Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Country Mouse, City Mouse

Anybody remember this book?



I grew up in the country.

When I was a kid, I wished I lived in a development with paved roads so I could ride a bike and have friends close by.  Now that I am adult, I appreciate living in the country and have no desire to ever leave.  Or to have neighbors that I can see.

We have lived in our house for 21 years, and we finally have a neighbor we can see.  It's a little cabin behind our barn that was built by a lady who lives in Annapolis and will use it as her weekend getaway.  It has taken a little attitude adjustment on our part, but she is a very nice lady and probably the best neighbor one could have.

Last week, she sent me a text:
"Could you tell me what those birds are that come in a group and look like geese, but they're not?"

Me:
Those would be turkeys.  Wild turkeys.

My country brain cannot fathom not knowing what a wild turkey looks like.  We see them all the time and I guess we take it for granted, because apparently this is a new experience for our city neighbor.

Still, I can't help but think.....I don't live in India, but I know what an elephant looks like.   I don't live in the North Pole, but I think I'd recognize a polar bear.  I don't live in Arizona, but I think if I saw a roadrunner, I'd know what it was.  And so on.

Who doesn't know what a turkey looks like?  Mind you, this lady is not a dumb person by any means. She is educated and I would guess well traveled. and well read.  And she is not sure what those birds are that come in a group and look like geese, but they're not.

Needless to say, we got a good chuckle out of that one.

I can't wait to see what else we can learn from each other.
She chose the lot behind us because she wanted to be close to the donkeys and the goats.
It's not summer yet and I have a small idea she doesn't realize how many flies there are when you have 3 donkeys and 7 goats.
It's why our house is not close to our barn.
But hers is.
Welcome to the country, City Mouse.

PS - City Mouse, if you ever read this, please know that we really do think you are a lovely person. I'm sure if we came to your neck of the woods, we would be lost.  So I guess we're even.  Gobble, gobble.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

It's hard to do 2 things at one time

I wrote this in January and I forgot to hit Publish.  I'm already killing it this year.

I went to the gym yesterday.

It was the second Monday of the New Year, so we are all still ready to keep our resolutions to be healthier and happier in 2016.

I am already healthy.

I am already happy.

Why do I want to be healthier AND happier?

Can't I just be content?

Here's the kicker with being content:  it also sounds a lot like doing nothing.

If I want to change my health, I have to make changes to my diet and to my physical activity.

If I want to change my happiness, I have to make changes in my heart. 

I don't really want to change what I eat.  I like eating donuts.  And french fries.  

I don't really want to change my heart.  I like being bitter.  And angry.

I like to pretend I want to.  I go to the gym.  I eat salad.  I smile.  I say nice things to people.

But I really don't want to change, because I want the change without the work.  

It's hard.

It takes a long time.

It might not turn out the way I want.

And the list goes on.

I am content.

Liar.

Liar.

Pants on Fire.

It's like you darned if you do and you're darned if you don't.

I mean, I am very thankful for my health and for all of the wonderful things in my life. Sometimes it seems like wanting more is ungrateful in some way.

But on the other hand (said in the voice of Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof and while we're on that subject, I hope when Alaina gets married she lets me be seated while this song is played on the piano)....on the other hand, being a good steward of what you've been blessed with also includes increasing/taking care of what you've been given, n'est pas? (insert Parable of the Talents lesson here)

I guess it's both.   It's hard to do 2 things at one time.
Like chew gum and walk.
Or talk and drive.
Or drink a slurpee and do a cartwheel.
Being content but also striving to be better.

And, if you haven't gotten enough Fiddler on the Roof for today, here's the Sabbath Prayer since today is Sunday.  They don't really sing until about 4 minutes in, but I think it's worth listening to.







Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Blizzard of 2016 and the Don

So we got 40 inches of snow last Friday/Saturday.

Kind of a big deal. (lol to the one person who will get that joke)

Today is Wednesday, January 27th.  It's also Superfrydad's birthday.  I made biscuits & sausage gravy for breakfast.  That's probably the extent of his celebration because he's not really much on cake.  But this post is not about him.  (He is 44, if you were wondering.)

We got many warnings that this storm had the potential to be a massive amount of snow & blizzard like conditions.  It didn't start until Friday afternoon, but I got my milk & bread on Tuesday & I am glad I did.  Local grocery stores were wiped out. There were no shovels to be found and I think probably a lot of donuts & wine were purchased.

