September 2012

It appears I’ve been downgraded.

by Priscilla on September 29, 2012

I don’t know what I did or when, but Twin A let me know my current standing in the 2012 World’s Best Mom competition. (I don’t think I’d have minded so much if she didn’t use the  spectacularly overpriced American Girl construction paper I bought for Twin B and her as a reward of some kind.)

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Special Parking Lot Spaces I’m Coming After You Next

by Priscilla on September 28, 2012

(I’d just like to preface this with saying that I’m really a nice person.  Really.  Ask either one of my two friends.  If you met me in person you’d want to laugh over an arugula salad with me.  You’d be eating the arugula of course. I’d be shoving an entire blooming onion into my gullet.  I’m just hitting kind of a snarky mental rough patch lately.)

My phone rang while I was driving to the library to return books I didn’t read.  I do that a lot.  

 It was my sister-in-law.

She got to the point straight away. I am pulling out of the grocery store parking lot right now, and first off what is it with all these people and their kids’ accomplishment bumper stickers?  Pretty soon we are going to have grade point averages, IQ scores and numbers of patents pending.

No argument here. In fact, I think I’ve created a monster with my Shiny, Happy People post.

So here’s my question, she continued,   What’s up with these Expecting Mothers parking lot spaces?

My mind immediately went to all things Pioneer Women who must all be rolling over in their Wagon Trail graves whenever they hear how the weaker sex has grown that much weaker.  I won’t lie.  I parked in those when I was pregnant.  But they were in the parking lot of the hospital  where my OBGYN’s office was, and I had to receive a special tag before I could park there, and no matter how much I cussed and kicked, my doctor wouldn’t give me that special tag until I was eight months along – with twins!  Bastard. ( I know I can get obnoxious with the whole I have twins thing.  But please cut me some slack – it’s all I got.)

Well, you know what?  She continued.  I parked there because I am an expecting mother.  I expect my kids to behave.  I expect them to be on time.  I expect them to get their work done.

She had a point.  And she was on a roll.

Why stop there?  Why not segregate everyone by size and shape?  If Mrs. Obama wants to have a war on obesity, why not plant a bunch of signs at the farthest part of the parking lot and label them Overweight People.   Runners don’t get any spaces. If they can slap those 13.1 or 26.2 stickers on their cars, let them run to the store.  They don’t need cars.  People who are depressed can have parking spaces with signs bearing big yellow happy faces.  Raining and you just straightened your hair?  No problem just park in the spaces saved for you closest to the front doors .  I’m all for special parking for people with disabilities, but it’s really getting ridiculous.

My sister-in-law is known for her gift of empathy.

I’m not even sure about the disability spaces.  I was with my in-laws one time when my FIL parked, whipped out one of those blue tags and hung it on his rearview mirror.  For the life of me I don’t know what warrants his having a disabled parking tag unless it’s because of the fact that he and my MIL take ungodly amounts of expensive supplements made with corn husks and flower petals.  I don’t know what’s wrong with them physically except that they are vegetarians.  Maybe that’s a handicap now?  Maybe we need parking spots marked Vegetarians and Vegans as well as Carnivores.

I observed we needed to have People of Faith and Atheist parking areas. The atheists could park anywhere but there would be spots scattered about for people of faith so their light could so shine on them if you will. My atheist friends love nothing more than to be proselytized in the grocery store parking lot.  

We could also have Conservative and Liberal spots painted Red and Blue located on the extreme right and left of the parking areas.  Poor saps like me would be relegated to the three purple spots in the middle labeled Mealy Mouth Moderates.  Because, you know, we moderates are spineless cowards who just go along with what feels good at the moment.

It’s not just grocery stores.  Churches have Expectant Mothers, 1st Time Visitor, Second Time Visitors, Senior Citizens and Couples with Young Children slots.  Hey, how about one for Lady Who Drags Her Ass Outta Bed Every Week Just So She Can Take Pictures of Stickers in the Church Parking Lot parking space? I think she’s pretty special too.

Here’s an idea for pastors.  Having trouble with people not tithing?  Tie it to parking spaces.  Have spots labeled 15%, 10%, 5%, 1%.  People might empty their wallets if they felt like they got something tangible in exchange.  Believe me, nothing is more tangible on Sunday morning at 8:43 a.m. as I’m circling the giant parking lot, careening over those darn speed bumps than that parking space right up by the front door.

