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Friday, April 4, 2014

BLOG TOUR


Touring with my Blog...virtually, that is!
By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for Unlimited Writing Engagements

I was invited by Libby Hall  www.subourbonmom.wordpress.com to join “My Writing Process Blog Tour and I am so glad.  I think because it affirms that at least one person reads my blog besides my mother.
THE BIG QUESTIONS!

As part of the invitation, I have to answer these four questions.

# 1  What am I working on?  Right now, I’m trying to figure out this blog tour rolling thing.  I have been working on laundry for the past three days and at some point I have to grocery shop and remember to pick up my children.  Writing wise, Wanda Argersinger and I have a book coming out as soon as we settle on the cover.  We have the title “Kin We Are Not Related To” but the cover is the hold up.

# 2  How does my work differ from others of its genre?  Well, I am the Medicare Mom.  My husband and I adopted six children, then, in our early sixties, we adopted our one day old grandson and our three year old granddaughter.  It’s senior parenting with us being the seniors and the parents.  There are two million plus grandparents raising their grandchildren.  Raising children has many universal topics and challenges.  Rearing children as seniors has its own humorous twists and turns.

# 3  Why do I write what I do?  Instead of keeping a baby book on the children, I started writing essays about them and what it is like to be a parented by a senior.  Writing humor for me was cheaper than therapy, didn’t leave a hangover, and didn’t require a prescription.   It will be their inheritance  .  They can submit them to  “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, “As the World Flops”, or give them to their therapists.

# 4  How does my writing process work?  I wake up.  Stuff happens.  I write it down.  If I am stuck for a topic, I just try to cook something.  That is always good for a couple of blogs including but not limited to: a trip to the ER, smoke alarm tests, and/or supper at McDonald’s. The book “Kin We Are Not Related To” evolved through a series of e-mails between Wanda Argersinger and myself.  With us feeding off each other’s humor style, and topics, MayBelle, Mable, Aunt Clovis and a whole family of relatives evolved and took on a life of their own.  The book will be out soon.  If you recognize any of your relatives in the book, then you are probably kin to MayBelle and Mable.
 

JOINING THE BLOG TOUR

Molly Dugger Brennan is joining the tour.  Molly is a Southern humorist who lives in the Shenandoah Valley with her patient husband and four monster dogs.  She is devoted to the Holy Trinity of Southern life:  a porch, a pie, and a pack of dogs.  Read her essays at www.mollyduggerbrennan.com
I am supposed to have two more but most of my humor blogger friends are headed for the Erma Bombeck Writer's Conference.  It's that or else I am alone out there in cyber space somewhere.

Anyway, next week  "The Dueling Phone Carriers" or "Hold Please...and I Still Am"

Friday, March 21, 2014


Remember the Ala What?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for a copy of “How to Win Friends and Influence Computers”

You know how once in a while you try to do something mannerly your mother taught you to do in social situations?  Or you try to put into practice what you learned in that very expensive networking workshop about making connections and establishing relationships?  This is one of those times when I tried both.

My twelve-year-old entered the Daughters of the Republic of Texas essay contest.  The topic was William Barrett Travis and the Victory or Death letter he wrote from the Alamo.  She did her research.  I helped her outline it.  I asked her questions; she formulated answers.  She dictated; I typed.  She printed the essay.

When she needed more words, she quoted lengthy passages from Travis’s letter, giving credit and using quotation marks I am proud to say.  She printed the essay again.  This time there were the correct number of pages done in the font and size required.  She submitted her essay.

And it won second place!  She received a certificate and a gift card.  Here she was barely into her second decade and she got “paid” for her writing.  I’m still waiting for my first payment for an essay and I am waaaaay past my second decade.  Still, I was happy and proud for her.

The DRT representative came to the school for the presentation and took pictures for the local newspaper.  I also took pictures with my i-pad.  She asked if I would e-mail my pictures to her so she would be sure to have a variety of shots to choose from for the newspaper.

I did and I also took this opportunity to write an e-mail thank you note like my mother taught me.  Ok, my mother said to use Hallmark notecards and ink, but this is the electronic age and Mother is now 94.  I thanked the representative for the encouraging words she gave to my child, for running the contest so efficiently, and for taking the time to personally come to the school for the presentation.

Thank you note written in a timely manner….CHECK!

Establishing connections and relationships (I have an eight-year-old who will enter the 7th grade on schedule hopefully and will also enter the contest.)…CHECK!

E-mail address entered…Daughters of the Republic of Texas dot yada yada…CHECK!

