You Want Thighs With That?

Back in 2010, I went to Memphis for a couple of months. My son had just been diagnosed with cancer and my mom was dying. I went to help take care of them both and keep my grandbabies for the summer. One day while visiting mom…..

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“Honey could you go get me some chicken livers? I have had a craving for them for the last three days.” mom said while drinking her coffee.

” Do I have to cook them or is there a special restaurant you buy them at?” I asked with reluctance in my voice. I hated using her stove.

“Down at the market is where I usually buy them. Back in the deli.” she says.

Cool, I didn’t have to monkey around with that stove from the 1800’s. I hated cooking on her stove and frying liver was the worst. I love to eat them I just hate to cook them. As I was heading to the deli, she adds to her order.

“Could you get some toilet paper, soap, milk and have them add some taters on that liver order.”

“Sure mom.” I call out as I race to the door. I knew my mom. If I hung around I would have a list a mile long and be going all over Memphis picking up this and that. Things not really needed but she felt compelled to get.

With grands in tow I headed to the deli. I get to the counter and a 20 something, beautiful blonde, blue eyed, gorgeous smile, little girl asked me,”May I help you?” with that familiar southern drawl I grew up with.

I asked if they had chicken livers today. She pointed at the food in the hot deli case between us and says

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“Why, yea-us we do.” and points to the livers in the corner. The case was full of southern fried goodies from fish to twinkies. She informed me that I could get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99. I said okay thinking that I might have one for lunch. After second thought, I changed my mind and ask to change my order back to just livers and to skip the thighs. She looked at me with a confused faced and asked, “Where did you get thighs from?”

“From you.” I said. Now she is extremely perplexed and at a loss for words. I repeated her words back to her verbatim. “You can get chicken livers and two thighs for $3.99?” She started to laugh so hard she almost dropped the prongs.

Then she says, “No, s-i-d-e-s.” which she spelled slowly, “sides” she repeated in her southern drawl. Of course, that made sense. I mean that is a huge meal for $3.99.

“That will be fine.” I say looking around sheepishly to see who, if any one, was watching this interaction. Lucky for me only about a dozen people were in hearing range. I quickly move down to the veggies. As I was peering in to the food case for the “SIDES”, I found the potatoes and something else that caught my eye. It was a strange type of pea brownish red in color with snap beans surrounded by little tom tom tomatoes. I looked up to her cheerful face and asked her, “What is that?”

“That is what I was talking about the sssiiidddeeesss.” she said with a long and drawn out pronunciation of the word, as if I were deaf or from a foreign planet.

I said, “No what is it?”

Again she says, ” A SIDE” this time with a much sharper tone in her voice.

At this point, I am laughing so hard I can’t talk. I finally get out the words, “What kind of vegetable is it?”

“Oh that is just peas, honey.” she says.

As I drove back to mom’s, I came to the conclusion that even though I have one of the thickest southern accents in the little village I call home, I apparently have lost my ability to decipher the southern dialect. O mama.

Rest in peace mama. Your laughter was the greatest gift you ever gave me.  February 18, 1936 – September 7, 2010

Until next time,

Birdie

I have taken on another job.  I will be posting but  it will only be on Mondays until I can rearrange my life’s schedule again. I will for sure be reading your post.  You guys are one of the few things that brightens my days.  You may only see a -like– icon but know that I am either laughing, crying or saying hmmmm while reading you.  Wish me luck on this adventure.   I can never turn down an opportunity even if it is down a long and unknown road.

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The Power or My funny “friend” part 2

Last Monday was a part one and here, as promised, is the rest of the story.

It is a little past 12:00 p.m and around two weeks later. All the electricity it OUT, my husband would prefer that I not write about him again so I will tell you what happened when “my friend” came home.

I greeted my bestie at the garage door, which I had to manually open. He calls out, with the enthusiasm of a 9 year old. “What is wrong?” “The electricity out?” “Yes”, I said.

Here we go…..

