Friday, April 30, 2010

Sunset Secrets

We invited MamasBoy and TheSecretAgent out for dinner (our treat). While we were in Florida they kept an eye on our house and TheSecretAgent watered (and did not kill) my plants. We were going to take them to a place we like to go occasionally but SecretAgent said that was a NoNo for her. She knows one of the owners all too well and was afraid said owner would spit in her food before it came to the table. Hearing that I immediately lost any burning desire I had for one of their special salads. Instead we went to a little place in the town of Scott. It sits on the bluff above us and is called, what else, The Bluff!

The food is good there and they boast the BEST PIZZA IN TOWN. It's a family run place and when the owner led us to the table I called her on the Best Pizza In Town claim. She grinned and said, "That's right-we are the ONLY place (in the town of Scott) that serves pizza. I love an honest entrepreneur.

As we sat down the sun was setting over the bay below us. It was a beautiful, late-afternoon sunset that you only see the likes of in Wisconsin. I don't know why that is-I have lived many places over the years but there is just something about Wisconsin sunsets that make my heart sing. Maybe it is all the beer breweries that have polluted the skies but, let me tell you, I don't care if it IS pollution, it's a grand sight.

We ate dinner and TheSecretAgent divulged very little about her line of work, although she did admit to having a heckofa day. She keeps her official business to herself but I hate when she gives you those little dangling remarks with NO name and NO place attached. I want to grab her hand and beg her to tell me the details but I am afraid she'd whip out one of her SecretAgent combat "tools" and scare the Bejesus out of me. She did allow that she had one really BAD BOY put away for a long time...pfffftttt...NO name.....NO details......NO insider's knowledge....NO juicy gossip.....okay...let's talk about our relatives instead!

MamasBoy saw fit to tell us that if his good friend, Greg, ever got into trouble they had a plan that MamasBoy would act as his lawyer. You really have to know him to appreciate that! The police, judge and jury would be so confused, and laughing so hard, that they would dismiss the case just to have them out of their lives. Greg, by the way, is ANOTHER MamasBoy....can't imagine why those two are best friends.

As we were finishing up the meal I noticed that MamasBoy was starting to give me the raised eyebrow and chuckling a bit. MyHero and the SecretAgent were deep into a semi-serious conversation. I mouthed, "What?" Whereupon, MamasBoy angled his head a bit. He had been blocking the sunlight from MyHero's face for most of the meal. MyHero never caught on. When the sun struck him in the face he flinched like he had been struck and squinted like he had sucked a lemon. Then MamasBoy would move back into place and MyHero would relax back into his normal look (well, as normal as he ever looks). This process was repeated about 7 or 8 times until we (me & MamasBoy) were laughing so hard we couldn't contain it.

MyHero's head swung back and forth like a pendulum. "What's so funny?", he wanted to know. "Nothing," we replied. At that point MamasBoy leaned back in his chair and the setting sun shone full into MyHeros watery, glassy-looking eyes. "You think you're so darned funny, don't you?" MamasBoy's response~ Yep! I sure do! By now I am cracking up because I am, bar none, his best audience.

Just to make up for his bad behavior, MamasBoy paid for dinner.....and MyHero let him. As we were getting into the car and driving away MyHero said...."That kid just drives me nuts!" Geez....and all this time I wondered how that happened~now I know!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Back To The Real World

After arriving home we decided to crawl into bed and unpack the next morning. We thought it would look "easier" by morning's light. Wrong-So very wrong! WHAT a mess to untangle. I need to tell you something. IF you drive to Florida, and everyone else flies, YOU get to drag home everything everyone does NOT want to take on the plane. We inherited golf clubs, and extra clothes and souveniers plus our own junk. We had what might be described as a "full load"...and I'm not talking about BabyE's dirty diapers. (we managed to leave those behind).

Now, unpacking on a sunny day is not so bad. Unpacking on a drizzly, cold, miserable day is another story. MyHero suggested that I needed to take the vehicle to the car wash. I suggested that he take that car and stick it........oh, never mind.....it wasn't that great of a suggestion anyway.

At last, we get everything off-loaded and dragged into the house. Who do you think gets to put all the stuff away? Good guess! It is certainly not MyHero. He is now in possession of the remote control and a TV set that he does not have to share. Wow! There's some really good movies on TV this morning....did you see this one-Michael-He's the arch angel and blah-blah-blah-did you see this one? No! Your Royal Hindaxx-Not since 1985 (or whenever it came out and you watched it 3 times then), I am unpacking all the bags and boxes but thanks for the critic's update.

As soon as I can manage it I am sneaking out the door to Starbucks. Guess what? He won't even know I am gone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On The Road Again

Sadly, our time with SweetCheeks & Company in Florida has come to an end. We hugged our special DizzyWurld friends goodbye. (see if you can guess who is who in the picture) TPot & TheBrawnyMan decided to change their tickets so that SweetCheeks could fly home with them. We knew that once she saw them there was no way we were going to cram her back into a car seat for a 3 day drive home. I, for one, missed her constant chatter and thought it was too quiet. MyHero, on the other hand, kept saying, "Thank you, Jesus". I thought at first he was praying for a safe trip home. Then I realized he was praising God for the silence that surrounded us. Would we do it again~start a 10 day trip with a 3 year old in tow? In a heartbeat! I call it bonding-MyHero calls it selected torture. (his sense of humor wore thin about day 3)-too bad for him!

We headed out early on Friday morning and the tornadoes and storms chased us as fast as they could. However, we outran them and drove under threatening skies but completely missed all the rain and damaging winds. I purchased one of those Exit Guides. Let me tell you, if you travel the interstates this is an invaluable guide. It tells you what is at EVERY exit. Starbuck is SOOO much richer because we had that guide! MyHero is SOOO much poorer. I told him that in order to drive I needed plenty of hot, good coffee & BurgerKing's coffee just didn't cut it. He told me that we could have bought a new car for what I spent on coffee. I told him to take the bus home. The spat went downhill from there but stopped just short of name calling (at least out loud). I always wondered if CrabAxx has two or 3 S's-does anyone know?

Well, we arrived safe and sound in good old Green Bay late Saturday. It is always pure joy to me to see the shoreline and the water behind our house & I am grateful that God has created all this beauty for us to enjoy. Yep~We are blessed in many ways. One of them is that we had a safe and uneventful drive home. I think we did pretty good- 3500 miles (all told) and we're still speaking!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Whuts Dat?

We ate at the Rainforest Cafe. If you eat there take a big wallet and a so-so appetite. I don't know whether all our taste buds were off or it was an "off" night for Chef Head Monkey. We had to wait forever to get our meals and the smiles were wearing a bit thin by the time they plunked the food down. BabyE waited a long time for his applesauce....someone said...look at the ears on that kid-wonder what they meant by that~ (okay-I mighta lied about that last remark)...

We ate rather quickly so that we could get SweetCheeks and BabyE back to the condo and in bed. I ended up going ahead a bit with SweetCheeks and she was afraid of the "storms". If you have never eaten in a Rainforest Cafe you have missed monkeys and butterflies and inside "storms". It thunders, it lightenings, it booms and rain POURS down into a tropical wonderland. I think that is what makes it appealing to most folks. Not our SweetCheeks-not on your life. She does NOT like the thunder OR the lightening OR the booming rainfall. She tightly clutched my hand to hurry me through where all the "monsturs iss hidin in dos bushes, Naneee...hwurry upp!" I told her there were no monsters. She assured me she had seen TWO on the way in. One sounded suspiciously like a bus boy loaded down with a heavy tray to me~the other one sounded like an old man with gas. But, there you have it, she knew there were "monsturs" in there.
We hurried through the jungle and came out into the bar/cashiering area. Lo and behold, there are stools, painted like animals, with no upper bodies. SweetCheeks looks these over a bit and wants to know "whut iss dat?" That, my dear child, is a chair. "Dusn't luuk lwike a chairh to me-it luuks lwike haf an amminal. Whur's hims head?"

