Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Difference Between My Sisters and Why One of Them Should Start a Blog

I recently posted a blog at my Writer of Blogs site about a wasp infestation in my car. I sent the story to a bunch of people and got the following responses from my sisters.

I have often thought Cindy should start her own blog for reasons which will soon become apparent. Kathy, on the other hand, not so much. You'll see why. If you agree with me, that my sister Cindy should start a blog, please let me know by commenting if you can (for some reason, even though I have set up my blogs to accept comments, people tell me they can't, but please try anyway – I changed the settings so maybe now they'll work).

Brief background: If you were to ask my sisters and me what we thought about a movie we had just seen, I would give you not only the synopsis, but character composites, information on the backdrop, the setting, vital conversations, and more. In other words, you could have seen the movie in its entirety in the time it took me to describe it to you. Cindy would point out the highlights and leave you begging for more. Kathy would try to describe the entire movie in one word.

To get a sense of what the following emails concern, read THIS FIRST.

By the way, XXX = swear words deleted (they weren't that bad, but I deleted them anyway).

Here is Cindy's response to my spine chilling wasp story:

Ter, your story sent chills down my spine.   Talk about coincidence.   I too had my share of hornet horror recently.  


Throughout the past week, Craig had been getting rid of 3-4 hornets in our porch every day.   It reached the point where I wouldn't go out on the porch until Craig had done his "bee due diligence."  This past Tuesday, however, was the worst.   The porch was secure because Craig had drenched it in wasp spray, but evidently the garage was not secure.   Immediately upon opening the door to the garage, I heard a thunderous buzz by my ear.  I quickly closed the door, but it was too late.   An enormous hornet had flown in.   I stood in our back hallway and, honest to God, saw a black missile coming towards me.  At eye level, both of us could see the whites of our eyes.  


Craig was at work, so what was I to do?  I panicked.   I literally "hopped" around the house, gasping for breath, yelling "Oh XXX, oh XXX, oh XXX, oh XXX."    I eventually hopped out to the garage, still "oh XXXing," and returned with a can of wasp killer but, of course, the wasp was no longer in sight.  So, I grabbed one of my cats and screamed "FIND IT OR YOU DIE!!!"   Luckily, Patches knew I meant business.  She spotted it on the window in the foyer, but it was too high for me to reach with the wasp killer.   And, Patches is too fat for me to throw at the window.  So, for the next hour, I sat perfectly still on a stair, killer can in hand, and stared at its every move.  Then I saw it go behind the shade.  The shade is transparent so I could still monitor its actions.   I had such a grip on the wasp killer can that I developed a blister on my finger.   For another 45 minutes, the wasp remained behind the shade and I actually thought maybe it didn't know how to get out and maybe, if there is a God, it will simply die of frustration.   But, no, it found it's way out and I again went into hopping and oh XXXing mode. 


Since I saw it fly away from the window, I began the search again, but, glancing back at the window, I see a wasp again behind the shade.   At this point, I'm not sure if it's the same wasp, or God forbid, another one, or even if I'm hallucinating, but I have no choice other than to take the spray and just aim and pray.   The spray hits the lower half of the shade, but is obviously less effective because it's not a direct hit on the wasp.   So I spray and spray and spray.   By this time, I am covered in wasp spray.   The shade is sopping wet.   The walls are dripping in spray.   The pictures on the walls, the books on the book shelf and the carpet are drenched.   The wasp is getting weaker.   I spray some more.   My finger with the blister is bleeding, but I don't even notice.   I continue spraying until the can is empty.    The smell is overwhelming, and I'm nearly choking from the fumes.   And, if that wasp hadn't died at that exact moment, I would have thrown the empty can at it.  


I'm still not sure there isn't another one lurking around somewhere, but if there is, we can put both your car and my house up for sale.

And now for my sister Kathy's response: I had a wasp in my house last summer.  I vacummed it, trapped it, put it in the closet.  Case closed.

