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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Raising Cain, and Able to Do It!

in By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Centrum Silver so I can keep on doing it.

I never really raised Cain when I was a teenager, but now that I have a very active six-year-old, I have come to appreciate the saying. The kind of Cain he raises, at least at the present, is more in the realm of bug and frog catching, forgetting to let them go, or not remembering where he stashed them. I'm thinking of investing in Febreze or at least a hound dog to sniff out the location of the fermenting bugs and reptiles.

He has also occupied himself lately with his "inventions." One particular varmint trap consisted of jump ropes strung between door knobs and coat racks and a large milk crate. Fortunately I was able to grab the door frame before facing the crate head on. Traps of all kinds have since been banned to the back yard.

The right side of his brain has not been ignored as he continues to raise Cain with his backyard drums. Now these are not your regular music store variety drums weather proofed for the outside. These are 50 gallon plastic barrels with hardwood tree limbs for drum sticks. The metal barrels are used for his Caribbean repertory. I must say that there has been no need for those high frequency pest abaters since he took up the outdoor drums. When my head could no longer differentiate between his drum solos and the roaring of an approaching tornado, I put an end to the outdoor concerts.

That's when he switched to a more western form of raising Cain…barrel racing or should I say barrel herding. This is not your normal run your horse around barrels in a four-leaf-clover pattern. This is get on your junior battery operated 'gator and herd the barrels around the pasture, bumping and bouncing them from fence to fence. To up it a Cain or two, he involved his sister and thus barrel penning was born. This quickly evolved into Olympic Barrel Bumping and Tossing. When plastic barrels began to sail across the full moon like E.T., I'd had enough. No more barrel anything.

I wonder if Eve had as much trouble raising Cain. I think, with some help from Centrum Silver, Advil, HRT, and a sufficient supply of McDonald's Mocha Frappes, I'll still be "Able" to handle raising Cain.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Small Successes

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for big successes

This is a bonus post. Regular blog will appear on Sunday.

A friend, Sherry Antonetti mother of eleven, posted a list of small successes for the week and then asked several friends to blog-connect (is that a term?) with their list. Here's mine.

#1 Success at negotiating the pick-up and drop-off lines the first day of school. No way was I going to give up and go back home with two kids. I've been waiting all summer for this day.

#2 Success at avoiding Mocha Frappes at McDonald's for one week; note teeth marks on steering wheel.

#3 Success at getting children to and from school, to and from gymnastics classes, to and from violin practice, to and from baseball practice and to and from Girl Scouts. Biggest success was that this was with my actual children and not ones I accidently picked up in the never-ending pick-up and drop-off line.

#4 Success at getting my Wanda Argersinger chicken dish almost brown and almost right. Fifth try should get it right.

#5 Success at doing the Naked-at-Midnight-Bring-On-the-Rain Dance. Received 2 inches by morning. Sorry about the hurricane. I guess I mixed up the rain dance steps with the Dance-for-Extreme-Wind choreography.

That's it. Back to my regular blog on Sunday.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Great Wolf-at-your-Door-Mortgage-the-House Lodge and Waterpark

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for evidence of functioning brain cells

Last week I left home for Dallas with the six-year-old and the ten-teen to meet my sister, her husband, and their two grandkids for Great Wolf Lodge and Indoor Waterpark, otherwise known as the Great Mortgage the House, Weight Loss and Indoor Climb-a-Mountain Chlorine Treatment Park.

I had promised the children I would take them to a water park this summer but it was just too hot to be outside all day. My sister mentioned a wonderful waterpark that was indoors. Great! Count me in. I had not anticipated the need to mortgage the house in order to pay for the trip nor did I anticipate having to participate in their weight loss program. In order to slide down any of the six gigantic-more-fun-than-you-can-imagine slides with my two children, whom I am determined will not miss out on anything by having older parents, you have to climb up six flights of stairs carrying a two man inner tube.

The very first thing the six-year-old and I did was go down the two person inner tube slide. I figured I'd better climb early before the legs and knees totally gave out. Upon reaching the third story of stairs, I noticed there were no oxygen tanks on any of the landings. As I arrived at the top gasping for air, there wasn't time to read all the instructions for the two person inner tube, much less follow them, before the rushing water started us down the never-ending- slide to hell.

Half way down with one leg flayling to the north, my other flopping to the south and my butt creating tsunami waves in the middle, we were flipped out of the inner tube. I grabbed the six-year-old in true Mother Wolf pack fashion and held on to him while banging my elbow against the slide and grabbing the inner tube. Evidently the inner tube arrived at the pool before we did. To his credit, the baby life guard was leaning over the edge, whistle in his mouth and the giant red life preserver tube at the ready when I finally surfaced. As we drug ourselves out of the pool, the six-year-old noticed my elbow was bleeding profusely (dang those baby aspirin) so I had to go to the first aid station for a Band-Aid, which resulted in an accident report.

First Aid Life Guard: What happened?'

Super Mom (that would be me): I banged my elbow on the slide?

FALG: Which slide?

SM: The yellow one.

FALG: Cause?

SM (Because 67 is the new 47?) We obviously did not get into the inner tube correctly.

FALG: Age?

SM: (silence, then) Old enough to know better and young enough to try it anyway.

FALG: I need an age. an age range?

SM: Ok, over fifty and under a hundred.

FALG: Thank you.

That afternoon I told the six-year-old to pick his very favorite slide to go down because there was only one climb left in me. The ten-teen was tall enough to handle all the slides except the Texas Tornado. Fortunately, my brother-in-law said he would go down with her. The six-year-old told everybody quite loudly "I'm too little to go down the Texas Tornado and my mama is too… (he caught himself just before "old") likely to hit her elbow again." The child is a born politician. The rest of the day was spent splashing in the wave pool and dodging water gun cannons.

