Monthly Archives: October 2015

Mad About The Mouse

If you knew me in the summer of 2012, you knew two things for sure… I had lost my day off (explanation to follow), and I was going to my first ever major-league baseball game. The reason everyone who knew me knew this was that I talked about it all the time!  One was a terrible event being buffered by a much better one.

I’m a huge baseball fan, so it was a surprise to many that this would be my first time to go to a major league game.

 

Here’s the thing about the day off. Nurses don’t typically work Monday through Friday jobs. The majority of hospital nurses work three 12 hour shift. My department works four 10 hour days. But in the summer of 2012, we were forced to work a five day work week. I know that every non-nurse reading this feels no sympathy for us. But we were NOT happy. And everyone knew it.

On the bright side, I had tickets, months in advance, to a St. Louis Cardinals game at the end of September. So while my coworkers and I endured what we thought was going to be a 90 day thing – I was looking forward to a trip to St. Louis with my husband and some friends and especially looking forward to the ball game.

That five day workweek lasted over six months. Most of us had no idea how to function. When were we supposed to go to the dentist? Get our nails done? Grocery shop?  People kept asking me if I was letting my hair grow out. “No! I lost my day off! I don’t have time to get a hair cut.” Then I’d follow with… “But, I’m going to a Cards game!”

All the while I had a little cardinal sitting on my desk reminding me that better days were coming.

I called him Louie

Once again, months in advance, I have a very special trip planned to Disneyworld and everyone who knows me has heard about it (and will continue to). I love Disneyworld.  I have been a few times but my husband has never been. In February, I’m taking the man who makes me happy to the happiest place on earth!

I have been there with my kids when they were little and again when they were all grown up…

I’ve been with a group of girlfriends…

Waiting in that LONG line for Toy Story Mania!

 

Selfie with the tag still on the ears

 

Obligatory castle selfie

I love Disneyworld more than any grown woman should. Disney characters were my celebrities when I was a kid. Seeing Mickey Mouse in person is just as exciting to me as seeing Justin Timberlake. [If you don’t get that reference, feel free to insert some other good-looking, funny celebrity who can sing, dance, act and bring pride to his hometown.]

As much as I already love it, it will be even better with my husband. We never do relaxing vacations. We squeeze in as much as possible during the time we have. Seriously, we went to Hawaii, and I came back without a tan. We did so much running around, we never took time to go to the beach.

We really should take a week to recover from our vacations. They’re exhausting!

Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments. Favorite restaurants. Favorite rides, Favorite shows. Tips and advice. Anything you want to share.

 

A Quaint Little Word

I love words and I try to learn as many of them as I can. I’m a stickler for proper grammar and correct spelling. Because of that, I have developed a reputation for being a “grammar nazi.”

The problem with having such a reputation is that I’m under pressure to always get it right. And that’s where the word “quaint” comes in.

I received an email that a coworker was retiring and there would be a “quaint party” for her. I laughed and said aloud in front of a few coworkers, “Quaint? Are we going to dress in period costumes and churn butter?” They were puzzled and asked “Doesn’t quaint mean small?” I explained that no, quaint means old-fashioned. One by one, more people entered the conversation each saying that quaint means small.

At this point, I’m experiencing mild panic. Based on the aforementioned reputation, if I’m wrong about the definition of quaint, and publicly joked about its misuse when in fact if was used correctly, well I was  never going to live it down.

So, I looked it up and – whew! – I was right about it meaning old-fashioned.

Every time I tell this story, I get the same response… “I thought quaint meant small.” The funny thing about this common misperception is that “quaint” is so frequently followed by the word “little” as in, Williamsburg is a quaint little town. If it meant small, we wouldn’t follow with little… a small little town?

As it turned out, the retirement party was small but not old-fashioned. No butter was churned. No period costumes. But my friend is enjoying her retirement and looks fantastic!

We Tease You Because We Like You!