I encourage her to sit on the top of the frog stool. She is a bit apprehensive and looking around for the TOP half to come roaming back in; looking for its bottom, I suppose! Look, SweetCheeks we can take your picture on the frog stool-hmmmpff...I doan wanna sit dere butt yoah can take my pickshure if I get on dere, wright? Yep! Climb up and I'll take your picture. I'm finding she LIKES having her picture taken and will go to great lengths to pose in front of a camera. (She is getting more like her Mom (TPot) every day).

I dutifully snap away. She slides quickly off the stool and says, "Less go luuk for der heads"....oh yes...let's! But before we go too far let's do a little shopping. "Papa", SweetCheeks yells, "Whare are yoah? We gotta go buy sum heads or sumthin". Indeed we do.....Wait until she is old enough to see Alice In Wonderland and hear the Queen yell- "Off with their heads"-that ought to be REALLY exciting!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Palm Coast Or Bust

TPot & Allen showed up late Wednesday night. We didn't tell SweetCheeks they were coming until the last minute lest some unforeseen difficulty kept them in Atlanta. She was tired from a hard day at DizzyWurld and fresh from her bath when Mama & Daddy pulled into Orlando. She was SO glad to see them. The first words out of her mouth were to tell Mama that Papa "woodnut tahke me home an Ise mad at hims". (I love how no matter WHAT I do wrong (or anyone else does) she can turn the blame on Papa~ works for me!)

That meant that Thursday would find TPot, Allen, SweetCheeks, Mimi, TheIslandScout & BabyE heading off to DizzyWurld. Guess what that meant? We were FREE- Free-Free At Last! We decided to head over to Palm Coast to see a house that some of our Wisconsin friends had just purchased. Our friendship goes back to 1976 when Ruth worked with us. Their daughter, Lori, was our primary babysitter for many, many years & became like a daughter to us. We took her on vacation with us and she became "family".

Now, Tom is a different sort of cat. oh.....how cool is that...never thought of it before- TomCat...he just earned a new name here. The first time I met TomCat was at a work-related party. I did not know he was part of the Tom & Ruth show. He walked up to me and said, "I'm a well person now, you know." I turned to MyHero and side whispered, "Who is that? I think he just got out of the loony bin." (sorry no offense meant to anyone that actually HAS been in the loony bin-you can slap me when you see me). Anyway, we finally figured out he was Ruth's husband. Well, WHAT a character he turned out to be. WHAT a lot of fun we have had with him over the years!

At a cottage outing one time he set up chairs and MyHero's mother (Betty, who was in her 60's at the time) had running and jumping races with him. He fell over and collapsed the chairs and declared that Bettty was the winner. That was the same night that we had a marshmallow roast and he proceded to throw toasted and gooey marshmallows at us and rubbed one into my hair. And, NO~He was NOT drinking~he doesn't drink~ he's just plain goofy. Let me tell you, sometimes I DON'T miss the "good old days". Why Ruth has let him live this long is beyond me-but I think she has learned to enjoy (or ignore) him~ depending on the day.

Anyway, we decided to drive to the coast and see their new digs. We ate dinner (thanks, guys) at a neat little tea room and then drove up and down the coast for a bit after seeing their new place. I am invited back to help her decorate when she is ready. I told her I would be there with only one stipulation- TomCat has to behave himself. She said she was just a wife~not a miracle worker. Guess what? I kind of like him naughty anyway!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Droppings

We left the Ball's house bright and early...well, as early as we could manage with pack up, clean up, Princess clad in costume (day 4-I don't know why we even bothered bringing any other clothes with us) & goodbyes all around. It is always a bit sad leaving the Balls and heading back. We never know quite when we will see them again or know what life may bring to us between visits. However, after dropping a few tears and much hand waving and kiss blowing we started back towards Orlando. SweetCheeks had so much fun at their house that she did not want to leave. "I juss wanna stay here with Miss Caroline", she stated. When we first arrived we told SweetCheeks to call her Miss Carol-she added the "line" all on her own which brought a smile everytime she said it.

To sweeten the 2 hour car ride we promised that we would find a special place to eat lunch. "I'm hungary", she said. "Well," I told her, "Keep your eyes peeled for a place to eat." (makes no sense, I know, but it was something my mother always said) When I looked at her in the rearview mirror she was all teared up. "SweetCheeks, what's the matter?" I asked her.Crying a bit she blurted, "I doan wanna peel my eyesballs cuz that will hurht". Huh? What? No - No - Not PEEL your eyeballs- just keep watch for a place to eat. "But Nannee, yoah sayed to PEEL myh eyeballs!" Okay-just say that I did-it's too difficult to explain to a 3 year old. I apologize...."Sorry~I was just kidding, SweetCheeks". "Isss NOT funny", comes the response.

Moving on down the highway we find a 1950's retro diner, Johnny Rocket, with good service and good food. SweetCheeks was quite enchanted with the place and proceeded to give us a good "review". "I lwikes dis placce...does them haf macaroni an cheese?" "I'm sure they do!" Wrong-o! Ooops...Nope-how about a kid's hamburger? "But, Nanneee, yoah sayed they had macaroni an cheeese". I start praying, "Please, Lord, let me keep my big mouth shut next time a question is asked~and before I answer" (my husband is nodding his head up and down on this request).

We finally decide that we WILL try the baby burger and as long as we can have LOTS of casshup we are good to go. As we are winding the meal up we notice a sign above the counter that has MyHero's nickname on it. We take a picture for the fun of it and are ready to leave. But wait....wait...what did we forget? Oh, yeah....we have to go potty and, wouldn't you know, the elastic rips out of our underwear (passed down 3rd hand from 2 older sisters) and they drop to the floor. We throw them in the trash and head out the door to buy some new ones 2 stores down. As a parting shot SweetCheeks announces to anyone that might be listening...."If yoah wanneny undeahwares deres sum on da baffroom floor.......and I ah nakey burd (naked bird).

As we leave we hear the standard Southern parting~ Thanks-and y'all come back REAL soon now, ya hear?! (I know they don't really mean it-but thanks anyway)~

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Having A Ball (Dr)

Our friend, Dr. Allen Ball, (his real name) has seen many, many children in his life. He spent his career as an OB/GYN doc and has birthed many babies. He was a grand doctor and donated many hours of time to deliver those special bundles even when he knew his only payment was going to be a Thank You. However, several of those mothers saw fit to honor him by tagging their brand, spanking new babies with his name. So, we have Allen Ball Smith, Allen Ball Johnson, Allen Ball White....just attach a name to Allen Ball and then google it. Somewhere in the New York state vicinity you should find several namesakes. Sorry but my pictures taken there did not turn out. However, SweetCheeks looked exactly the same because she would not take her Princess costume off & wore it most of the week.

So, although I have given you his "story" we all know that this whole thing is coming around to SweetCheeks, don't we? We arrive at the Ball's house mid afternoon. I would be remiss in not mentioning his wife, Carol. She and I met about 12 years ago and became immediate, and fast, friends. I can't think of another person that I would feel free to just pop in on with a 3 year old in tow and know that she would be glad to see me. Not only glad to see me-but she would be as enchanted as I am with the munchin and her invisible friends.