(photo of Cindy, Kathy, and me is VERY OLD as are we) 

Monday, May 25, 2009

This happened to somebody I don't know

I have been banned from blogging by people I love: 

"DON'T blog about that!"
"DO NOT put that in your blog."
"I would appreciate it if you wouldn't write about that." 

So the following is a true event using a fictional character that nobody will recognize:

Guzaza (not her real name – I'm not allowed to use her real name for reasons that will soon become apparent) hadn't eaten all day, so I fed her some hot wings and bade her farewell into the night. 

As I stood in my doorway with my back door still open, Guzaza stood on the steps and, from the depths of her stomach, let out a belch that could have come from a 600 pound man who had just consumed an entire pot of chili. I had never, in my life, heard one that was so loud and took so long to come out of a little 110 pound body.

Apparently neither had the porch full of neighbors across the street who were now all completely focused on her, their mouths stuck in the open and awed position.

Unfortunately I had already shut and locked my door when she noticed them staring at her. So she pulled and tugged at my door and begged me to let her back in.

"Not until I can blog about this," I yelled through the door.

I'm kidding (about what I said, not about what happened). That's all. You will never guess who she is, because I have completely disguised her by calling her Guzaza.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Naming Bubby – I Mean Baby

My daughter and son-in-law read through hundreds of names before they both decided they loved the name they chose for their son. They had gone through the same process with their daughter.

I could have saved them hours and hours of painstaking labor had I known that all of it was for naught (I was hoping I would some day be able to use that term).

You see, despite the fact that they argued about the perfect name for their son, despite the fact that they chose what they believed to be the perfect name for their son, they call him – are you ready for this – Bubby. Yes, they call my grandson Bubby.

But wait! It gets better – because not only do they call him Bubby, they also call him Bub and Bubs. 

Now let's go back two years and imagine this scenario: There they are, the two of them, my daughter and my son-in-law, laboriously going through name after name after name after name. And I come along and say, "Put the book away. I have the PERFECT name for your son – call him Bubby!"

Do you know how they would have responded? Oh, NOOOOO. Never. No way! I'm not naming my kid "Bubby!"

Well, here he is, my little "Nolan" (it's a beautiful name, isn't it), who will be two years old this June. Some day he will look his parents in they eyes and say, in a Dr. Phil kind of way (if they're still calling him Bubby), "What were you thinking?"  

Monday, May 18, 2009

Cold Sensation in Elbow Might NOT Be Cause For Alarm

Every time some new physical problem afflicts me, I immediately say, oh yeah, well, you're going to have to share this body with COPD, asthma, hemangiomas, carpal tunnel syndrome, blah blah blah. 

So I really don't give it too much thought. I can't afford to see a doctor anyway, so I usually run online to find my own remedies or search through my herbal books for answers.

Today – a new one – a cold sensation in my elbow. Maybe my arthritis was flaring up in a new way. Maybe I was having a stroke. But I didn't feel any more lightheaded than usual, and my mental capacities were pretty much within normal range (for me), so I let it go.

But it continued to bother me. Earlier, because my house was cold, I had put on a brand new sweatshirt (purchased at Midway Airport when I discovered I had left my leather jacket in the closet of my son's home in Oceanside, California – I wore it only that one day) to ward off the chill.

Still, Cold Elbow Syndrome, my new name for my new affliction, wouldn't go away. And so I reached inside my sweatshirt sleeve to see if maybe an ice cube had found its way in there, and that's when I noticed that my BRAND NEW SWEATSHIRT had a hole in the sleeve.

I HATE sewing. But I'm also not driving 100 miles to return it. I think I'll use my dad's remedy for fixing things – duct tape.

Sunday, May 17, 2009



Inspiration and Laughter

Need a little INSPIRATION or a little LAUGHTER? On days when I'm feeling down, I watch these videos:

This one inspires me:

These make me laugh so hard I have a COPD attack:

And my favorite online video that made even Ellen laugh insanely:

I had to put them all of these videos into one place (this blog) so I could access them easily :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Battling Boredom In Preschoolers

"I'm bored," a child says. And I say, "Not at my house. I'll show you a fun time."

