My Glorious Summer of ’76

Note: Since I’m on vacation, I’m giving you a rerun. This first appeared on June 3, 2015, back when I was new to blogging and had about 10 followers. It relates a childhood memory of mine that involved murder and explosives, as all good memories do. Also, the post includes a recipe because when I first started blogging, that was supposed to be my schtick. Then I forgot my schtick.
That’s the trouble with schticks. They only work if you remember them.
Oh well. Enjoy.

Growing up in the 70s was great. I’m not even talking about the movies and music from that era, although we had some darn fine ones.

What I’m talking about is the total lack of parental involvement. Even if a parent stayed home, they pretty much left us to our own devices. It was great.Kids-jumping-and-playing-outside-940x600

Brother and I had it even better, as both Older Sisters and Older Brother were out of the house.

We’re talking complete lack of supervision, baby! Frankly, it’s a wonder we didn’t burn the whole place down.

Though we came close. Continue reading “My Glorious Summer of ’76”

The Suicidal Mice of 40th Drive

One look at that little rodent corpse, the serene look on his face, and I knew. It was a clear case of mouse suicide.

My family lived in west Phoenix in a square cinderblock home, painted turquoise. And the thing to know about cinderblock homes, however unattractive they might appear, a splash of turquoise paint makes them nearly… less unattractive.

housemouseIn any case, cinderblock keeps out rodents and reptiles, and for desert living that’s darn smart.

Although about the time I was 12-years old, my dad built a garage in our backyard.

Actually, it wasn’t so much a garage as a giant workshop/sanctuary. It took up nearly half our backyard and was made primarily of wood.

That’s when the mice moved in.

The reason we knew we had mice is that every so often, about once a week or so, we’d find one floating in Pepper’s water dish.
Pepper being our family dog.

Continue reading “The Suicidal Mice of 40th Drive”

Bad Theology or Bad Parenting?

wp_20170104_14_18_20_proAlrighty gang, our judgment on last week’s Bad Theology post was considered not harsh enough for some readers (though one defended the picture), and I pledged I’d condemn with greater vigor from here on out.

Later, I found myself saying, “Meh. I’ll do what I want.”

In any case, I want you to know it’s not that I’m waffling on this week’s entry. It’s more that I’m not sure how I stand on it.

Is it bad theology, or is it just bad parenting? See for yourself: Continue reading “Bad Theology or Bad Parenting?”

A Poetry Lover is Born

The Family Book of Best Loved Poems. Tattered and stained, yellowed pages, glorious old book smell. Wow, the memories it contains…

On Monday, I sent out a request for poetry suggestions. As of now I have 2 journals, 22 poets, and a number of online resources to explore.

You don’t leave a girl hanging, do you? Consider this my personal thank-you, as well as my pledge to do you proud.

One comment (left by Claudette from To Search and to Find) mentioned her father with two childrenfondness for silly, humorous stuff, reminding me of my dad’s favorite poems.

Dad had a fondness for silly rhymes too, and he would recite them often.

For one, he had a bit of help from Longfellow: Continue reading “A Poetry Lover is Born”

I Pretend to be Daring and All That

So I’m nearly recovered from our vacation jumpand I want to tell you about the uber-exciting thing I did.

This uber-exciting thing fulfilled a childhood fantasy of mine and made me feel gosh-darn giddy and… you know… uber-excited.

I’m going to tell you about it even though you won’t find it uber-exciting. In fact, it’s highly unlikely you’ll find it mildly exciting. You’ll probably read it, scratch your head and say, “huh?”

But I don’t care. I’m going to tell about it anyway because, 1) I remain uber-excited about it and, 2) I think you’re nice and will humor me.

Please don’t let me down.

Continue reading “I Pretend to be Daring and All That”

My Daughter Was 4 When I Told Her About Sex

Warning: This article contains grown up words like penis, vagina, and boobs. If that offends you, then you need to read this article to learn why it shouldn’t.

Daughter was four, Son was five, and we were living in a small town in Colorado. In a big house we didn’t own, across the street from a library and park. Charming, right?

little girlBut just like all parents, I harbored fears that someone might harm my children. I didn’t obsess over it, but I remember that little niggling fear anytime they wandered out of sight, or when I lost them in a store, or if I saw yet another news story– what if it happened to us?

Then the newspaper ran a series of articles. They interviewed convicted pedophiles about their crimes. Five of them, and they held nothing back. They told everything — when they started, how they chose their victims, what they looked for, how they planned it out, how long they waited to make their move.

Continue reading “My Daughter Was 4 When I Told Her About Sex”

Valentine’s Day Getting You Down?

Do you find Valentine’s Day depressing? You’re not alone. According to health experts, sad dogValentine’s Day can be miserable for singles, recently widowed, or anyone who feels their love life is less than ideal. Seeing images of happy couples can be a bit much, especially when you lost the map to your happy place.

Heck, Valentine’s Day can be emotionally draining for kids too, as far as that goes. At least it was for me. Does anyone else remember it the way I do?

Every year in elementary school, it was the same. The students would walk around the classroom, depositing their cards in the shoe boxes each kid decorated with ribbon, hearts, glitter. Whatever they thought would ultimately bring them the highest return.

Continue reading “Valentine’s Day Getting You Down?”

Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty

Gather ’round, boys and girls. We’re going to have some fun today, because we have a very special guest with us! She’s going to watch as we continue to learn how to cook just like Mother! Because that’s what we all want to do, right?

WP_20151006_05_53_35_Pro[1]Oh, and look … here is our special guest! Say hello to Betty Crocker, circa 1973. Hello Betty!

Johnny, one mustn’t scream like that when someone enters the room.  Say you’re sorry to Ms. Crocker.

You can sit to the left there, Ms. Crocker. You’ll be able to keep a careful eye on everyone, and I’m sure all the boys and girls will find that very comforting.

Now, children, please get out your cookbooks. I hope you all remembered … oh dear. You didn’t bring your cookbook with you?

Well, never mind. Here, you can use mine. Just please don’t spill WP_20151005_16_30_23_Pro[1]anything on it, okay? The current spills will one day be carbon dated and we don’t want to throw off their findings.

Now Ms. Crocker very kindly updated her Boy’s and Girl’s Cookbook from 1957 so it would be exactly what our modern children of 1973 would want. Isn’t that grand?

So let’s get started with learning how to cook!

Continue reading “Learning to Cook: A Very Special Visit With Betty”

10 Things I Believed Were True as a Child

Last week’s post got me to thinking about some of the weird things we come up with as children and what we fervently believe to be true. I’m sure we drove adults crazy with all our questions, but somehow we still managed to think up some pretty wild stuff on our own. Of course, sometimes the reason we came up with the wild stuff is because we were trying to make sense of what adults told us in the first place.

Here are some of the things I remember believing with all my heart and soul.

Don’t judge me. Continue reading “10 Things I Believed Were True as a Child”