When my husband was in the Army, there were always slots for the Commander and 1st Sergeant.  There were never slots for Dependents.  That’s the Defense Department’s delightful label for family members.  Isn’t that a nice term?  However, if I let this particular topic fester around in my brain, I’ll just get angry, and I already wasted an entire day yesterday angry at some members of my husband’s moronic extended family so I’ll save my ire for my Pentagon Pals for another day.

I’ve been wondering what to do with all the leftover paint from some of my very bad ideas for household projects. (I come up with them all by myself without any help from all those perky people over at Pinterest.)   Since I’m feeling kind of left out this morning due to my lack of a special parking space, I think I’m going to go out to our driveway and paint something like Darn Good Bologna Sandwich Maker or  Lady Who Doesn’t Bleach Her Hair Anymore. The only problem is I live in kind of a shee-shee neighborhood where the houses all have names like Raspberry Manor Upon a Pond (whatever that means), Crane Cove or Bella Terra  along with personal lawn care services that show up every  other day.  I’m known as That Horrible Woman Who Doesn’t Bag Her Grass.  People didn’t get my sense of humor this summer when I tacked up a scrawled sign made with recycled moving boxes that read Dandelion Manor so chances are my parking slot paintings might not pass the  We Are Such and Ooooold Neighborhood that We Don’t Have Any Written Rules But You Should Know Better test.

I’m going to the bank today.  I hope there’s a slot up front marked Dumb A** Who Keeps Overdrawing Her Checking Account.  I’m afraid this is the only way I’ll get close to the front door of anything.

 

 

 

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All praise on the title goes to my friend Heather – it’s her original….and she really isn’t kidding, and neither am I, so here are some more I came up with.  Feel free to add to the list my very witty friends.

The Day Dad Backed Over Three of my Kittens Then Told Me It was My FaultFeel Good Tales from America’s Heartland

Hey Kids, Stop Pounding on the Door – Mommy and Daddy are  Trying to Have Sex in Here

Santa Claus is Dead. Lady, You Need to Shave.  Fun Stuff  I Spouted off to Complete Strangers that Made My Mother Want To Crawl Into A Hole

Well Claudia’s Mom Has a Big Butt and other words of of wisdom I feel like blurting out when my children play the Let’s Compare Mommies game

Shut The Hell Up! We’re In Church, Damn It! How I Raised Godly Children

I Know Now Why Some Animals Eat Their Young (In memory of my  tell-it-like-it-is friend, the late Leah Wagoner)

Little Girls Forced to Sing with their Family Onstage …Grow Up to be Big Girls Who Hate to Sing with their Family Onstage or Confessions of a Baptist Osmond.

Oh, Honey, They’re Just Jealous of You and Other Outright Lies Our Mothers Told Us (This one is for Heather’s Mom.)

I Am Not One of Your Soldiers!  Would it kill you to pick up a Sock!  Are You Kidding Me With This Credit Card Bill!  Secrets of Building a Harmonious Marriage or Using Exclamation Points to Win Every Fight

Yes they are Twins. No They Are Not Adopted.  Answers to Stupid Questions People Ask When You Give Birth to Twins Who Happen to Be Biracial.  (And a huge thank you to my wonderful college roommie, Jan, who even ordered a shirt with those words printed on it for me to wear out in public with my kids. She’s the best.)

I Rocked the Culottes – One Girl’s Story of  Surviving  A Fundamental Baptist Christian School 

What Do You Mean Uncle Ben’s Isn’t Rice – Truths Revealed to Me Upon Marrying into an Asian Clan 

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A little bit of devil

by Priscilla on September 24, 2012

I just heard a song with the lyrics There’s a little bit of devil in her angel eyes. The duo is Love and Theft.  The song Angel Eyes.  It’s fun and catchy. (And for all I know maybe be three years old by now, but I don’t usually listen to country.  I listen to books because I am an unashamed, self- proclaimed intellectual snob.  Notice I didn’t use the word smart.  I don’t claim to be smart – just intellectual which is Latin for thinks too much.)