Families show love in different ways. Some are huggers. Many, if not most, moms show their love through food. In return, her family shows their love by eating her cooking. Lots of it. Second and third helpings or she will think her family does not love her.

In my family, we make fun of each other. If one of us says anything remotely off, it will live on forever. Sometimes it’s something super cute said by a child. But there’s also the occasional misuse of a word, mispronunciation or speaking before thinking. This may be why I’ve become such a grammar snob. I learned early to speak carefully or forever be teased.

When I was little, one of my aunts was playing that “I got your nose” game with me. Apparently I was quite upset and causing a ruckus. My grandmother grew tired of hearing my cries and demanded that someone “give her back her nose!”  They never let her forget that one.

My sister Patty is the queen of making up words that sound like real words, such as conversate. My favorite is suavé. Note the accent mark. It’s not suave, it’s suavé (swah-VAY). “Look at him, suavéing over here like he thinks he’s something.”

Our all time favorite thing to tease my dad about was the time he said, “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a hundred times, once is enough to say anything!”

Sometimes my mother laughs so hard that no sound comes out. My kids love to imitate her silent laugh. Mama says you can’t be self conscious and hang out with this crowd.

My father drove a Chevrolet El Camino when I was about 3 years old. I couldn’t pronounce all those big words so it ended up sounding like Sugarlay Mico. To this day, if any of us sees an El Camino, we alert the rest of the family that we saw a Sugarlay Mico.

When my cousin Doug was 5 years old, he was “so exciting” to be starting kindergarten. Twenty five years later at his wedding, despite the fact that he was a six and a half foot tall Marine, everybody in the family was “so exciting” for him.

My niece Jasmine was 6 years old when her mother was pregnant. She must’ve been listening closely and learned some new phrases. Jasmine, her sister and my kids were running when Jasmine suddenly stopped, bent over, clutched her abdomen and said, “I think my water just broke!” It’s been 20 years but we still try to work it into a conversation whenever possible.

The list of things that my kids tease each other about it too long for one blog post, but it involves… lying in an open tanning bed, putting pennies in a vending machine, a strange obsession with rolls of quarters, and Canadians are from Canadia. They make fun of my “damsel in distress” scream when the fire on the grill got a little too close to my face.

You’ve heard of double negatives. My husband is the master of triple negatives. My two favorites are “Didn’t nobody tell me nothing.” And once when I said that he was being sweet, he replied, “I wasn’t never not sweet.” Of course, I tease him about it all the time. However, based on the rules of English, I think a triple negative may actually count as correct.

Several years ago a German doctor at work was having trouble understanding the American sense of humor. He told me that the ICU nurses explained that “we tease you because we like you.” [Read with German accent]. That describes my family perfectly. If I have ever made fun of you, it’s the equivalent of your MawMaw offering you another piece of sweet potato pie. Please, take it in the spirit it was offered.

 

I Don’t Get It!

I consider myself to be reasonably intelligent. Sometimes I think I am above average. Yet, there are still some things that I don’t understand.

Fridays, for instance. People just love Fridays. Personally, I’ve never understood the expression “Thank God It’s Friday,” or it’s familiar abbreviation TGIF. If you work Monday through Friday, Friday is just another work day. You still have to get up earlier than you want to, get dressed, sit in traffic, and spend all day at work. I’ve always thought the expression should be “Thank God It’s Saturday!”

Once a coworker told me that she wished it was Friday, “because the next day would be Saturday.” Apparently she never watched movies about genies granting wishes. Never waste a perfectly good wish on wishing it was the day BEFORE Saturday! If you’re going to wish, wish big!

Another thing I don’t get is that a kid becomes a teenager at 13. I was an adult before I heard this one. This wasn’t a thing when I was a teenager. I probably felt like a teenager when I started high school at age 14. Or maybe at 12 when I entered jr. high. (Back in my day, we had jr. high school, instead of middle school. It consisted of grades 7-9). Not understanding the significance of 13, I asked someone. The explanation was that “teen” is part of the word.  SERIOUSLY?? This is what determines that a person is an official teenager? Semantics?

