Thursday, April 21, 2011

Barf Bowls and other Lenten Penance

It's Holy Week - finally!

Not that it's been a bad Lent.  No, I'd have say that, as far as Lent goes, this one has involved more sacrifice than most.  Good for the soul, that's what it is. 

No, I haven't kept my Lenten promises any better than most people keep their New Year's resolutions.  But I didn't have to; God gave me my very own personalized penance - barf. For most of Lent I've had sick kid(s).  And whatever this flu-bug is, it ain't pretty!

Each Critter has manifested his or her own particular version, spewing from every available orifice some foul fluid or semi-solid (not to be graphic) and confounding with fluctuating temps and temperaments until I am dizzy with it all.  At one point, three of the little beasties were calling out to me from separate quarantines, with disparate requests for tea and toast, Tylenol and temperature taking.  They may be sick, but I am spent...

And finally - light at the end of the tunnel.  For three whole days we are vomit-free.  I allow myself a rare evening out with my girlfriends while Hubby holds down the fort.  Saturday comes and I manage the laundry - not spontaneous loads of accidentally soiled linens, but real, honest-to-goodness dirty clothes.

But then, alas!  Sunday morning, and the littlest Critter - who was among the first to succomb - relapses. Another Sabbath, Palm Sunday no less, comes and goes without me in the pew.  I tease Husband, saying that people will begin to think I've flown the coop.  But I haven't.  I'm still here, three days later, holding barf bowls and soothing fevered brows.... thankful for another Holy week and promise of redemption...

                                  ...and ready to scarf massive quantities of chocolate!

Note: The illustrations for this post are indicative of the time in which they were produced...

Double Note: I held off on this post because Baby Girl got much worse this second go round, but she is better today -whew!  Have a Blessed Easter!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Alternative Cuss Words and Clean Get-Aways

We all have them - tamer than the originals, ease-silly recognised substitutes that roll off the tongue.  Expletives to pull out in mixed company... and by that I mean anyone other than a spouse or best friend (who is obligated to love you regardless of major character flaws).  This includes - but is not limited to - parents, grandparents, maiden aunts, the church women's group, your pastor, doctor, pharmacist, sweet little old lady at the children's library and random passers-by.  Oh, and your children - especially your children!  In other words, anyone you want to think you are a better person than you really are.

Over the years I've winnowed my personal, knee-jerk store to three favorites:  Sugar! - I just cut my finger and it really hurts... SUGARFISH! - I just sliced my finger open and think I might need stitches... and CRUDBUCKETS!!! - MY FINGER IS LAYING ON THE CUTTING BOARD WITH THE JULLIENNED CARROTS!  

(Note: For mild frustration, such as forgetting to add the fabric softener or dropping a dirty spatula on the floor, a simple, muttered Beans and Ground Beef! still suffices.)

These words and phrases fall from my lips as easily as gutter talk from a gang boss, yet I could broadcast them over the P.A. at a funeral luncheon and not offend a single grieving widow.  But it seems some people have stopped caring who overhears them using profanity, as if good manners are as outmoded as 8-track casset tapes.  I may be old-fashioned, but I am all for effecting postitive social change, and so... tired of having to cover little ears every time we walked down the street, I actually began to coach my Critters on how to come up with socially acceptable epithets.... 


Unallowable as either cliche or sound alikes:




Holy Shoot!

Son of a Beech Tree! 

and the ever-forbidden trinity...



Geez-um Crow!


Other criteria to consider:

Is it easy to remember?

Does it satisfy that explosive urge?

Do others recognise that you have just sworn?

I impress upon them the need to be original too.  Anyone can (and too many do) spew curses like sewage from a Shanghi factory.  It takes creativity to convey the same meaning with personal flair.  The intellegent mind sets it's standard higher.  This goes for insults as well.  No mundane name-calling here...

Common                                                                                 Advanced

That's stupid!                               I'd consider that moronic if I had
                                                    higher expectations for you...

I hate you!                                    I detest the need to breathe the
                                                             same air as you...

You're such a jerk!                       Your actions reveal a crass nature 
                                                  equivalent to that of a cockroach!

Back off, Loser!                          Cease and desist, you malodorous
                                                 swine!  You are unworthy of even
                                                           my condescension...
                                            (courtesy of Head of the class, my erudite Firstborn)

Despite the fact that using elevated language may earn you some undesireable labels, it unavoidably garners grudging respect from those less quick-witted, and challenges backsliding brainiacs to up their game.  Not only that - while everyone's trying to figure out what you mean, you can make a clean get-away!

Though they are already pretty considerate of others, the hope is that eventually -as they mature, of course -my Critters will rise above the need to insult one another.  Until such time arises, I feel it my duty to equip them with superior language skills, thus creating a ripple effect...

... and thereby bettering the world at large.

Disclaimer:  If, in case of a dire emergency - such as backing into your husband's truck or sucking his favorite tie up with the vaccum cleaner -  "ordinary" cuss words are inadvertantly  reverted to within earshot of offspring, a ten minute lecture on the virtue of not cultivating habits that are hard to break is prerequisite.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring In New England - A Travelogue

 Just for fun, I'm reposting this - enjoy!

 Ah, the first day of Spring! -um...well, not exactly calendar Spring, but a hint of Spring is in the air.  Around these parts Spring doesn't officially begin until sometime around mid-June.  Until then, from the first thaw on, we have what is affectionately known as "Mud Season".  

Introducing the Family Van-O-Nator, III

Monday:  Sane people do not wash their vehicles during Mud Season.  It is a hopeless waste of money, especially if you live on a backroad.  Despite this fact, and because I won it with a free spin of the "Wheel of Prizes" at the local gas-n-groceries, I couldn't resist a trip through the hands-free car wash.  The sun was shining, the Critters strapped in and pacified with junky convenience store snack food, and high-powered jets of soap suds spelled five minutes of peace, if not quiet for me - mesmerizing entertainment for them. Vantastic!

And by the time we got home:


Tuesday- after one more trip to town and back...   

                                          ...and so forth...

                          ...and so on....


                                                        ...and so on...

...and then on Saturday, of course, it began to rain.

On Sunday morning I looked out the window in hushed expectation...