Friday, August 31, 2018

Cough, Cough

I do not recall ever having such a chest cold. It is one of those summerthings and they are usually worse.

My son had a cold. He did not realize what it was for a couple of days. He mostly was coughing and his throat was sore. It lasted for about a week.

I woke up this morning with a cough. It is now late afternoon. Every time I cough I feel like my throat is being ripped out.  I am feverish and cold.

I try not to cough but every once in a while it explodes all by itself.

We went to the drug store to grab some over-the-counter medidineso I will be able to sleep tonight. And I loaded up on cough drops even though they feel like crucshed glass to my throat.

My wonderful son is making supper tonight so I won't have to cook. Bless his heart.

After I eat I will take some of that night time liquid and I will sleep all night.

I know I will feel better soon. But Oh how I hope it is a fast soon.

Now that I have complained I will sign off.

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

My Family Part 11

My husband and I talked about having another baby... someday. Our two boys kept us busy. My husband was a truck driver, a job he really liked, and money was a little more plentiful. But we had just bought a house and there were some medical bills we were taking care of. So... someday... in the future...

Then one morning I woke up thinking; "Wouldn't it be nice to have another baby?" Our someday baby was about to be a reality.

I was miserable during the pregnancy. No morning sickness. I never had morning sickness with any of my children. But I was retaining fluid and I was huge and miserable. My doctor prescribed something and it did no good.

The state fair was here amd I wanted to take my boys. There was a television cartoon program that had singing characters and they were appearing. I also took my little brother and sister. Not only could they have a good time but they could help me with my boys.

We had a good time. However all that walking made me swell even more.

Then my husband took a new job. It was a good opportunity for him. We would have to move to another state. But my doctor said I could not travel at that time.

So we unloaded our house and the boys and I went to stay with my parents. I slept in a room upstairs. In the morning I would get up and waddle down to a chair where I would stay until it was time to waddle back up to bed. I was miserable.

My ankles were as big around as a 3 pound coffee can lid. One night I was showing everybody how swollen they were. You know how miserable people like to share. I could depress the skin of my ankle as far as the second knuckle on my finger. It was rather a novel thing and it did not hurt at all. I did it time and time again.

The next morning I woke up and my ankles were sore. They were covered with bruises from me being stupid the night before.

Then came the day I began to feel contractions. They were irregular so I went about my business of sitting in my chair being swollen. All day the contractions continued. Mom wanted to know if we should make plans to go to the hospital.

I was not sure it was actual labor so I told her we would wait. That evening while we were watching television the contractions seemed stronger. The only problem was that they were still irregular. Mom began to time them.

Between contractions could be 6 minutes then 1 minute then 12 minutes and so on. The duration could be 20 seconds then 90 seconds then 50 seconds and so on. Mom decided I was going to the hospital whether I liked it or not.

My brother drove. The whole way I was protesting that I was not sure it was labor. I would be so embarrassed if they sent me home. It was my third baby and I was not sure if I was in labor.

At the hospital they took me to the maternity ward. Mom stayed to fill out the necessary paperwork.

The resident doctor told me that my doctor was on his way. In the meantime he seemed quite amused that the contractions were not behaving the way they should. He chuckled and said he would like to see one of those 90 second contractions.

So he and the nurses were bustling around, doing the things they needed to have ready when my doctor arrived. Then a nurse looked over and said, "Doctor, the baby is here." And there was a baby lying on the table.

I had another son. He looked like his oldest brother except that he was pretty from the beginning. He was 22 and 1/2 inches long. And he was lavender.The umbilical cord had wrapped around his neck. It was not tight enough to be a real danger but it had cut off enough oxygen to make him that lavender color.

My mother had finished the paperwork and went to the father's waiting room. She had just sat dowm when a nurse popped her head in and asked if someone was here with Emma. Mom said she was. The nurse told her she could come back to see me.

Mom was a little surprised because at that time they did not even let the father into the labor room.

As they passed the nursery the nurse asked Mom if she wanted to see the baby. Mom explained to her that she had the wrong person. Mom's daughter was not even sure she was in labor and there had not been enough time for a baby to be born.

The nurse repeated my name to her. Mom told her that was my name. They went to the nursery window so Mom could look at her newest grandson.

Like all of my babies he was born with dark hair and blue eyes. The first time the nurses brought him in for me to feed him I noticed a yellowish spot in one of his blue eyes. Cute. Each time they brought him in it was a bit larger. And I could actually see that his hair was lighter in color. By the time we went home my son had blonde hair and green eyes.

