Sunday, September 27, 2009

I'm going to Mississippi and I am going to take a .....

Dear Diary,

I leave Thursday morning for Mississippi! Momma says it will be in the low 80's. Sista Lucy says it will be in the low 70's. They both say bring a sweater. I bought a really cool mink sweater pin at the antique mall but I don't believe I'll pack it or a sweater. I'll be a rebel and buck authority. I haven't felt chilly in I don't remember when. It is still over 100 degrees here! A day hasn't gone by that I haven't sweated down my butt crack! It's not bad enough that I'm still going through menopause and have teenagers. We have record high temps too. Well enough of that.

Sista Lucy called me tonight. We are all getting excited about seeing each other. Sista Janice arrives Wednesday. I arrive Thursday and sista Sarah Ann is flying to Nashville and driving down with sista Lucy Thursday.

Sista Lucy asked me a question tonight that made me pause - "What are we going to do for entertainment?" Well, Thursday night we are having a catfish fry - that's always entertaining. Friday is the Big Birthday party for Daddy - He will be 82. We can play some party games. One sista suggested pin the hemorrhoid on the Daddy. I searched Martha Stewart's site and didn't see anything that looked more fun than that. We considered a talent contest. My cousin Lynne will be there from Birmingham, Alabama and she sings like a lark. She will have no serious competition so that will not be fun. Sista Janice usually plays "Don't tell Aunt Rhody" on the tonette, sista Sarah Ann can still fit in her tap costume she wore as a child (but that's not her talent, tapping is) and I would perform Elizabeth Taylor's dramatic monologue from Suddenly last Summer. Although sista Lucy is multi-talented she usually sits on the sidelines and makes fun of us all. I used to consider my talent - twirling the baton - but a couple of years ago when I participated in the 5th grade talent show my act was recorded. I no longer twirl in public.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beeswax Silouette

Dear Diary,

I have been studying and substituting so have not felt like blogging about my hopes and dreams. Since it has been over a week - I thought I would post an essay my son John wrote when he was in college at ASU. The teacher gave him an A - best in class so I hope you enjoy it. Some of ya'll have seen this before.

Here goes - it is kind of long.

Anyone who owns a cat has, at one point, come home to find the mangled remains of a bird that kitty managed to have for lunch. One day I did too, and imagine that this bird had been creamed on the freeway by a speeding tour bus: the end result would be similar, but not quite as messy as the number my sister's cat had done on this one. Getting home from school I happened upon the little creation Flower left for us on the front porch. Within a ritualistic circle of feathers and guts she had decapitated the bird, left the head looking straight up at whomever would find it, and to the side had stretched out the wings and legs in a grotesque degree, as if to say she "loved us 'this' much."

Normally one might be shocked, but the sad fact is that so many animals have met equally horrendous deaths involving my family that, like the horse whisperer on a tour of the glue factory, I came out with a pretty upset worldview.

In this case though, I attributed it to Darwinism. If Flower had managed to kill it, then that was one stupid bird and it deserved to die. Why? Because this cat can be best described as a big black poof wearing a bell. It bares repeating: a bell. Whenever I step into the yard, she flattens herself in the grass, so all that I can see is a big black ball of fur, and eyes looking at me through blades of grass. Think camouflage! Then she darts to the next bit of cover, "ring, bling, ring, swish!" And then she darts to the next bit of cover, "ring, bling, ring, swish!" and then she pounces, "jingle, bling, ring, rawr! Ah! They see me, run away! Blingy, ring, jingle."

Now usually people say that when cats leave dead things for you to step in, it means they love you, or are giving you a present...but at the point where the cat goes Hannibal Lector on it's food, and rips off the head...that's not a present, that's a threat. Instead of "Ilove you" it's more like "this could be you, I know where you sleep." My best guess is she is tired of my little brother stepping on her tail, or still bitter that we stole her kittens and gave them away. Especially when she still doesn't know who her babies' daddy is.

That's another thing about Flower, not only is she apparently evil, but she's also a whore. Before we had time to spay her, she was out wandering the neighborhood and got knocked up. She was a teen mother of a broken home. Of course I got in trouble when, talking to my dad, I referred to her as "the skank". My ten year old sister overheard and wanted to know what it meant...and it means bad kitty if she should ask. Flower didn't take it hard though, and in fact for some reason I became the surrogate father to the little bastards. She so thoughtfully chose the dirty clothes underneath my bed as a nest to keep the kittens....Kittens that like to meow as loud as they can in the middle of the night. She put them there because that was the only place she could keep them out of the hands of my brother and sister who spent hours trying to squeeze under the bed, faces pressed against the side, reaching as far as they could to get one of the meowing fuzzy bundles of fun. And whenever she would get hungry, or go out and search for her babies' daddy, she would carry them one by one to the top of my bed so that I could babysit while she was gone....Thanks kitty, let me put down my calculus so I can keep kittens from tumbling off my bed to their death while I beat my siblings away from them with a stick.

It turns out though, that it was my dad who actually killed the bird. That makes more sense too, because he wasn't wearing a bell AND has a BB gun. Lucky for me, I can go to college because in his midlife crisis, instead of buying a corvette, he chose a more economical instrument of death, the BB gun. The logic behind this purpose was "the damn pigeons" keep nesting over the porch and installing chicken wire just isn't fun enough. What apparently was fun was buying about one hundred forked spikes to glue down on top of the pillars holding up the roof of the porch which was where the pigeons lived. Apparently, the idea was for the pigeons to fly into them at full speed and skewer themselves. Instead, the pigeons merely flew over the spikes and enjoyed a new fortified nest. Birds, one. Dad, zero.

Aside from the pigeons, there are also large black birds called grackles that steal the dog's food, and apparently carry mystery bird diseases that can kill us all. Therefore the best solution is to pump those bastards full of lead! So far, the pigeons are gone but since Dad has taken to baiting the grackles by putting the food in plain sight, there are actually more birds than there were originally. So it stands to reason that we are all therefore much closer to dieing of exotic bird diseases. Birds, two. Dad, zero.

Not only does dad enjoy mercilessly killing the bird menace, he's discovered an even greater joy in the telling of his killings.

"There was this huge one, right? And it was sitting on the fence, and I thought, maybe there are houses behind it in the line of fire, or maybe not...but I'm taking this shot! And I shot it and you could tell it was like 'What the hell?!' and it starts to fly off, but then it's like 'uhoh...not feeling so good...' and then it took a nose dive into your mother's ferns...and I think I saw the cat run off with it a little while later." So dad fearlessly maintains his post when he's outside; reading the newspaper, drinking beer, he always has his faithful Red Rider within arm's reach. In fact, after he's done with the newspaper, and a substantial amount of beer, he's still clinging tightly to it while passed out and snoring...which I think is a bit unhealthy...but we've learned not to discuss these things.