After about 15 seconds, though,  I showed my age… and possibly cynicism when I started to think,  Well, Angel Eyes are all well and good, boys, until the pet bunny is boiling in your pot on the kitchen stove, and you realize that maybe the little bit of devil in those eyes that got you all hot and bothered,  was really a little bit of psycho. 

(And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are too young and need to google boiling bunny.)

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Bumper Sticker Grace

by Priscilla on September 23, 2012

I received a spiritual spanking this morning.

Things were going quite well in the Pious Priscilla department as got myself to church (Score 1), and the nice people at church allowed me to enter (Score 2).  I was in a pretty good Jesus mood until I parked the car, got out and saw across the way another car that was covered and I mean covered with dozens of neon pieces of paper with the words of John 3:16 scrawled across them and then taped…yes taped all over its back and sides. At least the owner saw fit to leave his windshield free to see such crazy things as traffic.

Along with the message of John 3:16 there was a bumper sticker that read God doesn’t believe in atheists.

AAAARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHH!

Can I just say here and now that some members of my team can really piss me off.  (Sorry, Mom, but sometimes the words  that you taught me were bad are the only ones that really serve me well in trying to get my feelings out there….and no one ever accused me of being a lady no matter how hard you and I tried.)

First of all, I’m pretty sure the atheists driving behind this car don’t start thinking You know, this guy with all the Bible verses slapped across the entire sides and back of his car has something that I need so I might just pull up beside him at the next light, roll down my window and ask him to scooch over and show me how to be saved.

Also, I am pretty sure that God does believe in atheists as well as Hindus, Wiccans, Muslims, Sikhs and yes, even Christians, and if the man got out of his car to read the actual words written on the sides and backs of his car, maybe he’d be reminded of that truth.  

Pious Priscilla was shot to hell before she even got to the side door – my favorite door to slip in and out of.

In church, the music was uplifting.  A nice lady asked my girls how they liked school.  The pastor admonished us congregants in the ways of prayer….and I would have nothing to do with any of it.  My mind was still back in that parking lot on that dumbass car and that man that I thought made our entire team look like a bunch of d*** hillbillies.  When the service ended my girls headed for the doughnut room while I told them I’d be back in a minute.  I needed to get my camera from the car and take a picture out in the parking lot.

They gave me that Here she goes again look and sighed, We know.  More stick figure family bumper stickers.  They did not say this with great pride I noticed.  I can’t believe they don’t understand the brilliance they live with.

No. No.  I promised and dashed off leaving my eight year olds to fend for themselves in order to work on a spiritual writing assignment I considered right up there with covering the Libyan rebels.

Wouldn’t you know it, once I got out to the parking lot, people started streaming out of church.  Seriously?  Why aren’t you all going to Sunday School classes like they want us to? Pagans.   Not wanting to be the creepy lady lurking in the parking lot with the camera, all I got was this shot.

The thought occurred to me that maybe I wasn’t exactly living in the Spirit on this one.   Maybe I wasn’t supposed to be Priscilla the Bitchy Christian slumped down in the front seat of my car snapping photos of fellow believers’ cars in the church parking lot. I ignored that thought and decided what the Spirit was really telling me was that I needed a high speed  zoom lens if I really wanted this blog to take off and made a mental note to research such things online after church.

But darn it all if I didn’t walk back into church and up to my Sunday school room.  I love my class.  We are all irreverent.  My first Sunday visiting one woman said, “Hell, you all know my story so I’m just going to put this idea out there….”  She had me at hell.  My irreverent brothers and sisters and I are studying Kingdoms right now.  Kingdoms are messy. Messy.  Messy.  Messy.  They are big and wide and full of a lot of people who serve one king but who have lots of different ideas about what their king is like and have found many ways show love for their king.

Some choose a life of celibacy and join with others who do the same – living humbly and taking care of the poor and the downtrodden.  Some use their God given gifts to research ways to heal the terminally ill.  Some stay home and raise babies.  Some make more money than I’ll ever see and fund huge philanthropic organizations.  Some sit in church basements and quietly listen as others stand and say…I am an alcoholic…assuring these persons they’ve been there before, and they will walk the walk with them. Some vote pro-life.  Some vote pro- choice.  Some teach the literal six days of creation.  Some teach God used evolution to form His great design.   Some are gay some are straight.  Some don’t fit into either category. Some plaster Bible verses all over their vehicles.  Some think they know how the whole team should be playing, ignore the sermon meant for them and think of all the sarcastic things they can write about all their other team members in their stream of consciousness blogs. 