By this time my brothers and sisters had begun having babies too. So my son went home to two brothers and a girl cousin and a boy cousin. We have some great pictures of the five of them together.

Mom had just gotten herself a new blender. She was enjoying it and making milkshakes every night. That meant we enjoyed it too. Everyone had a milkshake but my baby. I took a spoon and gave him a tiny taste. He loved it. As a bonus he slept through the night. He got a little taste every night from then on.

As soon as the doctor deemed it safe for us to travel my sons and I moved to the state where their father was working. We knew absolutely no one there but we had our little family and were happy.

I kept a small cup of ice cream in the freezer for my son. A little taste before bed and I got a good night's sleep. One night I went to the freezer and there was no ice cream.

We were used to living in a big city that operates 24 hours each day. In this little tiny town even the Dairy Queen closed early. There was absolutely no place to get any ice cream. My son would sleep and then wake up again. He knew he needed his ice cream before a full night of sleep. We had a rough night.

Needless to say I made sure there was ice cream in the freezer after that. Even today he likes to have a taste of ice cream late in the evening.

My son was obsessed. He had seen advertisements for a movie coming to television.  It was called "How To Pick Up Girls". He told us every day that we were going to watch it. When it finally came on we obliged him. He watched with hypnotic attention. It was a light comedy about nothing in particular. When it was over he looked up plaintively and asked, "What if I still don't know how?" I assured him that when the time was right he would know. "But what if I don't?"

When he was in kindergarten I went to the school for the last parent-teacher conference of the year. His teacher had glowing reports for him. She told me that she would be sitting at her desk and catch a glimpse of him from the corner of her eye and think, "What a beautiful child."

She then asked if he could attend summer classes because she was going to miss him. I told her I would ask him if he wanted to. He did.

Never send your children to summer school unless it is absolutely necessary. His classes cut into every schedule we had. The days I had looked forward to of being able to stay in bed a few minutes longer were gone. In the middle of the day I had to drop everything to go pick him up. He liked it but I hated it.

One day in early spring that year my son was at school. It was a stormy day. I was running a little late so he started to walk home. We only lived a few blocks from the school but there was a major street for him to cross that worried me.

The wind was blowing so hard. Leaves and small branches were flying around. I got to the corner of that busy street and there was my son. The poor thing was holding on to the light pole for dear life. He was happy to be rescued and I felt like the worst mother in the world.

My mother loved to take pictures of the kids when they were dirty. One day my son and his sister were at the junk yard with their father. They came home covered in grease. Mom was in photographer's heaven. It was only one of many "dirty" pictures. My son still wonders if they were ever clean. I try to assure him they were given the occasional bath.

My brother and my sister each had a son my son's age. They were the best of friends. They were constantly together. I called them the three stooges. At one time the song "The Curly Shuffle" was popular. Those three actually had a whole Three Stooges routine that they did. And all of them could do the Curly Shuffle.

My son was middle in age of the three. But he tended to tell the others what they were going to do. My children are not followers. It caused some friction in the family.

One year we gathered at my parent's house for the yearly Christmas celebration. Everyone was having a good time opening presents and eating goodies. My oldest nephew's step-father began to nudge him. We all noticed it but had no idea what was going on.

My nephew apparently did not do whatever it was that he was being urged to do. He was supposed to fight with my son and beat him up. The boys were friends and my nephew did not want to do it. His step-father took him to the bathroom and began to spank him. My husband and I gathered our children and went home. On the way out I told my sister she needed to protect her son.

The boys often spent weekends at one house or another. Often it was my house because I had the most children. I do not mind the noise of children because that has been a constant in my life.

When my youngest sister had her first son I fell in love with him. He spent time at my house as soon as he was big enough for my sister to be willing to let him come. My son hated him. "Does he always have to be here?!" Now that they are grown they are good friends.

My oldest sister and her son moved to another state. He did not make friends easily and was lonely. When she asked him what he wanted for his birthday he wanted for my son to come visit. So my son received a plane ticket to Florida to spend the summer with his cousin. They had a great time.

During that time my other children and I moved to a different house. When my son came home he laughed and said that we had moved and not told him where we were.

He kept growing older as children are wont to do. And he discovered girls. They discovered him back. He had one girlfriend after another. I had be vigilant because some of their mothers would get a gleam in their eyes when my son would come around.

Then he met a nice young girl. They fell in love and immediately became engaged. When they prepared to go buy the rings my son told me that he thought they would wait at least a year to get married. I told him they would have to because he was only 17.

