When Did “Mom” Morph Into “Dude?”

Typical conversations with my children begin with “Hey Dude. “Such as, “hey dude, what’s for dinner?”  Or,” hey dude, did you hear about this?”  Or, “No way, dude!”

As I recall, the term dude usually referred to a man.  According to Wikipedia, from the 1870’s to the 1960’s, a dude was a man that was dressed in fancy clothes–he didn’t fit into the westward movement or the cowboy way of dressing.  It was considered a derogatory label.

However in the pot smoking, hippy generation of the 1960’s, all men were referred to as dude.  My belief is that most were so stoned that they didn’t want to waste their energy opening their eyes to see who they were talking to, so any deep voice that spoke to them was called  “dude.”

I have heard my voice on tape, I do not have a low voice, nor am I a man–at least I wasn’t last time I looked.

Didn’t woman work so hard to get the word man out of postman to mail carrier and fireman to firefighter?  Now women  have lost all their identity and  instead of using the word man, they answer to dude.

I want women to do what they want to do, but can’t we maintain our gender, and not make everything uni-sex?

The reason this has bothered me so much today is that there was a mouse in the house–specifically in the pantry.  When I saw it, I screamed and screamed like a banshee. I jumped up and down pulled my pants legs up to my chin and screamed again.

Both children were in the house and were definitely within earshot of my voice.Continue reading

Has Letter Writing Become Equivalent to Carving in Stone?

 

At the crossroads of the world–let’s call it Vienna–any place now is considered a crossroad if people from all over the world congregate there.

Number One and I   were enjoying the perks of frequently traveling and staying in the same hotel–loyalty pays.  In the Executive lounge on the 8th floor of the Hilton, overlooking the Blue Danube, we were reminiscing with friends about our college days and how we communicated with each other and our families.

Whenever friends get together, we love to reminisce and take pictures.  So, our friend asked the couple at the table across from us to take our picture.    As people often do when they travel, we started a conversion.  Travelers are not afraid to speak to strangers because at this point everyone is a stranger.

We learned that this lovely couple was living in Australia, the mother was from the Ukraine and the father was a Russian  Jew with thick white hair like Einstein.   They had their teenage daughter with them, who was born in Germany and is now Australian.

At one point in the conversation we spoke about writing letters to our families and that the mail took two weeks usually for a return response, sometimes longer.  The young mother’s jaw dropped.  “You actually wrote letters?” she asked. Continue reading

Best Way to Drum Up Some Business

Easter Egg Hunt

Two of our granddaughters were visiting for Easter, so we decided to take them to the Carlsbad Egg Scramble. This was new for us because our kids only looked for eggs in our back yard. Number One had as much fun hiding them as the kids did finding them.

Egg Scramble is a very appropriate name. The eggs were strewn all over the field and the children just had to run fast and pick up as many as they could. My granddaughter had been well trained–I think she did this before–because she was very fast and filled her bucket in seconds. She must have picked up 25 eggs and each egg was filled with candy. The eggs had been donated by a local business.

 

The dentists in Carlsbad have a sweet, business savvy.    By the way, our eggs were filled with coins.

What a sick car!

How would you picture a sick car?

Well, let me tell you, in my mind a sick car is rusted, dented, the paint is peeling, and perhaps a window has plastic instead of glass.

Something like this:

 

 

No matter where you are, point of view is very important.  When you look left out of the side window, the view of the driver  is very different from the view of the passenger.

My daughter was chauffeuring me around.  She usually offers to drive when she is out of gas.  She finds it is easier  to spend my money on gas, than her money.

We were stopped at an intersection close to the Del Mar fairgrounds, when she suddenly said, “Look at that sick car!”

She pointed to the left and when I looked up I saw a sorry looking little red car that had seen better days.  The finish was dull, the paint was peeling and the bumper was dented.  I started telling her about the a family member’s car that looked like that.

My daughter turned to me and looked at me as if I had grown antenna and fairy wings.
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Mind Over My Aching Body

My mind believes it is 25 years old.

However, my body KNOWS it is 40 years older than that!

Today, the sun was shining and it was in the 60’s and I wanted to see Munich.  I’ve always loved to walk around a city.

So…today I decided to walk to the Englischer Garten which according to the concierge was about 3 kilometers from the hotel.

 

Englischer Garten
Munich, Germany

 

Okay, three kilometers is a little more than a mile and a half.  I walk a mile and a half often so that will be easy peesy for me

I walked and walked and walked and walked, hoping I would cross the Ludwig Bridge and I would  walk along the river and head to the garden.

I walked and walked and walked some more. I carried the map, but I couldn’t find the streets on the map–nor could I find a bridge or a river.

I did find a beautiful tree lined path and I marveled at the old architecture of the city.  But, after an hour of walking–I realized I had walked a lot more than a mile and a half.   So, I conceded defeat and turned around. (And for those who know me, it takes a lot to concede defeat.

 
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You Have To Know Your Limits!

 

“You have to know your limits ,Mom,” said my thirty-something daughter.  “You are old and you can’t push yourself anymore.”

She said this because my face, neck and chest were a deep red-almost blue to purple color, you know, the color of beets.   And,  maybe  I wobbled,  looking as if I was trying to keep my balance at each step, which I was.  Those two points don’t necessarily mean it was heat-stroke.

Anza Borrego–

Ok, we went to the desert to visit Anza Borrgo Park. It is spring and all the wild flowers were in full bloom.  Bright yellow dollops  of flowers gave the illusion of a beautifully, textured, pastel-green, fabric dotted  with yellow polka dots.

Late Start

We left three hours later than we  should have–we also stopped in the middle of the mountain  to take  pictures, and then we dawdled at the potty/water stop.