All receive Grace.

There’s that word.  Grace.

Grace and Obedience – the hardest words for me to swallow.

The more I sat listening to ideas about Kingdom People, the more I thought about the book I finished recently by Os Guinness, The Call. (If you’d bother to look at the TIS Bookshelf portion of this blog, you’d find my review….but enough about me. )

Os wrote lots of great stuff to consider, but one thing that stuck with me is that it is not our place to judge others because we have no idea the material God has to work with in the first place. I was reminded of this truth last week when someone I consider to be my spiritual mother reminded me that since  I don’t know the location of the beginning of other people’s  Grace Walk, it’s not my job to be Grand Critiqueur (I made this word up.  I decided it looked pretty official and British if I added that last u) of where I think all my fellow saints should be in their journey thus far.

I don’t know a darn thing about the owner of the SUV plastered with neon yellow Bible verses. Maybe he was converted out of a life so dark, he could think of nothing else greater to do on this earth but share God’s love through paper and marker and tape.  I don’t get it.  The drivers around him may not get it.  But God gets it.  God knows where this guy started.  He knows where he is headed.  He even knows what his finish line will look like so He (God) doesn’t need some hoity, toity middle aged, hybrid driving, no tape anywhere on her car white woman passing judgment on another one of His own.

I missed the message about prayer from the pastor.  I ignored most of the main points about Kingdom Living from my Sunday School teacher, but the whole discourse on Grace thrown at me in the middle of the church parking lot, I got…

until I have to make a milk run and park by another bumper sticker laden car.  

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My Arachnid Twin

by Priscilla on September 23, 2012

Poor thing.   This is the fruit of all her hard labor.  Honey, I know how you feel.

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I don’t know if this book is for everyone, but it was for me.  I like to read about big historical events that I know nothing about.  I like larger than life characters that are not a figment of an author’s imagination.  I like drama.  I like  the Republican president with which I, as a Republican, can identify. I like all things nature.  So it’s pretty simple to see why I liked Timothy Egan’s account of the Fire of 1910 that destroyed over 3 million acres of the great mountainous West.

I listened to this book instead of reading it since my life consists of a lot of mowing, painting, dog walking, toilet scrubbing, kid hauling work that must be done – lots of mundane tasks that mothers perform that I’m sure Mr. Egan was not thinking of while researching and writing this work.

Lots of people are given great characters in their research but not all authors can spin a good tale.  Mr. Egan made me want to learn more about these history makers of whom I’d never heard- Gifford Pincot, the first Chief of the Forest Service, Ed Polaski, one of his assistants whom was thought to be dead after being trapped in a mine trying to save others during the fire, Senator Heyburn, a jackass and I’ll leave it at that and Pinkie Adair, a single frontierswoman, daughter of a doctor who found herself working as camp cook for the prisoners used to fight the fire. The list goes on, in what seems to be the long standing battle between conservation and capitalism.

Parts of this book were hard to listen to, quite frankly as it is about a massive forest fire that claimed close to 100 lives.  Horrific tales of both heroes and idiots being burned alive.  Listening to the tales of Italian and Irish immigrants  as well as an all black Army brigade doing all the dirty work yet being shunned and taunted by those who had been here for awhile, I couldn’t help but think of country’s present situation and how history seems to be doomed to repeat itself on the immigration front.  But that’s another book.

About ten years ago, I left teaching to take a research job in a conservation office.  It was there that I met and worked with biologists, archeologists, foresters and ornithologists who changed my views on all things environmental, and now I see the wisdom in setting apart large tracts of land as common wealths – gifts to hand down from generation to generation – something all Americans can view and share.  This is the story of the beginnings of the US Forest service -it’s fight for funding with an East Coast congress who didn’t understand West Coast living.  There’s political infighting between the Republicans of Teddy Roosevelt’s camp (wealthy conservationists) and Howard Taft’s camp (wealthy robber barons.) There’s the US government’s ignoring of the heroes who fought the fire and paid the price physically and mentally.  There’s even a man who was visited by his long deceased fiancé years after she ventured into the great beyond.  It’s Falcon Crest meets National Geographic.

