Welcome to Dee's Pad

My life as a writer, and as a wife, mother, and grandmother.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I've survived another decade!

How is it that life goes by so fast? One day you're a kid playing with your toys. Then you're a miserable teenager who can't wait to turn 18.

Suddenly you are married with children and pets--and you can't afford to go to the hair dresser often--wear frightful ugly glasses with poofy hair. But alas. A new decade arrives and new fashions.

Bell bottom pants, fluffy pleated tops and large hair.
Whoa! Made it through that phase.

Suddenly, you are the mother of snarly teens and your house is filled with other teens, because you are the cool parents. How did that happen? Could it be the other parents opted to ship the kids off--to your house?

In a flash, you become grandparents. You know you can't possibly be old enough to have grandkids, for heaven's sake. But there it is, this little girl with the blond curls and big blue eyes looking up at you and calling you Gammy.

More grands come along. Serious ones, funny ones, and the Hurricane ones. Like Hurricane Emma. She helps herself to a pudding in the fridge and decides to take a beer with it. She's two-and-a-half years old. Of course he isn't allowed to have the beer but says, "Well, someone might want one."

And her more serious niece, Autumn, who actually picks up her toys and puts them back where they belong.

About the time Emma outgrows terrorizing our dogs, Maggie, Zeus and Icarus, along come Noah with the strong hands. We hear a blood curing yell from one of the dogs who Noah has grabbed by the head--ya know, like he picks up his stuffed toys? And they snap at him. He stares at his hand and open and closes it, like he's trying to figure out why the dog was upset with this strong hand that was only trying to pick the doggie up. By his ears.

I am happy to say that the three older boys who are 10 and 11 years old were actually good this year. No jumping on the furniture, no throwing things at each other in the yard. Why? Because they got those hand-held games and were engrossed in them. And they got marshmellow shooters which they took into the yard and shot.

So now, I must make resolutions for the coming decade. What will I do? Will I ever have that book published? Will I be the Grandma Moses of the writers? Will I continue to do temp work at the college so I'll have good excused not to babysit the wee ones?

And how will my book trailer turn out for the Obitch Queen?

Hope you have a great New Year.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Chicken Soup for the Sole/All in the Family

I have a story in this edition of CS--under the pen name of Nori Thomas. It's called My Beloved Crazy Relatives.
I do hope you will buy a copy and let me know what you think of my short story.

Chicken Soup for the Soul: All in the Family

101 Stories about the Fine Line between Comedy and Tragedy in Our “Dysfunctional” Families

Almost everyone thinks their own family is “dysfunctional” or at least has a dysfunctional member or two. These stories of wacky yet lovable relatives, holiday meltdowns, and funny foibles, along with more serious stories about abuse, controlling family members, and flare-ups, show readers that they aren’t alone. All in the Family is a quirky and fun holiday book, and a great bridal shower or wedding gift! Norman Rockwell’s famous “Freedom from Want” Thanksgiving family painting appears on the back cover and is lovingly parodied on the front, driving home the point that all our families, no matter how much we love them, are just a little dysfunctional!
On Sale Date: 10/20/09

Friday, April 03, 2009

Here's hoping I get published

I have my time travel at Wild Rose Press. The editor has asked to see the entire manuscrpt--she liked the first three chapters.

The Magical Amulet starts out in Galion, OH at the Galion Inquirer Newspaper. The reporter goes to the Big Four Depot and a train comes along and takes her back to 1898 and drops her on the new tracks in Globe, AZ.

My heroine is creative, but not neat at the office. My hero is a neat freak.

I think it'll be a fun read and hope people will enjoy reading it.


Monday, March 16, 2009

Picasa Web Albums - Dee - 2009-03-14

Picasa Web Albums - Dee - 2009-03-14

A Surprise Swim for Icarus

We have three dogs, Maggie, the shephard rescue dog, Zeus, the overweight white schnauzer and Icarus, the 18 lb schnauzer.

Icarus is the one who gets into trouble the most. He attacks the other dogs because he thinks it's fun.

Sometimes when he and Maggie are playing, they both take one end of the toy and Maggie starts to swing it around. Icarus won't let go and go flying in the air, sometimes hitting the tables.

Icarus has another hobby--spying on the neighbors. Our spa is on the back porch and he's discovered if he jumps on top of the cover, then he can spy on the neighbors.

