Sunday, June 28, 2009

Celebrity Death Week!

Hello, all you crazy people out there in the blogosphere, and welcome to Celebrity Death Week! The seven day period of June 22 through June 28, 2009 will always be known in my mind as the week all the celebrities in the world held their breath and hid trembling in their closets while Death stalked silently outside their doors. The week started off innocently enough with zero deaths on the tally for the first couple of days. Which was a pretty good run. However, Ed McMahon got the ball rolling when he died June 24, 2009 at the ripe old age of 86. While the death of such an icon as Ed McMahon has saddened millions of Americans, the truth is that no one was actually very surprised when the Grim Reaper beat him in a game of tag. The death of everyone's favorite Angel was also not a terrible surprise on June 25, 2009, as Farrah Fawcett had been battling with colon cancer for quite come time. And while we will all miss her many appearances in Playboy and on posters everywhere, those long sexy legs of hers just could not outrun He Who Rides The Pale Horse. Sadly, her death, which was deserving of so much more attention, was overshadowed like Mother Theresa's by Princess Di, by (of all people) Michael Jackson! The gem of the week my friends! Who would have thought that a relatively young healthy man, who got plenty of exercise, spent lots of time with children, owned a pet chimpanzee and was staging a comeback would be struck down by El Muerte at the young, young age of 50? It is hard to believe my friends, but the King of Pop will no longer brighten our lives with new music to dance, dance, dance to. But we can all remember him through such incredible hits as: ABC, Beat It, Bad, Thriller, Black Or White, We Are The World (Ok, that's not just him on the song, but would we really be interested in hearing it if he hadn't contributed to it? I don't think so.) and so many more. At least with Lisa Marie running his estate, he will be out of debt in no time and able to care for his children's future. Well, Death must be a Jew (or a 7th Day Adventist, or JW, I'm not picky), because he took the day off on Saturday June 26, 2009 presumably for rest and reflection on a hard week's work. However, by Sunday June 28, 2009, Thanatos, rested and tanned from his day off claimed his final victim of this celebrity tally: Billy Mays! The pitchman for Oxyclean, Mighty Putty, Kaboom and so many other household items mysteriously died Sunday morning after a rough plane landing on Saturday sent him to bed not feeling very well. If there's one thing we can learn from celebrity deaths this year kids, it's to not try to walk off head injuries! (Right, Natasha Richardson?) Hard head or not, let's not mess with head bumps, people, because The Ferryman is waiting for you, and he can't wait to get his hands on you! That's it for this seven day period, but a thought strikes, and that is, that maybe Celebrity Death Week is not over. It is very possible, that we are only on day five, and that those first two quiet days were the two days before the commencement of Celebrity Death Week. If I were one of the elite few loved and revered by many, I would not be leaving my closet anytime soon. My name is Mary, and that is all for this episode of Celebrity Death Week!

PS: In an ironic twist of fate, this is the post that knocked Gramma's obit off my page.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Vacation Bible School

Last weekend a church down the (Monster) hill from me brought around invitations to their VBS. It was only from Wed - Fri. I decided the kids should go. So we took them down there. It turned out to be a black church, which I don't mind, but my kids were the only white kids there so I worried all night that they (Launa especially) would say something along the lines of, "Everyone here is black." Because she, especially, is still very curious about different people, and also I forgot to threaten them before we dropped them off. So when I arrived, they were just sitting don to dinner (Dinner?! If I'd known they were going to feed them, I wouldn't have!). I asked the people on charge if they behaved themselves, and they said they were really good. I told them that I forgot to threaten the kids before I dropped them off, and they all laughed, so I think that was a good sign. They asked if the kids were coming back, and I was afraid to commit in case the kids didn't want to. When we got home I asked them how they liked it, and they said they had a really good time and would like to go back. So I guess I'll take them back. They learned about Gideon and the torch and the horn. Can't argue with that.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Guess What I'm Doing?