Subject:  DRT Award…AUTO CORRECT

Subject:  DIRT Award…Not CHECKED!                                               

Banishment from future DRT contests is eminent.  However, as a proud Texan,  I take comfort in the fact that William Barrett Travis did not have access to a computer.  If he had, the Texas battle cry might have been
                                       “Remember the A la mode”




Monday, March 10, 2014

TP and the Phone Home

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for tin can and sting

I am not one of those people whose cell phone has become a permanent appendage that has evolved through a very short evolutionary process.  My husband, as technologically challenged as he is (he till carries a flip phone), is seldom without his phone.

We have often laughed at our friends who will text each other while sitting at the same table or friends who go to a sporting event, but watch it on their i-phone once they get there.

I have come to re-think the "in-house" use of the cell phone.  I was in our bedroom on the far end of our house doing some writing. My cell phone rang but I had no idea where it was.  A search under the bed, in my jean pockets, in the dirty clothes, and my handbag revealed no cell phone.  My hearing is going the way of my cooking, non directional.  The ringing stopped, so I went back to my computer.

Then our land line phone rang.  We keep our land line because, well, I can't ever find my cell phone.  The children discovered that if you place the phone on a tin plate, it will ring loud enough that even I can hear it.  So I went down the hall through the dining room to the living room to answer the phone.  It was Dr. Hubby in the guest bathroom a few feet away.

"Bring me some toilet paper."


"Where are you?"


"In the guest bathroom."

"Why didn't you just holler?"

"I did.  I even called you on your cell phone.  Then I remembered the phone on the tin plate.  I knew that would get you to the phone."


"Why didn't you text me?"  The children found the highest pitched and loudest ring tone available for text messages.  Even if I can't hear that pitch, the dogs can.  They jump up and down to let me know.  

"I know how you feel about texting in the house."

"Well if you had texted me, I could have found my cell phone."

"If I text you, will you bring me some toilet paper?"

"Yes, if I can find my cell phone."

"Say Goodnight, Gracie!"

"Goodnight Gracie.  Do you still need toilet paper?"

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Puzzle...and it's Not Legos

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for license to recycle

Ok, here's what I have figured out regarding Legos. You know how when we were kids, we would buy a 1,000 piece puzzle to put together and once it was together, we never looked at it again?  Yes, I occasionally would slather glue on it thinking I would mount it on the wall but I never did.

Well, Legos are the younger generations puzzels. 514 teeny tiny itsy bitzy three dimensional pieces that have to be put together IN ORDER before you could complete the puzzel. Now, I don't know about other kids, but once mine succeeded in assembling it, the next thing to do was create your own "thing"...whatever that might be. 


We have "things" made from various Lego kits, pirates, trucks, Star Wars which is very much like the pirate in the Lego Movie.  My child is very inventive. I just wish he would invent useful things like the braille printer made from Legos like that other kid did.  Creative, practical, and with the potential of financing his future Lego purchases.

My child takes playing with his Legos in spurts. Just let me put away a toy, any toy, that he hasn't played with in six months,  and that is the first thing he will drag out if he ventures up to the attic.  It's like he had never seen or played with the toy before.

This gives me an idea. I think I will toy-nap on the sly and next Christmas I will just give him a treasure map to lost and forgotten toys.  Hey,  it's creative, inventive, and cheap.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Lego Wars


By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Diplomatic Immunity

My eight-year-old purchased a Lego set with the Christmas gift cards he had received.  I would have preferred that he purchase a small country instead, but he wanted Legos.  When he got home, he piled all 514 pieces on a dinner plate and proceeded to separate them out.

“Have fun!” and I left to take the twelve-year-old to ballet class; then I would have another Wal-Mart walk-about while I waited.  When we returned home, I found the eight-year-old with frustration streaming down his face.  With my teeth artfully imbedded in my tongue “I told you not to get such a complicated toy” came out as “I bet your sister can assemble that in no time.  Want her to try?”

With the pre-teen throwing dartful glances at me, I whisked the eight-year-old to the kitchen for the universal magic cure-all…chocolate and Diet Coke.  With caffeine and endorphins coursing through his veins, he raced outside and up a tree while his sister assembled micro Lego dots.

An hour later, the eight-year-old once again came running in with anger streaming down his face.

“She put my Super Secret Police all terrain SWAT mobile together, then took three pieces off and won’t tell me which ones they are,” said a little future-hubby-without-a-clue.  I bit my tongue, again.

“Well I spent a whole hour putting that thing together when I could have been doing something really important like texting my bff" came from the future-wife-in-training.
 My teeth attacked my tongue.

“Wid  ooo ahwebble it an hi wee pieces wike he ed?”  My tongue had doubled in size.

Translation:  “Did you assemble it then hide three pieces like he said?”

“Yes, but he wouldn’t come down out of the tree to even look at it after I spent all that time putting it together."

