29 January 2010

Reminder To Self...

Mourning what you don't have when you can be thankful for all the wonderful things you do have is purely selfish and self centered.

QOTD: "A man whose yesterdays rest on his horizon travels forward into his past.  The result is that he goes a very long way to nowhere." Catherine Anderson, author, from Comanche Heart

27 January 2010

From The Dinner Table...

I truly wish I'd had a camera to capture the facial expressions on Danielle's and my husband's faces during this conversation.  Danielle looked so horrified while her father did his best, "I don't understand why this should bother you." face.

Danielle, "Ewwww!  This has mushrooms in it!" (Ok.  It's been a while since I put mushrooms in the sauce but I've never gotten a complaint til now...)

Her Father, "Well it IS spaghetti.  Don't you like mushrooms?"
Danielle, "YUCK!!!"
Her Father, almost militant in his questioning, "What have you got against mushrooms?"

Danielle, "It's a FUNGUS!"
Her Father, with an outraged expression on his face, "WHAT? Are you a funguphobe?"
Me, Heh!
QOTD: "Life is too short to stuff a mushroom." Unknown Author

25 January 2010

Dinner Manners At The Lemon Stand Household...

Me, while glaring at my husband who is eating in front of the kids, "Why are you eating that slice of meat with your fingers?"

My husband, with an angelic, questioning look on his face as he answers, "Because I'm wearing shoes and my feet can not reach my mouth?"

Me, still glaring at my significant other because he continues to eat in a manner fit for barnyard animals in front of the kids, "Why can't you use a fork?"

My husband answers with a patently false misunderstood look on his face, "I already put it in the sink."

Me, getting really exasperated with his determination to look confused about WHY we, as adults, should not be setting such an example, "Why did you decide to eat it with your fingers instead of with a clean fork?"

My husband, "Because bobbing for meat never caught on?"
Check Mate.  Yep.  After knowing him for over thirty years (and yes, that was before his voice changed) I have learned when to just throw in the towel.  I have also learned how to get even...  Stay tuned...
QOTD: "Fatherhood is pretending the present you love most is soap-on-a-rope." ~ Bill Cosby (b. 1937) American Actor, Comedian and Producer

24 January 2010

Are You SURE?

Heh! I bet you didn't think you'd see an angelic child with a post title like that. This is a picture taken quite a while ago of Rachel. She didn't want to give up her 'throne' when it was time to leave. At her age (and size) is was easy to simply pick her up but as they get older, this no longer works.

It finally came to me that I can not MAKE my children do anything any more. I simply have to explain the consequences of each of the possibilities they might choose.

I have learned much from my dear sister Suzanne. When she asked one of her sons to do something and it didn't get done she would ask if they were SURE they didn't want to do it?
    "No, I want to go play outside."

    "No, you don't."

    "Yes, I do."

    "No, you don't. You just told me you didn't want to do this chore thereby telling me you didn't want to do anything and that's OK. You don't have to do ANYTHING. Just sit down in that chair right there until everyone has finished all the chores."
If they didn't choose to go do the chores, they would have to sit in the chair in the middle of the activity and if they asked a question or made a comment, my sister would say...   
"Let me finish this real quick and I'll have time to talk to you and answer your questions."
Then she would go back to continuing from one chore to the next. She would repeat the above sentence for any conversation and if one of the other boys tried to talk to said child, she would find another nasty chore for the son who obviously had timed to stop and chat with the one who didn't want to do anything.

It didn't take long for the boys to figure out that she will find chores till bed time. They are now VERY wary when she says... "Are you SURE you want to do that?" It really makes them think about consequences. I wish I were as diabolical as her when it comes to thinking up what a child dreads as a punishment. Oh the stories I could tell....    

QOTD: About behavior... "The type that makes me laugh and cry and scream and double over and dance and walk and spit and live and die and give birth and think and stop and go and read and go comatose." Lori Ann Felker

22 January 2010

Music Teacher Job Description... Or NOT...