Soul mate is a term that is thrown about these days. I have never known soul mates and that includes my parents who loved each other and had a long happy marriage. My son and his wife are the only soul mates I have ever met. They wanted the same things from life and used the same means to get them.

They have two children, a boy and a girl. My son and daughter-in-law wanted them to have all the things the did not have when they were children. They have pretty much succeeded. But the children are not "spoiled" and are well liked. They are both successful.

My granddaughter has two little girls of her own, making me a great-grandma. My grandson is also married and they have a little girl of their own and last spring became the parents of my first great-grandson. And the family keeps growing and getting better.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Boys Will Be...

My youngest brother has a son who is the same age as my second grandson. They have had a few adventures together. As is often the case with children the adventures are somewhat exciting and, in my eyes, funny.

I have to tell you that I stare at my nephew a lot. He looks exactly like my father probably looked at his age. It drives my nephew crazy and I try not to do it. But it is just uncanny. My grandson looks so much like my ex husband that it is amazing.  So they both look like their grandfathers.

As pre-teens both boys were"into" wrestling. They watched wrestling on television. Often the matches shown only on pay per view were ordered to be shown at my house so they would be part of the group that came to watch them.

If wrestling was not on TV the boys were locking up and wrestling each other. A lot of the children in the family like to wrestle so that is not unusual. But my nephew is large for his age. He is a very handsome young man. My grandson is small for his age and very handsome also. You would think it to be a mis-match but they could both hold their own.

Before Christmas each year I would have all the children come to my house to make cookies. One year I had my grandson and my nephew. We had to go pick up my oldest grandson from, you guessed it, a high school wrestling meet. I thought they would enjoy watching their older cousin who is an excellent wrestler.

It was a long drive. The boys were in the back seat talking and laughing about different things. Occasionally the subjects would get a little naughty but I let them go because that is what kids do after all. And it was not too bad.

Of course there would be the occasional attempt to wrestle back there too. How they thought they could wrestle with seat belts on I am not sure. Whenever things started to get out of hand I would admonish them to settle them down.

Then they began to really giggle and started to talk about sex. I am not a prude and I let them go. After all they were only getting to know what sex was.

So the conversation was about sex. Then it was about heterosexuals. Then it was about homosexuals. Then it was about bi-sexuals. When they started talking about tri-sexuals I could no longer wait. I had to know what on earth a tri-sexual was. When they explained it to me (it was rather disgusting) I said okay and dropped the subject. So did they.

As I said before there were intermittent attempts to wrestle back there. Each time I had to be a little more firm. I was driving and could not break up a fight from the driver's seat. Finally I resorted to my trusty threat of putting them out if they did not stop. They would slow down and look at each other to keep from laughing, but it would stop for a moment.

Finally I said, "That's it! If you don't stop right now I will pull over and put you out of the car!" My grandson's head snapped up, he looked at his cousin and said, "Oops. She means it this time." All was quiet... for a while.

Of course they forgot themselves and started again. I told them they had been warned. I was going to pull off the highway at the next exit. They both paled and sat very quietly as I exited. What they did not know was that it was the exit we needed to take to get to where we were going. I chuckled to myself.

My oldest granddaughter had just graduated from high school. Her parents had a big party. All her friends and teachers were invited along with their families. All of our family was also there. I love family get-togethers. The generations mingling is special.

My son had gotten out all the things that would keep the children occupied. The croquet game was set up. There was a net for volleyball or badminton. There was the trampoline. There was my grandson's basketball hoop. Targets were set up for shooting practice with the BB gun. There was a slip-and-slide for the children to get wet and be cool. The kids' favorite was the go-cart.

I was feeding Cheetos to my niece's little boy. He loved them. It kept me amused because they turned his hand and mouth yellow. Then my niece would pull out another wipe to clean him off. So I would give him another Cheeto. It was a good time.

Apparently my daughter and my brother had told their sons that in order to ride the go-cart they must ride with an adult. I did not know that. I watched the two of them get on the cart together and take off. At breakneck speed they went around the corner of the house, around the propane tank, down the driveway, and onto the road. I laughed as they did war whoops as they went.

I was still feeding Cheetos to my nephew when my brother looked at my daughter and asked where the boys were. I started to laugh because they had been gone for a while and neither parent had realized it. I told them they had gone off on the go-cart.

They were understandably upset. I just laughed at them. I told them they were probably down by the creek where my oldest grandson went fishing sometimes. All the parents grabbed their cell phones and started calling the boys. No answer.

