Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Chicken Hat

I listened intently as my ninety-seven year old friend Ruthie
told me about a tiny Bantam chicken she had forty years ago.
"Anytime I went out in the yard, Blueberry would hop
up on my shoulder to ride around the yard with me."
Hmmm.  My son Teddy had just picked out two little hens
for his twenty-first birthday. When the farmer kid picked up
the Little Red Hen out of the mass of chickens in the dark barn,
I fell in love.  She looked EXACTLY like the hen in the book
I loved as a little girl. "Who will help me bake the bread?"
The kid only had one other Bantam and she was gorgeous.
We were driving home on the hot August day from Fall City
with the top down on my little Mustang and I asked Teddy what
he wanted to name his chickens.  He said, "I like Bonnie."
I said, "Well, if you name The Little Red Hen Bonnie,
may I call her bff Connie?" He just smiled and nodded.
So back to me wanting chickens riding on my shoulders.
I pondered draping worms over my shoulders to entice them,
but attaching worms to myself seemed problematic.
Every night for a week I would take turns gently holding
and petting Bonnie or Connie.  I was petting Connie and
Bonnie walked over and looked up at her bff.  I patted my lap
and she hopped up. I petted them while they sat side-by-side
"talking" and then Connie got up and hopped up on my shoulder.
Bonnie started staring at my face.  I was certain she was
going to peck my eyes out because I didn't think she liked me.
Right as I closed my eyes, I could feel her wings brush my face
and the next thing I knew I felt a gentle set of claws holding
my scalp and a slight weight on the top of my head.
I was delighted with my Chicken Hat.










Tuesday, May 23, 2017

My Fat Free Popcorn Made Me Fat!

It's my dentist's fault that I gained five pounds last week!
I got the call he is moving and the only appointment available
is two weeks before school lets out. Stupid tooth implant.
My principal is NOT happy.
And I'm worried sick. I'm terrified of the dentist.
The last implant two years ago had me flying the couch for
two weeks. Every time I sat up my head rang for a half hour.
I eat when I'm nervous and with Terry out of town
and not entertaining me it got worse.
I gained ten pounds surviving the coldest winter in
one hundred years so I bought an air popper popcorn popper
but it eliminated ALL flavor. My shredded nerves had me eating non-stop.
I thought I was so smart to buy the glass popper from Amazon.
It worked great until I decided a half teaspoon of butter would
make ten cups of flavorless popcorn taste better.
It DID! I soothed my nerves eating eighteen cups of popcorn a night.
But, a half cup tasted even better and next thing I knew
I had eaten a pound of butter on my popcorn in one week.
I got stuck trying to zip my favorite Route 66 dress over
my back fat yesterday and had to ask Maureen to fold my
fat flaps in and zip me up. UGH.
My fat free popcorn made me fat!
AND, I still have to go to the dentist.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Mayomo Mi Tee-shirt Porfavor? Most Embarrassing Moment

My face was bright red as I approached the first table
in the Chitzanitza shopping plaza.
"Mayomo Mi Tee-shirt Porfavor?" I said to the small lady.
I held up my dollars and her face cracked into a huge smile.
"When my husband drove over the speed bump the gas gauge
showed a full tank of gas. You see it had only been stuck on E
and so we didn't need to use our money for gas so I can buy back
all my souvenirs which I had returned for the money from you
because that was the last of our cash and we needed to get to the ferry."
I don't think she knew what I said but the younger lady next to
her did, especially when I repeated myself and pantomimed
what had happened.  Soon the one hundred ladies were
rolling on the floor laughing as they rapidly repeated the
story to the stalls next them and it went around the whole plaza.
After a long drive from Tulum to the pyramid and exploration
of Chitzanita, Terry and I had gone to the plaza and bought a
hundred dollars worth of tee-shirts, mini chacmools and onnxy pyramids.
Unfortunately it was our LAST cash so when we got to the parking
lot and Terry saw the gas tank empty he had a fit.
We got out in the parking lot and were shouting at each other
when the helpful policeman came by. Terry went on and on about
how someone had siphoned off all our gas so he went for a gas can
and put in enough to get us to the gas station a mile away.
Then Terry backed out and went over a speed bump
which jarred the gas tank back to 3/4 full.
He turned to me and pleadingly said, "Honey, can you please go back
and buy all our souvenirs from the ladies?"
I told him we could go together but he said he was too embarrassed.
So, I swallowed my pride and went back and re-bought all our souvenirs,
much to the delight of our Mexican vendors.







Saturday, May 6, 2017

My Husband Will Buy Anything!

I wish I could put a block on the infomerical channels.
After Terry's watches the Amish stove one for four hours
he'll ALWAYS buy another one.
You could dress up as an old Amish guy
and sell Terry anything.
We have six Amish stoves and counting.
When the boxes arrive he spends an hour admiring the photograph
of the old bearded guy driving his horse drawn cart full of stoves.
I think that's why he married me. I sound Amish.
One time thirty years ago I was working a flight and
a man asked me if I was Amish because of my accent.
Anytime I want to go out to dinner all I have to do is
use my Amish accent.
Now if I could only find an informericial of the old, bearded
Amish guy selling one of those robot vacuum cleaners!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

What Vacuum Cleaner?

