Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Pick up lines

This is my first post in some time that has nothing to do with a narcissist.

I would have expected a high school football game to be THE last place someone would try to (I believe the phrase is) “hit on me.”

This is my youngest son’s 2nd year in marching band – two more years to go.  I know I will grieve deeply when there are no more
6 am rehearsals or sectionals until 9 pm, to deliver him to or pick him up from….no more trips to the music store for repairs, reeds, or strings…it’s just right now, sitting in a football stadium on a hot September night is the last place I want to be.

Hubby is at home after a 60+ hours week.  My neighbor of 25+ years has joined me in the bleachers on this last Friday of September.  She is a “retired band mom” having shuttled five children back and forth to band activities for over 20 years.  My grand total will be 16, don’t think I  can count college.

My neighbor’s appearance was actually a surprise; I had brought an unreleased murder/mystery novel to the game to occupy my time until the band came on the field.  After all, isn’t that what a football game is for?  For half time?  How did I get an advanced reader copy of a novel?  Just one of the perks of being me.

She and I settled back to talk and occasionally cheer, “Good job” when one of the players makes the coach proud.  This not one of those games where that happened alot…at half time the score was 28 to zero.  The football “Dads” higher up in the nose bleed section were downright disgusted this evening and weren’t saying much.  Also, up top are my older sons with girlfriend/date and ‘girl de jour.’  They are past the age where they can’t hug mom in public, so when they arrived earlier, my neighbor and I got hugs before they climbed up the stairs.

Half way into the second quarter, inning, half…(what is that called?) the band begins to file past us on their way to warm up.
They have been playing cheer songs and volleying comments back and forth to the cheer leaders, but now it is time to seriously warm up.  As they walk past, I am ‘The Mom’ who accepts cell phones, keys, jackets, etc and hopefully remembers to return them at the beginning of the 4th…it’s quarter, isn’t it?   As the musicians finally take the marching band field…isn’t this what we’ve been waiting for?…..the crowd gets a little livelier.  The band has run through the whole show now before competition season starts, but we are still not treated to the full show.  Sam’s brothers shout out a colorful sibling cheer as they see their brother take his position on the field.  The regiment sounds great considering that they have only been a “unit” for little over a month now and with 10 – 12 freshmen players as well.

My neighbor stays through two more touchdowns – for the visiting team  and then decides to head for home.
The score is now 42 – 7.  Hey, at least the home team has made one touchdown.  Sam is back, having gotten food from the snack booth after raiding my purse for money.  That’s another reason why Mom goes to the game…the nachos aren’t bad.  He says he’s going to join his brothers for a bit before the band is to return to their section in the bleachers.  The kids have claimed all their belongings, with a choruses of “Thanks Mrs. Stuart,” and my fave, “Thanks Sam’s Mom….” (that’s to be said with a lilt in the voice, and from 9th grade girls) so it seems safe for me to finally open my book.

I get through a few chapters, finding that this one is going to be a ‘real page turner.’  Two more touchdowns have been made, one for each side, when a shadow falls across the text…”Mind of I sit here?” the man asks.  Nevermind there are ACRES of places to sit in the bleachers, I respond, “No,” and I go back to reading.  The man, (I never got his name) has other ideas.

He starts off with a rapid volley of questions, most of which I do not even remember now.

“Do you go to school here?” he asked.

I was amused.  “I have one son in the band,” I said.

“You don’t have a kid in the band!  You’re too young!  You don’t have kids!”    😉   

Seriously, he winked.

“I assure you, I have a son in the band.” 

“You must have graduated from high school in the late 90’s.”

I just looked at him, incredulously.  Do the math, buddy. My youngest was born in the late 90’s

“Early 90’s? Late 80’s?”

I decided to turn the tables – “When did you graduate from high school?” 


“I was already married when you graduated.”  This guy has got to be kidding me!  Have you not looked at my left hand? 

“I’m going to need to see some identification!

Are you kidding me?

“Oh, I get it, you were one of those girls who HAD to get married.”

The joker got my raised eyebrow.
I looked up in the stands to my sons were sitting.  My eldest gave me the ‘What the heck, Mom ‘ look.
Then, the guy touched my arm to get my attention back to him.  Hey buddy, ever hear of personal space? 

I forced a smile.