Mimi, TheIslandScout & BabyE followed us in their car so that the Balls could see BabyE. Now that they are permanent Florida residents, our visits are few and far between~so we have to cram all updates into one visit. BabyE was cooed and awwwwed over and then was buckled into the car seat for the trip back to Orlando.

Carol dragged out all her old toys and SweetCheeks set up a tea party fit for two Papa kings whilst SweetCheeks went from Glinda the Good Witch to the Mean Old Witch to The Sweet Little Princess. I have never seen Allen more taken and animated than he was watching her antics. Whilst she was serving them "tea" she was the Mean Old Witch....& she used her magic powers to turn Carol & me into witches also. Carol, of course, was the Nice Witch and I was the Evil Devil Witch. After a minute I said, "OK SweetCheeks, now turn me back into a good witch." She gave me the most beautiful little smile and slanted those eyes at me and said, "But Nanny, I cahn't cuz now Ahm a beautiful princess again an I doan have enuf maggic to turn yoah back...yoah jus gonna haf to stay mean forevah!"...all this accompanied by grand gestures and sweeping arm motions. I thought Allen and Carol were going to split a gut. They wondered WHERE she ever came up with all the stuff and what made her like that. I used one of SweetCheeks favorite lines.....God did!

Friday, April 23, 2010

RAINY DAY IN DIZZYWURLD

Hey SweetCheeks-"Do you think it will rain? Off cohrus iss gonna rain...but I not gonna get wet cus I gotta coverh on an' I doan wanna haf to leave DizzyWurld to go home cuss iss rainin dere too and sides dat I not eben bery wett!" I noticed there was a frown attached to the statement but it wasn't because she was wet-it was because she was afraid we were going to have to leave . Even in a downpour Disney is a wonderful experience if you are a child. Long lines? No problem!
Heat & humidity? No problem! Soaking wet and bone tired? No problem!!

So, what's a problem on a day like this you want to know? Ahhh-yes...we get back to the condo and BabyE has spotted SweetCheeks blue, rubber, multi-spiked ball. THASSS a problem.

"Can BabyE play with your ball?" we want to know. "No, dass my own, thank you!" Yeah, we know it's yours but can BabyE play with it? "Ummmm-iss my own-Oh No! Now hims got it enyways!" Well, can he play with it then? "You know whut its is, Nana?" "No-what is it?" I foolishly ask. Snickering and snorting the reply passes the sweet little lips, "Isss a big bloo boobie, das whut!" And now hims can HAF it!" "Thank you!" "Yoah is NOT bery welcome!" comes the reply.

One more day of adventure over and done with and we are off to see our friends in Port St. Lucie. So, if you stand in the rain patiently until the sun dries your clothes, I will tell you tomorrow about our big adventure at Dr. Balls house.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Arrived~

We arrived on Friday travel weary and sticky. At least the back seat passenger was sticky. We don't know WHY she was sticky but she is just one of those kids that ALWAYS seems to be sticky, or worse, greasy....or as they say down South...greeezee.

As we were checking in she spotted some elephants (pronounced lellaflahants, please) in a nearby landscaped area. Nothing would do but we must go see them and have our picture taken with them. She liked the little ones the best. Later, as we were studying the DizzyWurld agenda she decided that no matter what else she did she was going to ride the Dumbo the Flying Lellaflahant ride.

Wouldn't you know we awoke to a rainy, overcast day? We, being hearty Midwesterners (some of us by choice) decided to brave the rain and Do Dizzy. B-I-G mistake! We figured there wouldn't be many people there on a rain drenced Sunday. We were SO wrong. As soon
as we got through the gates SweetCheeks started, "Hey-Where's dat Dumbo the Lellaflahant ride? Come on-come on- huwrrwy upp guys...we gonna misst da rwride!" Trust me-we won't miss it-It's a 45 minute wait IN THE RAIN. We didn't care-We sang, "I Love A Rainy Day"-everyone looked at us like we were nuts (ok-we are a bit nuts) but SweetCheeks never missed a beat-she never complained about the wait-she never complained about the heat-she never complained about the rain. She just smiled and was overjoyed to be at DizzyWurld.

At last she boarded the big boy and up-up-up we went....we went around about 3 times and on the descent SweetCheeks informed me that this "iss da bestest wride eveah and I not gunna go on enyfing elsse cus I luves Dumbo".

Oooopsss-Wait--Whut's dat over dere? OOOOOOOOOOOOhhhh iss big horrsses in a curcle-I gonna go on dat cuz dat is da bestest rwide evah... MyHero and I look at each other-well....at least it's covered AND only a 30 minute line....wring your clothes out and let's go!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Wishing You Were Here

Don't you love it when people tell you that? You know that they are lying. They no more "wish you were here" than they want to look like Fred or Wilma Flintstone (take your pick-pick a gender and go for it). They just want you to THINK they "wish you were here". Not me-I wouldn't want you here. Otherwise, I wouldn't have any stories to tell because you would see, and hear, them all firsthand. I will tell you, however, that we are having fun...wish you were here to enjoy it ...whoooops...look how easily that lie just slipped out.

Mimi, TheIslandScout and BabyE arrived mid morning. They said BabyE was a wonderful traveler and did an admirable job for an almost 3 hour flight. Do you know how hard it is to be good when you are 8 months old and never quit moving? I never flew with my kids when they were little. At that point in time air fare was so expensive that if you flew your whole family somewhere you turned around and came home because you didn't have any money left to stay anywhere. Besides that, no one we knew flew anywhere...we drove. Matter of fact, I am still driving. I don't like flying. I do NOT have a good flight record. I am a plane and boat jinx! I have landed in an ice storm because of ice build up on the plane, I have seen flight attendants freaked out when they were told to SIT NOW on one of those FunJets (that was NO fun at all)...AND....I have been on a plane that almost landed ON TOP OF another plane. That's why I only fly when I forced to do so.

Anyway, the kids made it here. SweetCheeks was overjoyed to see BabyE. He is her new best friend. I must say she is very gentle with him. Today she was laying on the bed and we sat BabyE on top of her and he started slapping her face (in the baby slap manner). She looked a bit surprised (or alarmed) for a minute until she understood that he was playing. She is almost generous enough to share her doll with him.....almost...but not quite....She said, "Hims a bouy-hims not suppused to play wif dollies anyways." Thank you, little Miss Gender Defender....what a great way to keep your doll to yourself.

Tomorrow we are off to DizzyWurld with two in tow. Get a good night's sleep and I will fill you in on all those antics tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Florida Or Bust Part 3

Day 3 dawns bright & early. Everyone showered and ready? uh....yes...except.............UH OH
MyHero forgot to pack clean you-know-what into the overnight carry in bag. We have a little road trick that we use. We each pack our clothes for the destination in our own bag. In a third, small bag that we share, we pack overnight essentials-toothpaste, razor, Tylenol, night clothes and a general change of underwear and extra travel clothes. That means that the bags left in the car are so heavy and hard to close that you only open them in an emergency.

MyHero, not wanting to have to manhandle the big bag decided to wash out his "you-knows" and let them dry overnight. Remember we are in the South! Damp things stay damp a lot longer. Guess what? The morning dew is still heavy on the old hip wear and chafing looks like a real possibility. Wait....wait....Light bulb going on...let's dry them in the hotel mircrowave. (Try to remember this next time you want to eat off the base plate in a hotel microwave). Hmmm...how many minutes for underwear? Nope! Not on the dial next to the vegetables or coffee. Allrighty then...let's (just for fun) try 2 minutes. What can go wrong in 2 minutes? How about a smoke filled room? How about the sprinkler system going off? How about the hotel fire alarm being activated? Okay....I lied about the sprinkler and the fire alarm but I had you going for a minute there, didn't I?