Before I became a nurse, I studied foreign languages. Therefore, based on the logic above, Spanish speaking kids don’t become teenagers until they are 16 and French speaking kids are 17. German kids, like their English speaking counterparts, become teens at 13. But what if they’re bilingual? It makes my head spin!

If you have been a teenager or raised one, you know when they become one. It has nothing to do with a number. It’s about hormones, eye rolling, bad attitudes, acne, and rebellion. It could happen long before “teen” shows up in their age.

Another thing that I can’t seem to wrap my brain around, no matter how hard I try… other people’s concept of time and how it moves. Time moves in a circle on a clock, from left to right on a timeline and from top to bottom in an hourglass. On a calendar it moves left to right and top to bottom. Yet, I never know what people mean when they refer to time moving up or down or back. I get it wrong Every.Single.Time.


A patient will call to say they want to move their appointment up. I picture a wall calendar with January at the top and December at the bottom. Therefore, “up” means toward January, i.e. an earlier date. But no, the patient wants a later date.

A friend said that her wedding date has been “pushed back,” This time I’m certain that I understand. “Back in time” is universal for earlier, right?  My response…”So you decided to get married sooner?” They inform me that “pushed back” means the wedding has been delayed. UGH! I’ll never get it!

So be very careful if you wish for Friday to move up or if you’re hoping to push back time to avoid your child becoming a teenager. If you’re like me, you’ll get it all wrong!

Meghan Trainor Is Stealing My Material

Ever since the first time I heard All About That Bass I have loved Meghan Trainor.  I recently got her CD and I love the entire thing. It’s like she listens to my conversations and writes songs about them. Wait… if you know her stuff, I don’t want you thinking that the “walk of shame” is something I am familiar with. But I do think Meghan and I could be friends. We have a very similar outlook on things.

In Dear Future Husband, she states “you know I’m never wrong, why disagree? Why, why disagree?”  On my first date with my husband, we had a bet about something and I won. He said “you’re right.” I told him, “you’ll get used to that!”

In Title, she wants the title of girlfriend. “Don’t call me your friend. Don’t call me Boo.” The basic message is if I’m not your girlfriend in public, don’t expect me to be your girlfriend in private. I totally agree with her on this one.

In Credit, she runs into an old beau with his new girl. She thinks that she should get credit for turning him into a better man for someone else.  I had a similar experience when I heard about my high school sweetheart’s very romantic proposal to his wife. My first thought was “Aw! I taught him that. She should thank me!”

He’s No Good For You –  I wrote a blog post about this one. I had quite a few “no good” for me experiences. Read it here.

Lips Are Moving  This one is SO me! When I heard these lyrics… “I know you’re lying, because your lips are moving. Tell me do you think I’m dumb?” I said “Wait a minute, that’s MY joke. Meghan Trainor is stealing my material!” I have zero tolerance for liars. I have used the “lips are moving” comment more times than I can remember. A few years ago a coworker came to me about some gossip he’d heard.  The person he heard it from was a pathological liar (probably still is).  So I offered to let him in on a secret.  I told him to look at her closely when she’s talking, if her lips are moving, she’s lying!

Marvin Gaye  is a clever song with lyrics laced with Marvin Gaye song titles. Here’s the thing… I LOVE Marvin Gaye. I love old R&B music, or oldies soul. On certain days at work, I am the office D.J. and we listen to Al Green, Bill Withers and of course, Marvin Gaye. When my daughter was a teenager, I was picking her up from some after school event. She came to the car and said, “I was going to tell you that your radio was too loud until I realized it was Marvin Gaye.” That’s how you know you’ve raised your kids right.

And of course, there’s All About That Bass. A song about a big booty girl with self confidence and a positive body image. “It’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two.” Yep, we’ve got that in common!

I’ll leave you with these words of wisdom from Meghan Trainor… Every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top!