Friday morning I called my grandmother, aka the Don (read about that here),   I knew she would be alone and I asked her if she wanted to come and stay with us.

She said no.

So I told her to pack her bag because we might come and take her by force.

She said she'd think about it and call me back.

So I said ok.

Only the Don can be threatened to be kidnapped and then make you wait to see if it's ok with her.

So after a little while she called back and said her bag was packed & to come and pick her up.

So we did.  She had her giant shopping bag filled, her crossword puzzle packed, and her flip phone charged.  We grabbed a 6 pack of mini cans of Schweppe's ginger ale, and out the door we went. (She likes Schweppe's because "it's caffeine free and I think it tastes better".  I don't know if she knows that all gingerale is caffeine free, but felt it was best to nod and agree that Schweppe's is clearly a superior ginger ale.)

We have a woodstove in our basement where we watch TV.  I generally stay upstairs because I'm fat & am always hot.  As in sweaty hot, not sexy hot.  Just wanted to clarify in case you were confused.

Anyway.

The Don is always cold.  She's thin & she's almost 84.  So we had to keep the stove cranking.  She sat by the stove in her sweatshirt, fuzzy slippers, and fuzzy blanket on her legs pretty much the whole time.  We watched the Game Show Network, which she does not have, but we might have to get her for her birthday.  She likes Family Feud with Steve Harvey and we also watched Deal or No Deal a lot.  

I thought the Don would  get antsy & want to go home.  I figured she would not be able to sleep in Superfrykid's bed.  But she actually had a good time and said she wanted to take the bed & comforter home with her.  We played Scrabble & Sorry, both of which she claimed to never have played.  I'm not so sure.

The Don & Superfrykid playing Sorry.  The Don won. 


She told us lots of different stories from her "other lifetimes" as she calls them.  We watched The Unsinkable Molly Brown starring Debbie Reynolds and we also watched Frozen, which the Don had never seen.

Side note:  At the end when Prince Hans goes to kiss Anna & then says, "Oh Anna. If only there was someone out there who did love you", the Don hissed, "What a cad!".

The funniest thing that happened was on the first night.  I was in the bedroom folding clothes & Superfrykid & the Don were out on the couch.  Superfrykid was showing her a game on her Kindle. Then I heard them both giggling and then a pause, and then more giggling, another pause, and so on.  I walked out to see what they were laughing at and it was a fart app.  Superfrykid would select a different fart noise and they would both crack up.  I wish I had a hidden camera.  It was hilarious.

The Don & Superfrykid


I'll be glad to see the snow go, but seeing the Don walk out & get into Superfrydad's truck brought a little tear to my eye.

Someone posted this on facebook & we watched it together.  She said it was true, and I think it's a good reminder to all of us that it's what is on the inside that matters.


Wednesday, January 6, 2016

40 is the new 30

Yesterday was my birthday.

Yesterday was my 40th birthday.

It just feels like a regular day.

Last year at this time, I wanted to lose 40 pounds by the time I turned 40.  Yeah, that didn't happen. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Bonus points if you know who this is and how to say it.
I feel obligated to pause & reflect on my life because isn't that what people do when they turn 40?

Forrest Gump's momma said "Life is like a box of chocolates....".

As much as I love chocolate, I always kind of think of life like a river.

Some people are born & get thrown in the river to sink or swim.

Some people ride down the river in an inflatable raft, holding a coozie of Mountain Dew.

Some on a dinghy.  Bet you know some of those.

Some on a sailboat, going where the wind takes them.

Some on a yacht.  I don't know any of those.  They're out of my circle.

I'm not sure what kind of vessel I'm on.

Probably a row boat, trying to row, row, row, when all I really need to do is let the river carry me.   I've been through some whirlpools, spinning and spinning and almost going down into the black hole in the center.  Sometimes the river is calm and I feel like I'm not going anywhere.  Sometimes I feel like I'm going over Niagra falls in a barrel.  That's fun.

Anyway, I don't know where this river will be winding this year, but after 40 of them, I think I'll just lean back and try to enjoy the ride.

Happy 2016.






Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Pass It On-goat edition

So yesterday I shared this post about Superfrykid's goat.