That evening with the aid of mega doses of aspirin, Advil, Ben Gay, Tylenol, and a heating pad big enough to wrap around my entire body, I fell asleep.

Even though it cost a small fortune, I did lose a pound or two and the waterlogged smiles on the faces of the children was worth it. At least that's what I told myself as I put another band-aid on my elbow.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Egg-scuse Me?

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved not to purchase Eggies

If you have watched TV at all in the last few weeks, I am sure you have seen the latest gadget/gizmo must have: The super egg-ceptional, egg-citing, egg-strodinary, The Eggie! This latest device to separate you from your common sense and money is a plastic egg shell…really! They show you the frustrated house wife with a bowl full of hard boiled eggs that look like she tried to peel them with a weed eater. She has been trying to peel them all night. I figure she is getting paid by the hour.

With this double offered twenty-four part egg-citing time saving invention, you can take twenty-five minutes to 1) locate both the tops and bottoms to the Eggies 2) wash the plastic egg holders,3) crack the eggs 4) pour eggs into the plastic holders, 5) mop up what you spilled,6) fish out the bits of shell that got into the Eggie holder, 7) fill a pan with water, 8) light the stove, 8) place your plastic egg holders in the water, 9) remove plastic egg holders from the water, 10) wait for them to cool, 11) remove the eggs from their holders, 12) round up all the Eggie pieces, and 13) place them in the dishwasher and hope they don't fall to the bottom and catch on fire just so you can peel a dozen eggs in thirty seconds.

Or you could put your eggs in a pan of water and boil them.

As for peeling eggs, anybody knows you can't boil and peel fresh eggs without creating the mess the advertiser has pictured. According to " Hints from Heloise" or "My Mama Done Tole Me" or maybe it was Alton Brown or Mr. Wizard, you always use eggs that are at least two days old if you are going to boil them. Once the eggs have boiled, all you need do to peel them is drain the hot water, rinse with cool water, than bounce the heck out of those eggs in the pan. Fill the same pan with a little water and the shells just fall off. You can peel a dozen eggs in less than thirty seconds without the aid of the Eggies.

Now why would anybody want to go through thirteen separate steps, try to keep up with twenty-four pieces of egg-holder-thingy-bobs, and secure them on the rack in the dishwasher when you can accomplish the same thing with one pan and a good bounce?


Sunday, August 7, 2011


By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for air fare.

As I was filling the gas tank on the rental car, I took the time to program the GPS I called "Tom" before continuing on to Florida. Tom, like the rental car, was designed, manufactured, and shipped by foreign midgets with tiny fingers. It was impossible to type in a location with my fingers without creating locations in Zimbabwe or local destinations with dyslexic spellings. In desperation I used the end of a ball point pen. Even with the correct American spellings, Tom indicated there were no such locations. I tried typing with a foreign accent. That seemed to work. I also had a road atlas as a back- up. The gas pump burped after depositing ten gallons into the tank and I was off on my adventure.

As soon as I left the gas station, "Tom" said "500 feet turn left." I knew that couldn't be right so I continued. Again "200 feet turn left. 100 feet turn left. After one quarter mile turn left. At any of the next six intersections feel free to turn left. Ok, turn left or right, I don't care."

I think I have a trust issue with Tom or maybe it's a commitment issue. I hear what he says but I get contradicting advice from humans, one being my niece who had said to turn right after six miles, then left. She was right about the location of the trunk button in the foreign made car, so I followed her advice. After backtracking six miles and following the road signs which were in English, I finally turned left. Tom said "Finally!"

After traveling for an hour, it was time to stop for a quick snack. I didn't bother checking in with Tom. He'd just tell me I didn't need the calories, the next gym was 162 miles away, or my stretch jeans had reached their limit. I looked for the familiar golden arches or a sign with the golden arches. That's when I discovered signs can be wrong or else I am directionally challenged and turned the wrong way, both possibilities. After a detour of four miles, I settled for Burger King and got back on the interstate.

Now my confidence in road signs and the GPS were shaken. I crossed the state line and stopped at the Tourist Information Center where real local humans could converse with me in something close to English. My ears cut through the heavy accent and listened carefully as the helpful tourist human marked the paper map with a yellow highlighter. "Y'all can't miss it." Since I was traveling alone I could only assume she meant me and Tom; then I realized we were still in the South so I replied in my native tongue "Thank ya, podner!""

At this point I have a l993 Road Atlas that may or may not be up to date, a single printed sheet with a yellow highlighter marking city streets, and Tom who may or may not be speaking to me. The mall I was trying to get to evidently hadn't been built in l993 and Tom and the highlighted map did not agree so I sort of drove in ever tightening loops until I saw a Target sign along with a Dillard's, Starbucks, and other assorted signs testifying to the possible existence of a mall.

After several cups of Starbuck's frozen coffee and before my credit card sent up a red flag, it was time to head for my friend's house. I studied the map. I typed in the address on Tom. I guess he was still mad because he told me no such street existed. I typed in the community where my friend said she lived. That did exist so I committed to giving Tom another chance. This time I would ignore the map and listen to Tom.

When Tom said "Left turn ahead", I turned left. Of course I was so concerned about doing exactly what Tom said, I forgot that he gives you instructions then a 500 foot warning before you are to actually turn left. Had I realized that, I would not have been going the wrong way on a one way street. I safely dodged a couple of cars whose drivers still gave me that friendly universal one finger salute. I pulled over to the curb just as my cell phone rang. It was my friend. She stayed on the phone with me and guided me street by street until I arrived at her house.

I parked the rental car in her drive-way and as I reached to unplug the GPS, I swear I heard electronic giggling followed by "You have just left the Twilight Zone."

Next time, I'm going to fly.