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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Engineers Have More Fun.... No Really, They Do

For a workplace that is usually quiet and often mundane (but not in a bad way), Halloween livens things up. Oh, I know that many believe Halloween is nothing but all things evil, but I've actually always enjoyed stepping outside myself every now and again to be something (or someone) besides myself. In today's politically correct environment, Halloween has become increasingly more difficult to enjoy. Although my office may be quiet, I must say, I work with some amazing people. I work as an assistant in the Production Department of an oil producer. I work with 5 Engineers who like many of us have their quirks, but being "thin skinned" isn't one of them. A couple of years ago, I made pink zebra pocket protectors for them for Valentine's Day. They tolerate my politically incorrect humor so far without any intervention from HR (so far so good).
Be that as it may, my costume this year was that of a Petroleum Engineer complete with bow tie and a certain social awkwardness that comes with being such a genius. My costume included, but wasn't limited to.... A pocket protector, because you really aren't an Engineer without one. In the pocket protector I had my super duper scientific calculator, a couple of rulers (because Engineers love their rules and they love to hold people's feet to the fire for not following their rules).
I drill for oil, that's what I do
Although some may believe they are not prone to mistakes, I had an old school eraser because I know how much they LOVE to erase the mistakes others have made. Of course I had my name badge, complete with title clipped on as well. In the pocket of my pants, I had a fog cloth to clean my glasses when they got smudged and a couple of dice because drilling for oil is nothing but a crap shoot. A jar of oil and a core sample from the office and of course Nerd candy, tied it all together for a 1st place win and a gift certificate from Olive Garden. Made out like a bandit I did. Late in the afternoon a young gentleman came in for an appointment with my boss who was in a meeting at the time. I offered him a seat while he waited. I was scrolling through the pictures different ones had taken during the day and busted out laughing. I apologized for the disruption and told him we had been having some Halloween fun. He asked me what I was and with much righteous indignation explained that I was a Petroleum Engineer!! He put his face in his hands and laughed and said.... "You're not going to believe this, but when I first walked in and saw you sitting there, even without the glasses I thought to myself... She looks like an Engineer."  No, that's a true story, I'm not making it up.  Now that I've lived the good life for a full day, I believe I can say with some arrogant certainty, Engineers have more fun.

Jellyfish won best costume

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Herding Kittens and the Perfectly Depicted Petulant Persian

It can be a challenge to get all my adult children, their spouses and/or girlfriends/boyfriends all together at the same place and time to celebrate life's little moments. I have found it makes it easier, if we go to them instead of waiting for them to come to us. This weekend the life moment we celebrated was my youngest son's 19th birthday. Since they all work and two of them are in college and work, we were happy we found a time when we could get them all together. My parents got to join us and my son's girlfriends mom got to join us as well. The only two that were
Former squirmy toddler

missing was my brother and his wife. When the kids were growing up, we always carved pumpkins. Well, I say that, but my oldest son says I carved pumpkins while he ran up and down the streets, which sounds a tad more accurate because it was a challenge
The quiet one and his lady
to get him to sit still long enough to do much of anything. Rabbit trail warning, I'm sure if he was running up and down the streets in the fall, he most likely was barefoot as that was his usual attire regardless of how many neighbors called
Some serious tools
to tell me the exact temperature and ask did I know he was playing out in that kind of weather barefoot. What can I say? The boy liked naked feet, maybe it made him feel at one with nature, or the truth of the matter
Very focused work
was, he just couldn't be chased and held down long enough to get them on him and as a parent of mediocre quality, I learned to pick my battle and the shoe battle was one battle I opted out of. Back on track..... We gathered at my daughter's apartment which is pretty dang small when you get that many people in there. My Mother likes to be in the middle of everything, but finally I
Make a wish
convinced her to take a seat, because there was no room for her to be in the middle of. My Dad who has no clue he is severely ADHD, did great. Much like my son, he isn't one for sitting around, but there were too many people in the apartment for him to pace so
So cute
he had no choice but to sit, relax and enjoy the chaos of it all. After a grilled burger dinner and birthday cake, we divvied up the pumpkins, brought out the tools and let our artistic juices flow. My husband went with the tried and true standard happy Jack, my Son and his wife went with a Harry Potter look alike and my Son and his girlfriend did
Daughter-in-law (Love her!)
a Persian Cat without a stencil. She is an amazing artist and did her masterpiece by looking at a picture on her phone. I went with a non- traditional scrolly heart, which I thought was very pretty until my daughter leaned over my shoulder and asked if I was carving a woman's reproductive organs. That's just wrong on so many levels. I worked and worked on it, but every scrolly thingie I carved, did kind of resemble a fallopian tube. Finally, I gave up and brought it home to modify and finish.... I'm still not sure I'm done with it yet, I don't want to sit it out on Halloween night only to be accused of  displaying inappropriate anatomy lessons to the neighborhood 5 year olds. Hands down the winner of the carving party was the Persian Cat. Our family has a soft spot for smushed faces anyway and the pouty pumpkin perfectly depicted a petulant
Persian. We had a great memory making day. When I got home, I felt like I had herded kittens and wrestled walruses, loving every minute of it.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Last But Certainly Not Least