Okay- MyHero always was hot stuff but I don't think even he is crazy enough to bundle anything he owns into the baked briefs he now owns. I think SweetCheeks summed it up best. She covered her mouth with her hands to stop the giggles then asked, "Papa, didd yoah have a lwittle acceedent?" He tried to blame me but she saw right through him. "Areh yoah wearahin dat undahware in da carh cuz I tink dat is jusst cwrazy!" By now I am laughing so hard I am sick to my stomach. MyHero, however, fails to see HOW funny this whole situation is. He asks me if I would think it was that funny if it was MY underwear that burned up in the microwave. Ain't gonna happen I tell him because I ALWAYS pack underwear. I might forget a sweater or an extra pair of shoes but you can bet your sweet bippy I will NOT forget my underwear. Well, as I tell him, you can always turn yesterday's underwear inside out.....hmmmm...now THERE'S a thought~

And so our last day on the road is off to a humorous start..... (or not so humorous -depending on whether or not the bloomers belong to you). 450 miles to go- I can't wait!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Florida or Bust-Page 2

We slept in until almost 7:30AM. This far outsuppasses our usual, "Hey, less go, Nana-I'm awake" usually around 5 :30AM. I guess we must have been a bit tired from all that riding.

SweetCheeks reminded me first thing, "Doan furghet todays da stop for da WahfalHousse & I gonna have pancakes". (Remember the pancakes bit because it is important later in the story). I assured her I would not forget. This was followed immediately by the question, "Are we in Floordhah yet, Nana?" Nope-not yet I told her. I told her she could watch movies all day in the car. "I doan wanna wasth moovies all day in da carh. I only wanna wasth DorahtheExplorarh". Great! Fine by me-let's pack this show up and get on the road.

MyHero seemed to have a bit more trouble with Little Miss Light&Sweetness today. She did not seem to have her listening ears turned all the way to high volume. Every time he asked her a question she would respond with, "Huh? Whassa dat you sayeng, Papa?" Now, leave it to a male adult to get right down to the 3 year old level. "Didn't you hear me before, SweetCheeks?" "Nooooooh-If I hurd you beforah I doan know whut you said!". Repeat the above sequence twice and at about 40 minute increments and you will have an idea of what the day was like.

Look-Look ahead- Do you see it? "I doan seen nuffen". Look again-It's a waffle house-Nana's favorite greasy spoon traveling stop. "I doan see noh WahfalHousse-dass a resturunt". Yep! the Waffle House IS a restaurant. NOOH-You sed it wuss a WahfalHousse. Quick, someone slap me~I never thought that the kid would think the restaurant was MADE OUT OF waffles! We use a quick manuever to distract her by telling her that we will walk across the street and she can have her picture taken on the train after we eat. This seems to work. She is a lot like her mother. She mysteriously appears and smiles every time someone pulls a camera out.

We find a booth-there are never tables at Waffle Houses-there are booths or stools at the counter. SweetCheeks is on her best behavior. The waiter comes to take our order. "Ah'll haf sum pancakes, pleeese." (at least she remembered to say please even if he hadn't asked for our order yet). "Oh, I'm sorry-we don't have any pancakes-this is the WAFFLE HOUSE-we have waffles", our poor unsuspecting waiter replies. "Whut did hims say? (looking at me-as MyHero quickly remembers he has to go to the bathroom right at this very moment) Whuddaya mean?
Nana-yoah sayed I culd haf sum pancahkes heah!" I can hear the tears threatening as her voice grows deeper with each word. "Oh no"-I whisper. Our waiter has that deer in the headlights look as he takes in the crestfallen little face. You can tell he probably has a 3 year old at home. "Well, hold on a minute"-He turns and looks over his shoulder at Elmer who is the grill boy. "Elmer, can you make a pancake?" Head shakes back and forth, 'Boss said NO pancakes". "Come on" (by now I have taken a liking to this guy and he is going to get a great tip). "Just whip some waffle batter on the grill while the manager is outside,...hurry up". Elmer is still looking a little doubtful until Our sweet miss looks at him and says, "But I wreally wanna pahncake, please." God bless Elmer-he whipped that batter into a circular shape and had it on a plate in front of her before we even ordered. SweetCheeks looks at it, frowns a bit and says, "Hey, dis dussn't loowk like a reguhlah pahncake!" Now I KNOW the waiter has a 3 year old. He says, "Nope~It's NOT a regular pancake-It's one made special JUST FOR YOU!". Aha! Sunshine has exploded around us-WE are SPECIAL!

We came, we sat, we ate, we left, we had our pictures taken on the train. When all was said and done we loaded ourselves into the car to continue our trip. "Well, SweetCheeks," I asked, "How did you like WaffleHouse?" "Ummmm...I think nexta time I juss gonna have da wahfal cuz I doan like der pahncakes bery much!" (Top photo taken at our 2nd Waffle House stop)~

Only 1000 miles to go!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Florida or Bust-Page 1

If you have never spent 3 days in the car with a 3 year old your life is not well lived. What a wonderful, terrible, blessed, cursed experience.

First and foremost, you need a 3 year old that is willing to get in the car. Secondly, said 3 year old needs to be capable of sitting in the same seat in a buckled-in postion for all 3 days...and God Bless you and good luck with that.

We got on the road at about 2PM. At 3PM we were 14 blocks from the Ready-Set-GO point. 2 hours later and we had made it almost 60 miles from home. The way this was going the covered wagons would beat us to our destination-even given the fact that they would have to stop for a few unforeseen bumps in the road, so to speak.

Finally, we got everything set in a way that seemed to work best~SweetCheeks called the shots and MyHero contorted himself like a the human rubber man (ever seen one of those at the Side Show at the fair?---ssssoooo cool) to meet the Little Lady's demands. At this point I would like to add that MyHero never did that for his OWN kids-but, oh my, the string is wrapped tight from knuckle to fingertip with this one . When I ever so sweetly mentioned that fact MrMeanFace replaced the contortionist and he offered to drive so that I could stick my butt in the window for all the truckers to look at. I thanked him kindly for his offer and declined.

Well, that about wraps up our first night on the road. If you are good and promise not to wipe your spit on the inside of the rear passenger window tomorrow I will tell you about our first stop at the long awaited, and highly recommended WAFFLE HOUSE.








Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sew What?!?!

Lulu is always drawing, or cutting, or coloring, or doing some crafty thing. Now her newest, and most favorite craft by all means, is sewing. Yep-she got a real little sewing machine for Christmas and she came to my house for her first lesson.

I taught her to sew the way I was taught...sewing on paper with no thread.. I took a sheet of paper and drew a spiral from the center out to the edge of the paper. I made about 5 or 6 copies of that sheet. I told her when she was good at that and could stay right in the middle of the lines we would move on to squares. I showed her how to operate the presser foot and the foot pedal and went to make some macaroni & cheese for lunch. I had just about filled my pot with water when she said- OK- Now can I do a square? I told her that she needed to practice until she got good. Whereupon, she held up the sheet she had been working on. Perfect-Absolutely perfect! Oh-no-that means I am not gonna have time to get anything done because she is going to be sewing TODAY!