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He walks into the garage as quick as knee high snow will let him. He immediately goes to the back porch. For a little while, I hear nothing, nothing at all. The door swings open… There he stands and in his hand is a key and the answers to all our problems, he proudly announced. I swear there were beams of light projecting from somewhere in the background. He looked bigger than life right then. Maybe it was the way he was holding himself

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chest out, head up, and chin straight or it could have been the sun setting behind him. In his hand, a little orange box attached to this long cord, which had been pulled in through the doggie door. (Dogs were looking a little suspicious at him) He sits it up on the kitchen island and with great satisfaction… he turns that key he was holding. This thing has a key to start it remotely!! I might need to get my friend to teach me how to use it. It starts up pretty as you please. He, my friend, smiles. Scurry, scurry all over the place pulling extension cord from everywhere. He starts plugging in the electronics. (notice his level of priority) TV – check, internet, router, and computers – check, refrigerator – check, by the way, he listens this time to make sure it is really off then turns and looks at me. I am standing there, apparently and without my knowledge, with a huge sheepish grin on my face. I’m taking it all in. I don’t want to miss a thing. In my mind, I’m writing this story as we go. He gets this serious look on his face and tells me I can not write about any of this. People in town are waving at him that he doesn’t even know and he attributes the friendly nature of folks to my FaceBook notes. Boy, he sure does give me a lot of credit. 😉

I open the refrigerator door and NOTHING! It was not working.

“It’s NOT WORKING” he says with disbelief and a slight panic in his voice. “I told you we should have tested this damn thing out before we really needed it”, my friend says. Unbelievably, he is directing that shout out at me. It could be because I told him I did not want to fool with all the cords and the hassle of moving things here and there when he first got it. It could be because I told him just to leave it until we really needed it, but who really knows why he would take such a tone. -grins-

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TV – does not work, internet and router not working. What the……? With a bewildered look on his face, heels dug in and tongue stuck out his mouth, for concentration, he sets to work on the problem. In and out, in and out of the house then a few minutes later, da, da, dah, everything is working. He calls me into the kitchen to receive a general lesson. “You have to make sure all the plugs are in tight”, he tell me. “And see this one, this one you have to turn it a half a turn to the right.” (Big Grin) He is really trying very hard to not show how exhilarated he is. He’s convinced I am going to write about this anyway. He’d be right.

Now we are sitting in the living room. My best friend is feeling quite pleased with himself. Then he looks at me, I could see the excitement building. He asked, “Do you think I should go plow the drive now?” All the while, the snow is being poured out of the sky by the bucket loads.
Thus, is a day in the life of my snow happy husband “friend” deep in the Sacramento Mountains.

All kidding aside, I love it when he is happy. He is my hero, my “friend”.

Fundamental Fridays: Show Me Your Pearly Whites

Alrighty now!  Did you notice it?  Did ya?   A new little face adorns my header.  This little face comes with a name “Q-ball”.  She is now an official member of the pack.  A litter mate of great magnitude.  She is all of 4.5 inches high and should weight between 2 and 4 pounds BUT she is topping the scales at a whopping 8.6 pounds.  She is a bruiser with an attitude that is surly going to lead her into trouble.  Age unknown…somewhere between 6 and 8 years old.

As many of you know, my dad passed away mid October.  I am so grateful I was there for the last few weeks of his life.  My dad had been worrying a lot about his health a few years prior to his death.  More than once, he expressed a need for me to take his dogs if anything happened to him.  I said I would but for him not to worry.  I just knew he could out live them on pure determination only. He asked me to take both of his dogs but I only have Q-Ball.  The other one is in the caring hands of dad’s friend.  The other one, Gomer Pile, had issues at birth which left him with brain damage.  He requires around the clock supervision and that was something that would be hard for me to do since I work.  I know she will care for him as hard as I would have.  My dad told the nurses and me that his chihuahuas understood English completely but he could not understand them cause he did not understand Spanish.  He kept his since of humor until the hour before he died.

So far this is what I know about Q-Ball:

She Snores Loudly. NO REALLY LOUDLY.

She grunts, wait, she snorts with every paw that hits the floor.  This is a good thing at least we know where she is.

She thinks she is the boss OF EVERYTHING and EVERYONE!

She loves the ice cold weather.  I had to drive home with the air-conditioner on and the temp was only 48 degrees outside.

She is so round.  I would be willing to bet she is as big around and she is tall.   I am so very afraid to pick her up most of the time cause I am worried I will pop her like a pimple.  Yes, she is that tight.

