Archive for May, 2007

Alms For The Poor

grascalspromoclr.jpgOne of the questions I hear most in regards to Mr. Smiff is “Does he ever play around here?”  It’s fairly rare that he and them play around here, especially in the summer months, but, there are a few opportunities to see the IBMA Entertainers of the Year, (and Blogging Husband, Extraordinaire)…they will be at the CMA Music Festival  (exactly which stage, I do not know) then, they will be at the World Famous Station Inn on June 30 and then, they will be at the Ryman Auditorium for Bluegrass Night at the Ryman on July 26. 

Yes, yes,  I can’t be objectional when it comes to The Grascals being I sleep with one of them regularly, but, apparently others (the Grammy people, IBMA, etc) think they’re pretty swell, too.  I can guarantee if you go to one of their shows, you will be most entertained.

Please go to one of these shows.  I have a $1025.00 cellphone bill and those T-Mobile people want their money.  Oh, we have unlimited texting and all this and that.  One of the Smiff Teens (I’m not naming names) went a little over their minutes and will spending the next few days weeding and doing other yard work to work off his their balance they owe on said cellphone.  Part of that large sum is a phone that was broken and we were supposed to send back and haven’t yet.  Still, his charges were over $100. 

And do you not dig the new Grascal photo taken by the most awesome and legendary Henry Diltz?

A Moment Alone

I finally am in this house by myself for the first time in I don’t know how long.  Mr. Smiff and 2 of the Kids will return sometime late tonight and then he flies out tomorrow for a long weekend of gigs.  The Manchild has worked very hard the last two days here in the house alone, honing his madd guitar skills and has had the Casa all to himself.

We all know that your Sista will never be enshrined in the Fly Lady Hall of Fame.  It ain’t gonna happen.  Things have gotten extra-out-of-hand since we spent a large part of April and May tending to Hazel following her surgery, etc.  So, I’m sitting here staring at the various forms of mess…laundry, crap, crapola and crappity-crap knowing I should just quit my whining and just get in there and face the Beast head on.

Why do I have such an issue with this?  What mental place does the Neat Gene originate?  What is it that makes some people obsessive compulsive (which I do not want to be) and others like me who spiral further and further out of control and perpetually dwell in CHAOS….Can’t Have Anybody Over syndrome?  I try to pick this apart (yeah, I know I should get up and actually deal with it instead of talk about it, but, it’s funner to bitch about) and figure out where it all went wrong.  How do you get your family pumped about getting with it?  For real, I’m a lone ranger in this quest around here. 

In all seriousness, it’s a real source of frustration for me and a part of my life I feel like a total failure.  What’s the secret to getting excited about housework???

Maybe the HomeEc101 girls have some answers for me.  I’ll ponder it more while I go and try to attempt to get something done

Go Rachel, Go!

Rachel Smith is a great American and a great Tennessean.  Had that been me who slipped and fell on my tuckus on live television, I’d have gotten up and ran off crying.  Had I been booed by the Mexican audience, I’d have given them the finger.  Instead, she had the smarts to address them in their language.  Good thinking, Rachel. 

One of my favorite Missoura bloggers, Dave, sums the whole thing up better than I can.

TLC, Are You Listening?

What was that guy’s name that invented the reality show as we know it, that addressed us at the Blogging thing back in September?  Somebody give him a holler.  I’ve got the best idea for a special for TLC.  They will have the highest ratings that they ever had…dig if you will…

Michelle Duggar, the  lunatic nice lady in Arkansas who is expecting her 17th child.  They have their own show now on TLC sos why don’t we pair her with the  Stacy and Clinton on What Not To Wear people and do “Michelle’s Makeovee?”  They usually do these makeovers for some sort of big event, so they could do something with that God-awful hair of Michelle’s, give her a wardrobe and the cause for celebration could be Jim Bob’s vasectomy!!! Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Thing is…ok if you want to keep popping out babies til michelleshair02.jpgyour uterus falls out (that pretty much happened to my cousin Vicki after having four right in a row), but, must you dress your pretty daughters as heinously as you dress and insist they have horrible hair just like yours? Michelle is not an ugly woman and their girls are lovely.   I like to watch their show because it’s another one of those car wrecks.