I got smarter as I went along-I only made 2 copies of the descending squares for her to practice on. I found that I only needed one but, as I told her, practice makes perfect. She stated very seriously, "But I thought you said this one IS perfect, Nana!" Ah, yes...so I did! Onward we go-what would you like to make? How about a skirt for her doll? A good beginner’s project. She whips through that in no time and is ready to move forward.

I tell her that I am tired and we will make something else another day. She smiles at me and asks, "Why are you tired, Nana? I did all the work!" And so she did.....

Next time I am going to have her make a snowmobile suit. Let’s see how quick she is at that!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Hero the Playboy Centerfold

Well, when I saw this picture all I could think of was that Hugh Hefner was never going to want to pinch any of those bunny cheeks.

You probably think this was taken at Easter, right? Wrong! You are dead wrong! It was taken in July at a party. Years ago, he would have been the one dancing around with a lampshade on his head and not much else. That was certainly the good old days. Today he would be dancing around with a sailor's cap and his Captain Crunch underwear on. (You should see them-but I don't think he will let me take his picture in them) Never mind....some things are best left to the imagination.

His mother used to tell him when he left the house that she never knew who he was going to be. In case you haven't guessed, he caused her to go grey prematurely. His younger brother said he stayed out of trouble by watching MyHero and NOT doing anything MyHero did. Well, at least he was a good example-even if he wasn't trying to be.

If you take the time to look he has signed up as one of my "followers". He did this as a precaution and hopes that it will divert me from writing anything about him. He is wrong....so, so, so very wrong. If you look closely at his picture you will see that he has picked Chuck Norris to represent him. He has always thought he looked a lot like Chuck Norris. As a matter of fact, years ago people used to tell him that. That was before he started wearing the bunny ears. Now they just look at him and don't say anything.

As most of you know, we are leaving today for Florida. We are taking SweetCheeks along. Great-now I have TWO characters to contend with.....I can't wait! I'll tell you stories from the road when we get settled!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

First Communion-At Last

Yes! Sunday is the day! It is Lulu's First Communion Day. She looks so beautiful in her simple ivory gown and veil. So many of the old traditions are lost in today's world but this one seems to have survived church growth and change.

SweetCheeks and I arrive a bit after everyone else. I am keeping her busy for as long as I can. When we get there TPot, TheBrawnyMan & other family members are about 4 rows back from the altar. I sidetrack MyHero, MamasBoy & SecretAgent and we sit in the LAST row with SweetCheeks. Remember her? The one that "hates chuch"? A Catholic church has lots of "rules". Sometimes you stand up, sometimes you sit down, sometimes you kneel. SweetCheeks decided that no matter WHAT rule was applicable at that particular time-she didn't care. She wanted me to draw on the program that we were given. "Hey-dass a cat? Dat dusn't look like a cat to me"...Scribble...scribble...scribble...DAS a cat, Nana. Ummmhummm...I see that now. Dwraw sumthin else...hmmm....how about a dog? Das not a dawg.....scribble...scribble...scribble...DAS a dawg. Oh, yeah...NOW I can see it, plain as day..why did I think a dog needed ears and a nose anyway? 'Whut's dat?" she asks pointing-"That's your invisible friend, Bob," I tell her. "Pfffft-Das not BOB-Bob's haair dusn't luuk like dat! Nana-yuse crazy" she chortles. I don't respond but I am thinking-Hmmmm...Bob is invisble and carrying on converations and I am the crazy one?
Uh-oh...now the singing starts. SweetCheeks lifts her voice in OPRAH to sing along as if she were part of the Mitch Miller band. "I singin OPRAH", she informs me. "Really? Wow! That sounds good, SweetCheeks!" Head nods up and down..."I know, Nana".

Soon, the communion part of the ceremony begins and SweetCheeks decides she has to go to the bathroom...which...by quinkydink, happens to be just past the flowing baptismal. Silence envelopes us as I hurry her down the aisle. As we are making our way back to our pew SweetCheeks spies the baptismal (which she somehow missed on the way out)"HEY! Deres watah in dere, Nana!" (hand reaches out and touches the font of baptismal water & sprays her a bit). "Now I wet-See? I telled you I hate chuch!" she says with a malevolent stare at anyone that happens to be looking at her. Lord, love us-I think we are going to need divine intercession to get through the rest of this service...and so it happens.....Auntie Lynn swoops in and takes SweetCheeks to some blessedly quiet place for a while.

The ceremony continues and Lulu looks lovely as she is blessed. When all is said and done I asked her how it went....she said, "I liked the wine!" And, so, finally & at last, I see my Irish heritage standing before me young and proud. "God bless you, Lulu," I tell her and give her a kiss on her sweet and innocent face. "How about some of the special cake your Mom made?"

Just think only two more to go - Lucy & then~Lord love us all~SweetCheeks. It reminds me of the song that was sung in church during the ceremony......."I Can Only Imagine".
















































Monday, April 12, 2010

First Communion-1st Things 1st

I think it might take 2 days to tell Lulu's first communion story. It was a day full of joy, laughter and a few tears.

The first mistake of the day was getting SweetCheeks dressed early. As soon as she had her dress on she ran outside. I asked her where she was going. She said, "I gonna descerate the fwront porch-dats where". Hmmm...What does that involve I wanted to know. "I gonna put sum plants in da pots das out heah". Ummm-maybe you shouldn't do that with your good dress on, I advised her. "Nooo-dats okay Nana, Mama dusn't care iff I dooed it-I jus gonna put dese in here". As she says this she is waving her sticks and then shoving them down into the winter dirt of the pots on the front stoop. Oh, and just so we don't get in too much trouble, let's recruit Lucy to do the actual "planting".

I finally coaxed the girls inside so we could watch Lulu getting ready for church. She had her beautfully simple dress on and her veil (Lord forgive me for cursing whilst I was sewing that lace trim on for the THIRD TIME because it didn't look quite right). Today, however, it hangs ever-so-nicely just as it should. SweetCheeks looks her over and asks, "Arhe you gettin murried today, Lulu?" "No," she says all embarassed because she is at that age when liking boys is akin to eating a cootie. "I'm making my first communion", she continues. "Well, I havin my fursth communion too!" "No, you're not", Lulu counters, "You aren't old enough and you don't even know what it's about". "Yessss I do! Isss gonna be puttin a dwress on and goin to chuch and eatin sumfin! See! I telled you I knowed whut isss wusss!". Lulu rolls her eyes and starts giggling. "Issss NOT funneee eeefer and I not goin cuz I hates chuch!"
After a swift admonishment from Mama TPot, SweetCheeks decided she was riding with me in my car. "Come on, Nannee, I isss wriding wif you and we can haf a steamah or sumthin at Starhbucks befowe we goes to chuch". Sounds good to me! As I am buckling her into the car seat she looks at me and very sweetly in her nicest voice says, "Nana, I wreally do hates chuch!"

Lord, help me get through the next hour without commiting holy murder.





Sunday, April 11, 2010

For Me?????

Just when you least expect it something nice happens. A few weeks ago my daughter, Mimi, house sat for a friend of hers in Fond du Lac, WI. I met her there and we trashed the house....er....I mean I met her there and we went thrift store shopping. But THAT is another story for ANOTHER day. She dragged me into this scary lot and......well, like I said...that is whole other adventure.

Anyway, her friend, Lacey, is one of the sweetest people I have ever met .(pssst...Congratulations Lacey-I just found out your "secret" but I won't tell anyone-when are you due?) Lacey's mom is one of the most talented people I have ever met-she can do anything-including sitting around in a recliner naked all summer (but we won't talk about that here)- did you notice I didn't mention her Mom's name AT ALL? I don't want to get sued. Of course, I don't think you can get sued for telling the truth, can you? Where was I? Oh, yeah, her Mom can do/make/sew/craft anything.

