Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Introducing Dear Old Dad

My dad is funny. And he's kind of strange. But in a good way. Chris says that when my dad and I talk, we speak our own language (which I suppose means that Chris doesn't understand what we are laughing about most of the time). The other day my mom asked me what particular traits Chris found odd about our family. It's a valid question, when you get married, you think your spouse's family is a bit strange (Majaunta, I don't think you are strange; Allen, on the other hand, deserves his own post, but that will have to come at a later date). I told my mom that he found her fascination with the spiritual realm a little different, that the way I can be singularly focused (some might say obsessive) on particular things a bit odd, and my dad, well, the only way to truly understand him is to tell a few stories about him:

The Skunk and the Air Conditioner

My parents have an air conditioner that happens to be outside their bedroom window. One night, about a month ago, a skunk decided to make his home underneath it. Something must have disturbed Mr. Skunk, because he let off his scent and of course, being so close to where they were soundly sleeping, my parents got a big whiff of their new guest. This didn't set so well with my dad. The next morning, I was over at my parent's house and heard the story. I looked out on the lawn and saw something very strange. Walking over to it, I noticed a large rat trap staked into the ground by the air conditioner. Somehow my dad was going to trap that skunk in a rat trap, but I'm not sure how. And, once he was trapped, extracting him might be a problem. I pointed out to my dad that his Skunk Execution was a bit odd, besides the fact that my dogs were more likely to set off the trap than his new house guest. His next tactic was to fill in the hole the skunk had dug and lay wire over it. I like the ingenuity he showed with his first attempt, though.

Fat Kitty and the Hawk

My parents rescued a kitten from a sage bush around the first of this year. Sidney is a beautiful cat and very well fed. In fact, I've taken to calling him Hips because he's so large (and because it bothers my mom when I make fun of him). Last time they weighed him, he rounded out to 18 pounds very nicely. He even has a pouch on his belly that swings when he runs (actually, "running" might be too active a word for what Hips does). This past weekend Chris and I were working in the yard (that's not entirely true, Chris was working and I was harassing him and my dad), and my dad said that Sidney had been outside earlier and raced in the house. He tried to ascertain what had scared the cat and saw a hawk circling above. He surmised that Sidney had been afraid because that hawk was trying to swoop down and pick him up. I asked my dad if the hawk had perhaps been a pterodactyl because only a pterodactyl would be large enough to pick up an 18 pound cat. Any hawk that dared to swoop down and latch onto Hips would be in for a big surprise when he tried to lift off again. Dad insisted that the hawk had been very big and that Sidney's life had been hanging in the balance.

Man Camp & Chapstick

Occasionally my dad has to journey to Nevada for his job. While there he stays in what he calls, "Man Camp." I don't know all the details, but in my head I envision a smelly place where men room together and eat bad food. I do know that the food is bad because I asked as that is important to me. To prepare for Man Camp, dad always packs light, but he always includes chap stick. And when he puts chapstick on, he puts it on. In other words, it doesn't just go on his lips, but the surrounding lip region as well (he has these big hands that resemble a lobster claw so I kind of think the application is due to a lack of dexterity and fine-tuning). Anyhow, apparently he grabbed my mom's not knowing it was tinted, and without looking at the tube, applied it in his typical man-manner--all about his lips and the surrounding region. Dear old dad wore lip stick at man camp. I like that. I also like that he didn't know until the end of the day that his lips were a nice, sumptuous red color. And that no one told him.

I wish I had more time to devote to Dad Stories. I have quite a few. In fact, I know that some of my friends do too. The first time my friend Heidi came over to my house he asked her if she rode the short bus to school. He's just a welcoming kind of guy. He also blessed Chris's loins at our wedding (I'm fairly certain that the word "loin" should never be said out loud and certainly not in front of 150 people). That's my dad. It probably explains a few things about me in a way that simple observation alone could not.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

This One's For You, Honey (If you are easily disturbed by words associated with childbirth don't read this one )

