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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Mama Didn't Raise No Fool

As told to Jody Worsham by Cousin Betty Sue

All rights reserved for padlock for  ID
Cousin Betty Sue ( that's Aunt Earletta's great niece by her first marriage) sent me this letter last week.
"Dear Cousin, 
I received an e-mail the other day announcing that my e-mail ID had won the Microsoft Lottery.  All I had to do was supply them with all my personal information and a small processing fee and my check for $1,000,000 would be in the mail.  I was not about to fall for that scam so I wrote them a firm letter.  Here’s what I said.

Dear Abbabaabb Ramikin, President of the Mercantile Bank and Mis-Trust of  Umbasi,

Thank you for letting me know I won the Micresoft Lottery but I think I should tell you that you misspelled Microsoft.  It is MicrOsoft , not MicrEsoft.  I don’t think the Macintosh boys would appreciate that. 

Now just let me tell you up front that my Mama, Cora Lee Robertson Smith, didn’t raise no fool in Pudluck, Arkansas when I was born there on January 30, 1979 at the Saints Preserve Us Methodist Hospital.  She warned me about scams like this.  That is why when I e-mailed you my social security number, I changed the last number. 

As far as the $150 you need to ship my money, I’m not giving you my credit card number either because I don’t have one even though every credit card in America has approved me for one.  Anybody at the Farmers Bank or Bust will tell you that I always pay by check or cash.  My checks are numbered and they know that the last one I wrote was number 2053.  They put a security number at the bottom… nobody would know which bank I use.  You will either accept my cash or nothing at all.

And I’m not falling for that old “check’s in the mail” ploy either.  You can just deliver my money right to my door at 1838 Knutt Avenue, Pudluck, Arkansas 000859 if you are really for real.  
Call me at 009-343-2211 and let me know it is on the way. If I am not home, I am probably at the blood bank donating my AB negative type blood like I do every six months, but my husband Robert Earl or any of our three children, Flora, Dora, or Cora can sign for it.

Until I hear from you, you are not getting any of my personal ID information.

Betty Sue Smith Mobley

Now you be careful if you get any e-mails from some e-male telling you you done won a lottery.

I guess I showed that scam artist that Mama didn’t raise no fool.  And what Mama didn’t do, Daddy did! 

Cousin Betty Sue"

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Stake Out

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Camouflage and Dr. Scholes Gel Inserts

My hubby says I watch too much HGTV.  He usually says this whenever I come up with another grand plan to remodel the entire house or paint the paneling.  His reply is always the same “Leave that to your next husband after he wins the lottery.”

The chances of winning the lottery are slim to none and I’ve already invested 50 years in getting used to this hubby so I am going to Plan B.

Plan B is to stake out Home Depot and Lowes and look for the DIY Crashers.  It doesn’t matter what they want to crash ___bath, kitchen, yard, house, ___I need it all.   We started building our house in l973; it is a work in non-progress.  Last Saturday I spent all day at Lowes looking for the crashers.  I wandered the plumbing aisles looking for Matt Muenster, the cabinet aisles looking for Alison Victoria, the garden section for Ahmed Hassan and Matt Blashaw, and the storage section in search of Josh Temple.

I should have worn my glasses.  After asking total strangers if they wanted to follow me home (well, they looked like the men and women of DIY and HGTV), Lowes was beginning to follow me around.  Before they called our local vice squad and my name appeared in the local Crime Report, I bailed for Home Depot in search of the haters: you know, James Young and I Hate My Kitchen, I Hate My Bath with Jeff Devlin , and the new girl Sara Bendrick with I Hate My Yard.

After hanging around Home Depot for the entire afternoon, the only thing I hated more than my house was my aching feet.  Nobody wanted to follow me home.  Nobody offered to fix anything in my house.  Nobody even asked what I was doing there, so I went home.

After reviewing some  episodes of HGTV and DYI, I came to the conclusion I didn’t stage myself properly.   I should have covered the gray in my hair and put on a body Spanx for sure.  Most of the “targets” were young, slim, and trim, and only rarely did I see anyone over the age of 35.   Probably according to their audience demographics, viewers were not interested in seeing bathtubs with rails, raised potties, and roll in showers for the senior citizen group.  From a long term advertisement investment, they would get more mileage out of the 20-35 age group than the older group!

Personally, I think they are missing the boat.  Most of us Baby-Boomers Plus own our own homes which haven’t been updated since the 70’s because we have been busy working, paying bills, and putting our children through college without taking government hand-outs.  We would have updated our mortgage-free homes in our retirement years except 2.3 million of us are raising or caring for our grandchildren. 

 It is easy for designers to create spa like bathrooms, but the challenge is to make an attractive spa like bathroom for seniors that doesn’t look like a physical rehab center.  To be fair I did see an episode where Matt designed a bath for a handicapped young man.  Plant those shrubs, put in that water/fire feature but can you do that and make it low maintenance and economically feasible for persons on a fixed income?  Can you design a kitchen that has non-slip flooring, accessible cabinets, and safety features that are attractive and functional?

Even if you aren’t a Baby Boomer, there are many adults with Baby Boomer parents who would like to see their parents remain in their own homes, independent and safe, or who must now adapt their own homes to accommodate the needs of senior parents who may be moving in with them.

So, HGTV, DIY, that’s your challenge.  In the meantime, I’m going back to Lowes for some paint and lumber.  Forget the hair color, the body Spanx, and the stake out.  Just like the Little Red Hen, I’ll DIM (Do it Myself.)

