When the Unthinkable Happens

Have you heard that expression before?  The unthinkable…what would you do if the unthinkable happened…I’ve heard the expression and I’ve always considered it absurd.  If something is ‘unthinkable’ would we even be able to identify it, should it happen?  And wouldn’t we react differently with each ‘unthinkable’ happening?  Makes me kind of dizzy…consider the unthinkable – how can I possibly consider the unthinkable?  It’s 2015.  What could happen that we cannot think of or that we haven’t thought of?

After the dust settled from this peculiar conversation I’d tortured myself with, it occurred to me that, in retrospect, I am able to identify the unthinkable.

You see, in 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan, on the afternoon of May 18, 45 people left their homes that Bath Elementary School, 1927morning not knowing they wouldn’t return.  It would have been unthinkable to them.  Of the 45, 38 were children at the Bath Elementary School, where their janitor, Andrew Kehoe, had planted hundreds of pounds of dynamite.  Mr. Kehoe was on the school board, served as the town clerk and was a local farmer.  He was angry over property taxes being used to fund the school.  He was facing the possibility of losing his farm.  So, of course, he used dynamite and blew the school up.  With people inside.  He killed his wife and burned down his farm.  And blew up his truck.  He was inside.  Five other people either in or near his truck were killed also.  One of them, Kehoe’s target, was the school superintendent.  So, you see, if one of these children had been yours, a tragedy of this magnitude would have been unthinkable.  Especially in 1927. Continue reading “When the Unthinkable Happens”

I Cut My Teeth On These Southern Idioms

  1. High cotton – Such as ‘well he’s livin’ in high cotton’. You see, a field hand wouldn’t have to bend over to pick ‘high cotton’. Typically, cotton grows lower to the ground, so workers must stoop to pick the crop. Not comfortable after about 5 minutes.
  2. That dog won’t hunt – This is a useless object, be it animal or man or thing. Ought to get rid of it.
  3. He could eat corn through a picket fence.  A trip to the dentist is required, stat!  Braces!
  4. He thinks the sun comes up just to hear him crow.  Unfortunately, this expression indicates someone laboring under false illusions….conceited…
  5. Bless your heart.  This is code in southern speak, especially for women.  A rough translation is good grief, you’re dumb as a box of rocks.  The deeper the southern inflection/drawl, the worse the insult.
  6. Ain’t that a bird dog!  A good bird dog is a thing to be cherished as a rarity.  This is usually said as a term of huge surprise or admiration.
  7. Lay down with dogs, you get up with fleas.  Said to warn another, usually children, to abstain from keeping unsavory company, unless they wish to travel the same road, pick up the same bad habits.
  8. More anxious than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.  Self-explanatory, especially to cats!
  9. Cain’t never could.  You have to try first to know whether you can or not
  10. Fixin’ to.  Getting to it, as in I’m fixin’ to cook dinner.
  11. Directly.  Could mean anything from I’ll come by/I’ll do it in an hour or a week.  Depends.
  12. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.  Wishing won’t make it so.  Get to work.
  13. She’d just toss the baby out with the dishwater.  Doesn’t pay attention.  Thoughtless or forgetful.
  14. You’d better hush that crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about.  Needs no explanation
  15. When you cut your leg off (due to carelessness in some form), don’t come running to me.  Said by someone with an acute grasp of the obvious.
  16. You want me to give you something to cry about?  I have trouble with this one.  It means hush crying or I’ll spank your butt and you’ll have a reason to cry.
  17. That child is so homely, we had to hang a pork chop around to get the dog to play with him.  This is a very plain child
  18. She’s so ugly, she has to sneak up on a glass of water.  Cruel  Just cruel.
  19. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.  Leave if the conversation doesn’t suit you.
  20. Were you born in a barn?  Said to children/men who continuously leave an outside door open to the delight of all flying insects.
  21. I don’t care if she’s the queen of England, she can eat what’s in front of her or go to bed.
  22. Go cut me a switch.  Yikes!  I hated hearing that!
  23. Ya’ll come back now, y’hear?  Come visit again soon.
  24. You’d complain if we hung ya with a gold rope.  Nothing’s good enough.
  25. Are you sassin’ me?   Are you being a smart mouthed child?
  26. Don’t that beat all?  That takes the cake.
  27. Over yonder.  Just a little ways off.  My daughter actually asked me to point out yonder on a map when she was small.
  28. I like three more.  The word ‘like’ should be ‘lack’.  No idea why.
  29. She’s as cute as a speckled pup.  This is considered high praise.
  30. He’s just plumb ornery. He’s very contrary.

That’s the tip of the iceberg…oh, that reminds me of  ‘slower than molasses in January’…

Hunger in a Sea of Plenty

Do you have any idea how much food is wasted in your household weekly?  The answer will probably surprise you.  My husband and I moved into a smaller home and I hadn’t considered how downsizing would impact my kitchen, my pantry, my closet space.  Darling Daughter suggested I create a menu every Thursday, then make a list of items required on my grocery list.  This was something she had wanted me to try for years, but I can be stubborn at times, and on this occasion I was both stubborn and wrong.