“So have you had your ten year reunion yet? I went to mine and there were girls who got married right after graduation and they had five kids…one woman had seven.

What I wanted to say was…”She should have held an aspirin between her knees…..”  I just smiled. 

The flirting continued to the point that I wondered if the band boosters had started selling beer to boost sales. 
Nope, no wrist bands. 

The visiting team scored another touchdown  56 -13.
My sons apparently had seen enough because all three of them came down the bleachers with their dates and sat down around me.  There was a chorus of “Hi Mom! 

The guy stared at them with his mouth hanging open. 

I said, “I told you I had a son in the band; these three have graduated.” 


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Grandma’s Apron

(Way back when.. “Medium” was a size 14 – 16)

Do you remember making an apron in Home Ec?  I remember making a flannel granny nightgown out of green flannel covered with kittens playing with balls of yarn….I’m sorry I didn’t save a section of it for quilt blocks.

I have been scanning family photos dating back to the 1850’s.  I’ve seen lots of grainy photos of grandmas, great grandmas and a few great, great grandmas in aprons.  In some cases, I’ve seen time-lapse photos as grandma took off her apron for a family photo.  I can just hear her saying “Land sakes child, don’t take my ‘pitcher’ with my apron on!”

I don’t think my sons know what an “apron” is.  I would change my clothes upon coming home from work once my stay-at-home mom days were done.  When I was at home with 4 boys; well let’s face it, I would never have been on the cover of Cosmo!  I’ve had the following post saved for years in documents.  It is not original but I cannot give credit to its writer.  I have added my own twist on the thoughts expressed.

A brief history of “Aprons”       

The principal use of Grandma’s apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few.
It was also because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons used less material.  But along with that, it served as a pot holder for removing hot pans from the oven.  It dried children’s tears and was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.
When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.  Finish hatching that is!

And when the weather was cold,  Grandma wrapped it around her arms.  Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove.  Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables.  After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.
When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.  When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.  It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that ‘old-time apron’ that served so many purposes.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool.  Her great granddaughters set their’s on the window sill to thaw.  Researchers would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron, but I don’t think children ever caught anything from that apron – except love…

Photo from Blissfullydomestic.com

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Since I was a very young child, Easter Sunday services would start with music.  Sometimes the music  was quiet and thoughtful other times one could be sure it was the start of a rock concert.
In any case, the senior pastor was usually given the privilege of stepping up to the pulpit to welcome the congregation with these words that never fail to give me chills, even today…
“He is Risen!” and the congregation responds, “He is Risen, Indeed!”
Sincere compliments to the editorial cartoonist at The San Diego Union Tribune for not being afraid to be what the world calls “politically incorrect.”
Happy Easter.

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We didn’t have a Christmas tree fight this year – We left Hubby at home.
We left him at home sorting thru the Christmas lights. 
Never fear though, we had a Christmas tree lights fight instead.
After 3 hours of growling, complaining and the occassional curse – he finally decided to go out and buy “fresh lights.”
It may not be “green” but I think that tree lights should just expire after one use – some of ours were going on 20 years old.

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One of my girlfriends is now the mother of 3 boys….3 boys under the age of 6…
I don’t why that scares me…I did it…but I was much younger then. 
She called me with a funny “little boy mama” story. 

She and her husband had the two little boys and the newborn all loaded in the car.  They have a rule when traveling with the baby….Don’t bother him in the car.  Don’t peek in his carrier, don’t poke him.  Her newest son is still at the stage where when woken, he can go from whimper to blood curdling scream in 3.5 seconds. 

She tells me that he is still eating every hour and a half…and when he wants to eat, there’s no putting him off. 
I remember when Sam was two weeks old, we went for a baby checkup.  He weighed 8 1/2 pounds.  The doctor told me that he should be eating every 4 hours….I looked at her, me, a vintage mama of 4 and silently scoffed at her.  IF I had let Sam go 4 hours without eating, the Sheriff and Social Services would have been on our doorstep. 

As my girlfriend and her husband were trying to grab a few minutes of conversation in the front seat….(we all know what thats like)….the two older boys were in the back seat…pestering the newborn. 

Little Alex had had enough.  Within seconds he was screaming like a banshee and my friends were still 10 minutes from home.  When they finally pulled in the driveway, which seemed like an eternity, her husband turned around in the front seat and said, “Now, what has this experience taught us?!”

