Be Careful What You Wish For

Some wishes are pretty straightforward.

I wish I could find a little black dress to wear to that party next month. 

I wish Mississippi State could win every football game by 17 points this year. (Stop laughing.  I can wish for it.  In fact, I know some people who pray for it. Seriously.  Okay, y’all! Stop laughing.)

Some things you can wish for and just forget about them.  They’re safe.  But then there are things we sometimes wish for that come with hidden drawbacks.  Which is why you should always be careful what you wish for.  

Believe me.  I know of what I blog.

About 10 years ago I started wishing for the Boob Fairy to visit.  I learned about the Boob Fairy from a fellow teacher, Maria, who swore that she had absolutely nothing in the boob department until well past her high school years.  But she said that she faithfully prayed that the Boob Fairy would someday visit. And one day she woke up to find that, Poof!, the Boob Fairy had visited during the night and been more than kind. Keep in mind that Maria was telling this to a bunch of us on a Friday afternoon at Chili’s where we may or may not have been consuming frozen margaritas.  (And if we were consuming said margaritas, kindly remember that we were public school teachers and we deserved every drop, thank-you-very-much.)

I had always hoped that there was a Boob Fairy because, you see, I needed a Boob Fairy or a Fairy Boobmother or some Magical Bestower of the Boobs.  Throughout high school and college,  I couldn’t grow decent boobs to save my life.  Going shopping for bras didn’t take long.  I always got the ones with underwire and a little padding and some pushing up.  You know.  The total FAKE-OUT bra.

I was talking with a friend (‘State girls, I’ll tell you who and you’ll holler!) in college one time and we were laughing about it.  And I swear I’ve never known anyone who had, er, less boobage than this girl. I promise you, I am not talking behind her back or saying anything ugly because if she were sitting next to me she’d nod her head and say, “Yep, she’s just telling the truth.”  I said something like, “Maybe we’ll finally have boobs once we have kids.”  And she said, “Yeah, but do you know what I heard?  I heard that sometimes your boobs actually shrink after you have babies.  And if that happens to me, mine will be inverted.”  So then we laughed until we fell down. Yes, we actually fell down on the floor.  Of the short hall.  Of the sorority house.  And laughed until we cried.  

Okay, so back to being careful about what you wish for and all that. Even though my weight fluctuated throughout college but returned to normal within about 2 months after graduation, there was no change in the boobs.  And when Tater Daddy and I got engaged and my weight dropped drastically, because I was fittin’ into that dress, my boobs stayed the same.  Once we were married and I returned to a normal weight, the boobs stayed the same.  

For about 10 years after that, the same thing went on and on.  I’d gain a little weight and lose a little weight and never see any change.  

All the while, though, I wished for the Boob Fairy to come and sprinkle her magic boob dust over me so that I might know what it’s like to have the boobies of an adult and not a girl in junior high.

And do you know what?  About five years ago, the Boob Fairy showed up.  I had boobs.  Tater Mama needed new and bigger bras.  Yeehaw!

But wait just a dadgum a minute!  It appears that the Boob Fairy brought some friends with her. And they were NOT on the prayer list.  That diva also brought the Hip Fairy, the Thigh Fairy, the Big Behind Fairy, and the Poochy Tummy Fairy.  

What?  Did they get a group rate on their way to Elvis Week or something?

So friends, be careful what you wish for…because you just might get it AND more. Which isn’t always better.

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I Hope It Was Worth It, Eddie

You may recall that we had an unwanted guest roaming our house and that I made it a top priority to get rid of this guest.  This beady-eyed little mouse we called Eddie.

Oh, how I love using verbs in the past tense.  You see, Tater Daddy came home from work this afternoon and walked outside with the dogs.  When he came back in he said, “Which one killed the mouse?”

“Eddie?” I said with just a little too much excitement.

“No, I’m your husband, Tater Daddy,” he explained.  “Seriously, woman, didn’t we talk about reducing those drama pills?  Which dog gets the treat for killing the mouse?”

“Where’s that mouse?”  I wanted to know.  I wanted to see my tormentor.  And the stinking rodent who’d just cost us $160. 