I laughed. They were going to go look for the boys. I laughed. They decided to try calling one more time. My nephew answered his phone. I laughed.

My nephew reported that they were having a little trouble with the go-cart. I laughed. My brother asked his son where he was. I laughed. My nephew asked my grandson where they were. Neither one was sure. I laughed.

The boys were pretty sure they knew how to get back to my son's house. I laughed. My brother told them to get back right away. I laughed. They said they would. I laughed.

After another long wait my daughter and my brother decided to search for the boys. I laughed. Car keys in hand they started toward the driveway. I laughed.

My son looked up and saw the boys... pushing the go-cart. I laughed. They got to the yard and everybody converged on them. Except me. I was laughing.

It seemed that they had gone into a ditch and the go-cart would not start after that. I laughed. My son looked at his go-cart. The axle was broken. I laughed

So parents were yelling at sons to try to find out what had happened. I was laughing hysterically.

Finally the truth came out. They had been taking turns driving. One of them had tipped the go-cart into the ditch. Both of them spilled out and the go-cart would not start. They were araid to tell anybody so they had been trying to fix it. I laughed.

Parents were still yelling at sons. I had to ask the obvious question. Were they hurt. Oh, no. They were fine. I laughed.

Finally my nephew admitted that the front of his hip was scraped and he had a couple of bruises. I laughed. My grandson insisted that he was fine. I laughed. No wonder nobody takes me anywhere.

When the party was over we all went home. I was watching TV and winding down from the day when the phone rang. My daughter was calling.

My grandson had gone to his room when they got home. My daughter and my grandson's father were watching television. My grandson came downstairs and went to the kitchen. They thought he was getting a snack.

When he was going back up the stairs my daughter noticed that he was holding something so they could not see it. It was a baggie full of ice.

He had a huge lump on the back of his head. He was afraid he would be in trouble if his parents knew. This time my daughter laughed with me.

Friday, August 17, 2018

I Love Birthdays

When I was growing up there were a lot of people who had birthdays close to mine. I told you we lived on the prairies. It was cold in the winter. Television stopped programming at midnight. There really was nothing much else to do late at night except to keep each other warm. That is my theory anyway.

Two of my father's brothers' birthdays are a day or two from mine. My mother's youngest brother is four days after mine. Other aunts, uncles, and cousins have birthdays in late summer and early fall. And of course both my parents and most of my brothers and sisters are within a two week span.

But until I was grown I did not know anyone with the same birthday as mine. I always thought it would be fun to celebrate with someone.

Our next door neighbor had the same birthday as me. She was a bit older but very nice. My husband's friend had the same birthday. Another young man we knew had the same birthday.

We used to have some great parties. These were not gift-giving occasions. They were just an opportunity for friends to get together and have fun.

Because all of us were part of the same social circle we would just have everybody we knew gather at an agreed spot. It was a different place every year.

One year we were going to dinner at a Mexican restaurant. I love Mexican food. My husband's friend with the same birthday was married to my best friend. She and I were looking forward to the meal so we had both decided not to eat during the day to leave more room for our food. It is a dumb thing to do I know but... what can I say?

Before dinner the spouses decided to take the birthday children out for drinks at a bar owned by a friend. Drinks were on the house because we were being treated by the owner. By the time we made it to the restaurant my friend and I were more than silly. The alcohol in the drinks combined with the fact that we had not eaten put the alcohol straight into our bloodstreams. I guess it is a good thing we were among friends.

Another year we went to a bar that had a live band so we could dance. My husband would not dance unless he had a few drinks to loosen himself up. On the other hand I will dance at the first note of a song. Luckily a lot of the dances required no partner so we could get up as a group and dance our hearts out.

There was one couple in our group that was different. She could not dance. He was a dancing fool. He told me once that the only advice his father ever gave him was about dancing. "Most men learn to dance to the slow songs. Then they can move in and get close to the woman. If you really want to please a woman learn to do the fast dances too." Needless to say this guy was always invited to any occasion if there was going to be dancing.

That was also the year that I had my first flaming shot. It is a shot of liquor that is lit by the waitress and you are to drink it while it is burning. I have to admit I blew mine out before drinking it. They just tasted nasty.

Apparently ouzo burns easily. Ouzo is a Greek liqueur flavored with anise. Anise tastes like black licorice. I do not like black licorice. Ick!

As always seems to happen our group dwindled. People moved away. They got divorced. Sometimes there were petty misunderstandings. I miss our parties.