Music is a pretty big part of our lives here in the Lemon Stand household. Amongst the seven of us in our family, we listen to an extremely wide range of music. Beatles, Nat King Cole, Queen, AC/DC, Meatloaf, Abba, Green Day, Breaking Benjamin, My Chemical Romance, Rascal Flatts, Alan Jackson, Tammy Wynette, Nina Simone, Beethoven, Brahms, Wagner, James Taylor, Rogers and Hammerstein, Walt Disney sound tracks... You name it and we've probably played it on one of our many jaunts to anywhere.

21 January 2010

Food For Thought In My Mailbox...

A very long time ago, a fellow blogger friend introduced me to TUT... A Note from the Universe.  (BTW, TUT stands for Totally Unique Thoughts).  Every day I get a note that is by turns humorous, insightful and deeply thought provoking.  Sometimes we all need a positive pick me up.  If you go to the link you can sign up for your own TUTs.  As for today's note?

19 January 2010

Swapping Creative Insults...

Would you do ANYTHING for your best friend?  Well, Kelly messed up her back again and was sorely in need of cheering up.  I also had a magnificently craptastic day.  So what did we do as soon as we got online?  We decided to look up and swap creative insults... until the laughing meant pain killers for her backache and pain killers for my headache.  Still, it had us both in tears (of the good variety)...
There are quite a few sites with creative insults but we were looking for ones that did not contain foul language and those that we felt were not humiliating in intent.  So here you go...
"Were I to find him in the wild being torn apart alive by rabid dogs, I'd merrily sell popcorn."

"You are a sleezy, slimy, sticky, stinky, scum bucket full of maggot vomit and horse poo."

"If you're going to be two faced then, sweetie, at least let one of them be pretty." (Kelly: OMG!!! This one is sooo bad!!)

"If I throw a stick, will you leave?"  (No, Kelly... this one is sooo bad!!!)

"I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you."

"My mother told me to never speak ill of people. So, let me just say you are a marvelously articulate chimp."

"You are the ignoble, ignorant, illiterate, incestuous, illegitimate progeny of parents who belong to the phyla insecta."
"Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view."
"I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce."
"Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental."
"You sound reasonable. Time to up my medication."
"I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant." 
"If you had half a brain, it'd be lonely..."
 QOTD:  "If you can't ignore an insult, top it; if you can't top it, laugh it off; and if you can't laugh it off, it's probably deserved."  J. Russell Lynes (b.1910) American Writer

18 January 2010

A History Lesson From My Husband...

While on a trip to Rhode Island not long ago, my husband was having a most interesting conversation with our daughters.  It was mostly about the history of the Civil War period... And Darn!  I wish my history teachers had been this informative and funny...  (And I just know that Eric will get such a kick out of this story!)  :O)

I'm not sure where the conversation began but eventually they were discussing the weapons used during the Civil War time period.   Did you know that black powder and ball muskets made you thirsty to load them? (I certainly didn't... must be something lacking in my superior education...)  

According to my husband, the black powder was stored in paper tubes that you ripped open with your teeth. Loaded the rifle with ball and powder, tamped, fired, then repeated the process.  Black powder, which is made of saltpeter, Sodium Nitrite and Potassium, (don't quote me as my memory for such nitnoid details can be off) got in your mouth and the paper tube sucked the moisture out and contributed to extreme dry mouth.

Did you know that black powder rifle barrels get very hot when used and do you know how they use to get cooled? (I probably could have passed on this part of the lesson...)

The soldiers would urinate down the barrels. OK, that could be effective but it still has a major ICK factor. One of the girls, of course, had to ask what would happen if they didn't have to go to the bathroom. My husband, of course, said, "Well I guess they'd have to ask a friend to help them out." (Double.Ick.Factor)

What is saltpeter made of? (OK, I did know what this was but am still in the dark as to HOW it is made...)

Animal pee.  Danielle just HAD to ask how they got the animals to donate their pee? Want to know what my husband said? (His humor had been mostly checked at the door up until this time) "They put the cows in a warm barn and play the soothing sounds of moving water. They put one hoof in a pan of warm water and then they encourage them with Pee Bessy, Pee Bessy, Pee Bessy in a hypnotic tone of voice." (By this time I am laughing too hard to continue hearing the rest of the story.)

