Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Over the River and Thru the Fields

To our Daughter's house we go....
The car knows the way
to carry our stuff,
Thru the white and drifted snow OH NO!
Over the river and thru the fields
Oh how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes,
And bites the nose,
as over the highway we go.

Over the river and through the fields
to have a first rate day;
Oh hear the sound,
of joy abound,
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day-ay!
Over the river and thru the fields,
speed fast my car of gray!
Spring over the ground,
like a hunting hound!
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

A new twist on an old song I used to sing as a child. Since I am going to Nebraska for Thanksgiving this year for the first time I thought it appropriate that I have a song for the road trip.

We leave tomorrow and will be traveling over 500 miles or approximately 8 hours. We are leaving about 8:oo am and should get to our destination about 5:00 pm. ( potty calls and gas stops included) I usually read or watch a movie while my husband does the driving (he is such a wonderful man). We stop only for gas and to grab a quick bite to eat and then we are back on the road. This is one trip where we don't end up arguing but only because George knows where he is going and doesn't need me to give him directions. Thank God for this because it's one trip we actually enjoy taking together.

Hope every one has a Happy Thanksgiving and I'll see you when I get back! For now I better get packing or I won't be on the road to my daughter's house.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Into Every Life a Little Bling Must Fall

I was doing my daily blog stalking and while reading one of my favorites, MamaKat, I found this really great give a way! So head over and check out these earrings and if you want to win them follow the directions. You must first go here , look at all the beautiful jewelry ( a real chore I know but do it anyway). Then go back and write up a short blog about your favorite.

Mine is the Triple Earth necklace in shades of green and gold. It is gorgeous!!! I'm thinking it would make a beautiful Christmas present and Santa should maybe put it in my stocking, HINT. HINT. Husband mine. Ever girl needs a little Bling and what better time than Christmas to give her some.

Of course I never need a holiday to buy Bling because to me every day is a holiday when it comes to shoes, handbags and bling!!! Bring it on Baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Widow's Weekend

It's that time of year again when all good little wives find themselves left behind at home. Abandoned by their husbands who are off in search of other "Deer"(the four legged kind) for the next week.
The men scatter to all parts of the woods to sit in deer stand for all hours of the day stalking that elusive BIG BUCK. Hoping to get that one shot that will give them the trophy mount for their wall and meat for the freezer. They spend their evenings eating, drinking and playing cards (you know guy stuff) til all hours of the night then get up at the butt crack of dawn and hunt all over again. They come home at the end of the week smelly, unshaven and most of the time triumphant, dragging that deer behind them.

So what do the women do while the men are away you ask?

They also hunt. They hunt the big shopping bargains. They start planning sometimes months in advance with friends as to where they will go and what stores they will HIT. They scour the papers and the Internet for coupons.

They scatter to all parts of the city to walk the shopping malls for that BIG BUY! Hoping to find those big sale signs that mean they can buy more because they got a discount. They spend the evenings eating and drinking and watching Thunder Down Under male strippers (you know girl stuff) then get up at the butt crack of dawn the next day and do it all over again. They come home at the end of the weekend slightly battered from pushing, shoving, and braving the crowds of other women shoppers (they can be brutal at this time of year) but dragging their prizes behind them.

So you see, we aren't so different, our male hunters and our female hunters. It's just the methods that we use. They sit in the cold and use guns, we are in the warmth and use plastic. Who's the smarter one here?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things Long Buried

Mamakat's writing workshop prompts this week are as follows:

1.) The last time I laughed really hard...
2.) Forgive and forget...I think.
3.) I remember when...
4.) Write about something that bothered you this week.
5.) Write a poem about a favorite color.
Based on something that happened in my life recently, I chose #2

If you had asked me last month if I was the type of person to forgive and forget, I would have said yes without even thinking about it. Life is too short to hold grudges and dwell on the negative. It is easier to forgive someone and move on than to let the anger fester and be bitter. Right? This is the type of person I am. Hell I even forgave my ex husband after cheating on me (after all he got cancer and I figured that was punishment enough) and we are semi friends today.