A few weeks ago some gals and I were hanging out talking about childbirth. One of the girls is a Labor & Delivery nurse who regaled us with weird things people do after childbirth. Apparently some women ask to take the placenta with them so they can go home and eat it (see, I told you this was going to be icky). Well, no one likes a "Story Topper," but I got swept up in the moment and told everyone that my mother-in-law kept my husband's foreskin from when he was circumcised as a baby and tried to give it to me. Everyone was aghast. But, that isn't the crux of this post. No. You see, I couldn't exactly remember if it was foreskin or something else she offered me. I knew it had something to do with Hubby's nether regions, so at the last moment I went with foreskin. It was a better story. That night I casually brought up to Chris the fact that I had told a good deal of the young women we went to church with about his mom attempting to give his baby foreskin to me. He was a bit miffed. He reminded me that it was the ring they used to use to circumcise little boy babies with. I said, "Oh, well, my story was better." I guess that didn't help the situation. He asked me if I was going to correct what I'd told all these ladies. I offered to go before the church and make an announcement that it was in fact his penis ring, not his foreskin, that was being made a gift to me. He didn't seem to appreciate this generous offer. Before you think that I make things up and classify me as a bit untrustworthy, you should know that typically this isn't the case. So, on behalf of my hubby and my very generous mother-in-law (I love you, Majaunta), I withdraw my original story and promise not to make people laugh at Chris's expense ever again.

Laughter At Any Price

I can find something amusing about most situations. Even this one that happened to me a couple of months ago that I forgot to write about but magically remembered yesterday. Before the story begins there are a few items of importance you should know. The first is that everyone has their own insecurities and one of mine is my weight. I work hard to destroy my body's natural inclination to be 200 pounds. OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but thinness does not run in my family. I was raised on fried foods, sweets, and Cokes (just a little aside, if you are from the South, all soft-drinks are Cokes). Late in my college career I started lifting weights. I know, I know, you can't tell. I just can't put on muscle, but I try.

Thus the story begins:

I had just worked out at the gym and was feeling good. Working out gives me a much more positive point of view, and I feel like I'm chipping away at that 200 pound Jane that is screaming to get out. I took Chris's car in for an oil change. We like to shop locally and support the little villages around us--it's kinda like buying your neighbor a meal. Despite the increase cost, the people are friendly. One man in particular.

There I am, feelin' good, in my little red gym shorts and there he is at his desk chatting me up and trying to get me to try some food that someone had brought it. Friendly place, right? We got to talking about food, and I mentioned that I was a vegetarian, and we ate alot of tofu. He was very interested in this strange diet and told me his sister was a vegetarian, but she died. I don't think she died of vegetarianism, at least I hope not, but I expressed my sympathy. We were getting along swimmingly. And then he said, "You don't look like a vegetarian. You're aren't really thin like they are." Dude, have you seen my gym shorts? You don't tell a girl that has obviously been working out that she doesn't look thin.

I wasn't real sure how to respond to his comment. I don't think he meant to be cruel, but then I started laughing. What else can you do? It was funny. I kind of imagined him sitting alone at home wondering why he didn't have a wife, or if he had a wife wondering why she was always angry at him when he was just having a conversation. I laughed all the way home and called Chris to tell him about my oil change experience. I haven't taken the car back there. I'm waiting until I loose 10 pounds so my ego can handle whatever is thrown my way.

Elsie's Kittens

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Circle of Life

I don't know if I can do justice to this tale, but I will give it my all: yesterday evening Chris and I headed over to our neighbor's house. Their cat, Elsie, has four kittens that she is mothering which has increased her desire to hunt for food. The four of us were sitting around drinking a beer and chatting when Elsie decided to strike. She had a sweet little bird in her mouth that she was going to eat for dinner. Monika is much like me, so she ran over and tried to get the poor bird out of Elsie's mouth. Steve is much like Chris and from the side lines kept yelling for Monika to grab Elsie by the scruff of the neck because Monika was struggling to yank Elsie's dinner away and was quite unsuccessful. Monika wasn't quite sure what Steve meant by the "scruff," but when I stood up to intervene, Steve, bolstered by a few beers, grabbed Elsie by the back of the neck, held her up high and shook. That poor bird fell right out of a bewildered Elsie's grasp and right into a patiently waiting Sophie's mouth. Sophie was thrilled! Chris pried the bird away from our dog, but it was too late. Steve suggested just throwing it into the bush, but I felt it should be comforted in it's last few seconds of life so I took it from Chris. It died in my hand. What was there to do but give it back to Elsie so it didn't die in vain? She took it inside the house to the bedroom where Monika and I discovered that the kittens were brawling over this grand feast. It was a bit too much Discover Africa for us.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

We Never Heard Anything About Not Sleeping on the Bed

Happy Birthday to My Most Excellent Hubby

Today is Chris's birthday. He will be celebrating his day at work, unfortunately. However, he's reminded me all week that his birthday is coming up, so at home, we've celebrated for a week. I gave him his gift last week...I cannot hold onto any gift and keep it a secret. The next night we went out for a birthday dinner and then on Saturday, my parents presented him with the above gift filled with coffee.

I hope you have a great birthday, honey. You are the most amazing of men. And, you just keep getting better (probably because I'm rubbing off on you). I love you!