Two thumbs up if you like this kind of thing.

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An Irreverent Memo to the P-T-Ohhhhhh

by Priscilla on September 22, 2012

From:  TIS Consulting

To: Happy Pines Elementary PTO:

Re: Observations

 Dear Ladies,

Thank you for choosing our company to meet your consulting needs.  We diligently observed your group for the period of one month as requested and have recommend the following course of action.  The bill for our services is attached.  (In order to pay the bill it appears you will have to send hoards of children out into their neighborhoods hawking worthless junk  from Thailand yet one more time, but that’s your problem not ours as you chose to go the consulting route rather than figure out your problems yourself.)

 

1.        When a new adult attending your meeting accidentally uses the letters PTA do not stare with derision at her and correct her with P-T-OhhhhhhIt’s P-T-Ohhhhhh.  Seeing as most of you have grown up here and never journied outside the town borders, you may not be aware that in the outside world PTA can be interchanged with the letters P-T-O.  They mean the same thing.  You might even hear P-T-F.  The person using this term may have transferred in from a Christian school.  F is for fellowship– the Christian word for Ohhhhh.  Don’t ask me why all Christians must fellowship instead of Ohhhhhh, but that’s the way it is.  If you meet a Christian from the South he might say fellership.  Same thing.  A Christian feminist might use the word galship or persynshipAgain – all the same. 

 

2.        We know money is tight in education land, but the answer to this problem is not sending four different catalogs home with the school children on the auspices that they will skip from door to door selling such items as bulbs both tulips and light.  I don’t know if you are aware of this, but there is a place called Costco where everyone can buy all these things under the same roof and for a much lower price.  We believe dressing the children as beggars and sending them door to door selling matches will achieve the same desired results. Milk those cute faces for all they are worth because when puberty hits, you’re screwed.

 

3.       Instead of congregating in a clump in the school hallways talking about the myriad of P-T-Ohhhhh problems with furrowed brows, you may consider smiling, greeting and possibly making eye contact with the 300 or so parents who pass you as they drop their children off in their various classrooms.  You may not have realized this, but these people are the P’s in P-T-Ohhhh. These are the people you need more of at your meetings when you complain endlessly that nooooo ooooone ever comes and that you are sooooooo busy.

The above is just a sampling  of our findings.  For the full 394 pages report please see the attached.  You ladies really gave us a lot to work with.  Thanks!  It made our job so much easier.

 Again, we appreciate your business, and we look forward to a continued partnership in the future.  (We are pretty certain this relationship will continue as we noticed you five ladies have run the show for the past four years.)

 Respectfully,

TIS Consulting

 

 

 

 

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Obnoxious Pioneer Women Facebook Status Updates

by Priscilla on September 20, 2012

Not to be confused with the Pioneer Woman.  She’s great.

My fabulous husband just surprised all nine of us. We’re going West by wagon train with complete strangers to start a fab new life. Goodbye Boston – hello Adventure!  Love my man!

Score for my huge pot of stewed potatoes! Everyone licked their bowls clean and some strange smelling Swede asked me if he could lick my toes.  Oh, those crazy Swedes.   Could my life get any more insane?!!!!

Found out number  10 is on the way!  So thankful for God’s bounty and provision and my A-1 husband!

Met a fascinating family from North Carolina by the name of Donner.  This whole cross country travel thing is uh-ma-zing! So many interesting people!

Wooooo- crazy stuff.  An axle broke as we were crossing the river.  One horse drowned and we lost all our hard tack, but hey, what would life be without a little madness – huh?  Live. Laugh Love!!!

Met an uh-ma-zing native name Sacagawea.  She wore some fabuloso moccasins, AND she showed me how to carry my sweet perfect baby on my back so I can keep my hands free to do laundry in the river.  So do not miss Boston!

Lost 20 pounds on the all bean diet!  Woo-hoo!  Good thing since I had to use my corset for kindling. Ha!

Ran into the Donners again. They invited us to join them in a short cut across the mountains.  Could people be any nicer?! Boston is so yesterday.   I so love being a Pioneer Wife.  My husband rocks!