As Alex was scooped up by his frantic mama…
Two little voices could be heard over the quieting sobs….”Don’t bother the baby.”

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Sun Chips

I love the new 100% compostable chip package that Sun Chips now comes in….
But, rattle rattle, crinkle crinkle…the bag makes it impossible to “sneak a snack of chips” without the entire household knowing about it!

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Yard sale….garage sale…tag sale….No mater what you call it…it’s a lot of work. 
I have spent the last 4 months gathering stuff together for us to start selling in the early morning hours of Saturday, when I would much rather be …sleeping.

Some of the sale items I hadn’t used in years; some were gifts and well, they were never used. 
Some people have suggested items that they think I should get rid of. 
“Really, the boys won’t care that you kept their first pair of  jammies….” 
Perhaps not, but I do. 

There are things that I will always keep.  And well, frankly, I don’t think they would sell. 
I still have Sam’s baby teeth.  He doesn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore, but he can be heard saying, “You know if you still want to leave a couple of bucks under my pillow, that would be cool Mom.”

I have some of my grandmother’s cookbooks.  Well meaning individuals have said, “you should just toss those, nobody cooks like that anymore…no one uses butter.”  I do. 

At o’ dark thirty, I was setting things up. 
Making neat piles, everything carefully folded…former merchandising rep…what can I say? 

Our appointed garage sale bouncers held back the thundering hoards until we were set up. 

Women balked at $2.00 for a Children’s Place polo shirt that was worn maybe 3 times. 
Mothers asked for jeans in size 10 Slim and Husky 14….”Sorry, I only have size 12 Regular…this isn’t Kohl’s, I thought. 
The man looking for +sizes was very pleased with the selection of men’s shirts and pants.  He snapped up $40 worth.

There were those shoppers who thought we didn’t understand what they were saying to each other….
It was tempting to respond….”Yes, you might think that the gringos are asking too much for the jeans and T-shirts…but frankly I don’t think $2 bucks for a $14.00 pair of practically new pair of Levi’s is unreasonable…and you’ve got to be out of your mind if you think I’m going to accept .25 cents for a bottle Victoria Secret cologne. Perhaps I am naive on the ways of yard sales…but I did not expect to have someone barter with me. 
I stood my ground…at one point Hubby commented…”You’re a hard woman, Mrs. Stuart.” 

In between swarms of shoppers, we were entertained by the 92nd Airborne Hummingbird Division….there was one brightly colored pair that would peel off like X-wing fighters…and then jump to light speed.  Before 9 am the feeders were empty and I had to make a fast batch of syrup.  No chance of syrup sitting for days, fermenting and then  having drunk hummingbirds for neighbors. 

The boys returned with coffee and doughnuts – that was a nice treat…Three dozen doughnuts were a lot though.  Hubby and I silently agreed that we’d start selling doughnuts if necessary, to increase business. 

Extended family members must have sensed there were doughnuts and hot coffee at the homestead, as they stopped by to shop & sell some of their things.  For awhile we were swapping our ‘treasures’ back and forth.  My SIL got one of my sweaters, I got her ceramic pitcher and wash basin bowl…it will be perfect for that bed & breakfast I’ve always wanted to open… 
Hubby attempted to point out that purpose of the yard sale to SELL things…but by then all the SIL’s were on a sugar doughnut frenzy. 

Sets and sets of towels found new homes.  Flannel sheet sets went home for, I was told, a dog who had just had puppies.  I admit that the thought of puppy ‘piddles’on my old flannel sheets was a little distrubing…but she paid me $5 bucks for them…and they were hand me downs when I got them.   Books, vases and an odd collection of nick knacks were bought and space was made for more. 
Where do we acquire these things over the years? 
The plastic containers went fast at 10 cents a piece. 

When there was a lull in the shopping, I would re-arrange some of the merchandise and wouldn’t you know the next batch of shoppers would pick up the items and pay for their new-found treasures.  Hubby was amazed at my curbside merchandising techniques. 

A Marine just home from the Middle East cleaned our most of the big-ticket items…Bless him. 
The college students from the near by UC snapped up the book cases. 
Too bad we didn’t have more to sell.

As the sun was getting low, we boxed up our possessions, debating on what to do with them.  Sam had a grand idea,,,,”Let’s have a garage sale next weekend!”

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