This picture makes her look like a mid size dog but in reality she is a tea cup Chihuahua!  Doc says she should be between 2 and 4 pounds ONLY.  Oh my gosh what in the world did my dad feed her?  I know she loves the smell of coffee.

She has a wonkie eye and a little neuro damage in the back legs.  (I hope it is the weight that is causing problems.)

This dog is really strange looking and just a hair on the ugly side (appearance only)

She also comes with her own set of rules, which goes as follows:

1. If I like it, it’s mine.
2. If it’s in my mouth, it’s mine.
3. If I can take it from you, it’s mine.
4. If I had it a little while ago, it’s mine.
5. If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
6. If I rip it to pieces and stuffing is everywhere, all the pieces AND the stuffing are mine.
7. If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
8. If I saw it first, it’s mine.
9. If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
10. If it’s broken, it’s yours.
11. If it’s broken, but you are having fun playing with the pieces, it’s mine again.
12. If there is ANY doubt, it’s mine.

And the one thing that really cements her place in our hearts and home is, if you say, “Show me your pearly whites.” she will lift her top lip and bare her little tiny teeth with a smile.  I think she is fundamentally  AWESOME

Fundamental Fridays: Family ……….part 2

WARNING: If you missed last weeks post, This side of the Family….part 1, then you will not have a clue what is going on this week  And of course my disclaimer:  I was somewhere between 8 and 12 when all this was going on so the little incidentals maybe a bit fuzzy but the main events REALLY did happen.

I remember walking up to that trough of water and looking at it.  It was the color of that chocolate bull in the back yard!  I was NOT getting in.  I demanded clean water and I wanted it all to myself.   I was told to get in and get in right then, or else!Gulp.The water was ice cold just like my night!  I was so ready to get back home to my comfy warm bed and to my indoor restroom, complete with toilet, sink and bubble bath tubby.  I was fed up.

As soon as I got out of the tub, I ran to the bed and claimed the very center.  I had no idea which one of my cousin’s was the heating pad; but for prime real estate, I was willing to take a chance.  I was not going to get bumped again.  As everyone settled in and starting to drift off, I realized I had to use the bathroom.I asked my cousin beside me where the bathroom was.  She said out in the field.  I asked her again, and again she said, out in the field.  She was serious.  She asked me if I remembered the little shed that gave me the black-eye.  I said yes.  She tells me it is not called an out-house for nothing.  It is the bathroom.  I laid there stunned.  It was pitch dark outside, the out-house was at least an acre away, and let’s not forget the BULL who helped me get my black eye in the first place.  My mind’s eye was picturing him standing behind the out-house in wait of a little unsuspecting kid. Yep, there was no way on God’s green earth that I was going out there.  I believe one of the other cousins had the same fears as me; because later that night I found myself lying at the foot of the bed again without covers and icy wet!  I WANTED TO GO HOME.

The third day was hot I mean really hot.  We rode the horses.  Played hide and seek but no stick ball in the field.  As long as I was there I was not going to get dirty again. My parents told me after dinner we would be heading back home.  Home to my little world I called paradise.  It is funny, you think your life is so horrible until you live horrible for three days.  We all sat down to eat and I noticed the fan was blowing the air out the window instead of in!  I needed air people.  I suggested turning the fan around but that was quickly dismissed.  They said it makes for a cooler house this way.  I remembered thinking they are ALL nuts and I share their blood.  (we did not know the term genes back then)  Of course, now I know the reasoning behind Grams logic.

That summer will forever be etched in my mind.  I both loved it and hated it, but no matter what, I am grateful I had that time in my life.  After I became an adult, I went back to Grams.  The house had not changed one iota.  The lay out of the furniture was the same.  The structure of the house the same; however there was one improvement.  An indoor bathroom, equipped with sink, toilet and a claw foot tub, genius.  And guess where they put it….on the back porch!

When I looked back for the last time, I saw that little home for what is really was.   It was no more than a little tiny farmhouse.  The porch that I remembered as huge is now no bigger than a minute.  And that big kitchen, small as well.  In fact, I have a hard time seeing how we all packed into that little farm house my daddy grew up in.

I know, I know I skipped D and E.  I will return to them next week.

Until next time