Hanging on Lacey's living room wall is a beautiful, hand-stitched quilt. The flowers form a wreath and are surrounded by another floral border. I was entranced by the workmanship and beauty of the piece. Last weekend Mimi & family came to visit. When I got home from work she said, "Hey, here's a little something for you!" She tossed me a rolled up piece of cloth and when I opened it I was amazed. Mimi had called Lacey's mom, Lois, (whooops-name just slipped out there) and asked her for the pattern for the piece. Knowing how much I love lilacs and roses (my two favorites) Mimi took the time, and expended the effort, to hunt down the fabrics and make me a wall hanging of my very own. I was touched beyond words.

Now here's the amazing part-Mimi has never been a sewer. So, not only did she make the quilted piece, she had to learn to use a brand new sewing machine AND it was a complicated pattern for a new sewer. Maybe reading this, she will realize how much it REALLY means to me. Thanks Mimi- I love you~ As SweetCheeks would say~ "Yoahs da bestest!"

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Pray For Me

Remember I told you that I had another "church story" coming up? Well, there are a couple-one of which I can never write about because it has a really naughty word repeated several
times ....hmmm...maybe I could use an imaginary word for THAT word...we'll see....but here is the event that is on my mind today.

Our Little Lulu is getting ready to make her first communion. If you are Catholic you know about first communion rites. If you don't~google it. In preparation for this special, and sacred event, there have been several things happening. One was that she made a special loaf of bread and took it to church a couple of Sundays ago. She was to give it to a complete stranger and ask that person to pray for her until the sacrament. When she told MyHero about it he asked who she gave it to...she said it was a stranger...he said...Yes, I know that but WHO is it? hmmm.....I wonder which part of
"stranger" didn't register?

When Lulu's Mom, TPot, made HER first communion there was a special meeting the day before; a practice. At the end of the practice the priest asked if anyone had a name of a person that they would like everyone to pray for. As a bit of background, this event was held soon after the Challenger exploded and was fresh in everyone's mind. My friend Ruth's Dad had just died in FL. I believe he had a heart attack shortly after the Challenger accident. My son, MamasBoy had never met him but had heard us talking about him. When the priest asked for names, MamasBoy waved his arm wildly in the air (this was before I could put a squelch hold on him because you never knew WHAT he was going to say). "Yes, lad?" asked the little Irish priest, Father Flynn. "And, who wouldja like us to pray for then?" MamasBoy's eyes flooded with tears. "I'd like ya to pray for my dear old grandfadder that died watching the space ship 'splode!'...tears now streaming down his face. I looked over at my friend, Kathy who had this perplexed look on her face and was mouthing, "What?" I shook my head and looked down and started scolding myself....careful....careful...you are going to lose it......Oh No! Here it comes....I have to put my head down on the pew in front of me because I am laughing so hard that I fear I am going to faint. A side glance out of my eye and I notice that Kathy, too, is bent double in her seat. "Lord, love this child, for praying for someone so dear to him", intones the priest. I reach over and yank MamasBoy down into the seat before he can add anything to his convoluted story.

As we are leaving the church Kathy and I are wiping our eyes (laughing in church is NOT a good thing) and people are telling me how sorry they are that MamasBoy's grandfather passed and ask if there is anything they can do. I simply say "No Thank You" because I don't want to explain the whole story. Kathy mouths, "Tell them to send cash!"

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Old Bat

My friend, JeanneD & I are old friends. Not in the amount of time measured on earth-but we are soul sisters....two of a kind. She is sure she was a transplant from the Roswell Incident (look it up) and I think I was just born weird. We were talking the other day about being old bats...laughing about it actually. . I hope she doesn’t mind that I am sharing our "old batisms" with you (kinda like a baptism-only different) -Got you thinking now, don’t I? We were talking about the aches and pains that come with age. I won’t mention hers because she might beat me~verbally, that is. She has a way with words that is unsurpassed.

But, yes indeedy, there are a few of us old bats left. This one has one bad wing that swells and aches and swells and aches As I was telling her, I went to my regular (or not so regular doctor-I couldn't tell by looking at him) and he poked and prodded and sent me off for an ultrasound and poked some more and scratched his head and did the SED rate (blood test). When those results came back he about fell off his chair and said, "I had NO IDEA" - I said, "I told you so"...so we did some more pokes and prods and finally, aha...the light at the end of the tunnel- it's coming...it’s coming..... If I WERE A MAN- IT would be called Ryder's Syndrome...however, it has never been diagnosed in a woman. Well-as I told him-my father always said I thought like a man-did that count? Nope! That wouldn't do...must poke and prod some more...meantime I am sitting upright in a chair to sleep with an ankle (one week) and a knee (the next week) and then a toe ,etc. etc., etc...start counting the body parts...that would SWELL & bruise and OMG the pain....anyway...this went on for a year....labs went to Stanford University hospital...hmmm...sed rates are REALLY high-Really? No kidding! oh..well...let's try to get those down to normal. (Normal is 3-5- Mine was over 60) (Right now I stay with it in the teens) 9 means you are in pretty bad pain (or good pain if you are a pain doctor)...well, long story short...nothing worked....except- praise God- an old inflammatory that they don't like to use anymore because it makes your stomach bleed....give it to me...I can make more blood. So....15 years later I have :"flares"~ that's what we call them now~"flares" that come and go. When I flare they put me on the old standby to get it under control until I can manage with 8 hr Tylenol. With inflammatory arthritis you are not supposed to eat any citrus (are you reading this -it’s medical information from an Ask-The-Dummy-Course) or nightshade plants. (peppers, eggplant, tomatoes & yes, potatoes for some people) . I can eat the potatoes and a little bit of tomato once in a while- I can't touch peppers or citrus or I flare almost immediately. Eggplant was not a loss for me-I never met an eggplant I really liked. I get by-I feel great most of the time......well, I think my pain tolerance level is higher than most-it must be-I've had good practice-I married MyHero and I’m still part of the same family, right?

The achiness seems to be worse in Winter so I am always looking towards Spring. I can’t wait- Spring is coming-soon it will be time to come out of the bat cage for the Season. My friend, Jeanne, is holed up in her bat cage too. I haven’t "talked" to her in a couple of days. Are you staying warm and dry in there? Do you get enough to eat? I always heard that bats liked insects and sex (see how that almost rhymes)? I'm not sure if that's true....but Jeanne should know~

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Spelling Lesson

Last night our Little Lulu arrived with school clothes bundled up prepared to spend the night. We ate dinner and then worked on her homework. Basically, we worked on her spelling words. She usually gets 100% but there were a few words she is having trouble with....like flipping- WHY does it have a 2nd P in it-You can only hear ONE! Well, ain’t that the truth? I am always trying to find "tricks" to help her (and others, myself included) remember things. So, the trick to remember for that one is that the P FLIPS over and doubles itself....ie..fliPPing, siPPing, niPPing....good -nice little trick, Nana~ But wait- MyHero is now in the picture....he says...like duping? No, I tell him, duping only has ONE P. Well, why is that? I dunno (two N’s)...do I look like a flipping dictionary? By now, Lulu is contorted with laughter as she asks Papa to spell things. Her new favorite is Railroad Crossing Without Any Cars-Can you spell that without any R’s? Occasionally, she changes the word that to IT and catches someone (we won’t mention any names but look to your right).