Avoiding homework.  Which is kind of dumb, because it is easy.  Kinda.  It's easy, but it's worth a lot of points, so I have to be sure that I get it right. The good news is that I love doing Power Points, and I think the next project I have is also Power Point.  I guess my prof. likes Power Point too. (It's so much more fun than just writing a long paper.  I get to add pictures and summarize, and all that fun stuff!) I still have to write 200 words for each slide in the notes section, but I can be quite loquacious when I need to be, so that won't be hard. :)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Silly Kid Stories

1: Daniel went to Summer camp this week. (Can you believe it?!) It was only from Sunday evening to tonight, so he'll be home this afternoon. Anyway, for about 2 weeks he was agonizing over going. He didn't want to be away from us, he was so scared, you know how they are. I had to tell him how much fun he would have, and that he wouldn't even miss us. Anyway, after the first night, one of his cousins got a little lonely for her mommy, so while they were on the phone, they asked Daniel if he wanted to talk to his parents. "Nope!" he says, "I'm fine, I don't need to talk to them." Haven't heard from him all week. ;)

2: Jeremy took a nap yesterday, and Launa helped him get all settled in. Launa came downstairs and told me that he started sleeping with my blanket, so she gave him his blanket instead, but that she put my blanket where it would be safe. Right next to daddy. I asked her how she knew it would be safe there. I asked her what if Daddy ate it. Launa and I argued over it for a little bit, then she said, "I have a suspicion that he doesn't eat blankets."

3: Launa has started doing this "imaginary rope" thing where, when she wants my attention, she tells me she's pulling me with her rope, and pantomimes pulling on a rope. It's very funny, and of course I can't resist the game.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Songs That Take Me Back

Do you ever hear a song, and suddenly you're 12 years old, sitting on the brick wall between your house and the neighbor's, chatting with the kid next door? Or you're on Catalina Island on a field trip with your class? Getting Ice Cream at Thrifty's drug store? Okay, your exact memories might be a little bit different, but these are the songs that do that to me.

It's funny how many times the Gin Blossoms are on here. I never really considered them one of my favorite bands, but their sound on every one of their songs (some I didn't include on the playlist) always sends me back.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Nicest Thing Anyone's Ever Said To Me:

Daniel told me today that I am a treasure. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Post?

It feels kind of bad to put up a new post. It feels like getting on with my life means forgetting. Obviously my gramma doesn't want for me to stop living my life because she's gone.  That would be stupid. I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it felt like until a couple of days ago, but it just feels wrong to have a world without my gramma in it.  It doesn't feel right that everything should keep going exactly as it had before. And putting up a new post means that in 6 more posts, what I wrote about her will drop off my page, and she'll really be gone. But here I am anyway, writing something new. Life keeps moving ahead. 

I have a great story about trying to get home that would be great to tell, but I think it'll have to wait until tomorrow. Go to my Facebook page.  I have some great pics up of the tide pools that I went to with my dad and sister while I was in CA. It was really good to see my family, some cousins and aunts I haven't seen in a very long time. It was nice to have a few days without the kids...(oops, did I just say that?). It was good to spend time with my dad and my sister and hear about the insane things my dad used to do as a kid.  See all the places he used to go. See my other grandparents. It was a good trip. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Grandma Bernadine