At that point Dr. Hubby entered the playroom.  He spoke not a word but went straight to work and scooped up all the logo pieces and turned with a jerk.   Sorry, wrong season...poem.

He placed the logos in the center of the table and declared it the DMZ.  Eight-year-olds to the north, twelve-year-olds to the south.  It didn’t matter.  The eight-year-old had already lost interest and retreated to the tree and the twelve-year-old had gone to her room for uninterrupted texting.  I was in the kitchen soaking my tongue in a glass of flavored alcohol and ice.  Hubby followed close behind looking for his universal tranquilizers: “Where’d you hide the Snickers?  Not even any chocolate bars left? Who drank all my Dr. Peppers? “

With the Lego Truce in effect, I am once again going to Wal-Mart.   I will avoid the Lego aisle.  I don’t think I could resist the temptation. With my current frame of mine and swollen tongue, tomorrow’s lead story on CNN might be “Wabbit Woman Wacks Wego aisle.” 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Leg-oooooooo Noooooo!



By Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for First Aid

I am what you call a Wal-Mart frequent shopper/walker.  My face appears on their security tape entering and leaving their store more often than anyone in town.  It is not that I am an avid shopper; it’s just that I find myself with many separate hours to kill while I wait for ballet lessons, violin lessons, Boy Scouts, basketball or whatever to be over.   Because of this, I am acutely aware of their clearance aisles and their ever changing rotation and migration of merchandise and have a closet similar to a Wal-Mart warehouse.

At Christmas, not trusting anyone over four feet five inches, the eight-year-old had me put his many Wal-Mart gift cards in the safe.  This served a dual purpose. It prevented impulse buying on his part, and I could see which defective toys made it back to the return counter at Wal-Mart after Christmas.  On one of my recent walking tours, I noticed all the Christmas junk toys were gone, and the good stuff like Legos, were now being marked down.  Time to retrieve the boy and the gift cards.

As the Wal-Mart greeter called me by name, we headed for the toy aisle.   As usual, the clearance Legos were Legos no one wanted.  The eight-year-old headed straight for the good stuff.  When he showed me the box, three things immediately jumped out at me, first the price.  When did a toy cost as much a mid-size compact?  Second, how can 512 Legos fit into such a small package?  And third, why was a grenade wired to the box? 

I had promised myself that I would bite my tongue before I said anything negative about his selection.  It was his money, his choice, his Lego.  With my teeth clamped tightly on my tongue, he put his selection in the shopping cart. Why is it that every Wal-Mart has at least one cart with a wheel that is locked, lopsided, or lists to the left and I always end up with that one? We lurched toward the checkout stand with the loaded Legos.
 
As the cashier scanned and removed the detonating device from the Lego box, the eight-year-old pulled out his gift cards.  Card number one had either been next to my cell phone or had been used and forgotten because it was blank.  I bite my tongue.  Card number two was ok as was card three and four and my tongue began to swell. Card number five was for McDonald’s and so could not be used to purchase Legos, and card number six completed the purchase with $5.22 to spare.
 
“What’s the matter Mom? Are you crying?” 

“No, just bit my tongue.”
Next week, The Lego Wars
 

Monday, February 10, 2014

"Thar She Blows!"


By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for WD40

When the shipboard intercom blares out "Whales on the starboard bow," I don't want everyone on the cruise ship turning to look at me.  We are taking a cruise in four months for our 50th wedding anniversary and I must admit (mirrors don't lie so I have to admit it) I have known a few cheeseburgers, known as in the Biblical sense.


So I once again dusted off the "Sweating to the Oldies" DVD and vowed I would not miss a day until my ship comes in and we leave on it.  You would think my family would be supportive since, sans 50 pounds, I would have more energy to take care of them.  Not so.

The very first day of “Sweating to the Oldies”, right in the middle of "Peggy Sue", the eight-year-old walks into the den and quips "I don't even know how to respond to this."  The next day at the beginning of "Am not No Mountain High Enough" as I was groaning and attempting to ratchet my left leg out straight with the floor, Dr. Hubby rushes in to ask if I had fallen. Ok, you might count that as supportive, but I think it was concern for the tiled floor.

I have sweated to the oldies for seven days now. The only difference that I have noticed is that I have a few thousand more muscles than I remember having in my twenties and they are all telling me exactly where they are and to what major body part they are connected to.  Also the beat to "Wipe Out" seems to be accentuated by the crunching of shoulder bone against shoulder bone.  The knee bones get into the act about the middle of "He's a Rebel" which I have renamed "He's a Rebel and My Whole Body Knows It".

Since I refuse to wear a “granny” bathing suite with a skirt, I will have to keep sweating to the old and moldies. 

Whale sightings are going to be likely on this upcoming cruise.  I just don’t want to be one of them.