QOTD:  "All is not butter that comes from a cow."  Proverbs

A Mother's Advice To Her Daughter...

OK, I saw this and couldn't resist sharing the chuckle this morning.  :)  (Just remember... you can be as realistic about your significant other as long as you allow him the same privilage...)  Enjoy!

16 January 2010

Comments, Linky Love and Posts...

The following is a very interesting post over on Ack! Thbbbt!  I would love to see the answers to this but more importantly, post over at Roses so that everyone can see them.  I think it's a very lively discussion...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Would you rather...

Yesterday, I wrote a very short post and got more visitors than usual, but only one comment.
But, there are days when hardly anyone stops by and I get a pile of comments. 
What is that?  Seriously.

So, here's my question to you:

Would you rather...

... have very few visitors who leave lots of comments on your blog?

Or

... have TONS of visitors who leave very few comments?

Discuss.
With love, from Roses at 7:00 AM  

As I was reading this post I had the following random thoughts...
I agree with Leann, many of my readers drop by to learn how to run, build or want pictures of a 'lemon stand'.  But then again I have also seen readers come to my site in search of the following keywords: "selling your kids on ebay", "lemon facial gone wrong", "circumlocution discombobulation", "questions only Dad would know", "brazillian wax", "alarm clock obituary", and even "Im going to be a woman who just killed her husband and then describes in detail how she made lemonade."  (This sounds like it would make a good blog prompt... "What is the strangest keywords that led to your blog?") 

Andy noted the reduced comments because of google reader.  He's right and I am a bad example of this.  I need to start leaving more comments again to let those blogs that I read know I appreciate them and the wit and insight they bring to my day.  (Who doesn't need that kind of feedback?)

Pizza Girl noted that she likes the comments of Twitter.  I can't comment on that because although I have a Twitter account.  I don't know how to use it.  It occurs to me that I like the blogging better.  I write for me, but it is wonderful to know it can brighten someone else's day as well.

Buck said, "Andy linked ya again today and I'm here coz of that. Like most bloggers, I live for comments. In the blog world, anyhoo. The comments I get in real life I can mostly do without. ;-)"

I can definitely relate to the real life comments point!

Paul Mitchell said, "I guess that I am just like all the rest, if I got ten hits a day with ten comments, that would be better than one thousand hits and zero comments.  I blog for the discussion."

I suppose this is somewhat true in my case although I would still blog without a single visitor.  Like Mud, the act of writing is the true driving point with me.  There are days when I blog 2 or 3 posts and then slow down to once a week.  I guess you could say my writing is either feast or famine.

Although Harvey has a point, "If comments weren't desperately important to me, I'd still be writing my thoughts in a spiral notebook instead of on the internet."  (Hmmm, I guess I might have to rethink this whole thing because I feel this resonates with something inside me.)
 
I agree with Thumper about loving comments and realizing the need to click on through on Google Reader.

Roses, even though Skunkfeathers   (Gotta love that name!) is allowing Paul to use you as a lab rat... I will still comment on your blog because I love your sense of humor, wit and commentary.  :P

Not that I have a ginormous following or anything, but I highly recommend anyone who reads this go see (and comment on) Roses blog daily.  It is never a wasted click away...

After all these stray thoughts, I guess I have to conclude that although I write to keep myself sane, comments are always a lovely exclamation point to my day so I'd have to say I'd rather have more comments than readers.  At least then I'd get a warm fuzzy to know I'd touched someone else in the universe with my scribblings...  (That or that I was not alone in this "my teenagers are driving me crazy" life!)  :)
QOTD: "Electric communication will never be a substitute for the face of someone who with their soul encourages another person to be brave and true." ~ Charles Dickens
 I couldn't stop with one quote today, so take your pick.  :)
Leonardo da Vinci: "Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen."
Cyril Connolly: "Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self."
F. Scott Fitzgerald: "You don't write because you want to say something; you write because you've got something to say."
G. K. Chesterton: "There is a great deal of difference between the eager man who wants to read a book and the tired man who wants a book to read."
Mark Twain: "It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them."