Buried three children due to scarlet fever.  Miss them!  But gotta keep moving forward, right?!  I mean, God never closes a door without opening a window.

My magnificent man surprised me with a beaver fur coat.  Has a few blood stains, but feels AW-SUM especially at night when I’m sleeping on rocks, and it’s like -7 degrees now.  Is he great or what?!

Lost my ring finger to frost bite, BUT my man re-sized my wedding ring to fit my pinkie.  Can I just say he rocks?!!!!

Sigh! Just married off my sweet baby off to another boy in the party. Can’t believe I gave birth to the world’s most perfect daughter only 13 years ago!  So thankful for such a godly 15 year old young man for our baby.  Could not be a cuter couples!!!!! Hope they are as happy as me and the hubs!

Met a lovely woman who told me I could make a killing selling bags/food/makeup  to other ladies in the wagon train.  So fired up for my new future!  Write me if you want a show in Utah, Wyoming or South Dakota – my new area!  Can you say stoked!

Please pray our friends the Donners.  We heard they are eating each other! Soooooo sad.  Thankful we did not join them!!!!  Crazy stuff huh?????

Dear Friends, It is with a heavy heart that I am closing my Facebook Account.  My husband left me for some cowboy.  Me and the kids are dragging our sorry asses back to Boston.  Those of you who really love me know how to contact me.

(Dear Irreverent Readers – please feel free to add your own.  Come on-  get your frustrations out here.)

 

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Years ago they told us to play classical music for the babies in our wombs because it guaranteed our offspring would grow up to win the Nobel Prize in Science and Math.  Judging by the amount of 39 year old sons living in their parents’ basements, it’s clear that advice was a load of crap.  I don’t think the issue was the baby in the womb part.  I think it was the classical music, because let’s face it.  Unless it’s Stravinsky which, in my opinion is the musical equivalent of nails on a chalkboard, classical music usually lulls me to sleep, and if babies are in their sleeping all the time,  how can they listen to all the language tapes and multiplication tables we are forcing on them?

The answer is to pump in informational guides that will ensure kids can navigate their world once the whole nine month sponging off of mom phase is over, and it’s time to hit the real world – literally.

I’m thinking about developing these sort  of guides and slapping the word Einstein or Genius on them so millions of unsuspecting parents will snap them up for $19.99. My first work is going to be called simply Ways To Make Mommy Happy.  It’s going to be short, sweet and repetitive – maybe 5-10 items that soon-to-be mommies everywhere can play into their wombs (and then, of course post YouTube videos of themselves playing the videos to their wombs because God forbid this generation do something in private with no one watching or knowing what they are doing at that exact moment.)

Here are some Mommy Maxims  I intend to share:

  •         Don’t tell Mommy you have no clean underwear 15 minutes before leaving for school.
  •         If you see Mommy with a drink in her hand, steer clear.  Period.
  •         When Mommy is up to her elbows in flour eggs and sugar for a stupid school back sale – and ALL bake sales or stupid Mommy will just never say this aloud – do not come at her with your homework sheet asking her for your signature
  •         Potty train yourself.
  •         If Mommy is wearing stretchy pants – which she will do for about 15 year after you are born – do not pull on those stretchy pants in public unless you want everyone to know that Mommy doesn’t have any clean  underwear either.
  •        The sooner you figure out that Mommy is Santa, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy the better.  This takes lots of pressure off of Mommy to have enough cash on hand to play these roles.  She can simply say, Sorry – can’t.  Tapped out,  once you show her your wish lists.
  •        Start making your own lunches and dinner preferably by the age of three.
  •        Heck, let’s not stop there.  Start doing your own laundry,  your own hair and your own grocery shopping as well.
  •        Disney and Nickelodeon are asinine and suck the life out of Mommy’s brain as well as your own.  The sooner you suck it up and watch Mommy’s shows without being scarred by violence and trauma the better.
  •       Stop asking for a puppy.  It’s not going to happen.  But if you are good, you Mommy might give you a screwdriver to take apart the Atari you found in the box marked Dad’s Junk down in the basement.
  •       I cannot stress this next one enough – wipe the word why out of your vocabulary completely. Replace it with Whatever you desire, Mommy.

Got anything to add ladies?

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