked up credit card knives on his phone and showed me a photo of one. I told him I’d never seen one of those. They also showed me the screen, so I could see what they saw. I could identify keys and phone but I’d never seen that other thing. I told them it could be a dangerous thing in the wrong hands. They explained that you can buy credit card knives at convenience stores really cheap. There’s not much I want in a convenience store, so I wouldn’t know. The longer this mess went on, the nicer they all got.

They decided it must have been the purse before my purse and they apologized. I wondered what they thought they needed to do then, with contraband running loose in the courthouse! When I got my purse all packed back up (I told them it’s like packing luggage) and started to walk off, that’s when I noticed the line was out the door to get in. Gee, we kind of held things up. There was a man who came through as I was leaving and he told them, “I don’t like this new system!” and I said, “I don’t either!” He and I were headed off to the same place and I told him we just emptied my purse because they thought I had a credit card knife, but it must have been the purse before mine. Then I told him it’s not those guys’ fault, but I don’t think I could do that for a living. I’d feel like I was violating the Constitution.

Luscious Legs

Sometimes it’s more fun to leave the misunderstanding in place, rather than try to fix it. This was one of those times. Well, once I got over the embarrassment.

My youngest son always had the most chunky thighs I’ve ever seen on a baby. My mother-in-law said he didn’t have legs, he had hams. She was right!

One beautiful fall day, when he was about six months old, I was playing with him on the living room floor. I remember it was a nice cool day with low humidity because my front door was open, with just a screen door between us and whatever, or whoever was outside.

Just as I said to my baby boy in a high-pitched sing-song voice (with a very Southern accent), “You’ve got such luscious legs!” I looked up and saw our slightly overweight, red-headed mailman on our porch. He was enjoying the nice day walking around in his mailman shorts. Except he was not walking when I looked at him because he was too stunned to move. He just stood there part-way up my steps with my mail in his hand as his face  turned redder and redder. Eventually, his face was redder than his hair. He looked like he didn’t know whether to drop the mail and run, or dutifully risk his marriage or something, and put the mail in my box. Of course he didn’t look inside the house, so he had no idea I wasn’t talking to him.

Well, that was the embarrassing part. The fun part came anytime I was out and saw him on the route. He knew my car. I knew he knew my car because he went from startled to tense when our paths crossed. To this day, I bet that man thinks I had the hots for his legs. It still makes me laugh.

Joshua’s First Experience With Subtraction

When our three sons were growing up we homeschooled them. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day that our middle son, who was six years old at the time, opened his math workbook and saw subtraction problems. He said, “What is this?” I said something like, “Oh, Joshua, I need to explain. That’s subtraction. It’s a bit different from what you’ve been doing. Instead of making more, you take some away.”

And before I could say anything else or show him how it works, he spoke up and said something like, “What? I don’t understand. What do these people want? Who wrote this? I don’t know what these people were thinking. What do they expect? I’m going to bed!” And he did.

I followed and talked with him for a bit and saw that he really needed to calm down about it before we tried again.

A couple of days later I got out the felt board and the felt fish and felt seashells that we used to illustrate math lessons. I called Joshua and his little brother to come see something. Without using the word “subtraction” or saying anything at all about the day Joshua went to bed, I  proceeded to illustrate subtraction. I showed them a group of five fish. While showing three fish swimming away from the others, I asked them, “If five fish are swimming along together and three swim away, how many are left?”

Joshua jumped up and said, “Where’s my math book! I want to do my math!” I was having fun with the felt, but he was already up and running to get his book.

I guess some of us just don’t always react with calmness to big changes that seem to be suddenly thrust upon us. Especially when we are young.

The Artist Is A Superhero?: a fish story

Hubby wanted to show me a place where he and one of our sons went fishing last month, so we went to this place today. It’s a wildlife refuge down by the beach. Nice! It’s quiet. We were sitting on a little fishing pier eating our lunch and I was thinking about how all I could hear were birds, the wind blowing through the grasses and the waves of the lake lapping against the rocks at the shore. No ghetto sounds, no traffic sounds. Nice. Quiet. Relaxing.

As we were leaving, we drove over a narrow wooden bridge where a couple of guys were fishing, and one, Fisherman #1, had hung something big. Hubby slowed down to see what he had on his line, but he couldn’t pull it in. He was hollering at us asking if we had a gaff hook. His buddy, Fisherman #2,  was headed over to him with a crab net. We didn’t have a gaff hook or anything that would be helpful, but out of curiosity, we got out of the truck and went over to see what he had going on there.