Ben Franklin: "Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."

Joseph Pulizter: "Put it before them briefly so they will read it, clearly so they will appreciate it, picturesquely so they will remember it, and above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light."

Jack London: "You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club."

Memento Moron: Remember, Thou Art Stupid: The Kitchen Is Now Closed

I am saddened but understand well Sous Chef's reasoning for discontinuing his blog. Best wishes always! Perhaps someday, like me, you will find yourself recharged and ready to start anew. Thank you for the blessing of your insight and wit. You will be missed.

13 January 2010

The Tale Of My Husband's Pranks...

Are you or someone you know a prankster?  And I don't mean in a mean or malicious way.  I mean funny, but not humiliating or destructive behavior.  Just a "gotcha" kind of funny?  I figure I would post this and see if there are many people in the world like my husband.  I would love for you to post in the comments, which one you thought was most funny and why...

My sister, Suzanne, was visiting recently with most of the rest of my side of the family.  We were sitting down at dinner talking about family jokes.  My husband is not an amateur in this department.

So I asked him to tell the story of a prank on a co-workder.  I was thinking of one prank in particular but he told another one that I hadn't heard about. 
So after he was finished and the laughter had died down, I said, "No, the other prank."
He turns to me and says, "Which one?"  

"Well, just how many pranks have you done?"  

I get this blank look and a "I don't know.  I can't remember all of them."
I just rolled my eyes and asked myself the question... 'Do I really want to know just how many different pranks he has played?'  OK.  I admit it.  It was only a split second decision that this was a no-brainer.  Of COURSE I want to know.  I love how he can make me and everyone around him laugh. 

So the following post is about pranks my husband either pulled or was the inspiration for.

Airman's Lesson In Keeping Track Of Wallet...
Nowadays the military has tightened the ability to access it's computers.  You must put your military ID into a card reader in order to log on.  Many of the gentleman at my husband's office lay their wallets on the desk when using their ID cards.  Occasionally one will put their card back in their wallets but forget to put the wallet back into their pocket.  Or, a very big no-no, they turn their backs on their computer without removing the card.

In an attempt to discourage this kind of behavior in one particular offender, my husband decided to do something the Airman (and all the other co-workers) would not forget for a while.

This Airman was a BIG baseball fan.  He was taking his girlfriend (that he was planning on dumping just before his next trip... yeah, not a wonderful male specimen in my mind but pretty normal for many young guys) to a local game.  My husband called the office at the stadium that handled scoreboard messages.  He got the name and number of the agent and the cost of a message.  (My husband is not anything if not thorough with the details. Can you see where this is going?)

So he types up a FAKE e-mail receipt using this Airman's name and his credit card number (from the credit card he left on the desk next to his wallet) with a confirmation number for the scoreboard message of, "Will you marry me [girlfriend's name]?"  He then crumple's the paper and then carefully places it on the floor next to the guy's trash can with his name clearly visible.

A few hours later, there is a commotion in this Airman's office.  My husband walks over to 'watch the show'.  Everyone is giving this kid advice on calling the stadium to cancel the order, etc.  The Airman dials the number on the confirmation.  Get's the correct office but the agent just happens to be out to lunch.  The other agent can't find the scoreboard message request and suggests the Airman call back in a half hour.

Within 15 minutes, he has wound himself up so tightly that my husband takes pity on him and confesses all.  This Airman does not believe that my husband didn't actually call and ORDER the message.  (Truly not my husband's style... he's never malicious in his pranks.  He just likes to set the stage well)  My husband suggests he check with the credit card company and the stadium to ease this guys fears and even though he does so, he was still worried until after the fourth inning of the baseball game when they post these messages.
They do not have a big problem with leaving cards around anymore, I am happy to report.
Las Vegas, The Drunk Airman, and the Additional Charge Notice For a Phone Service...
My husband's co-worker was TDY (on temporary duty) out at Nellis AFB near Las Vegas, Nevada.  He goes to town to watch the younger troops, mainly to keep them out of trouble since getting drunk or gambling is not something he enjoys to excess and does not want to have to bail anyone out of jail. 