I also want to see Michelle have a Sista moment.  One of those days I’ve forgotten to take my Prozac and I get on a yelling, cussing, I-hate-my-life tirade.  I want to hear Michelle cuss Jim Bob out and tell Jessa and Jemima to get out of her face and then tell Josiah to go get her a beer.  They can show that footage during the Makeover episode if they want.   I want to see her call Jinger a sorry little tramp and that she better not ever catch Jedediah with porn again!  That’s what we need to see.

They really seem like nice people and they seem to have a sense of humor.  Jim Bob is sorta like Matt Roloff in that he’s figured out how to get his house furnished nicely and other little perks.

You know what would be good tv? Have the Little People Vs. The Duggars in a wrestling match or something.  Endless possibilities here.  They could have Zach whup Joshua’s ass with Danny Bonaduce as the referee.

And My Kids Think I’m Embarrassing…

Since Friday, it’s been me and the Manchild.  Mr. Smiff took #2 and the Drama Queen with him to Silver Dollar City til Wednesday.  Oooh, the DQ is in MAJOR trouble when she returns from the Hillbilly Vegas Strip.  Lordy me is she in trouble.  Without telling exactly what she did to get me extremely upset, just know it has to do with MySpace.   Her days on My Space are o-vuh.  Done.  I’m sure I’ll get no backup from the Mr. on this and she can hate me til she’s 90, but, she is so done with My Space.  I was patient last week when she went through her “I think I might be an atheist” phase.  I handled that very well.  This latest stunt, however, is way worse than that and she is in truhhhhh-bul.

So anyway, I’ve had lots of one on one with the Manchild the last few days.  I swear, don’t tell anybody this, but, I think he likes me ok.  I may be stretching to say that, but, I’m thinking he might.

We were on our way to my mom’s today and my sister texted me to tell me to stop and get ice.  I stopped at one of those little markets on Robertson Rd. and asked the MC to go get the ice.  Diva that he is, he was engrossed in Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page.” I went in the store and they had no ice.  So I went to the other store across the road.  MC still was not really hip on wanting to go get the ice and I figured instead of arguing with him, I’d just go get it.  In a way, I’m glad he didn’t go in, but, then in a way, I felt as though I had hit the jackpot.

This was a teeny, old convenience store.  They kept their soft drinks and ice practically in a closet.  I saw this man, this huge man of about 6’6 and a boy of about 12 come in and they sorta had the drink closet taken over so I waited.  I heard the Large Man making noises and I realized he was talking and that he must be deaf.

Ok, I take no joy in those who have a hearing loss.  That is tragic to think someone would never be able to hear Ella Fitzgerald sing or hear the sound of your own child’s laughter.  If I had to choose what I would give up, hearing or vision, I’d lose the vision way before I’d lose the hearing.  We take being able to hear for granted.

So, I’ve got my deaf people disclaimer out of the way, I can get into the nitty gritty and the point of this experience.  Large Deaf Man was attempting to bark orders to this boy.  He was just a’pointin and ranting and raving.  I assume the boy knew what the heck he was saying.  I sure enough did not, but, I will say this….this Large Deaf Man was L-O-U-D.   I mean, piercing loud.  I wish I could adequately describe how loud and piercing these grunts were. 

I get up to the checkout and Large Deaf Man and Boy were next to me.  LDF decided he wanted something else and screamed something illegible and the poor boy signed something to him.  I bet it was “Shut the hell up.”  I wanted to get my ice and get the heck out of dodge cause I was so scared I was going to lose it right there.  The Indian checkout guy tried to insist I put my ice in a bag and I was like “No, no, really, I’m fine!”  LDF was still hollering as I left.

I get to the car and tell the Manchild, “You are so going to wish you’d have done me that favor.”  I bet next time I ask him to do me a small favor like that, he’ll jump on it because he might see something wonderful like that.

Then, on the drive home this afternoon, a speeding car full of nuns passed us on the Vietnam Veterans Bypass.  Lordy if that didn’t make us both howl.  We are so not right.  It doesn’t take much to entertain us. 