That’s right.  Just a few hours earlier I’d written a check for $160 plus change to two of the nicest plumbers I have ever met.  (Seriously, they were just delightful.  If I had had all the right ingredients, I would have baked them each a chess pie while they were here.)

About 9:00 this morning I walked by the kitchen sink, and it sounded like someone was hiding underneath spraying everything with the garden hose.  That is never a good sign.  When I opened the cabinet door, lo and behold, the hot water line to the dishwasher was giving everything a nice soak.  As I was reaching in to turn the water off, Tater Tot came in and took a look.  “Oh, Mama!  Wain!  Wain!  Wow.”  Then he looked at me, soaked from my head to my knees and said, “Mama, you are all wet!  Are you okay, Mama?”  In case you can’t tell, I LOVE that sweet little boy like a pig loves mud.

Okay, so back to the point.  The plumbers fumbled around under the sink for about 13 seconds and then one emerged and said, “Well, you have a mouse,” and then he showed me all the debris.  That little punk had chewed through the lining or wrapping or whatever you call the thing that surrounds the main line to the dishwasher.  Not only that, but he’d eaten a hole in the wood flooring for easy access to/from the outside.

When I saw it for myself, any pity I had for the poor little mouse just left.  At that point, I figured Eddie had just upped the ante.  I was thinking up all kinds of traps, from the old-fashioned spring-loaded kind you set with cheese to the newer ones that use glue to trap the little devils.

That’s about the time that Tater Daddy came in gave me the news about the dead mouse near the deck.  I looked at it.  But, it’s hard to say whether it’s Eddie of not.  If it is, well, good riddance.  If it’s not, well, there’s a little something under the sink just in case.

In any event, I hope a little drink of water was worth it.

Let Poopsie Entertain You

I am seriously considering trying my hand at frying chicken tonight.  Lots of people go to church on Wednesday nights, so I’m guessing the odds are high that my neighborhood fire department will be able to dispatch a truck or two…just in case.

I’m also guessing that this could be a long night, so I might not get back to the old laptop for a while.  What IS a girl to do? Well, THIS girl did what she always does.  You’re darn straight, I did.  I called my Mama.

Mama, known to Tater Tot as Poopsie and to the rest of the world as Mary Ann Somethingorother, had a weekly column in our town’s newspaper called “View From the Corner,” and it was usually pretty dad-gum funny.  Sometimes she got kind of serious or sentimental, but most of the time she was just a hoot.

My mother is a born storyteller and the most gifted writer I know.  She’s also one of the most well-read people you’ll ever find, and I’m pretty sure she can quote most any poem by Emily Dickinson.  

But the best thing about my mother?  She’s fun in every sense of the word.  She adores a good laugh.  She can take a joke and poke fun at herself.  She sees humor where humor exists.  Pure and simple.  She knows the difference between humor and hurt, and she never crosses the line.  Ever

So any-ol-hoo.  While I try to figure out how to fry this here bird, y’all get to have a heaping helping of Poopsie’s talent.  I feel sure that you’ll be asking for her to take over the blog.  But she doesn’t even read it, so don’t get your hopes up.  Yet.  Have no fears, though.  I have stacks of her articles at the ready.

(Oh, by the way, I am never worried that someone might lift, borrow, or outright STEAL anything that I write on my blog, because I am, after all, just me.  However, what I am about to post below was written by someone else.  And she does own the copyrights.  I do have permission to reprint the story — written, verbal, and a kiss on the cheek permission. Thank you, Mama.  However, since I don’t believe she’s been passing out the permission smooches to anyone but her favorite daughter, please respect the sweet little copyright. Otherwise, Bubba Mack and Jimmy Clyde will have to hunt you down and give you a crash course in “respecting the sweet little copyright.”  I’m just sayin’.)  

 

View From the Corner –November 7, 1985

Julia Child was on a television talk show recently.  What I like about Chef Julia, other than her being a pretty good cook, is that she is known for dropping a chicken and losing it under the stove while she was giving a live TV cooking lesson.  (She says that it was a potato pancake she dropped, but she admits that, for some reason, people remember it as being a chicken.)