Another word we had fun with was Common. I say it as I see it- she says, No, Nana, it is comMEN..not CoMMon. So, how do you spell it then I ask her- C-0-M-M-A-N...just like it sounds! Yes, but that is NOT the right spelling.(besides which you spelled MAN and NOT MEN but we aren’t gonna go down THAT road).soooo..that’s why you got it wrong. It is COM- MON...Well, you can say it that way if you want to, Nana...but the right way is com-MEN. Now she is making up her own rule...."You just have to learn to spell it like it doesn’t sound". That makes perfect sense to her! Personally, I have decided that I can never win with Little Miss Literal because she so seriously believes whatever she is expounding on.

After the homework was done, she snuggled up next to me and we watched American Idol together. (Don’t tell her Mom cuz she is supposed to go to bed at 8:30 and I don’t want to get scolded-especially by a daughter). As soon as it was over she looked up at me with those big, clear eyes and asked, "Now what, Nana?" I gazed back at this little face that is so dear to me and asked ."Can you spell B-E-D?" Her answer is one of my favorites-----VERRRY FUNNY, Nana!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Easter Bunny Cometh

Easter is one of those mornings where you wake up dreading the sugar hangover you are going to have come Monday. However, if you have children at your house you won't have a headache. Well, you might have a headache from the KIDS but you won't have a headache from eating too much candy. They will eat it all for you.
Lulu greeted me with her sweet, candy soaked breath about 7:30 am. "Nana", she whispered excitedly, "I saw the Easter Bunny!" "You did? What was he wearing?" I wanted to know. "Well," she said oh-so-seriously, "I didn't actually see HIM but I saw him going across the carpet!" "What?" "Well, I could see where his feet were pressing the carpeting down as he was hopping across. I never knew that he was invisible when he was in the house!" WOW-Neither did I! Oh! The wonderful things I learn from my grandchildren.

BabyE's basket held a new shirt and a container of Enfamil (that is one SMART bunny) AND a bottle of bubbles. Watching him watching us blowing bubbles was one of the highlights of the day. The person that thought that up had a mind for good, clean fun-I hope they made a fortune with that invention. And, oh, the wonder on his face as he reached out to grab those bubbles. I only wish I had my camera there to catch it.

The girls hunted down their baskets, ate a piece or two of candy, and then put on their beautiful Easter dresses. They were visions of scrubbed clean, pure innocence sitting in their pew. Even SweetCheeks was a model of good behavior (or so I am told). After church, everyone came back to the hotel and we had a little impromptu egg hunt in the hotel lobby...crazy rabbit...hiding those things there! But he did-and all the eggs returned whole with the exception of one that SweetCheeks lobbed towards the basket....and missed.

Brunch afterwards was a grand affair. People smiled and nodded towards the 3 sisters in their matching outfits and BabyE in his little seersucker suit. I felt proud watching them interact with adults that spoke to them. I especially liked it when SweetCheeks told the elderly lady in front of her at the dessert line , "HEY! Dat gween cake isss my own!" She reached ahead as far as her little hands would go to get her dessert! "Say excuse me, Ma'am," I told her as she reached in front of the woman. "I did" she said. Hmmm....must be that hearing thing again. "Well say it again," I told her. "I sayed it~I did"-she repeated. Hmmmm...this isn't working quite right. "SweetCheeks! (speaking sternly now) "Say excuse me right now or put the cake back!" Lord love us! The child lays face down on the carpet in front of everyone and starts sobbing like her heart would break! I said, "SweetCheeks! I want you to say excuse me to the lady because you reached in front of her and that isn't polite!" At this point the lady turns around and says, "She did." Well, wouldn't you know??!! Upon hearing this SweetCheeks perks up her head, wipes the crocodile tears off her face and beams a salty smile my way and in her sweetest voice says..."I telled yoah I sayed Thank You!" hmmmmm...wasn't she supposed to say Excuse me? Whatever!!!!! Is brunch over yet-I need a triple espresso~oh, yeah, and hold the chocolate!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter-Part 2

After a nice, long, Saturday afternoon nap with SweetCheeks, I woke MyHero up. He was going to be late for his movie (from Cinderella to Clash of the Titans all in one day-imagine that). He quickly got dressed, stuffed his pockets full of whatever he thought he could sneak into the movie house (he took brownies once-IN HIS POCKET-Yes, he did) and hied himself off to the theater. Left behind was his sleep mate - one piece of sweaty, sticky childhood on MY pillow.

I woke SweetCheeks up and carried her across the hall where Lucy & Lulu were taking a bubble bath to get rid of the chlorinated water from the swimming pool. SweetCheeks asked them if they pee'd in the bathtub? "NO!" came the disgusted, resounding reply from 2 sets of lips. "Well", she informed them, "Yoah can pee in the watah, ya know...cuz I pee'd in the shwimming pool!" I especially like the little guffaw she gives when she tells one of her "secrets". After a vote (where the adults vote counted double) SweetCheeks got to climb in the tub with the other two kids. She promised not to pee in the bath tub but, as we all know, promises aren't guarantees.

Soon everyone was dry and snuggled into footed pjs. We ordered a pizza for the kids and sandwiches for ourselves. Lulu swore she didn't like pizza shortly before eating 2 big slices. Lucy wrapped her piece in red licorice when no one was looking and SweetCheeks cleaned the cheese off the top of the rest of the pizza. "Eat a whole piece," we told her. "I am, See?"...hmmm...that looks like JUST cheese to me. "Isss not, Nana...isss cheeeese peeza and I eaten the cheeeese parht." Okay by me-I'm not touching it anyway. Here, have a blue marshmallow bunny to wash down the pizza!
Wow! This is working out great-they are so tired out that no one wants to sleep with Nana tonight. I am working my way towards the door. TPot & Mimi are re-telling sweet stories and I am almost home free. Wait..wait.....wait for it....."HEY! Wharss my Nanny goin?" Ignore it ...ignore it...maybe it will go away.. "Dus eny buddy hearh me? Wharrsss Nanny goin?" ok...caught in the act...I respond..."I'm going to my room to sleep with Papa". hmmmmpfff..."I not gonnna go den cuz I is mad at my Papa!"...and....she flops off to her OWN bed! Yea! There is a God and he wants me to be fresh for Easter morning.

Now, if you are very good, and promise not to eat the ears off my chocolate bunny, tomorrow I will finish the Easter story.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Is Coming-Part I

On Saturday we met the kids in a little Mom & Pop restaurant for lunch. I guess SweetCheeks didn't know that we had a room at the hotel where they were staying because she said she wanted to go to "yoah house". I told her we were staying where they were staying. She must have thought I meant the same room because she told me I could sleep on their pull out sofa. I asked if she meant the little sleeper sofa...she looked me up and down and said, "No- I think yoah need da big sohfa." "Well, what about Papa?" I asked her. She looked at him out of the side of her eyes with that sly, devilish look she has and said, "Hims can swleep in da hall cuz I'm still mad at hims". Works for me- at least I have a bed!

After we checked in, all 3 of the girls decided they wanted to sleep in our room. We told them that would be great and we would sleep in their room. "Hey, dat won't wurhk right cuz den whose gonna sleep wif us? We gonna be in dere all by ourselfs!" Hmmmm...SweetCheeks had a point there-she just didn't understand that THAT WAS the point.