So after having to clean up after and put to bed this one Airman, he sat down at his computer and using one of the many fliers that I guess you get in Vegas that list all sorts of services you can call for, wrote up what looked like a receipt on hotel paper (that they kindly provide in the suits).   Now this is a family blog so I will leave the rest to your imagination about the services but the bill he typed out stated the hotel would have to charge his credit card an additional $49.95 for the phone service he had used the previous night.  On the bill was the phone number but not the name of the company.  (Just to be clear, their was never any charge.  It was a fake receipt.)

This Airman woke up the next morning with a heck of a hangover and a hotel envelope (that they also provide in their rooms, isn't that nice?) that had been slid under his door.

Since he couldn't remember much of the evening before, he couldn't remember who he had called that the hotel would charge him an additional $49.95.  So he called the number on the charge slip and listened to the 'receptionist' on the other end of the line before hanging up quickly.

This Airman was not married, engaged or even dating anyone so that was not what got him in a panic sending him to the co-worker's room to see if there was any way he could think of to make sure this charge was not listed to his credit card.  His GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARD!  You see, hotels and such are charged to a government credit card while you are temporarily stationed elsewhere.  There are VERY strict rules about what can and can not be charged to these cards and the military keeps a close watch on itemized bills.

After teasing him a little more, the co-worker fessed up, told the Airman to catch a shower and then bought the now relieved Airman breakfast.
Cell Phone Service...
Leaving a cell phone around is also considered to be a big temptation sometimes for my husband.  On most cell phones you can put messages on your main screen.  Such as 'Stud Muffin', 'My Little Cabbage Leaf', 'Honey Bun', 'Sweetie Pie', etc.

But what if you put "Replace Battery" there instead?  (Just do not ask me who he did this to... I sometimes think that my husband has the Terminator of Guardian Angels on his shoulders...)
The Wonderful World of Spell Checker... Or Not...
You know when when you spell a word incorrectly in most word processing programs, the software automatically inserts the correct spelling.  Most allow you to add words that are not already in it's dictionary or to change the spelling of any word that is.

Now imagine trying to type a report and every time you type the word "the", it is automatically changed to something that really is unprofessional such as "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy brown dog"?

I actually never could pry from my husband (or his boss, whom this was played on) just what he actually typed because every time I asked, he (and his boss) would laugh like a loon, turn red and change the subject.  They are such guys!!!
The Frozen Home Page...
Once, my husband went on to his boss' computer and pulled a prank that had his boss on the phone with the help desk for a half hour before he saw my husband walk past his doorway and knew he'd been had.
You see, my husband did a ctl prnt scrn on his boss' desktop, opened Paint (a graphics editing program), pasted the picture of the desktop, into the program, as a picture.  Saved as [anyfilename].jpg. Closed program. Right clicked on the desktop. Went into properties. Changed the desktop to [anyfilename].jpg by browsing to where he saved the file and changed the background to that picture. Closed out the properties box. Right clicked on the desktop and made a new folder. Dragged all of the icons into it. Then moved it down to the bottom of the screen til it was out of sight.

If you do this, you will now have a picture of what your desktop USED to look like but all of your icons are just part of the picture. You can click on them all day with no results. You can turn your computer off, turn it back on and it will still look the same because it is the BACKGROUND.  (btw, to fix this you simply pull the folder back up onto your desk top.  Change your background and put your icons back to where you want them.)
The Chia Pet...
One day my husband comes home with a computer keyboard, grass seed and a spray bottle filled with water.  (after knowing him for over thirty years... and yes, he pulled pranks even as a kid... I have learned to sit down and ask questions)

Apparently the keyboard was broken and was being thrown away.  My husband spreads the grass seed on it and waters it with the spray bottle while he is grinning like an idiot.  (this is never a good sign)

I ask who the lucky recipient was and he says that it is one of co-workers that was retiring soon.  I know this gentleman well.  He is a very sweet man who has the unfortunate affliction of having very little hair on his head and enough hair on the rest of his body to look like a grizzly bear.  The guys in the office affectionately call him their 'chia pet'. 
My husband grew the grass and then one day while said recipient went to the bathroom, he exchanged the keyboards at this man's desk.
Pictures Worth A Thousand Words...
The last time my husband went to the sand box, he did so with only one other member of his unit.  He told me just before he left that he was leaving a little something for the rest of the unit just in case I should get a phone call.