In a very short period of time, we raised $350 of our $500 goal.

For a dead goat.

A dead goat, people.

So here's the deal:  I said I would donate any money above that to a real person who actually has a bigger problem than a dead goat.

That person is a little girl named Lorelei.
She lives in my hood  in my local area.  I know her bus driver.
I do not know her or any of her family.
But I've seen her gofundme page on the facebook pages of some of my friends.

I have not given to her gofundme page for lots of reasons.
Here are a few:

I don't generally give to strangers because I'm never sure if it's a legit thing.
This is a real person in OUR community.  I'm pretty sure most people reading this blog are local.

I have never donated on gofundme because I'm kind of old and wary of newfangled fads, especially ones that involve computers and money.
But I got over that because I've since learned computers are not the devil and gofundme is a proven and secure way to donate.

I am stingy with my money and feel like they've already raised a good bit, so what difference does my $20 make?
Ouch, this one hurts because it's so true.  Let's face it, none of us feel rich.  But compared to the rest of the world, we are.  How many of us spend $20 at Chikfila and don't blink an eye?  Or $100 at Target and can't even remember what we bought? What if it was your kid?  A small donation, especially an anonymous one, I would imagine gives encouragement that is priceless. 

My point is, if people donate for my kid's 4H goat that died, why can't we donate to a little girl undergoing cancer treatment?

When I picked up Superfrykid from 4H Camp, the parents watched as the kids sat around the campfire for their closing ceremony.  They sang lots of silly songs, but they also sang "Pass It On".  I remember singing it at church as a kid and a teenager.  But the words still ring true.....it only takes a spark to get a fire going.

So light your little spark and get a fire going.  A good fire, not a wildfire that burns down houses.  Donate to GOATFundMe, where any money over $500 will go to the Hahn family fund.  Or if giving to GOATFundMe gets your goat.....get it?  Gets your goat?  You gotta admit you grinned a little.  But if giving to GOATFundMe gets your goat, make a donation to the Hahn Family directly.  Because Lorelei could be your daughter, or mine, or your niece or your neighbor.  Wait a minute.  She is our neighbor.  You know what that means.  Love your neighbor.  Don't make me get out my matches to spark your fire.

Donate to GOATFundMe here.
Donate to Hahn Family here.




Monday, July 6, 2015

GOatFundMe

Superfrykid just got back from 4H Camp.

While she was at camp, her 4H goat, Roscoe, got sick.

The vet came to our house, gave it some shots and it perked up.

Then it unperked.

Then we picked her up from 4H Camp.

Then the goat died.

So yesterday at the Fry house wasn't a very good day.

Superfrydad was not happy at all.

Mostly because he's a big softy on the inside and he was sad that the goat died.

But also because we've spent a good bit of money and time on this project and the youth fair is about 4 weeks away.  So now it's all for nothing.

Or maybe not.

Because a friend mentioned GOatFundMe.

It's like GoFundMe, only it's for goats.

GOatFundMe is a way for family, friends, and the community to show support for Superfrykid. Donations will go to covering the cost of the goat, the feed, and the vet bill.

If you'd like to make a contribution, it is not tax deductible, but it could make Superfrydad half-smile, which pretty much amounts to a small miracle.  So become a miracle worker today and give to GOatFundMe.

Superfrykid and the late Roscoe

Update:  Here is the link for GOATFundMe.






Monday, June 29, 2015

Mixtape Review

So, remember I made those tshirts for the Mixtape festival?
I made them in February and we finally got to wear them yesterday!

Bottom left is supposed to be "LOVE"
We left 20 minutes late because it takes a long time to pose properly for candid pics.


See how our shirts match the sign????? Except the sign is orange, which I hear is the new black.

So here's the recap of the concert for you:

Salt N Pepa opened - we only caught the last bit because we were a little late, but they sounded really good! And we heard Push It, which is the quintessential song from them.

Then rain and a little wind.  And a break between acts.  

Then Sugar Ray.  Confession:  I thought Sugar Ray was the lead singer's name.  It's not.  His name is Mark McGrath.  I thought that was a motocross racer.  But that's actually Jeremy McGrath.  It was raining and I was sitting on a garbage bag.  I didn't want to stand up for Sugar Ray because I didn't want my garbage bag to get wet for my least favorite act of the show, plus I thought I might be tired later and want to sit down on a dry seat.  But quickly I realized that to fully enjoy MixTape, one must stand up and sing along.  So I did.  And they did some covers of other songs that were fun and actually, they were pretty good.  And it was raining really hard and he was wearing white pants. Props to Mr. McGrath.