Whose Arm Hath Bound The Restless Wave

This little girl is my mother. bobbie___bye.jpg The guy standing next to her is one of her older brothers.  The picture is circa 1944.  Mom is about 9 and her brother is about 20 here.

His given name was Clifford.  I don’t remember ever referring to him as “Clifford” nor did I ever hear my mother or any of the other siblings call him that.  We all called him “Bye”, pronounced “By-ee.”  What that name means, I do not know other than they were from Louisiana and my Uncle Fred couldn’t talk plain.  I’ve heard it said that was how he said “Brother.”  I don’t know.  But, he was my Uncle Bye.

Bye was a handful as a little kid.  He was the youngest boy in the family although two more kids came after him.  Family legend has it that he was so bad about running off and staying gone and that he drove my grandmother so crazy with this habit that she would put a dress on him so he wouldn’t run off.  He would then hide under the house for the day.  (This was Louisiana.  The older houses didn’t have foundations.)

Bye lied about his age and enlisted in the Navy when he was 16 or 17.  I don’t know why he did this, but, my guess is that clifford_sullivan.jpgafter Pearl Harbor, which would have been when he was about 16 or 17, might have inspired him to do the Patriotic thing. 

Bye served in the Pacific and apparently the things he experienced and witnessed during his time of service changed him in such a profound way, he spent the rest of his life battling some serious demons.  I also suspect the death of the oldest brother in the war had a huge impact on him as well. 

 His main demon was alcohol.  He was one of those guys that alcohol made very mean.  He had a lovely wife at one time and two adorable little boys. Sadly, his drinking and I suspect abuse was to blame for him losing his wife and kids.   He was never part of his children’s lives again.  I’ve never even met his two sons and my mother hasn’t seen them since they were about the age of #2.  They would be in their late 50’s or 60’s now.

My mother has never been able to bring herself to admit that he more than likely abused his wife.  She took off and left the state with his children.  I think she ran for her life.  I believe he was probably abusive because I was around him when he was drinking and he was not a pleasant drunk.  He could say some funny things at first, but, he would always end up slamming somebody (whoever was around) and say mean, hurtful things, even to us kids.  I can only imagine how he would’ve treated those closest to him. 

Even though thoughts of my Uncle Bye make me sad, I do have funny memories of him, even though they usually involved his various states of inebriation.  In spite of his rampant alcoholism, he always worked and would never be under the influence when he worked.  He did floors.  Wood floors.  I’ve often wished I had him here to do some wood floors for me.  He was good at heart…he just desperately needed to numb himself so as not to remember being on the naval ship that had been bombed and looking feverishly for his buddy, only to find that he was standing on his young friend’s dead body.  

One thing I will never forget about Bye was in 1986 when my Uncle Jack died.  Bye disappeared after the funeral.  Jack was his closest pal and the only family he had close by.  He was devastated by his death.  My Uncle Fred and my Aunt Pat knew where he was and decided they were going to march into The Shamrock, his favorite watering hole, and get him out of there and settle this drinking thing once and for all.  He looked at them and said “You deal with this your way and I’ll deal with it MY way.”

I’ve always said that three of my four uncles physically survived World War II, but, Bye did not survive emotionally.  Bye died in 1993 of jaw cancer.  All those Pall Mall cigarettes he smoked most of his life caught up with him.

This is how I most remember my uncles…leaning up against a vehicle, smoking and drinking beer and shooting the bull.  I’m so glad my Dad had the good sense to snap this picture of them in 1975.  Warhorses they were (one still is at 85 years sullivan_brothers.jpgyoung) and most definitely heroes.

The Life of Reilly

How many of you kids from the 70’s remember this commercial? I had forgotten about it.
I find it funny that my parents had some limitations on shows we watched as kids, but, “Match Game” was free reign. I guess they figured the sexual innuendos and stuff went over my head. (They did)

At any rate, one of my fondest memories of being a small kid was watching Match Game every afternoon. Charles Nelson Reilly was always one of my favorites. He was also pretty hysterical on Johnny Carson, too.  This funny, multi-faceted, extremely talented man passed away a few days ago. He accomplished much and made lots of people laugh.

Go read this wonderful blog post about Charles Nelson Reilly.