Turns out that he took a bunch of pictures and peppered them throughout the copier so that they would randomly appear on the back of someones report, letter or other document.  He never said what the pictures were of but one of the times that his boss called to check on us, I had to ask.

As usual, he wouldn't tell me but he also couldn't stop laughing.  I asked him if they missed my husband and he said that yes, they missed him but they were also planning a very special 'welcome home' for him.
Come to think of it... my husband never said what was special about his welcome home and now that I think of it... I should call and ask him... no doubt it will be entertaining.
QOTD:  "A sense of humor... is needed armor. Joy in one's heart and some laughter on one's lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life." ~ Hugh Sidey (1927-2005) American Journalist
Inportant NOTE:  I feel compelled to warn those who might read this post and want to use some of these pranks on others.  The guys in my husband's shop are often pulling pranks on each other.  They are aware of each person's personality and when pranks are pulled, there is great care to cultivate an atmosphere where no one is humiliated, physically or psychologically hurt.  There are those who would not appreciate the limelight and their wishes are respected.

The point of pranks is to relieve stress (not add to it), add laughter and humor to a very serious atmosphere (without risking safety or security in any way), and promoting an attitude of looking on the bright side (without being irresponsible).

Please take into account that there is a time and place for everything in order to ensure the basic intention of these lighthearted pranks remains within these guidelines.  Other than that... promote smiling, laughter and camaraderie.

Fighting Like Cats And Dogs... Not!

Back when my mother had to have knee replacement surgery, I posted the following.  I am working on a new post but just in case I can't finish tweaking it today... here's a humorous mental picture for you to enjoy.   :o)

Have I mentioned my mother has a dog? A Pembroke Welsh Corgi who is so sweet. Fairly small. So quiet, So afraid of his own shadow. My sisters could not take care of him while my mother is not at home so we have him at our house....with four VERY unimpressed cats.

We have discovered that we have raised four bully cats who pick on this poor dog CONSTANTLY! They chase him into a corner and won't let him out. They gang up on him! We put him in his kennel at night... not so he won't get out, but to keep the cats from picking on him.

While in his kennel, one of the cats will lay on top, another will clean her paws in front of the grate door, a third with sit a little ways away with his hackles raised. The fourth goes and eats his food.

In the morning, he won't come out unless Danielle coaxes him out.

He gets along great with the kids. If my husband or I have to run errands...he comes with us. He doesn't bark but will hide behind one of us or the kids if he sees the cats.

My husband has sworn he's seen the cats making "Puppy Go Home!" signs.

We took the whole crew to NH yesterday to see my mom and help my sister refit parts of her house so as to make it easier for my mom to get around when she comes home. We took the dog with us and left the cats at home and I swear that as we were pulling out of the driveway we could see the cats giving each other the 'high five' and breaking out the bubbly and party supplies! They were so disgruntled when we brought the dog home with us last night! (Nice try guys!)
QOTD: “When my cats aren't happy, I'm not happy. Not because I care about their mood but because I know they're just sitting there thinking up ways to get even.”  Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) English Poet
PS to my sister Suzanne - “People that hate cats, will come back as mice in their next life”  :O)

06 January 2010

A Beautiful World Ruled by Kelly...


Although I originally posted this back in 2007 when The Lemon Stand was still on it's first set of legs, so to speak... it is as true today as it was then.  I also had to re-post it because Kelly and my family's wish for her to rule the world was the subject at dinner tonight.  (The first dinner, may I add that I have been able to eat in more than a week.  I came down with a bad case of the flu with complications.  I didn't have to wait long for the 'I told you so' about getting the flu shot.  Yeah, I know I should have, but I didn't.  'Nuff said.)
Now besides being the best of friends, Kelly and I share many other things in common. We both were active duty at the same time and although we lived at the same base, we were not stationed at the same base. This happens when you have small military facilities that do not have housing that are in fairly close vicinity to facilities that DO have housing. In this case, the barracks.