"What vacuum cleaner?" I said to my new handy-woman Pepper Fox.
She gave me a blank look.
"I got rid of it four years ago when I got a job."
Her eyebrows raised slightly and she said,
"You don't own a vacuum cleaner?"
I looked back at her and said,
"When I got a job I got a cleaning lady and she vacuums."
Pepper looked doubtfully at my carpet which had about
three gallons of orange cat hair strewn everywhere.
"I can only afford her every other week."  I said slightly guiltily.
I went on to tell her what I had learned from Alexander-McCall Smith
through his character, Isabel Dalhousie, in his book,
"The Sunday Philosophers Club."
Pepper stared at me with mild disbelief that I would alter my life from some
fictional book I read so I explained myself. "According to Isabel Dalhousie,
people with jobs are obligated to hire people with jobs that help them."
I walked over to the tiny apron cupboard and pulled out the broom
and handed it to her and said with a smile,
"Here you go. "
She took the broom and said to me with a gleam in her eye,
"I think this thing will hold both of us."

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Nixon Family Snow Vacay 2017

I was almost sound asleep when I heard the dreaded words,
"Uh oh!"
My first thought was we had a flat tire.
I managed to sit up from my little nest in the back of
Terry's filthy camping van and peer out the front window.
The sign said: Renton. Coal Creek Parkway.
"Oh honey, you missed the turn." I said.
"Now just stay in the left lane and we can get right
back on 405 but be careful, the I-90 turn comes
up really fast. Now Teddy, you help your dad."
Whew. No flat tire! We might make it to the pass yet.
Last March I saw something about an inner tube hill
at Snoqualmie pass but by the time I got all four of our
schedules matching the snow was gone.
I started plotting and planning for this trip in January.
I decided I wanted one snow vacation with Terry
& the kids in my lifetime and this would be it.
I booked two nights at the Summit Inn and
one shift at the tubing hill online.
Funny, I'd driven past the Summit Inn dozens
of times & never noticed it as I was looking
for the nice public restroom with a fair sense of urgency.
Because the other name for our family is The Pigsons,
we started our trip up at the Alderwood mall Claim Jumper.
Once the buffet had turn the men completely docile,
we started onward. Our trip was supposed to be in my
Ford Windstar, the the day before our trip my head gasket
blew out. Terry's old camping van looked dubious to me but
it was either that or cancel so off we went.
As we got near the summit my eyes nearly popped
out of my head. There was TEN FEET of snow
lining the little road to the ski area.  The sign
for the Summit Inn was buried with just the name showing
 and huge tunnels had been dug so you could enter the inn
and adjoining pancake house cafe.
It looked like giant hamsters had been making tunnels.
My entire life I had wanted to stay somewhere where
the snow was really, really, really deep
and now my wish had been granted.
I checked us in and was told rooms were ready on the
back of the Inn and I smiled and shook the front desk
person's hand with a well-folded twenty dollar bill.
It worked just like it did in the movies, and next thing
we knew we were in our huge room facing the ski slopes.
(As opposed to a grand view of I-90)
With no window screen I was able to hang out our
second floor room and admire the view and catch
snowflakes on my hot happy little cheeks for two days.
I snagged the folding bed from the hall and popped it
between the queen beds and Teddy burrowed in
like one of the hamsters we had all become.
The view of the Snoqualmie pass mountains was
amazing me, even through the light snow that never stopped.
We soaked in the hot tub and laughed and joked about
the "view" of piece of plywood covering the window.  The snow
was so deep it was being held back to keep the window from breaking.
We lounged all day and had dinner at the cafe.
It was a bit chilly since the snow had crushed one side
and tarps had been hung to keep the snow out.
The next morning we were all up and rarin' to go.
Terry drove us to the inner tube park and there were
only a few dozen people for the early shift.
We lined up on our tubes at the top and off we went.
Surprising I'm here to talk about it really because
when my tube went backwards at 20 miles per hour,
I was fairly sure I was going to have a heart attack.
We decided to walk up the mountain instead of using the
plexiglass hamster tunnel moving walkway to burn off
our piggy breakfasts in the cafe. I might describe the
I-90 breakfast I had but I'd gain five pounds again
just reading about it!
At the end of two hours it was time to go but I didn't have
the strength to climb the 500 feet up the mountain.
Troy grabbed my hand and pulled me the whole way.
At the top, Terry took off without looking back and
Troy dashed to the restroom and Teddy gallantly held
out his arm for me to hold to stagger to the road.
We had been at loggerheads for three years so the
joy in my heart expanded with every step we took.
Together.
We were all happy to be back to Kookmore and as we
got to the top of the driveway Terry said, "Uh oh,
my alternator belt just snapped."  We all laughed at his
joke but it turns out his alternator belt HAD snapped.
He coasted down the driveway and parked and we
were all amazed at our good luck getting home.













 














































Thursday, February 9, 2017

Typical Day in the Frankenspine Library

I was panic stricken when my mid-year conference
& post observation ran right up until my 2/3 class.
When they left I had ten minutes to lay out materials
for the 7/8 split for the King County Library System
database extensions & digital citizenship.
Lisa reminded me to breathe & somehow
we crammed a ninety minute lesson into 30 minutes.
Lisa did a GREAT Vanna White at the white board
while I brought up the fields on the from the teaching station.
All 32 kids left with their new access cards.
They now have unlimited e-books, real-time online tutoring,
SAT help & hundreds of databases.
Our 7/8 split grade class does not have a weekly 
library visit and they come for classes 
requested by their teachers or as was the case today,
requested by me.
I truly believe knowledge is power.
Helping these kids to find their power
makes me feel humble before the walking,
breathing, faces of the future.