 

I have never had a good experience with a chicken.  When they’re alive, they’re weird.  When they’re dead, they’re worse.  I’ve learned a lot of lessons from chickens, and they’ve always left me a sadder but wiser person.

 

After Darrell and I married, we lived in Starkville, Mississippi.  He attended Mississippi State and I ran germination tests on rotting cotton seed, but that’s another strange story.

 

Anyway, one afternoon after work, I decided that fried chicken would be delicious for supper, so I stopped by the grocery store and bought one chicken of the frying variety.

 

Returning to our apartment, I put on my wedding present apron, got out the wedding present electric skillet and went to work.

 

The first surprise came when I took the cellophane off the package.  I thought the chicken would be in several neatly cut pieces, but it wasn’t.  It was a whole body.  It was hollow, but it was one single thing.  I didn’t want one single thing.

 

Vaguely, I remembered Mama’s showing me how to cut one of these carcasses up.  You just went whack, whack, whack, and you had all the recognizable pieces of a chicken.  If you cut it one way, you got the pulley bone.  If you cut it another way, you didn’t get the pulley bone.  I wanted the pulley bone.  Dreamer.

 

Fumbling around, I found the wedding present knives, sharp and gleaming.  I chose the largest weapon and went to work on the supper’s left thigh.

 

Thinking I had found the leg joint, I sliced in and waited for the blade to sever the desired piece from the whole.  It did no such thing.  It hit bedrock.  There was no joint.  There was NO JOINT in that chicken’s left leg.

 

Methodically I moved, knife flashing, from one supposed dissecting place to another.  Rather than having several pieces of bird, all I got was a larger and flatter pound of flesh. Instead of being shaped like a football with legs, the thing was becoming a bony rug.

 

Finally, in desperation, I grabbed ole chicky by the arm and whacked the whole thing against the counter. Did I break a joint?  No.  I flung it against the wall.  Did any pieces come loose?  No, it most certainly did not.  It just spread out more and more with every attack.  I was furious.

 

Darrell appeared about this time and there was his new wife wrestling with a humongous chicken – and losing.  I thought of frying the whole blasted thing just as it was, but it has spread out so much it wouldn’t fit into the skillet.

 

Darrell suggested that he call a lady we knew in town as ask for her help.  After a long discussion, we finally agreed that help must be sought; he didn’t know how to cut up a chicken either.

 

He called, and the lady said I should come right over, so we rolled Bessie the Bird into a large paper bag, and I took it to the lady’s house.

 

She was a nice person.  She was sympathetic and understanding – until I pulled four feet of chicken out of the sack.  Then that nice lady sat down at her kitchen table and laughed until she cried.  Wiping the tears away from her eyes, she went to the wall, and from a hook she took a meat cleaver.  Well, no wonder I had trouble; I didn’t know to use a kitchen axe.  She lifted that cleaver above her head, and with a few swift blows to the blob, she did what I had so wanted to do.  The pieces didn’t look like any parts of a chicken that either one of us had seen before, but they were small enough to be manageable.

 

I took my chicken puzzle home and fried it to a fine, crispy brown.  Very late that night, we ate our strange little meal.

 

To this day, I have never again bought a whole chicken.  I had a terrible experience with a frozen turkey once, but invest in another whole chicken – forget it.  I figure the people who work in grocery stores’ meat departments are there for one purpose – to cut up chickens, and I’m thankful that somebody knows how to do it right.

 

Several years after “the great chicken fight,” as we still choose to call it, we ate with some friends who served a very tasty commercially fried chicken.  The pieces were oddly shaped and no one knew whether he or she was eating a wing, a breast, a leg, or a thigh.  Some of the guests wondered out loud how the pieces came to look so “different.”  Since we had been through this before, Darrell and I just smiled and happily munched around the bones.

 

For once in our lives, we were way ahead of our time.

Game ON!

I mentioned several posts back that there is a mouse running around this house, and the only person it seems to cause great distress is ME.  

The first time I mentioned it to Tater Daddy, he simply said, “Call the exterminator.”  He wasn’t concerned with how I knew we had a mouse.  Or the fact that I nearly had heart failure right there in the kitchen at 2:38 a.m. when I saw it dart across the floor.  Nor was he concerned that Tater Tot was living in a house with a mouse that might just decide to climb into his crib at night and snuggle!