Then rain and a little more wind.  And another break between acts.

Then Nelly.  Nelly likes to talk instead of sing.  Well, he doesn't really sing when he sings either. But I give props to Nelly because it was raining really hard when he performed and he went on with the show, which is more than I can say for TLC.

TLC decided to not perform and word in the cheap seats was that it was due to the weather.  I guess TBoz and Chilli (with 2 l's, not to be confused with chili, the spicy, meaty stew eaten with cornbread)....I guess they only sing about waterfalls in the studio.  When actual water falls, they're out.  Boooooo, TLC, booooo.  You are old, but you're not made of sugar and if Salt N Pepa can get out there, so can you.  I was really hoping for a hologram of Left Eye, but I guess I should have just hoped for the living members to actually appear.  Very disappointing.  Crazy, Sexy, NOT Cool.  At the very least, you could have skyped a song or two from your tour bus and just told us the truth.  "Dear fans, we don't want to get wet.  Our weaves are very expensive and we have 2 more concerts in Canada beginning tomorrow, which means we cannot get our hair wet today."  

The line-up online showed that Vanilla Ice was the opening act, but he had not performed yet.  We wondered if he had gotten himself arrested again for stealing plywood or shingles again.  There was another wait, so we decided to brave the bathroom line.  It was long and slightly disgusting because of the smell from the crabcake vendor nearby, but we made it.  

Then it was time for the main event, NKOTB.  They were about 50/50 for me.  

On the negative side:
  • They sang a good many slow songs, which aren't much fun when you don't have someone to slow dance with. 
  • There was a lot of pelvic thrusting.  One or two is fine.  10 in a row as a feature in the opening song is a little off putting.  Maybe it's just me.  

On the positive side:
  • They sang the classics and they shot confetti.  
  • They had a quick change cam, which was kind of funny.  More subtle and classier than the pelvic thrusts, imo.  
  • A shirtless Joey sang a cover of the Eurythmics' "Sweet Dreams".  I would have put this in the negative column, because he was my least favorite and his performance was not only shirtless, but included a push up.  However, his voice sounded good, his hair looks much better now and I like the Eurythmics, so I decided it was a positive.
  • The dance moves.  NKOTB is kind of like the Temptations.  Smooth moves at the back up mics.  And lots of show choir-ish hand gestures.  
  • Vanilla Ice came out in the middle of the NKOTB set and performed.  I had forgotten about Go Ninja Go, but mercifully, he only sang part of that I think, and then he moved on to Ice Ice Baby.
  • Donnie Wahlberg.  I mean, I could have just listed his name in the positives and it would have outweighed the negatives, am I right?
Other highlights included:
  • Seeing old friends from back in the day, especially my middle school BFF.  We haven't seen each other in many years....We live about 500 miles apart and it took this concert for our paths to cross.  
  • Being called "sir" at a Denny's inside a truckstop at 1 am.  Completing my order with a straight face while my friend snickers and snorts next to me.  You probably had to be there for that to be funny, but it was.
  • Realizing how old we are compared to my friend's 14 year old daughter.  She was a trooper, but there was a small window of time where she hunkered under her poncho and played a game on her phone instead of taking in the show.  Also, she didn't pretend to not know us when we were dancing, even though she probably wanted to.
  • Not dying on the way there.  It was a torrential downpour and we saw no less than 3 cars and one tractor trailer in the median, plus a very close call on the part of a guy behind us who almost bit it when we had to slow down.  Props to my friend for driving us safely and also driving up and back in one day.

I can't think of a clever way to tie this post up, but let me just say that when I saw the weather forecast, I wanted to back out and not go.  But I bought some rain boots, put on a poncho and had a really good time.  It's a life lesson, really.  You can choose to be negative and look only at the rain or you can choose to dance like a fool in the rain and have a memory that you will always treasure.  

I should probably post a link to a relevant song here, but I'll just post this because I like the leg move they do in the video.  It was before MC Hammer.  That's old.