Today is my baby's 19th birthday.  One thing I've learned about parenting is, it's like creating a recipe from scratch. I have no patience with measuring and counting in the kitchen, so a lot of my homemade recipes have no recipe at all and a lot of times I come out with a different dish then I started out to create.... But it's all good. I swear, if you had 19 kids, parented in the same home by the same parents they would each one be uniquely different.  They may have similar traits, shared memories and be given the same moral values, but like a fingerprint, each one would be completely different in design and that has certainly been true for my three. My youngest was a dream to raise. His easy going manner and amazing self discipline earned him the coveted "you never spank him" award.  Of course, due to the age difference between the first two, he was more like an only child so he missed out on the sibling bickering and fighting. In hindsight, because he was so easy, I see that he probably didn't keep me on my toes enough. He never pushed boundaries, didn't sass and was truly the quiet one. Each one of my kids have qualities I wish I had more of. My oldest is tenaciously independent, my middle child is amazingly resourceful and positive and the baby is meticulously organized and dependable. Though he may have been the last, he is by no means the least, in spirit or the amount of joy he bring to our lives. Happy Birthday Caby Baby, I love you more than you could possibly know.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


When I was a little (teenie tiny) girl, I remember the way our pastor's wife smelled. When she hugged me, it was like soft waves of sunshine to my nose. When I walked into her house, it smelled just like she did. Nobody smelled as good as Sister Brown. The other day my Mom mentioned Sister Brown and I went into my Sister Brown always smelled so good rave. I think Sister Brown is the reason I'm so dang picky about my perfume. The sense of smell can bring back all types of memories, for instance.... The smell of the first day of school!!! Every time I took my kids to school the first day, the minute the smell of freshly buffed floors hit my nose it was like a blast from the past. There I'd be, standing in the hallway, reliving every first day of school I ever had all because of a smell. So.... IMHO, how I smell is a big freakin deal. Not only to me, but to the people I'm around, who wants to be around someone who smells like a french hooker all the time. Not me, that's for sure. Even if I don't like who I am, I need to love how I smell and so the hunt has begun. I've been married 32 years in December and in those 32 years I have only worn 2 perfumes on a regular basis. My favorite is no longer available and now I'm being forced to find a new... "Jackie Smell". I'm not one who usually dreads change, but this change I am not happy about. I can't just squirt-n-run on something as important as this, I have to squirt and wait to see if I make myself sick or if (like my last perfume) I want to sit and lick myself. Today I sprayed some Versace Yellow Diamond and I'm waiting to see if I have the urge to purge or lick. That will be the deciding factor, purge or lick. Right now I'm leaning toward the licking stage, but the day is still young. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Miss Pris the City Slicker and Country Cuz


I was online the other day when an instant message popped up asking how my folks were doing. It took me a second to realize it was from a cousin I hadn't heard from in.... Oh, 35 years or so. I was like....
"OMGosh, how long has it been since we've seen each other??"

Long Lost Cuz
"Last time I when you told on me for peeing in yalls yard in" 

Oops. . . I didn't think he was serious. . . at first, so I asked 

"seriously?!? I don't remember that at all. Were you doing it off the back porch or something?"

Long Lost Cuz
"No...I was a country boy and at home if you had to go you was in the corner of y'all s yard"

I was mortified at my snobbish behavior (even though I didn't remember....

"Well let me apologize for my uptight self righteous behavior.... Trust me, I have relaxed my standards ALOT since then... I'm very laid back and non-judgmental about whipping it out whenever you need to go. I was probably just jealous that girls don't have that kind of convenience. LOL, That is so freakin funny. Do you remember when you swallowed a penny in church or when your family left you and didn't know it? I think it happened more than once.... There were so many of you, it was like herding kittens. You fell in the shadows because of the ruckus the older three caused. Not a quiet bunch to be around, but something interesting (if not scary) always seemed to happen. 

Long Lost Cuz
"Oh and blog away!"

And suddenly I was bombarded by a slew of childhood memories I hadn't thought of in YEARS!

"Do you remember when we were little and would all be at grandma's waiting for Santa to come (which was usually my dad) The aunts would get mad at the cousins because we were making too much noise and although they said we were "Making Grandma nervous" it was really my mom that couldn't take the commotion, so they would put us in grandpa's room which was maybe a 5x5 room with the sliding accordion plastic door (there were probably 10-15 kids in there) and they would give us a thimble and tell us to play hide the thimble until it was time for Santa and to be sure to do it quietly.... That is one of the funniest childhood memory of all. It was like packing the room full of wild boars and expecting them to meditate."

Long Lost Cuz
"I don't remember"

Oh poor thing, I didn't tell him, but I'm almost certain he has unconsciously blocked some of these memories out.

"So, so funny. I remember coming to your house to ice skate on the pond and picking up pecans. Do you remember when your sister ran into the electric wire in the back yard. I couldn't believe my eyes. She just took off and ran right into it like she was on a Kamikaze suicide mission."

She had a huge red whelp all across her chest. The weird thing was. . . . She KNEW it was there. I tended to run just a little behind the pack (just to be safe), because you just couldn't predict when something was going to go terribly askew and I was the biggest chicken in the world. And the rules. . . I lived by rules and when I went to their house, there were no rules. Each to his/her own, survival of the fittest.

After a while I think I overloaded him on memory lane and we said our goodbyes, but it was so funny thinking about how different our family lives were. I was always dressed like a City Slicker Miss Pris in my puffy dresses, white laced socks and black patent shoes that cut the circulation off of my pudgy little cave baby feet until the tender skin puffed up between the ankle straps (My fashion hasn't changed much). We were always required to use our "inside" voices and NEVER allowed to call anyone stupid (that was a biggie). I was always expected to act ladylike (which wasn't a bad thing, but can be a little inhibiting) and I would never end up on the winning end if I decided to argue or back talk my parents. Oh the stories I could tell, and that's just the ones I remember after certain brain cells have been permanently rerouted to the table of the Mad Hatter. Where, not surprisingly much of my family would totally fit in (not in a disparaging way). It was so good to chat with him and to hear he seems to be happy and doing well. He suggested a family reunion, to which I sweetly declined. I've gotten to the point I can actually cut back on my therapy sessions, I don't see the need to fix something that isn't broken.