He had hung a good-sized gar on half a mullet. We watched for several minutes as he reeled it in and then let it run a bit, trying to tire it out so he could try to drag it up on the shore. During the battle, there was some discussion about what a fish tale this would be, hung a big gar on half a mullet with a 10-pound test line and a old ragged-out fishing rod. While all this was going on, hubby walked a few feet away just looking at the water, while I stayed there watching and asking how the fish would be cooked when he finally caught it. The two fishermen (possibly taking advantage of hubby being out of earshot?) decided to talk a bit rough about the fish and use the word “ghetto” two or three times. I wanted to laugh, but I know sometimes I shouldn’t do that, so I didn’t. I just thought that they must be trying to horrify me or something, which is what I thought was so funny since I live in the ghetto myself.

Then hubby came back over and they started talking about how if they had something to hit it with, they could konk it in the head and drag it on out of the water.  Fisherman #2 said if he had a pistol he could just pop it with that. I told him I was thinking the same thing. They looked kind of surprised and Fisherman #1 said he left his pistol at home. I said I did, too. Then we probably both wondered if the other one had a gun with them or not.

Finally, Fisherman #1 told his buddy to use the crab net to push the gar. He would get it close to the bank and his buddy could get the tail in the net and it would keep the fish from being able to thrash about, and with one of them pushing with the net and the other one pulling on the line, maybe they could get him out of the water. It worked! They got the fish out of the water, but he was on the bank and it was sloped and he was still close to the water and if he started flipping and flopping, he might go right back down the bank and back into the water and they’d have to start all over.

So, there was a big discussion about what to do between the two of them. That’s when my Jones kicked in. At some point, I become all action. I’m done with talking when I see what to do and I’m ready to do it. I forgot it wasn’t my fish and before Fisherman #1 could say, “Lady, what are you doing with my fish?!” I had moved over to where the fish was and told Fisherman #1 to keep the line tight. I stooped down and grabbed a fin behind one of the gills. Boy, that was slippery! I was surprised by how heavy this fish was, and said so, then I grabbed his gill, then his other gill and pulled. That’s how the fish got to the top of the bank.

So, now what? I just jumped in and did that and what would they think? Uh, I wasn’t sure. As I stood up, I said, “Y’all don’t tell nobody I did that!” That’s my ghetto talk. I didn’t think they would want to tell their friends that a 102 pound white lady just grabbed their gar by the gills and pulled him up a hill. They said, “What? Don’t tell nobody you did that?” Fisherman #2 said, “She wasn’t even scared!” and Fisherman #1 said again, “Don’t tell?” In the middle of all their surprise and discussion about not telling, and about getting this posted on some board someplace, I noticed the pretty pattern on the gar’s head and scales and so I told them, “Look at the pretty pattern, isn’t that pretty?” and I told them I’m an artist.  I’m sure it was all pretty surreal to them at that point!

Fisherman #1 was still not wanting to not tell, and along with a “God bless you” and a handshake, he said, “I’m tagging you on Facebook! What is your name?” I just laughed and told him I’m an artist. So, he said “The Artist” is what he would call me on there, and hubby and I left. Just like a Superhero, do the deed and skeedadle while everybody is still happy.

The New Haircut, or Why Are Men So Unobservant?

Well, it’s that time of year for what my dad likes to call “shear pleasure.” My hair was down to my shoulders and getting in my way constantly. The weather is getting hot and there won’t be any more cold fronts for a while. It was time to get a haircut, so I did that yesterday. I took our old video tape of the movie I.Q. with Meg Ryan’s photo on it to the lady who cuts my hair. I told her that’s what I want, so that’s what we did. I like it. It’s different and it’s cooler.

Yesterday evening, my son who is 29 years old, was in his room. I poked my head in and asked if he was eating supper with us. Then I went back to the kitchen and finished cooking. He came in there a time or two and we spoke. He also walked right past me a few times. He never said anything about my new haircut.

When we sat down to eat I kept looking at him until he asked, “Why do you keep looking at me?” I had a question for him. I asked, “Would you recognize your mother in a lineup?” He said, “You got your hair cut!” I continued asking questions just for fun. I asked, “Could you find your mom in a crowd? If your mother was lost and alone and needed help, could you describe her to people so she could be found?” We laughed and he said he likes my new haircut.

My husband, on the other hand, noticed it immediately. He’s learned that his life is better if he notices such things.