But something happened a couple weeks ago that has me questioning all this.

36 years ago, I had a brief romantic encounter with a young man I was infatuated with, I was 18 y/o, in college and as dumb as a box of rocks when it came to men. He was in the service stationed in Viet Nam and we wrote letters back and forth the whole time he was gone. When he came home, he came to visit me at school and we partied like there was no tomorrow for three days straight (alcohol was involved) and of course there was sex. I thought I was one of those girls that couldn't get pregnant the first time without protection (yeah right). 9 months later out pops a beautiful little girl named Carrin! Surprise you're a daddy!

However this guy doesn't buy it and decides he isn't the daddy and doesn't want anything to do with me or his daughter. The army sent a representative who offered to help me do a paternity test and fight for child support but I decided that anyone who was asshole enough not to want to love a child had no rights to that child at all. I tried letting his parents know but they too wanted nothing to do with their grandchild. I called this person one more time the day my daughter was born to let him know he had a daughter and that she was healthy and beautiful. He could have cared less. That was 35 years ago and the last time I had any contact with him. I told my daughter about her father when she was old enough to understand and then promptly forgot about him.

Until a couple weeks ago when my daughter asked me for information about him. It seems she has decided she wants health information an may even wish to try and find him. This is her right of course. It terrifies me to no end. What if he decides now that he wants to know her and be her dad after all these years? I raised her, he can't just waltz into her life now and decide he gets to claim bragging rights for how she turned out. What if he rejects her? This could devastate her to be rejected a second time by this man. How can a father not want to know his child? How can he know he has a child for 35 years and never wonder where she is or what she is doing?

I wish my daughter well in whatever she decides to do about this. I will always be there to pick up the pieces if she is hurt or share in the joy if she is successful cause that's a moms job.

Forgive and forget this man who is her father..... I thought I had. Now I have to rethink

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Growing up, my life was all about traditions.

There were Sunday dinners at Grandma Jean's house (usually after we had all gone to church). She would make a big dinner with meat, mashed potatoes, gravy, cole slaw, jello salad, a vegetable, biscuits or bread and a dessert of some kind. We always ate at the dining room table with Grandma at the head and Grandpa at the end and all the rest of us seated all around them. Afterward, we would help Grandma do the dishes and then after some play time down in their huge basement, we headed down to the other end of town to see Grandma P. We could usually talk her into making us malts (chocolate or strawberry were the favorite flavors). Then it was home to finish up any homework, take baths and hit the beds.

There was church and Sunday School every Sunday as a family whether my dad was home or on the road. My mom would get or sorry butts out of bed and make us get dressed in or best clothes and out the door we'd go. We would sit in the pew at church with my mom at the aisle and then us kids . Her arm usually rested along the back of the pew so that if anyone of us did something we weren't supposed to (imagine that?) she was quick to smack the back of our head. There was always a lot of very quiet whispering into our ears during church (threats of dire punishment to come once we got home) that no one but us kids ever heard.

We celebrated each holiday in special ways:
Easter: Mom always made us girls matching Easter dresses (which were very pretty) and then we had the hats, gloves and patent leather shoes, My brother had the slicked back hair, dress pants and tie thing going on. We went to sunrise service at church then came home so we could hunt for our Easter baskets. Some years that Easter Bunny find them so well we had trouble finding them. Then we would go into Grandma's for and Easter Egg hunt in her back yard and dinner.

Thanksgiving: Was always the big family dinner where everyone got together to celebrate. I can remember so years eating 2-3 dinners because we had to go to both Grandma's houses and then mom had dinner too but it didn't matter because the food was sooooo good! All our aunt, uncles and cousins would be there ( and sometimes we hadn't seen them for a long time so this was great) and we would run around and play for hours.