We had to drain the spa to clean it, and I left half of it open until I could get the stuff together and Larry could drain it. So I'm in the bedroom and I hear splash! Paddle, paddle. I take a look and there's Icarus with a surprise look on his face waiting to be picked out of the tub! Can you imagine his surprise when he ended in the water? Thankfully, he knows how to swim.

What? You think all dogs swim? Not true. Maggie and Icarus can swim. Zeus cannot swim. Last year when I took him in for a swimming lesson he about beat me to death. I only want him to learn to swim to the steps in case he falls in. But every year it's the same the thing--FEAR! PANIC!

Hmm. Wonder if I can get one of those kid type suits and make him wear it when he's outside this summer.


A letter to Aunt Mary Alice

Dear Aunt Mary Alice,

It’s us, Autumn and Emma. Remember you talked to us on the phone yesterday?

Well, it’s me, Chatty Autumn who will fill you in on the rest of our day. You are just gonna love having grandkids. We’re much fun.

To do a recap of what we talked about on the phone, well, some of it. Remember I told you how mad I was at Emma because she took my ball? I got it back. Ha!

While it’s true that I like to look into drawers and Gammy’s jewelry box, I don’t take things out of the drawers like Emma does. And hey, when I remove things from the jewelry box, I sweetly say, “Hi, Gammy. I clean up this mess.” And I do.

Of course, at home I don’t always clean up things. One day I got in big trouble when Daddy told me to pick up my toys and I didn’t want to. So I says to him, “Daddy, you are such an asshole.” And since I speak well, he understood what I said. Mommy has to quit saying things like that. I didn’t know it was a bad thing! I mean, oh man, I’m only 2 ½ years old.

Then I got in trouble another day. I was only trying to be helpful. Mommy wanted to dress me. I think I can dress myself! I’m old enough. So I says, “Mommy, leave me alone. I dress myself. You go to the kitchen and make my breakfast.” I made Mommy late for work that day. She wasn’t happy with me.

Back to Gammy’s house. My Pappaw Chris and Sandra, along with Holden and Noah (Noah is my 6 month old uncle), came to Gammy’s to pick me and Emma up to go to their house. Well, this was after Great-Pappaw, Pappaw and me and Emma went to the dump with them. The older folks are in the kitchen chatting away and Pappaw is fooling with Great-Pappaw’s computer. I kept yelling, “Pappaw, Pappaw, come here.” But they ignored me.

By this time Emma had a lot of dirt from Gammy’s one potted plant and she threw it everywhere, including on her brother Holden, who just sat there with his nose in his game boy. I, on the other hand, kept scooping up the dirt from the pile on the steps that go to the spa. My little hands can’t hold much, you know. But I tried to put it back into the pot, while Auntie Em made a big mess. Finally, Great-Pappaw walks out and catches Emma in the act. And if that weren’t bad enough, Emma threw the pillows from the rocking chairs onto the floor.

To say Great-Pappaw wasn’t happy, well, you know how that goes. He tells Emma in that big booming voice, “Emma Victoria, pick up those pillows and put them back right now.” Emma is so stubborn. I knew she was in big trouble by the sound of Great-Pappaw’s voice. Then everyone else is staring at us and I was scared. While Emma was being yelled at to pick them up and she stood there throwing the world’s biggest temper tantrum, I picked up the pillows and put them on the chairs. She absolutely refused. So she wanted her daddy to pick her up and he wouldn’t because he had to clean up the dirt. And her mommy wouldn’t pick her up, so the next person she knew would take pity on her was Gammy. She picked her up and we sat on the coffee table together for a while, listening to Emma sobbing, then we went to comfort in a chair. I chatted away and Gammy asked Emma if she learned a lesson and wouldn’t do that anymore. She said no.

Anyhow, Emma wants to tell you about what happened, her version.

Hi, Aunt Mary Alice. Thank you for kissing my boo-boo over the telephone. I fell again after that and Pappaw had to put a bandage on my knee. Before you were on the phone, when Gammy was in the shower, I found Gammy’s flashlight in her bedroom. You know, that’s a pretty neat thing. When Pappaw told me to put it up, well, I found a reason for using it. Gammy told me to put it up and I told her, “I’m checking my boo-boos.” I mean, I needed that light to check on the marks I have from falling and walking into things. But when she threatened me with, “Emma, if you don’t put that back, I’ll find all your binkies and throw them away,” I quickly returned it to its spot.