Ok, I really didn’t do any of that but I thought about it.  And Mother always said “It’s the thought that counts.”

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Ten Committments

by Jody Worsham
All rights reserved for the Big One

All parents have to deal with the untruth, the "story" the fib, the white lie, the fantasy, or the out right lie. What you call it depends on the age of the child.  After uncovering the actual truth with the youngest, it was time to make my point.  I had covered the legal aspect, the moral issue, a man's word is his bond; now it was time to drive home the Big One.  I stood him in front of an engraved wall plaque that was given to me by my mother, under similar circumstances I am sure.  On it was inscribed the Ten Commandments.

I went over each one, carefully explaining that these were God's laws and were more important than any others.  Ok, I went throught the adultery one pretty fast.  He's only eight.  He was looking at the list,  but I was not sure he was listening.

The next night he was watching television when he came running in saying "We shouldn't watch that show.  They said something they should not have said."  I could not imagine any inappropriate language on HGTV so I asked.

"What was said?"

"She broke rule  number three.  She said 'My God" and she wasn't praying.  She did ot follow the Ten Committments."

The Ten Committments! I think I like that better than saying the Ten Commandments  which have eight rules saying what NOT to do and only two telling us what we should do.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all followed the Ten Committments?  After all if you believe, then shouldn't you becommitted  to God's laws?

The Ten Committments

I am commited to serving the one God.

I am committed to worshipping God and avoiding all graven images no matter what they might look like today.

I am committed to using God's name in praise, worship, and prayer.

I am commited to observing the Sabbath.

I am committed to caring for my father and mother.

I am committed to preserving life.

I am committed to being faithful in marraige.

I am committed to repecting the property of others.

I am committed to speaking the truth.

I am committed to being happy for what my neighbor has.

The Ten Committments.  I think he was listening with a deeper understanding than I was.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

"The Look" or How I managed to reach adulthood with all my body parts intact.

By Jody Worsham

All rights reserved for Dr. Spock, Vol.  99

Having begun the emotional roller coaster ride with my tween-ager, I have often marveled that I ever made it to age 21 with all my limbs intact, considering the mouth I had.  I realize now that being the oldest, I was my mother’s “starter child” who arrived without the benefit of Dr. Spock or any kind of operational manual.  For at least half of my first twenty years, she was a single mom working and raising two daughters on her own.   I am amazed that we all survived.

I can count on half a hand the number of spankings I received as a child.  Note I did not say the number of spankings I deserved.  My mother just had a way of looking at me when I said or did something wrong that would send my imagination into the realms of unspeakable pain and agony.

My survival, I think, was due in part to my ability to mumble under my breath without my lips moving, plus my quick muscle reflexes that enabled me to stop an eye roll the nano-second her eyes locked onto mine and thus avoid “the look”.  I have no doubt this ability enabled me, to vote at age 18 without any kind of adaptive devices.   

My mother would come up with the most illogical sayings and I,  knowing more than any other human on earth, felt I should correct her misconceptions.  For example she would say:

“Eat everything on your plate.  There are starving children in China.” 

Then why not pack up what is left on my plate and send it to a child in China?

 That sentence stopped mid-throat and from her unspoken” look”, I am sure saved my left arm from what could be permanent dismemberment.

“If you don’t stop crying I’m going to give you something to cry about.”

 I think it is obvious that I already have something to cry about or I would not be crying.

 A hiccup prevented this from coming out of my mouth and I know my right arm remained attached to my shoulder in spite of the look she gave me.

“Don’t you look at me in that tone of voice!”

Now look is visual while voice is auditory so how can I possibly look with a tone?

Fortunately formulating that sentence took too long in my brain and from her look, I know my left leg was spared.

“Turn the light off when you go to sleep.” 

Now if I am asleep, how am I going to turn off the light?  I assume you meant before I go to bed. 

While my debate teacher would have been proud of me, a cough as that sentence was about to see daylight, and judging from the ensuing look, I know I saved my right leg.

“As long as you live in my house, you will do what I say.” 

Technically it isn’t your house, it belongs to your mother and are you giving me the option of moving out? 

The slamming screen door prevented her from hearing that statement and even though my back was to her, I felt “the look”, then felt to make sure my head was still attached to my shoulders.

“Look at me when I’m talking to you.” 

Why? Do you think I hear with my eyes?  

That one slipped out and I spent a lovely afternoon studying the ceiling in my room waiting for certain annihilation that was sure to come from the look she gave me, but never did.  I spent the time waiting counting the years, months, weeks, days, minutes and seconds until I would turn 18 and be free to do whatever I wanted should I survive! 

“Who do you think you are talking to young lady?” 

Uh, you. And it should be to whom not who. 

Remembering the exact number of little balls on the popcorn ceiling of my room, I physically held my tongue but I still got “the look” and what my mind envisioned was much worse.

There are times when my children are acting up and I think I must have inherited “the look” because later I hear them talking to each other. 

 “Did you see that look she gave you?  I’m glad you didn’t say what I know you were thinking.”

“ What do you think it means?”

“I can only imagine.”

My mother will be 93 soon.  She saw to it that her two daughters grew up knowing right from wrong, how to make good choices, knew how to choose a good husband, and got a college education and for the most part without raising her voice or her hand.  She even took out a long term care policy so she could remain physically and financially independent in her later years and not be a burden to us.

And yes, I have to look at her when I’m speaking to her and point when she asks “To whom are you speaking?” And yes when I am at her house, I have to follow her rules.  And yes there are times I still get “the look”. 

And I hope I do for many more years to come.

 Happy Mother’s Day!