And then the father slaps me.

Yes, I'm kidding. But I honestly don't understand how ANYBODY, adult or child can EVER be bored when the world offers SO MANY activities or distractions. 

As a result of my experience with children, I put together a list of outdoor activities and included several links to web sites that offer even more activities so that no child will ever be bored.

So for a fun time (hmm, maybe I should change the wording) ... ahem ... To Prevent Your Preschooler From Experiencing Boredom, CLICK HERE!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Today is Mother's Day

Mom's Favorite Flower - one of my favorite memories

Gentle breezes and a warm sun play across my face as I monitor my children from our front step.

Though he is not allowed to wander far, my son rounds the corner and hands me a beautiful red rose, obviously from a neighbor's garden.

Not to be outdone, his older sister hands me another beautiful flower, probably from the same neighbor's garden.

My 3-year old, unaware of where her older siblings found these treasures, searches and searches until, beaming with pride, she emerges from the corner of the house to drop remnants of dead dandelions in my hand.

I fawn over them as I did over the other gifts bestowed upon me by my babies.

Years later, I sit in a Dairy Queen parking lot with my youngest daughter, when a little girl approaches my window. Her father smiles bashfully as he watches his daughter hand a perfect stranger a precious gift, a memory. The dandelion sits in my palm, a lovely reminder of that warm sunny day when my children placed their gifts in my hand.

Today my grandchildren -- their parents the givers of more than a dozen bouquets of dandelions -- carry on the tradition. I gratefully place each droopy dandelion in a glass, careful not to drown the bugs flitting around the yellow flowered weed.

My children are grown now. I miss our daily contacts, especially those with my Marine son who is often stationed overseas or living across the country. I long for the day he comes home.

And if he brings me nothing else, I would welcome with laughter and tears another red rose, or even a handful of bug-infested dandelions, my favorite "flower."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

FOR YOUR MOM (or friends who are moms)


Tuesday, May 5, 2009


MISSING: Briant Rodriguez

Spread this news around. This little 3-year-old boy was kidnapped from his home in San Bernardino, California. The two gunmen tied up is mother and her four other children after ransacking their home and taking off with the little boy. Nobody in the family claims to know the kidnappers.

Read about it HERE.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

OK, I admit it – I'm weird, but so is...

For years my mother introduced me as her weird daughter. I hated it. Then I believed it. People even provided me with proof from time to time. After my children repeated it, I thought, well, if people are still saying it, it must be true.

So I accepted it. I even bought a keychain that said, "I'm not weird; I'm gifted."

But I worried about being too weird, because if the saying is true that your children will marry somebody just like the parent of the opposite sex, my poor son was destined for a life filled with weirdness.

When I met Michelle, I thought, oh, thank God, she's normal. And then one day I caught her staring at my wall. Apparently, after having been told her new mother-in-law was weird (BY MY SON), she thought nothing of the odd looking wire-shaped man hanging on the wall next to my antique plates. 

OK, so maybe she's a little weird, I thought. Maybe my empty plate holder did look a little like the wire-shaped man she thought it was. I don't know, but just when I was getting comfortable thinking she might be only a tiny bit weird, she upped the weirdness factor when we sat together in a Mexican restaurant. 

I was so impressed when she started speaking Spanish, but ridiculously confused, because every time she spoke, her voice dropped about three octaves. "Wow!" I commented. "Did you know your voice becomes very masculine when you speak Spanish?"

Turns out she was learning how to speak Spanish by listening to a tape produced by a man, and when he asked her to repeat after him, she provoked some guttural sounds forth to speak just like him! We tend to laugh a lot about that (and so much more – I could go on and on, but this is, after all, just a blog – not a book).

So now, Michelle, I would like to say – with a voice much like the one that belongs to Brad Garrett, who was Robert Barone in Everybody Loves Raymond – Te amo, Michelle.