Christmas: Was always celebrated at Grandma P's on Christmas Eve with chicken dumpling soup (don't know why or where this started from). Mom always made us girls matching dresses for Christmas too until we got old enough to protest and then they were similar but not matching. The entire family would get together, Grandma P, Grandad, Mom, Dad, us kids, My Uncle Glenn, Aunt Cherie and all their children. We always ate first, the adults around the dining room table and the kids usually in the enclosed back porch room. It was a real thrill when you reached the age to move to the adult table. We could not open any presents until everyone was done eating and all the dishes were done. This was a fast and strict rule of Grandma P and nobody messed with this woman and her rules! So of course my Uncle Glenn, knowing how anxious all the kids would be to open presents would ask for thirds on soup and then take his time eating. After that he would want dessert right away instead of waiting until after presents were open. There were several Christmases when children were in tears because of this begging Uncle Glenn to please hurry up and eat so we could open presents. Dishes are finally done and presents are being opened when all of a sudden, there is a knock o Grandma's front door. When we ope it, no one is there but a huge box has been left and when we bring it inside and look at what's in it, we find it has been left by Santa and is full of gifts for everyone. This was the tradition of the Santa Claus Box that went on for many generations.

I loved all these traditions growing up and tried to keep them going with my children. It was difficult sometimes due to family dynamics, a divorce and location of relatives but I did the best I could.
To this day I still do the Sunday dinners even if it's just for my husband and I ( and sometimes it doesn't even have to be a Sunday to have this family dinner).

I don't do Easter like I used to anymore.

I still do Christmas but because part of my family lives so far away we do 2 Christmases. We do Christmas Morning brunch with our 2 daughters and grand children who live here by us. Then in January, my parents, my sisters and I and all our children still get together to celebrate the Grandma P traditional chicken dumpling Christmas. We rotate where it is ever year and we only do presents for kids under a certain age but it gets the whole family together and carries on the tradition.

And I still do Thanksgiving. This is my favorite holiday of all because I get to cook which I love. Every year I get up at the butt crack of dawn and stuff the bird, bake the pies, make the rolls, peel the potatoes, make the salads and everything else that goes into making that picture perfect Thanksgiving dinner. And yes it must be perfect! I am a fanatic about it. This year the tradition is moving and I must give up control. Can I do that? I honestly don't know but we'll find out won't we. I have not had Thanksgiving with all 3 of my children together since they have moved away. They live in Iowa and Nebraska so my daughter who lives in Nebraska has asked me and George to travel there for Thanksgiving this year and spend it with them. It means giving up Thanksgiving with George's daughters but they understand and have other family to spend the holiday with. I am so excited about this because tradtion means so much to me and everytime I spend a holiday with out my children, I am so sad. This year , I don't have to be sad.

Tradition is wonderful- changing traditon even better

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Milestones and Memories

Daddy © By Evan L. Salcido
In the heart of everyone, young or old,

Lies memories of a special man.
They remember football,

And how this man came to see them play.
They remember school,

And how he encouraged them each day.
They remember ice cream,

And his readiness to oblige.
They remember playgrounds,

And how he'd take them down the slide.
They remember monsters,

And when he fought them off.
They remember sickness,

And his wince at every cough.
They remember graduation,

And his face lit with pride.
They remember marriage,

And the man steadfast by their side.
These men want no payment,

They desire no reward.
These men only want to hear four words,

'I love you, Daddy'

My daddy turned 80 years old yesterday. He is my hero. The man I look to when I have a problem or need comfort. He has always been there for me, to pick me up and kick me in the ass and send me on my way throughout my life. We haven't always seen eye to eye ( our personalities are too similar for that to ever happen) and there were times when we didn't speak for a while but in the end I always knew that he was right and I came around.

When I was very young, dad drove semi and was gone 4-5 days of the week sometimes coming home in the middle of the night. It was great to wake up and find him there the next morning but we had to be quiet so he could sleep. I remember a few times when my mom would wax the wood floors and my dad would hit one of the scatter rugs with his sock feet and go down for the count in the dark, man were there some fireworks then!!! Course us kids thought it was funnier then hell and laughed our butts off! Occasionally dad would even take us kids on a short trip in the semi with him. This was soooooo cool!