But there were other birthday parties for me. I love birthdays and mine is the best.

When I was managing the band they played five nights a week at one bar. To pick up extra money they played one night each at two other bars.  So Saturday night was the main gig, then Sunday we moved to another place, and Monday was still another.

One year on Saturday my friend came into the bar with a beautiful cake and we all celebrated my birthday. The guys in the band gave me a jacket with the band's name on the back. It was the only one ever made.

On Sunday we moved to the next bar. The band had a birthday table set up for me. It was a fun party.

The next night we went to the next bar. Another friend drove all the way there to bring another cake so we had another party. That was the night the drummer found a closet full of old costumes behind the stage. He put one on. It was full of fleas and they chewed him up.

I feel sad when I hear people lamenting that a birthday just makes them older. My birthdays tell me that I have gained another year of memories. Some are wonderful and make me feel warm inside. Some give me comfort. Some make me sad and sometimes I even cry. But they all mean I have grown as a person.

I will get older no matter how I try to disguise it. So why not embrace aging for the experiences that accompany it?

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My Family Part 10

When the alarm clock went off for my husband to get up for work is when I felt my first contraction. I was about to have my second baby.

I was hoping for a girl and I think my husband was too. I had a little boy and it just seemed right to have a girl next.

My husband drove me to the hospital. As always happened with me it did not take long for things to progress. By the time my doctor arrived I knew the time for delivery was close.

The doctor insisted I have a saddle block. That is when the anesthetic is injected through a needle inserted into your back and affects only the lower portion of your body. You sit on the edge of the bed and bend over while this procedure takes place. Rather barbaric if you ask me.

Then the doctor announced that he was going to the cafeteria for a cup of coffee! I told him the baby was coming now. He said; "Nonsense. It takes at least twenty minutes for the anesthesia to go to work." He left.

The nurses were bustling about. There was an intern getting ready to assist. He was slipping into his scrubs as I said; "The baby is here." He turned around and caught the baby just before he hit the table and said, "So it is.'"

From that first second my son was as beautiful as any baby you have ever seen. He had a pretty little round face. His complexion was fair with rosy cheeks. He had pretty blue eyes. He was perfect.

My baby would not wake up to eat for the first two days of his life. When he finally did want to nurse he was hungry all the time. A nurse would come looking for me. When she would find me in another mother's room it was always, "There you are Emma. Your baby is starving." He went from not eating at all to eating all the time.

My husband and I had not been able to agree on a name for this baby. My father came with my husband to visit me that first night at the hospital. He had suggested a name to my husband. My husband wanted to know what I thought of it. It was one of the names I wanted in the first place. So we had a first name.

I asked what we should do for a middle name. My father thought for a moment then suggested one. It was perfect. Daddy named my little boy.

I had not tried to explain much about a new baby to my first son. He was too little to grasp what that really meant. When we went home my brother was carrying the baby and my son ran to sit on my lap. He had missed me and I missed him.

I said, "Look what Mommy brought you." He looked up and tried to catch his breath. Finally he said; "It's a baby." He liked it.

My second son was quiet. Not shy, just quiet. He played and did normal little kid stiff but he did not yell and scream the way a lot of children do. But he had a temper. And such a big loving heart.

We moved to another state when my son was about four years old. In the house next door lived a little boy who was almost exactly the same age as my son. Their birthdays were weeks apart. They were about the same size with that blonde, blonde hair. Some people would call them tow-heads which is a nickname for blonde boys.

The little boy was at our house constantly which was fine by me. His grandmother lived at the end of the street and she took care of him while his mother worked. Several times she would come to our house when it was time for her grandson to get ready for bed. She would just pop her head in the door, grab him by the arm, and take him home. I do not know how many times she grabbed the wrong child and would be half-way down the street before she realized she had my son instead.

One time the two boys disappeared. I could not find my son and the grandmother could not find her grandson. We combed the neighborhood. Thankfully it was a short street but they were nowhere to be found. At the end of the street was a highway. No one had seen them up that way. We were about to call the police for assistance.

My oldest son tried to get my attention and was finally successful. He wanted to know if we had checked the house next door where the boy and his mother lived. Of course not because the mother was at work. The grandmother checked anyway.

There they were. They had gone in for a drink of water and could not get back out.

Money was tight for my husband and me. It was a real tough stretch right then. We were trying to make a go of a business and it was not going well. My son was about 10 years old.