“Um…I don’t think mice are the snuggling kind,” he said.  “Call the exterminator.  And, this is just a suggestion, but maybe you could take one or two fewer drama pills tomorrow.  You know, just for me.”

Hard as it was, I let that one pass. He was, after all, managing to remain calm and keep a sense of humor in an extremely difficult situation.  

The exterminator came and put out a couple of black triangular things that should have taken care of the mouse invasion.  Should is the key word here.  But that little stinker of a nuisance is still scurrying about, and he’s getting pretty sure of himself.  Why shouldn’t he?  There are four dogs in this house, and not one of them has lifted a paw to stop him.  Thanks, pups.

I have seen the darn thing three times in the last three days.  Yesterday I actually grabbed a skillet. Yes, I’m afraid I did.  (Seriously, like I was going to whack the little devil to death with a skillet.)  I’m not a violent person. My plan was to cover the mouse with the skillet and then wait for Tater Daddy to get home and let him deal with it.  (See earlier comment about drama pills.)

By the way, I’ve named the mouse Eddie.  If you were a fan of Friends, you’ll recall that Chandler once had a roommate by the same name who wouldn’t leave.  There you go.

Today, while Tater Tot was napping, I heard something scratching around in the kitchen just as loud as you please.  Oh, he’s not even trying to hide the fact that he’s here.  And I’m not even startled by him anymore. I leaped into the kitchen, samurai warrior-like!  I had no plan of attack, other than hoping that Eddie might fall out due to the shock of seeing me move so quickly.

Ha!  He just stared at me for a couple of seconds before vanishing.  WITH A SCRAP OF BREAD IN HIS POINTY LITTLE MOUTH!  That’s right, y’all.  He was in the bread basket, had opened a bag of bread, dragged out a slice, and took a piece for the road.

Better put on your little mousy helmet and knee pads, Eddie.  ‘Cause Tater Mama accepts your challenge. And she’s playing to win.

They Say a Change…

Oh, you know the rest.

I’ve been sitting here for HOURS, scrolling through Facebook flair trying to find a new design for the bloggity blog.  All that brown was getting me down, my friends.  I can take only so much brown and then it’s gotta go. I liked the layout, though.  It was simple.  There wasn’t a lot of stuff to get in the way.  

But there was SOOOOOOO much brown.  And I didn’t have the option of changing colors.

I have tried Tater Tales on just about every template WordPress has to offer.  No offense, WordPress, but Sistuh thinks you need a few more options.  I’m not looking for froo-froo, but I do like little flowers and such.  However, I do not want to BLIND the three people who read this thing with the neon green and pink colors you offer in the floral department, thankyouverymuch.

So I am left to try this plain-Janer for a couple of days.  I’m not sure about it.  It kind of reminds me of a box of Puffs or Kleenex.  I can change the color to blue, purple, or gray. 

Your thoughts?  I’m looking for some feedback.  Should I go back to the brown?  Keep searching the templates?  Give up the blog altogether?  Seriously, folks.  Help a sistuh out. 

Because it’s all about the looks…

There’s a Tater with a Bug in My Bed

I usually do most of my writing after Tater Tot has gone to bed, and I had planned to write several things this weekend.

 

For one thing, Sunday marked my parents’ 47th anniversary and the first one my mother spent without my father.  I worked on something on and off for the better part of last week and planned to finish it Saturday and have it ready for Sunday’s post.

 

I had also planned to work on the things that are half-finished and just sitting there.  I’d like to have a few things in the bank, as they say.  You know, for times like this weekend.

 

However.

 

Tater Tot woke up from Saturday’s nap with flushed cheeks and a fever.  If you like details, it was 103.4.  A dose of children’s Tylenol and some apple juice seemed to help, and a little while later his fever was down a couple of degrees.  And then he patted that sweet little tummy and said, “Mama, it huts wite hee-uh.”  

 

Oh, goody.

 

I won’t go into all the details, because it’s just a little bug.  We’ve all had it.  If you have kiddie-poos, you’ve been through it with them.  And this one hasn’t been bad.  Fever and one incident at about 4:00 Sunday morning.  That’s it.  But the low-grade fever is hanging on, and even now, there’s a sweet little two-year-old with his arm linked in the crook of mine.