As I got older, dad got out of trucking and into farming. He would then allow me to skip school and attend auctions with him on Fridays so we could buy cattle! Was I truly interested in cattle? Hell no but it got me out of school so who cared! Of course I always skipped on my own and faked my mom's signature on the excuses.I got called into the principals office once on a legitimate excuse that they thought was fake and they called my mom a liar! BAD IDEA!! This set my dad off to no end and he paid my principal a visit and rattled a few cages. needless to say they never questioned another excuse fake or real that I handed in for the rest of my school term.

After graduation I got pregnant and was too scared to tell my parents so I moved to another town and got a job. Thinking if I didn't go home to visit very often and wore baggy clothes they wouldn't know. Parents aren't stupid nor do they stop loving you because you do something stupid.They let me move back home and helped me get back on my feet. I had to pull my weight there was no free ride here. When my daughter was about 2 years old, my dad was supposed to be watching her while she was napping. He fell asleep himself and started snoring. My daughter woke up and started coming down the stairs but stopped about three stairs from the bottom and that's where we found her when we got back. She would move from there because as she said "Grandpa's making funny noises!" Even sleeping he was a good babysitter.

Over the years I have watched this man go through many life altering changes. They don't seem to break him, they make him stronger. At 80 he is still driving semi from Iowa to Wisconsin 2-3 times a week, he takes care of my mom who had a stroke 7 years ago, he maintains their home doing the laundry, cooking and cleaning and he makes the best pies you have ever tasted. And he still manages to call me at least 3 times a week just to check in and see what's up, or how the Packers are doing, or how school is going, or just to give me shit.

That's who this wonderful man I called dad is and why I love him. Happy Birthday Daddy

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The Igloo Adventure

Once again it's time for Mamakat's writers workshop. I will attempt to do #1.

My head was pounding, my mouth felt like it was full of cotton and something or someone was poking me. I slowly opened one eye and saw an unfamiliar face looking back at me. This was the source of the poking. I quickly shut my eye again and pretended I was a sleep. Maybe, I thought to myself, if I feign sleep they'll go away and leave me alone. No such luck.

Face: Lady, wake up! You have to get out of my igloo and go home.

Me: (in my head) Igloo? Why would I be in an igloo? Aren't they normally in Alaska? I live in Wisconsin how would I get to Alaska? I just went to my neighbor Judy's party last night.

Face: Lady, I saw you open your eyes. I know you're awake. Talk to me.

Me: Who are you? How did I get here? Where am I? Better yet who am I? I don't remember anything from last night. As I talk I quickly check my pockets for a wallet but all I find is $4 and a rock in one pocket and a toothbrush in another. (Great, I can skip rocks on the lake, brush my teeth and buy a pound of whale blubber but I don't know who I am!!
Lot of good this does me.) Maybe I can use the $4 to pay this guy to find out who I am? No not enough money.

Face: My name is George and if you give me the $4 I'll help you find out who you are and help you get home.

Me: (Thinking to myself this guy is nuts but if he thinks he can do this for $4, I'm game) "OK George you have a deal" Here's the $4.

George: Your name is Karen, you live two houses over and you were at a party last night. The reason you have a rock in your pocket is Judy's son was going to throw it at his sister and you took it away from him so he couldn't hurt her. The toothbrush is your daughters, you went home to make sure she brushed her teeth before going to bed but you got interrupted before you had a chance to do this so you stuck it in your pocket and never took it out again. You had a little too much to drink at the party (this isn't a bad thing) and ended up in my yard sleeping in my son's igloo tent. I didn't have the heart to wake you and send you home last night so I just let you stay here.