I had the best gramma ever. Her name was Bernadine. She was called Bernadine because her mother couldn't think of what to call her, and finally after a month or two her grandpa told her mother, "Oh, just name her Bernadine!" This was always kind of rough for my gramma whose sister was named Marguerite. (Much nicer than Bernadine.) She didn't even have a middle name to fall back on! Anyway, my gramma was the keeper of our family traditions and the stories about the family. She was of Scottish descent, and she liked to tell the story of an uncle (or some-such relative) that was supposed to be working with his father at their place of business (I can't remember if he was maybe a farmer...? Good thing she wrote the family history down for us!) anyway, one day he didn't show up. A neighbor told the father that he had just seen the boy jigging up and down the river on a riverboat. The dad went to go get his son and bring him back home to work. He stepped up on the boat and was going to drag him off the boat and home, but he watched the show, and it turned out, he wasn't so bad! So he let his son continue to jig up and down the river. There are lots of silly stories like that that my gramma was the best at telling. Her grandfather had been a union soldier in the Civil War, and since her dad was absent, he filled the father roll in her life. During the War he spent time in a POW camp with a lot of Rebels. He learned several of their songs and he taught them to her. My gramma always had great old songs to sing. She taught us a few of them. I even got her to record a few of them for me when I was 18 and made a trip out to visit. She couldn't remember the songs as well by that time, but I still got them! My gramma was a nurse in the Navy during World War II and that's how she met my grandpa. She says that all the women chased after him, but she never did. So they became friends. That's all they were, and one day Grampa said to her, "I hope you don't expect me to marry you!" And my gramma told him the thought had never crossed her mind, and besides, she wouldn't want to be stuck with a man like him for the rest of her life anyway.

The next week he proposed.

When I was a little girl my gramma would sometimes keep me over at her house for several days at a time. We'd play cards and visit all day. She would take me to the grocery store with her and she always bought Little Scottish Boy cookies. They are shortbread cookies with a big piece of formed chocolate on top with a picture of a Scottish boy stamped into the top. They are REALLY good! She always had m&m's in a jar on her mantle. She had a cuckoo clock that she would let me wind in the mornings (you know, you pulled the pinecones back to the top). She would let me sleep on the other side of her bed and we would visit through the night. One night we were getting slap-happy and the cuckoo clock went off and I shouted back, "Cuckoo yourself, you old clock." We cracked up over that one for a long time (I was maybe 9, it's not nearly as funny now, but it's a special memory.). My gramma liked to teach us little songs and poems and have us perform them for her and her friends. This is one that she especially liked, "Here I stand upon the stage, I hardly make a figure. But if you'd like to hear me speak, (then we had to step onto her footstool) just wait til I get bigger!"

My gramma was afraid of the microwave. She would turn it on and order everyone out of the kitchen until it was finished cooking. She loved blue eyes the best. Everytime she heard there was a new boyfriend in our lives it was, "What color are his eyes?" Oh yeah, I was the only one who married a blue-eyed man, and I was the first to get a blue-eyed child. She sent money to buy him a $500 savings bond because of that. My boy won the blue-eyed lottery! :) (Now that I think about it, I don't think I was supposed to tell anyone in the family, she didn't want to hurt their feelings, but it's a funny story.) She was maybe a little eccentric, but she was always generous with her family. She gave a good portion of her money to various charities. One of her favorites was Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child. I helped her choose things to send to poor children for Christmas one year. My gramma was a prayer warrior and had a prayer meeting in her house every week with a group of ladies for over 30 years. One of the ladies used to bring a prayer list she got off the Internet, and one time, someone had requested prayer for my little boy when we found out he was going to be born very sick. The lady was reading the details, and my gramma said, "That's my great-grandson they're talking about!" To this day, we still don't know how he ended up on that prayer list.

My gramma saved and took care of her things, and in the end, they took care of her. I suppose it's been about two years or more now, but when she could no longer live alone, and they had to sell many of her things, she had enough money put away to move into a very nice assisted living facility. She was well cared for, she had friends and company, which she had been missing very much since my grampa died when I was 10 months old. Everyone knew she had reached the end of her life, and many of the residents, her neighbors, came to tell her goodbye. One of the men who worked there came in on his day off yesterday just to make sure he had a chance to tell her goodbye. When she passed away this evening, she had family with her. My dad and aunt were at her side. She lived a good life. She was tired and old, and suffering. She was ready to go home to Jesus. And she did. She held on a little longer than they had thought she would, but when she went it was peaceful; in her sleep, surrounded by people that she loved, and who loved her. I'm sure going to miss her.

More Silly Words

Launa: "Momma! Come over here you big ol' munchkin!"