My husband and I were leaving the house to take care of some financial things. My son jumped up and asked us to wait a second. He ran to his room and came back with something in his hand. He held it out to us and said, "Here. You need this more than I do." It was twenty dollars that someone had given him as a gift. Of course we refused it but what a generous act. That is my son.

After my husband and I separated and eventually divorced my children did not see as much of their father as they should have. I encouraged all of them (ex-husband included) to spend more time together but it just did not happen.

My second son sensed that his father needed some of his family close to him so he spent a lot of time at his father's house. There was the added bonus of there not being as much discipline as there was with me.

One time his father brought him home and told me that my son, his step-brother, and another boy had gotten into the liquor. He said' "Here's your son. You can have him. He's half drunk."

My son staggered and looked at his father and said, " I'm not half drunk old man. I'm all the way drunk." I sent him to bed and dealt with him in the morning. Then I grounded my ex-husband for not taking better care of our child.

Then there was the time I went to pick up my son from his father's house. He had been there for a couple of days and it was time to come home. He was not there.

As a matter of fact his father thought he might have gone with some older friends. He thought they might be out of state. I was furious.

The good thing was that if you would talk to my son and explain the logic to what you are saying, he is receptive. I told him how much it worried me that he had gone so far away and not only did not tell me but that I had no way of contacting him. He nodded his head in a thoughtful way. Then he told me he would not do anything like that again. Of course he kept his promise. My son never lied to me, not ever.

This son is the one who always seemed to be in trouble. Not all of it was his fault. When he was in first grade I was called to the school. He had wet his pants. He had not done that since he was potty trained.

I took a dry set of clothes with me and went to his classroom. His teacher was indignant. She had told the students to reach as high as they could and try to touch the ceiling. My son knew he would be closer to the ceiling if he was on his desk so he climbed up and reached high.

The teacher became angry and punished him by having him stand in the corner.  She did not say how long he was in that corner. What she did say was that he had raised his hand and told her that he needed to go to the bathroom. She refused to let him go. "He wet his pants just to spite me!" I took him home then made a "friendly" visit to the principal.

One night I realized my son who was in the second grade could not read. I marched up to the school the next day. His teacher said she was very happy to see me. I asked her why she had not contacted me about his inability to read. She said that a lot of the parents do not want to be bothered. I said. "Bother me. I cannot help with a problem I am not aware of."

Then she explained that when she would tell the class to take out their workbooks my son would cross his arms and glare at her. He scared her.

I said, "He's seven years old! Tell him to take out the workbook!"

I offered to help with his reading. If she could give me a copy of their reader I would work with him at home. Done.

Within a week I also had copies of all the other textbooks from his class. If I had wanted to be a teacher, I would have been. Off I went to visit the principal again.

The principal listened to my complaints and sympathized. He was good at that. Then he explained that I needed to allow the teacher a little time. She was going through a nasty divorce and it was affecting her teaching. Well, excuse me. If she is having personal problems she has no business taking them to school with her. In a factory a worker is not allowed the luxury of an unhappy home situation affecting production. Then I found out that her divorce happened 10 years earlier. Instant smoke from my ears.

We reached an agreement. I was not happy with it because I did not get my way for the whole thing but it was better. And I continued to work with my son at home. The thing is that all of my children are extremely intelligent. My second son is the quickest of all of them. All the school needed to do was try. He now can read very well thanks to me.

My son got into a fight at school. I have no idea who started it and do not care. The principal called me at work. He informed me that my son had been in the fight and refused to accept his punishment.... a paddling. The principal asked him why he could not paddle my son and my son said, "Because my mom said so."

Now the principal knew that he was not to touch my children. Every year at the beginning of the year I would talk to him and make that point clear. I believe in discipline. I will back a teacher if she needs to punish my child in order to maintain order. But no one, and I do mean no one, is ever under any circumstances to hit my children. Then they would have to deal with Angry Mom.

So my son was suspended from school for several days. I took him home where he was promptly put to work. Hard labor.

In junior high school my sons were there at the same time. It was a public school that only the most intelligent children were allowed to apply. They were accepted.

Studies had been done that showed the most unproductive time at school was the last two hours on Friday.The children were just passing time before the weekend started. The school instituted what they called "flex" classes. For the last two hours on Friday the students would do something a little more interesting. They would sign on for a semester then change to a different "flex" class the next semester.

Both my boys had chosen a class where they would build model cars. They usually sat at the same table across from each other. One Friday they were sitting at the table with their papers in front of them waiting for the teacher to come.

My son was known for having a hot temper. It was easy to pick fight with him because he saw no need to control himself. This particular day some boys sent the smallest of their group in to make my son angry.