Me: A little sheepishly: So I'm not in Alaska? (Slowly it all starts to come back to me. I remember drinking Purple Passions last night. They tasted like grape juice and went down so easy that I must have had a few too many, hence the hangover and memory loss.)

George: No, still in Wisconsin.

Me: Crawling out of the tent a little awkwardly I manage to finally stand up and look around. I now recognize the neighborhood and feel foolish. All I want to do is go home. Vowing never to drink another Purple Passion again as long as I live. I turn to Geroge and mutter a Thank you as I quikly dart across his yard to mine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Girls Gone Wild for Shopping!

For those of you that don't know (and by now that's few of you) I am a shopaholic! This is a trait that has been passed down to all female members in my family. No matter what the age, when we are together and any where near civilization, we must shop! We don't just go to a store when we have a need, we go because we' re there. It's a bonding social thing. Sometimes we don't even buy anything we just have fun walking around the mall and laughing.
About 10 years ago, my sister decided we needed to get out of town to do this shopping thing and we needed a whole weekend to do it. So she put together a shopping trip to the Mall of America (or MOA as we like to call it) for the girls. We always went the first weekend in November and we went from Thursday to Sunday.
It was literally "SHOP TIL YOU DROP" for us die hards with time out to eat and drink to replenish our bodies for the next go round. We would run our purchases to the hotel rooms (right across the street, thank God) and go back for more. By the time we were done for the night we had one whole side of the hotel room piled high with packages. Then we had to do a show and tell. Can't shop without showing everyone what you got. Half the fun is showing it off!
But then it was time to cut loose and relax. We always find really great restaurants to eat at and have a few cocktails to unwind. One year we met a friend who bought us all shots because we looked like we were having so much fun ( we even sang karaoke that night) and another year we all tried different cocktails but found one persons that we liked so much we all ordered it the next time and then found they were so expensive we couldn't afford to eat supper. We have discovered new and exciting food dishes, have shared food dishes with each other and have ended up buying dessert and taking it back to eat in the comfort of our jammies.
Over the years our shopping group has diminished in size but the amount of fun we have stays the same. We have moved from hotel rooms to Adrienne's house in Hudson and we have expanded our shopping from just MOA to include IKEA and outlet malls. What hasn't changed is being able to spend time with my daughters (who happen to live over 500 miles away) my sister and niece and just have a good time. We aren't wife, mother or employee during this time. We are just "Girls Gone Wild for Shopping!"

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Stand Up and Be Counted

Today we have the opportunity to make a difference. Living in America gives us that right. It is called freedom and not everyone has this wonderful gift. Most
of us take it for granted, never stopping to think of how we got it or the many sacrifices made to give it to us.
A lot of people don't think their vote matters because what difference can one vote make? One vote makes all the difference in the world! Your voice matters! Many races have been decided on less than 500 votes and your vote could have been the one that turned the decision. Think about that when you're thinking about not voting today.
2008 brings the chance to make history- we saw a woman run for president and even though Hilary didn't get the nomination she went farther in the race than most of the male candidates did. Then there is Sarah Palin as the Vice Presidential candidate, if MacCain wins we will have the first female VP and maybe in 4-8 years a female president. If Obama wins we have the first African American president ever elected to office. This year will go down in the history books as one of the greatest ever.
So don't sit home today bitching about the economy and the fact that wall street is in trouble. Don't blame either candidate for what's happening and say they caused it and can't fix it. Look at what you have because you live in America. You have the right to chose where you live and work. The right to walk around free and the right to vote for who you want to run your country. Most people don't get that choice. We have the things we have and the freedom to have them because we vote and have a country we can be proud of.
I'm not telling you how to vote, your opinion is your own. God knows my husband and I don't agree and that's OK because that my friend is what America is all about. The right to have an opinion and voice it without fear of retaliation.
I AM TELLING YOU TO GET OUT THERE AND VOTE ! Vote for who ever you want to but VOTE. If you don't, you have no one but yourself to blame if you don't like what's happening with the economy and wall street- not the president.