So since at the time we served there was only one barrack for women (and for most of the 5 years I was there this was only, at most, just the first floor!) We were not room mates but we did live on the same floor.

Another thing we have in common was our career field. We both worked in Communications. And we both lost much of our hearing to the high-speed printers we had to work with. My hearing loss is not as bad as Kelly's but it is a source of wry amusement for our families.

Picture, if you will, 2 women who are very hard of hearing talking to each other on the phone. We both have phones equipped to turn the volume way up. You are standing across the room and a bull horn would probably be quieter (at least that is what I have been told). Our respective spouses can usually enjoy our conversations right along with us.....from the next room over.

Have I mentioned how much we LOVE Baseball and Football Games? Our husbands and kids HATE to sit in the same room with us to watch a game. Come to think of it, they probably can hear us anywhere in either of our respective houses.  Shees...can't understand why they think we're TOO loud... we just like to support our teams!?

It is a fact of life that if you are hearing impaired, you tend to talk loudly because you can't tell how loud you are talking. I think Kelly is not as loud as me because she is much better at reading lips than I am. I guess I must, at this point, admit that neither of us likes to wear our hearing aids. A source of much angst around us sometimes but hey, we communicate just fine. Our families have gotten used to hearing "Huh?", "What did you say?", "I can't hear you.", "Speak up!"

I just have to give you another mental picture of our gatherings, which are far too few now that we live about 2 1/2 hours apart, so that you will truly feel like you are with us. I think I have mentioned that Kelly is Italian.  I am of French-Canadian ancestry. BOTH of these heritages include decedents that talk with their HANDS! They talk loudly. (So we can also blame genetics...) They are affectionate and in our case we always correct each others children. :o)

Kelly's husband, John, is perfect for her. He is very calm and knows when to tune her out. (Come on Kel, you know this is true!) Anyway, you often forget that he is also half Italian.... until he loses his temper! He also gets along great with my husband. I often think the bond comes from having to stick together against us wives.

THE REST OF THE STORY
So I am talking on the phone yesterday and Kelly was telling me of her appointment at the Veteran's Hospital. She is sitting in the waiting room....waiting. (Sorry, couldn't resist that one) and in most hospitals or doctor's offices you usually have a specific clientele. Children in the pediatric area's, very sick people in the emergency room, etc. Well it is a bit different in VA Hospitals. You rarely see children for one thing. Teenagers are only slightly less rare. Unfortunately I must be painfully truthful and say that in the past five years it has become much more common to see men in the 20-40 year old range. But the biggest percentage still seems to be the 60-90 year old crowd. And WOMEN are STILL very much the minority.

So here she sits in this waiting room of MATURE men. A gentleman with a Vietnam Vet hat is sitting near her. I think he made her a little uncomfortable with the strange look he was giving her but he finally asks her why she was there. (He probably assumed she was waiting for someone to get OUT of their appointment so she could drive them home) When she said she had an appointment, the gentleman was flabbergasted.
"WHEN did you serve?"

"20 years ago." (I actually cringed inside when she said this because I went IN to the AF 3 years BEFORE her. Time has certainly flown!)
I can imagine, in my mind, his jaw dropping. Kelly does NOT look her age. She looks a lot younger than she is. When I told her this she wanted to know how much her husband was paying me to say that. ::roll of eyes::
Danielle said "She looks to be in her middle twenties but that if Aunt Kelly were God, there would be no wars."
Huh?
"Nobody would want to get her mad! The bad guys would all be sitting in corners.....And everything would taste good." Danielle explained.
DH added that everything would be CLEAN and freshly painted. :o)

Yup, a beautiful world ruled by Kelly.  OK John, you know where my bank account is :o)
QOTD: "A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked." Unknown