I simply don’t understand all the fuss they made about the dirt. It isn’t like there isn’t a lot of dirt in all sorts of pots. And throwing it around was fun. Holden just sat there like a bump on the log. Autumn, the clean one, tried to clean up my mess, and me? I was having a lot of fun. There was dirt all over the place. Really cool.

It was until my Pappaw told me to pick up the cushions off the floor. What’s the big deal? Someone probably wanted to sit on the floor and it would be much softer than sitting on that river rock floor. But no, Pappaw had to use that big loud voice of his to tell me to pick them up. I refused. No way would I pick them up. And along comes my do-gooder niece and I knew she’s pick them up. She hates to see me get in trouble.

I really screamed. No one cared. They said what I did wasn’t nice. I finally got Gammy to pick me up and I cried and sobbed all over here. I knew she’d be the sucker to baby me. Well, she did some, but told me I had to learn to listen and not do things I shouldn’t. She simply doesn’t know how to have fun!

Oh, let me tell you about the day before. We’re eating dinner, ya know? And I see Uncle Doug putting something on his plate and I says, “I want some.” I picked up my plate and my food went flying onto the floor. The dogs love me when I visit. If food doesn’t accidently fly off my plate, then I manage to share it with the dogs. They love it when I drop pieces of mac and cheese on the floor for them. So why is it I get in trouble when I eat their food and snacks? I mean, if I share my food with them, why does everyone yell at me for taking their food? It’s rather tasty. Try it some time.

Then we went to get Autumn and suddenly I felt sick. Gammy says it was the dog food I ate. Pappaw says it was the chocolate chip cookies. Greg says there was green stuff in my vomit. That was the broccoli I ate, I guess. And I’d rather blame my ill tummy on that. Either way, I felt great after I threw up. My brother-in-law Greg held me over the toilet and my sister Ashley gave both me and Autumn bathes.

Anyhow, I thought I’d throw one more guilt trip on Gammy. We’re sitting on the porch after the clean up and my sobbing had subsided and I said to Gammy, “I don’t wanna go home. I wanna stay here.”

Just said it for shock effect. I knew she was ready for me to go home. And then Autumn adds, “I want to go with Emma.” Gammy smiled. “Yes, darlings, you are going to Emma’s house for a few days.”

Love to all,

Autumn and Emma

Autumn and Emma

24 Hours with Autumn and Emma

It started when we decided to help Autumn’s parents by taking her to the doctor’s office to finish with her 2-year-old shots. We picked her up and brought her home with us the night before.

On Friday morning, we readied for the 45 minute journey to Eustis. Dressed totally in pink, including her boots, Autumn charmed everyone. She’s friendly and says hi to people. Did I mention our little Gemini is a perfectionist? At the office, there’s a child-size table and chairs. She wanted the blue chair and wasn’t happy that one of the little boys took it first. But she waited patiently until he got up, then claimed it. When the boy went in for his shots, she made sure all the chairs were set around the table correctly, and she had to make sure the books were all straightened in the rack.

She had her Cabbage Patch doll that her uncle found (new) at a garage sale. She named him Boy. The workers asked her to see Boy since it had been so long since they had seen one.
Then it was time for us to go in to see the nurse and get 4 “ouchies.” They give the shots in their legs these days and I wanted to cry right with her. The tears turned off right away when the nurse brought the lollipops her way. “Thank you,” Autumn said. “I need one for Emma, too.” I explained to the nurse that Emma, 6 months younger than Autumn, is Autumn’s aunt. “I need one for my mommy, too.” So with three lollipops in her hand, we bid the nurse goodbye. On our way out I heard the nurse tell another worker, “I was afraid she was going to keep asking for more lollipops for every relative she had.”

We headed to Burger King for lunch. Chatting away, and having forgotten about her “ouchies,” Autumn ate, but still had her fries. Her Pappaw told her she could take them along with her and eat them in the car. That made her happy—until Pappaw had to stop quickly for a car in front of us.

“Great-Pappaw! You made me drop my fries!’ She also managed to drop her opened lollipop on the floor.

Then we went to pick up Emma—better known as Hurricane Emma to the family. Emma had completed her nap, for which we were very happy. She tends to be a total grouch if she doesn’t have a nap or get her sleep at night.

Once in the car, we gave Emma her lollipop and Autumn decided to eat her Mommy’s since her’s was dirty.