The boy walked up and made a remark to my son then pushed his paper off the table.

My oldest son saw what was happening. He knew what was going to happen. He jumped up to grab my second son. He reached across the table but my son was gone! He grabbed the other boy by the front of his shirt and raised him up against the blackboard. The boy's friends had disappeared. My other son managed to stop the rest of it before the teacher came in. He may have saved that boy's life. (That is a joke.)

The children were standing in line waiting to have lunch. My son's locker was right there. Another boy opened it and started rifling through it. The assistant principal was there and did not stop him. Suddenly the boy cried out that there was a gun in my son's jacket.

The principal went to take a look. There was no gun of course. But there was a knife. My son's jacket was one of those that had zippered pockets everywhere and the knife was in one of those.

I was summoned to the school. When they told me on the phone what the problem was I said, "That's where it is. (Meaning the knife) He uses that to cut the hoses for the car radiators when he is helping his dad. He has been looking all over for it."

When I got to the school the police were already there. The principal was reasonable. He told me that my son had also told him that he used the knife when he worked with his father and that he had been unable to find it. As a matter of fact the assistant principal had placed it back into the same pocket to show the police and he could not find it again.

They had no choice but to suspend him from school. They would not press criminal charges so the police left after giving him a good talking to. I was told that the school was under no obligation to allow him to return and they would discuss what they wanted to do during the suspension.

I asked them how they felt about letting him return. The principal softened a bit and told me that because my son was a good student and never caused any problems(?) he would be in favor of a return.

My son grew up and became involved with a woman who was older than he was. She had three children. Each one had a different father. Eventually they married.

Now she came from a strange family but I always said she was the sanest of the bunch. She treated me with the utmost respect. And if I ever needed a favor I did not even have to ask. She would break her neck trying to help me. I liked her.

The problem was that she and my son were not good for each other. I am not saying not right for each other. They were not good for each other. My son was as much at fault as she was.

Her children were very dear to me and still are. They are all grown now and they are parents themselves.

My son and his wife divorced after several years of marriage. I still hear from her. She seems to be doing well.

From other relationships my son has a step-daughter that he is very close to. She is special to me also. She is a lovely young woman, very pretty with a good head on her shoulders. She seems headed toward something in the medical field. She graduates from college this year. Now she is talking of becoming a polive officer. She will be successful at whatever she does.

He has a daughter that is 15 years old. She is like her father. Sometimes they are both too smart for their own good. She lives wirh her father She is in high school. There are times when I see features in her that look like me.

And he has a 13 year old son. What a precious guy he is. So smart and so shy. He looks like his father and he will be tall like his dad. My son is several inches over six feet tall. He is already bigger than his baseball coaches. He keeps assuring me that he is doing well in school.

My son looked so much like his father when he was little. The strange thing is that the older he gets, the more he looks like my father.

And he continues being a kind-hearted person. A few years ago he dated a young woman whose younger sister was rather a loner. The younger sister was not as attractive or outgoing as her sister. Her family did not treat her very well and belittled her. My son liked her so they remained friends after he stopped seeing the sister.

The girl's grandfather died. Her mother told her that if she could not manage to look respectable she should not bother attending the funeral. She looked to my son for solace. He decided to help her.

My son sent the girl with his newest girlfriend to shop and buy her a nice outfit. Then he had the girlfriend help her get dressed and all made up. They did her hair. She felt beautiful.

As she was getting ready to leave for the funeral, my son handed her the keys to his sports car. He told her to tell her family that she had won the lottery and had a lot of money now.

When she came back after the funeral she was so happy. She said it was the only time her family had been nice to her. My son was just glad that they had not treated her bad. That is the kind of person he is.

Friday, August 10, 2018

A Bug In My Ear

I read today about an umpire who had to stop the baseball game to have a moth removed from his ear. And my blogging friend Rick at Life 101 in his post titled The Eye Has It wrote about the small creature that invaded his eye.  Insects seem to be more aggressive all the time.

None of us are immune.  They can attack at any time.

I was sitting here at my computer a couple of nights ago. I heard a buzzing noise near my ear. What I thought was a moth flew against my ear.  It then crawled right in! Rather forcefully I might add.

I tried to wait patiently for it to back out. Do you know how hard it is to be patient when something has breached your ear canal?

Needless to say it did not back out. I tugged on my earlobe trying to do who knows what. It was still in there.

My son looked and could not see anything there but I could feel it moving. He wanted to take me to the doctor.