By this time, the road into the park was closed.  All the smart people had gotten there before we did.

Parking Nightmare

We parked the car a good half a mile from the entrance, then once inside the park, it is a quarter of a mile in before you come to a trail.  On top of that, it is  another quarter of a mile to the visitor center.  After getting our bearings there, yes, we walked another quarter of a mile to the trail head.  Yeah, we were finally at the point where we wanted to START our hike.    Our bodies only move in quarter mile distances before it makes the brain kick in, telling it to ask the question, how much further?  The young couple, looking warm, but not exhausted, gave us hope that we had almost made it.  Our mouths dropped in disbelief when they told us, it was “only” a mile and half in, but it was mostly uphill from there.

TEMPERATURE

Did I mention it was 98 degrees?

I had been very determined to see the oasis.  I had planned for this and no matter what, I would see the oasis!

Once the young man told us it was another three miles after all the miles we already had walked, my brain kicked in and started screaming, turn around! I shook my head and yes, I turned around in utter disappointment.

I knew I could not make it all the way, but if only….

Once we turned around, I think the temperature increased and my body and mouth were as dry as the desert sand we were trudging through.  I sagged and dragged my feet.  We had gotten ahead of my daughter and her friend, but when we re-united, the first thing my daughter said was, “Mom, are you ok?   You are soooooo red.”
Continue reading

Time to Change

Or is it merely time to change the clocks.

 

Daylight Saving–yes there is no “s”— is a wonderful manmade way to control and bend time.

I enjoy the long days.

But, I hate changing the clocks.  Do you know how many clocks and watches are in a house?

Three in the kitchen, two in master bedroom, one in each of the 4 other bedrooms,  one in each study, and one in the garage,

and then, don’t get me started on the watches.  I have 10 inexpensive fun ones, several fancy ones and the list

goes on.

This year I rebelled
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Surprise! My Peeps Aren’t My Closest Peeps

Remember, for the non-Hollywood types, peeps means people.

DNA and genetic research  has changed our lives in so many ways. It is hard to believe that the jurors didn’t believe that the DNA of OJ Simpson truly convicted him.

PROUD ANCESTRY
We all want to know where we come from–we are proud of our nationalities and believe that our ancestors made us what we are.

Growing up, I knew I was Norwegian, Danish and German. There was no contesting that. My paternal great-grandfather only spoke German and insisted that everyone in the house speak German. So, my dad and his siblings learned German. They were lucky they had a teacher who spoke German so they could learn English. My paternal grandmother was born in Norway and came to the U.S. as a child.
On my mother’s side, her family was Norwegian and Danish. She grew up in the town of Denmark, her parents spoke Danish so they could speak freely in front of her and she would not understand them–but she did. My mother also  played the organ in the Danish church. Therefore, I staunchly believed that those three countries were my absolute and only heritage.

When my husband was mad at me, his insult would be to call me a Neanderthal because  I was being “stubborn.” I guess he believed all Neanderthal were stubborn because of their jutting jaw and large brow that made them look like they were constantly frowning.

 

23 AND ME

Then along came 23 and me.

My beliefs were not shattered,Continue reading

How Do You Operate This?

CALIFORNIA DROUGHT

California’s severe drought lasted about 5 years. In 2015, the state was the driest it had ever been in 500 years.

2011-1016

There was a total of 38 inches of rain in those five years combined. That is an average of a little more than 6 inches
a year. The average yearly rainfall should be 23 inches. As you can see, we had a problem.

TURN AROUND

This year we have been blessed with lots and lots and lots of rain. The snow packs are 170% of normal. Dams are threatening to break because of the excess water in the reservoirs. Yesterday we had two inches of rain in one day!!!!

Remember, this is Southern California and it doesn’t rain in Southern California. Well, it did this year!

 

 

RE-LEARN NEW SKILL

No, this is how you open it!

We have not used umbrellas in six years. We have forgotten how to open them. Some children probably have never seen one.

Yes, we need to re-learn how to open the umbrella. It took some time. I knew there was supposed to be a button somewhere to open it, but I had to turn the umbrella around twice to find it.

Ok, it opens easily.

But, how do I close it?  Wait, it takes more pressure to close it than I remembered. I drag it into Continue reading

I Found My Peeps

How far back does culture affect your life?

As a family, living in rural Wisconsin, meals were never something we rushed through.
No one was in a huge hurry to get up from the table and start whatever they needed to do. It wasn’t because we were lazy, it was because we enjoyed sitting and having a conversation while the food started to digest. We knew the table would be cleaned up, but it wasn’t urgent.

We Are All Immigrants

My paternal grandfather came from Germany, and my paternal grandmother came from Norway as a very young child. My maternal grandparents are a mixture of German, Norwegian and Danish.

My Peeps  (For the non-Hollywood types peeps means people)

We in dined in Munich with our German friends last night. They lingered after they were finished eating! One even commented that in Germany one must linger over dinner. Yipppeeeeee! I found my peeps!

Not Just Us

Now I know it just wasn’t my family that lingered. This is a custom or part of the German culture that was passed on to me.

Conflict of Cultures

My husbands culture is to finish the meal quickly and clean up the dishes before–god forbid–the sauce dries on the plates.

As you may have noticed, that is a major difference in our cultures. It is not just the American culture versus the Egyptian culture, it is also the Egyptian culture versus the German ancestral customs that I never realized were so much a part of me.

Clash of Cultures–How do we solve this?

I have found a very simple solution. My husband jumps up from the table and starts washing the dishes. I linger long enough until it looks like he is almost done and then I get up to “help.” If it is so important that it gets cleaned up right away–go for it. I will not stop you.

But don’t even think about stopping me from lingering.