I had my reasons for refusal.  I like being prepared to cook and bake when the mood hits me so I kept a well stocked pantry.  With only my spouse and me at home, this resulted in goods expiring or spoiling before I used them.  I bought fruits and vegetables without considering my husband’s work schedule only to have them spoil in the refrigerator because there was no one home. The bottom line was I threw out a lot of food.

Well, I decided creating a menu weekly might help with my space issues so I sat down each Thursday, created a menu, then a grocery list.  Each Friday I wrote the menu in grease pencil on my board.  It hangs in the kitchen and I enjoy knowing in advance what I’ll prepare each night.  I know the ingredients are there, the produce is fresh, and the cupboards remain neat and orderly! Turn the page!

The Make-Believe Revolution

My generation ate breakfast with Captain Kangaroo and afternoon snack with Mister Rogers but Fred Rogers ruled in our household.  (Sorry, Captain)  He was soft-spoken, gentle and polite.  He treated all people with respect and I don’t think he had a rude bone in his body.

Fred’s goals as a young man didn’t include life in Make-Believe.   His degree was in music composition and he had plans to attend seminary when he saw his first television in his parents’ home.  He immediately realized its potential to nurture and enlighten children.   An idea formed, a plan, a plot, a strategy to inform and educate via TV.  An activist was born!  He would fight the fight ” for the broadcasting of grace through the land”. Turn the page!

Congratulations – you’ve just married the military


You know, after that terribly long column enumerating traits of a military spouse, I started thinking about the next hurdle.  Did I give you enough information to move forward?  Are you ready to take your place next to your block leader and dive right in to company politics?  I’m going to suppose you’ve weighed your options, spent serious time in contemplation and determined the wedding’s still on, so give yourself a moment to smile, take a deep breath and move forward.  You’ve got work to do – literally.

If you’re like most military spouses, the wedding will put stars in your eyes (it’s the uniforms) and a few days later, you’ll find yourself waking up in WWII era housing wondering what happened to room service.  You’re going to spend a fortune trying to make a home of those four dilapidated walls so there’s only one thing to do – go job hunting.  And  I pray you’ll enjoy it because you’ll do it over and over and over and over – each time you transfer.  Don’t fret.  You’ll get good at it.  Keep your resume updated and sally forth! Continue reading “Congratulations – you’ve just married the military”

10 Traits of a Happy Military Spouse

Available from LodgeChic on Etsy.
Available from LodgeChic on Etsy.

Since I’m asking that you trust the information I provide for you, it’s only proper that I disclose my credentials and qualifications.  I don’t want you to doubt my experience.

I lived 20 years as a Navy wife and, later, 10 years as an Army Mom.  I raised 2 children during my husband’s military career, frequently as a single parent.  No matter the circumstances, that’s how it feels.  I went to school parties, band concerts, and cheer competitions alone.  I watched softball, football, soccer and wrestling much of the time alone. That’s not so bad when you’re overseas.  All you have to do is look at the crowd and you’ll notice that most of the audience are moms alone.

In Cuba, lizards fell on me in the shower, caterpillars blew in through my air conditioning vents and tanks drove quietly into our neighborhood while staging mock war games.  I’ve been stung by a scorpion, hit with a softball, bitten by a dog and a goose, and I was reduced to tears when my children were bullied after a move to a new school where most of the kids were not ‘military brats’. But wait! There’s more!

Turn, Turn, Turn

Spring on the Gulf Coast

It’s short…Spring on the Gulf Coast I mean.  The only thing shorter than Spring on the Gulf is Winter…but I digress.  Those 3 – 4 weeks each year are my favorite.  For almost 30 days we can oooh and ahhhh over tulips, hyacinth, daffodils, even narcissus in all their glorious splendor.  The air is at less than 99% humidity and you know what that means!  That’s right!  Women can go outside and their hair doesn’t immediately mushroom into some 1960’s bouffant! Where do you think the term ‘big hair’ came from?

Residents here, those not newly arrived, know to make the most of those few weeks. Yardwork, roofing, outside painting – all of these are best done in Spring, unless dehydration holds no fear for you. Yep, no mosquitoes, bluebonnets rolling out their carpet along Texas highways, Little League, Girl Scout Cookies…there’s no doubt, my Friend, God blessed

Time for Reflections

I’m not talking about looking back over your shoulder at past achievements or huge mistakes. Nope. I’m talking about your blog. That’s right…you spend a LOT of time on it and you still think it could be better, slicker, shinier – yeah, that’s it! Shinier!  Oh, and it could use more traffic, too.  Don’t we all feel that way?  That’s how our success as a blogger is measured, right?

Well, I’m new to blogging and I’ve been fretting over how to gain momentum.  BUT I met Janice Wald – her blog is Reflections.  She’s awesome.  I’m not known for flowery speech, but this woman really delivers when she tells you she’ll give you blogging tips.  I want to thank her by letting you know about her blog.  It’s a win/win.  My hope is that Janice will get more traffic and those who visit her site will pick up a few new tools.

I’ve got a lot of work to do so excuse the brief post, but I’ve accomplished my goal.  I’m feeling good about my blog (Don’t get snarky and hypercritical, this is my perception. No judging.) and I’ve been able to develop a plan of attack, much of it thanks to Reflections.

So, one more time, thanks, Janice!  Gotta go now – I’ve got work to do.