We arrived at our house half an hour later. The girls chatted away and of course, managed to get all the toys out. One of our bookshelves now serves as a toy storage center. So there’s large legos, which they managed to build me (Gammy) and Pappaw apartments—at least we think that’s what they were.

Soon, Autumn’s legs began to hurt from the shots. They had told us to give her Tylenol. I had no children’s, so I trekked to the store to get that and some ice cream for later. Autumn was okay when she sat, but when she stood up her legs got stiff and that’s how she walked and said they hurt.

The girls stayed with their Pappaw. While I was gone, Emma told Pappaw that she pooped. He told her to get up on the couch so that he could change her diaper. He got her diaper off and cleaned her up, but told her to stay put until he took the dirty diaper to the trash so the poop didn’t fall out onto the floor. But just as he turned to go to the garage, the Hurricane, who doesn’t always listen, stood up and pooped again—on the floor, which splashed onto the coffee table and onto the leather couch. Her papaw managed to get a clean diaper on her and took the dirty one to the trash can outside the garage. Then he cleaned up the mess on the floor, on the couch, and on the end table.

But then Hurricane Emma said, “My tummy feels sick.” And promptly threw up on him. He moved her to the couch (we keep it covered with a blanket for these occasions—easier to clean) and she threw up again. He then sat her in my leather chair while he went to get stuff to clean it up—and she threw up in that chair!

When I arrived home, he was standing by the kitchen sink with Emma trying to wash the vomit out of her hair. I took the pillow and throw off the couch and threw it into the washer, along with Emma’s clothes and her Pappaw’s shirt.

Once she got all that out of her, she was hungry. And so was Autumn. I told them we had to bathe them first—they didn’t smell too good. I discovered that Autumn had forgotten to ask to use the potty and had a diaper full. I got her cleaned up and out to the trashcan with that diaper. Got the bathtub ready for them. Started stripping down Emma. Guess what? She had a diaper full, too! Once more to the trashcan. Poor trash men—they’ll love that batch of trash!
Once they were cleaned up, I fixed them more food—chicken nuggets and applesauce, hoping that would work for them. It managed to fill their tummies. So they played for a while longer. Then I was told by Chris (Emma’s dad and Autumn’s Pappaw and our son) that if Emma wasn’t in bed by 8:30 she’d give us fits. She was rubbing her eyes by eight and picked up her security blanket. I told the girls we’d go to my room and watch TV—they were sleeping with me. Yes, I have a King-sized bed, so the three of us and my 2 dogs crawled in. I was surprised how quickly they went to sleep that night.

Then at 6:30 a.m. they and the dogs were ready to rise and shine. I flipped on the TV to a kid’s show and they watched it while I put the dogs out to do their business. After diaper changes it was time to eat breakfast. Do you know how often 2 year olds want to eat? They are little eating and pooping machines!

The girls generally play well together, but sometimes they have tiffs. Like when Larry saw Autumn push Emma. He told her to tell Emma she was sorry. She sweetly said, “I’m sorry I pushed you Emma. I didn’t mean to do that.” Right!

And the two of them would get their faces really close and argue. I couldn’t understand what they were saying, but you could tell it probably wasn’t nice baby talk.

As if pooping and vomiting wasn’t enough for grandparents to endure, I had Emma come up to me and say, “Gammy, here’s a booger.” My response was, “Get a tissue and wipe you nose and your finger!”

By the time Chris and family arrived, it was lunch time and time to feed the little ones again. I had given them a snack shortly before—chocolate chip cookies. They took their little fingernails and chipped away at the chocolate chips with before eating them. And then they wanted applesauce, too. Good combo, right?

Chris and Sandra wanted to go see the Manatees. We live close by Blue Springs and I’ve never been there, so I tagged along. Larry can’t walk that far. For a while I kept Autumn’s hand, but soon discovered a little one pulling on you makes your hips feel like they want to explode. I opted to push Noah’s stroller, which was much better. Emma liked to jog along, while Autumn was okay with taking either Sandra or Chris’s hand. Chris carried Emma, then Autumn on his shoulders. We did see the manatees, but they refused to come to our side so I could get close up shots.

Anyhow, for those of you wanting grands or kids, this is what you can expect from your day. But hey, it’s a great way to lose weight—you simply can’t sit very long—and you can’t eat much because after two bites, they need juice, or milk or another whatever!