It was night time. Only emergency rooms are open at night. The nearest hospital is about 25 miles from here. It was not the best option. But I realized I might have to go.

I asked him to bring me a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. I poured some into my ear trying to float it out. I could not tell if it was working or not.

Suddenly I felt something crawling on the back of my neck. I had felt something crawling on the top of my ear when I was pouring the peroxide in. I was being attacked!

 My son saw something crawling on the front of my blouse. I brushed it away the best I could with an ear full of liquid.  It fell to the floor.

It was a black bug of some kind. My son grabbed a shoe and squashed it. 

I held a tissue near my ear to catch the liquid and whatever might be in it. There was only liquid. I put more peroxide in my ear to see if that would do it. I could no longer feel anything moving. I certainly did not want a dead or dying critter in my ear.

Again only liquid was expelled. I still felt nothing in my ear.

Apparently the squashed bug had been alone and very active. I am happy to report that there is no longer anything in my ear except what belongs. There are no more suicide bombing bugs. All is right with the world.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Dog Bed

The first Christmas I was here living with my son I was still getting to know his dog. I am not what you call an animal lover. I would never mistreat any creature but I do not need or even want a pet.

I felt bad because the floors were cold in the winter. The poor dog was sleeping on the floor. I got her a dog bed for Christmas.

It is a nice one. It is firm and big. The lining is rather plush. The cushion has a washable cover which is good because after all she does tend to smell like a dog.

Her bed stays in my son's room because he is her owner. That is where she sleeps at night.

When we first opened the box and let the bed stretch out she was so excited. She knew it was for her. She jumped right in and made herself comfortable.

That bed is pretty well used in the seven years she has had it. The cushion is flattened and not nearly as soft as it was. She has had a few accidents in there when she was sick. Even though my son constantly washed and sprayed it the smell sometimes gets stronger than it should..

The other day my son received an offer for a dog bed online. The price was greatly reduced. The bed is a large size so he ordered it. He has been trying to decide what to do with the old one.

The new one came today. It is not nearly as big as the first one. But the dog likes it.

She rolled around on it. She nuzzled the sides and the cushion. She laid on the edge. She flopped paetwayon it. She tugged and pulled on it getting the feel for it.

We decided to find a place for it in the living room. The dog has been happily alseep in heer new bed for several hours now. And the old one is still in the bedroom for now.

Friday, August 3, 2018

My Nephew

I have bunches of nieces and nephews. Many of them have children and even grandchildren and great-grandchildren. It is one of the glories of having a large family.

I was especially close to my husband's brother's children. We all lived in the big city away from the rest of the family.

His youngest son was only a couple of years old when my first child was born. My son has often said that his cousin was the closest he had to a big brother.

The kids spent a lot of time together. My older two boys would spend nights at their aunt and uncle's house. My niece and nephews spent nights at our house.

My nephew was an ornery child. He always had that gleam of mischief in his eyes. He had a knack for troublesome behavior.

I am not saying he was a bad child. He was just adventurous and did not always think things through.

He taught my boys to swear and what the swear words meant. It is not the thing to do but I admit I washed their mouths out with soap. They still used those awful words.

When my nephew started school my sister-in-law had her last one in school. (She had two more daughters a few years later.) One day she was at the kitchen sink washing breakfast dishes. She looked up and out the window.

There was her 5 year old son running down the alley with about a half dozen older children including her other two. She ran out and chased them down.

My nephew did not like school so he formed a "skip school" club. He talked all those older kids into skipping school with him. It turned out that those children had not been in school for much of the year.

When he was older my nephew and I worked together. A friend had a scrap yard at several locations. The two of us worked at the smallest of the three.

We worked well together. The work was done and we had fun doing it. He could make me laugh so hard.

He married and had two children, a boy and a girl. As happens he was busy with his family and we did not see as much of him.

His wife died of cancer. I am not sure who raised his daughter. He had his son. My sister-in-law helped take care of him.

Unfortunately my nephew started using drugs. I do not know how bad it was. By that I mean that I do not know whether he was addicted. I suspect he was.

He spent a couple of years in prison for auto theft. At least he had no access to drugs.

My nephew got out of prison last Thursday. He was released to live at a girlfriend's house. She is a drug user and my brother-in-law did not want him to go there.

Over the weekend my nephew overdosed. It happens to a lot of prisoners who were drug users. After about a day he was pronounced dead.

I will miss that cute little boy who lived life to its fullest. He made a stupid decision and broke a lot of hearts.