 

We’re in the guest bedroom, because I suppose I’m one of those Mamas.  I like to think that I’m not a Nervous Nellie, but you hear so many odd stories…. Maybe I’m just cautious.  Cautious Carla.  Or Paranoid Penelope.  Take your pick.

 

At any rate, until we squash that bug, the tater is snoozing right here next to me.

 

Here’s hoping the bug doesn’t bite the Mama.

Yum, Yum! Pass Me Another Helping of That Scrumptious Crow!

You know the saying, “Never say never”?  There’s a reason people say that.

Before Tater Tot came along I taught 3rd and 1st grades in two great schools.  Overall, I had wonderful students and parents and enjoyed teaching very much.  But, you know, you teach long enough and you start to make several observations and declarations and such.  Especially if you don’t have your own children yet.  Since we didn’t think we’d ever have a Tater Tot, it was easy for things to cross my mind as being odd…or inconsiderate…or lazy…or whatever.  (I try to be pretty laid back about most things, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions.  Know what I’m sayin’?)

Through the years, though, I did come up with a few I will nevers and such.  Which is why I’m getting used to EATING CROW.  For example:

1.  Children need a nutritional breakfast. I will never send my child to school hyped up on sugar.  I agree that children need a good breakfast.  I really do.  My mother got up every morning and fixed my brother and me any combination of eggs, bacon, toast, grits, cream-of-wheat, pancakes,  biscuits, or sausage with orange juice and/or milk.  It’s not like we had a buffet or anything, but we sat down for a hot breakfast.  

For the life of me, I could NOT understand why these very well-educated parents of the students I was teaching were sending their children to school having had Pop-Tarts and cinnamon rolls coated in sugary icing for breakfast.

Why I am eating crow:  Thanks to Tater Daddy’s influence, Tater Tot LOVES him some blueberry Pop-Tarts, and because we were running late today, he walked into Parents’ Day Out holding one.  Truth be told, it wasn’t the first time.

2.  How hard is it to read what is sent home in the students’ backpacks?  I worked like the devil on a weekly newsletter for my students and parents.  I had cute fonts and even cuter graphics.  I spent a lot of time trying to think up funny little titles to get their attention.  I stayed up late to make sure I got that newsletter ready for the coming week, and I went to school early to make sure it got copied in time to send home.  And I would STILL  get phone calls at home or emails marked “urgent” asking when something was due.  WHEN IT WAS CLEARLY PRINTED IN THE NEWSLETTER!!!  

How hard is it to read, people?

Why I am eating crow:  A newsletter came home in Tater Tot’s little backpack Wednesday.  It covered everything for the rest of this month and all of September.  It clearly said, in more than one place, that starting next week, Wednesdays are Pizza Days through next month.  

So of course I sent Tater Tot with $2.50 today and no lunchbox.  I handed his teacher his money and she just looked at me and said, “Wednesdays!”  I returned 20 minutes later with his little lunchbox.  And a gift card to a local deli for the teacher.  Because I know what was going through her head when I walked away the first time.

3.  You’re a stay-at-home mom.  Why are you up here looking like homemade sin?  This one used to just kill me, because the first school I taught in pulled from a very, very affluent part of the community and a lot of the moms wouldn’t be caught dead going for their morning speed-walk without a designer outfit, hair looking perfect, and face made up in full war paint.  But then sometimes you’d see them come into the school in the middle of the day looking like something the cat left on the doorstep.  And they’d always say something like, “Oh, I just haven’t had time to shower or anything today. I’ve been so busy,” which made me giggle to myself.  I’d think, What on earth do you do all day?  It’s not like you have to get up and be at work by a certain time.  How hard is it to wash your hair and throw on some mascara and lip gloss?

Why I am eating crow:  I have been staying at home with Tater Tot since we brought him home from the hospital two years ago.  I still haven’t showered, washed my hair, put on make-up or changed my clothes.

The first bite of crow was a little hard to get down.  After that, it got a lot easier.

I think I’ll try the next batch deep-fried.

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