After we were settled in, TPot, Mimi, BabyE & I left for a bit of shopping and TheBrawnyMan, IslandScout & MyHero stepped in to take charge of the 3 girls. They were going to spend a couple of hours swimming. When we got back we could see the 2 hubbys & Lulu & Lucy in the pool. Where were MyHero & SweetCheeks we wanted to know. They went to the room to watch a movie we were told. I head off to the room with my few purchases and open the door. I am greeted by dead silence. No voices, no music, no movie playing, ....hmmm...what is wrong with this picture?

I step fully into the room and there, in sweet repose, lies SweetCheeks and MyHero, each hugging their own side of the bed. I guess SweetCheeks must have forgiven him because she is sleeping in HIS bed and he is NOT in the hall. She will be mad all over again when she wakes up and finds out that he watched Cinderella while she was sleeping!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

HAPPY EASTER



WISING EVERYONE A HAPPY & BLESSED EASTER-
NANA DIANA
(Easter stories coming soon:.)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Ha!

I was the apple of my Father’s eye (well, until my brother came along). Father was 51 when I was born and 54 when my brother was born. He was quite a bit older than my mother and he had never had any children. Wow! Was I a surprise!

This picture of me was taken when I was 3 months old and Mother dutifully wrote on the back that it was my first picture. I suppose cameras were prized possessions back then and a luxury that not everyone could afford. I’m sure she scraped pennies here and there to buy one to capture freeze-frame the memories that unfolded on the farm.

I think my Father was a lot like me, humor-wise. I believe he enjoyed my antics and spent a lot of time laughing at the little things (as I did with my own children and now do with my grandkids). I believe, at his age, he knew what was important in life and was much more laid back about things in general. Basically, I could do no wrong-that is...until my brother came along. See the picture to the right-You will notice that I was cut out of the picture (by my Mother) but look where my Father’s eyes were..(not that I was acting up or anything to distract him, you understand). Anyway, was Charlie cute, or what? Did I think he was cute? Only when he was really little . After he got old enough to be noticed (for something besides crying), I considered him competition. I felt a lot like my good friend, Ruth. Ruth only had one brother, too. When asked what she wanted for Christmas, she replied that she wanted to be an only child, That’s how I felt about Charlie. I was seriously jealous of him. My Mother adored him and I, of course, was the "naughty one".

The real trial came when he was old enough to talk, "Mama, Sissy left the gate open, Charlie get out and get runned over". If he said it once, he said it 100 times. What did he THINK the plan was? Or...."Mama, Sissy is throwing stones at me!" WHAT a tattletale~-as if a little stoning ever hurt anyone!!!!

Time has a way of wiping away the jealousy and leaving a fond memory in its place. Today I know that I am blessed to have a brother that my parents adored and that I adore now. But, I will let you all in on a little secret- "Father liked me best"! HA!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Green Is Blue

It is funny the way kids perceive things. Yesterday was April Fools Day & Lulu knew that it was a day you were supposed to play tricks on people. However, she didn’t quite get the concept of HOW the tricks were supposed to work. No, she thought that the trick should be something kind of naughty.

About mid-morning TPot called me. She was laughing hysterically. She had just received an email from Lulu’s teacher. Now, let me preface this by saying that Lulu is a typical "oldest child". She minds her manners, she is a good student and reads & does math in an above average manner. She is, basically, a good little Christian girl. Today-she slipped off the path of righteousness as only a child can-she was naughty.
She thought she would play an April Fool’s trick on some children in her class. Here’s how her version of the "trick" worked- she simply walked up to the kid and shot glue at him out of her squeezable bottle. Better yet-she glued some poor girl’s hair to her head. I'm hoping it was good old Elmer's WASHABLE school glue. Ah...what is the outcome of this you want to know?

Well, in Lulu’s school -when you are on your good behavior-you are BLUE. When you are naughty you move to the GREEN catagory. When you are REALLY bad you move to the RED catagory and you and the principal have a little sit-down chat. Well, Lulu was GREEN yesterday. As soon as the teacher told her she started bawling and couldn’t quit. She doesn’t cry very often and when she does she just can’t stop. Thank God they only had a half day of school.

When she got home I called their house and SweetCheeks informed me that, "Hers laying on da couch wright now cuz hers tirahd from crwying cuz hers wus naughty." "Really?" I ask. Just for the fun of it I asked what Lulu did that was so naughty. "I dunno, I think hers glued herselve to da wall or sumfin & hers gonna turn green". Wow! I can’t wait to see that!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Good Morning-I Have Some Sad News

Today will be the last day I write a blog. I am done...the run is over.....SweetCheeks stories have dried up and blown away.....I am tired of doing this and I quit. Here is a picture-look how sad my poor dog looks~

APRIL FOOL!

Had you going just for a minute there, didn't I? Nah...you can't get rid of me as easily as that. You are stuck now, aren't you? You get up in the morning and head towards your computer and wonder what the heck SweetCheeks and Company did lasterday. Right? Ha-Gotcha!

I love April Fool's Day! Every year I do the same thing. I get up and tape the handle of the kitchen sink sprayer down. Every year MyHero walks over to the sink (half awake) and turns the water on. Every year he stands there dumbfounded for several seconds until it dawns on him that he is wetting himself down and needs to turn the water off. Every year he is just as mad as he was the previous year. Oh, how I love consistency.

When I was a kid I would get up and put salt in the sugar bowl. Mother always liked a spoon or two of sugar in her morning coffee. It was kind of fun to watch her gag and cough. One year I even hollowed out the toothpaste tube with a Q-tip and put my foster brother's BrylCream (hair greaser in there). I always thought I was clever. No one else thought I was clever at all-most of the time they just thought I was stupid.

However, the award for the BEST April Fool's Day story I ever heard belongs to SecretAgent & family. I hope she doesn't mind me sharing this....and I hope I got it all right because I got it from MamasBoy (who has a tendency to embellish a bit- Sheeez...imagine that). Anyway, SecretAgents' Dad, Joe, (his real name) was a teacher. Her Mom chose to be a stay-at-home Mom and lavished her love and attention on the 3 girls. As we all know, teachers (who spend more time with our kids than we do) don't make a lot of money. They teach for the love of teaching and shaping kids-they don't teach for the financial payoff. On March 31st several years ago there was a big lottery drawing and it was announced that someone in WI had won several million dollars. The morning after the announcement, Joe went out and bought himself a new ticket and "picked" those same numbers. He put it in his pocket, went to school and was sitting chatting in the teacher's lounge. They used to all read the lottery numbers and check their numbers together. So, the numbers were being read and Joe pulls his ticket out and matches the numbers up one by one. OH MY GOSH- Joe! You WON! YOU WON THE JACKPOT! Joe, was beside himself with glee (and not because he won). News spread like wildfire through the school. Unbeknownst to him, someone called his wife to congratulate her. All day long SecretAgent and her two sisters could barely sit in their seats. They planned trips to the mall and a family vacation. They bought a new house and new cars. They adored their Dad. Finally, the school bell rang out the day and they hurried home to hug their Mom and celebrate with a big family dinner. They sat down to say grace and Thank God for their winning ticket. Joe opened his mouth to pray and said, APRIL FOOL! HUH? WHAT? What do you mean April Fool? It took a minute to sink in and then they all burst into tears at the table. Can you imagine???? WHO would play a trick like that on their family? Joe! Shame on you, you devil...hmmmmm....wonder if there was a lottery last night? Wonder if MyHero knows the story? Wonder if I could get him twice...once with the sprayer and once with the "lottery winner" prank? Ooopps...gotta go...I hear MyHero-he is up and moving around. I gotta go watch the fun when he sits down on a toilet that has Saran wrap just under the lid....Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy! I can't wait to shout- APRIL FOOL!