Posts Tagged ‘laughter’

I Get by with a Little Help from my Friends

December 9, 2014

My handsome husband and I are still in our forties…. barely. By the skin of our teeth, but we ARE!  We were caught off guard this week when we both asked for help with COMMON words that we could not remember. I started the memory-fail game by asking, “What are those things called that come out of the ocean and are shaped like stars?” The confused look on his face lead me to believe he thought I was joking. Sadly, I was not. “Starfish?” Oh, yeah… and we broke out into laughter because laughter is good for your soul.  And after you can’t recall the word starfish and/or you realize your spouse can’t recall the word starfish you need something…. anything that is good for your soul.


The very next day hubby was at the kitchen table texting someone, looked up and asked me, “What are those things called that go up in the sky and explode in pretty colors?”  …. I looked at him with that same confused look he gave me the previous day and answered, “Starfish?  … or did you mean fireworks?”  And we both laughed heartily again, as this seems to be the go-to response for aging in our home.

And names!  GAH! Really, we should all have our names tattooed on our foreheads, then there would be no need for racking our brains to remember names. I loved it when my boys were little and on hockey teams with their names written on the their helmets on hockey tape. Easy Peasy. My husband and I have an unwritten rule that I am talking with a person and he walks up, if I don’t introduce him, it means I have forgotten the person’s name. Then he puts out his hand and says, “Hi, I’m Rick,” and saves the day.  It works perfectly!

Mothers have forgotten their children’s names for all of history and that is somehow forgiven and thought of as common. When we were recently in the DMV for son #2’s driver’s license, his number was called and he started walking toward the counter without the needed paperwork that was in my hand. So I called him… by his father’s name… and then added, “Or whoever you are.” He turned back to get the papers and rolled his tootsie-roll brown eyes at me. Another mother seated a few seats over laughed and said that she does that all the time with her kids! That didn’t really make me feel better… just commiserated with company.

I won’t even get into trying to follow recipes at the ripe old age of 48. Don’t get me started. Don’t even get me started.


Elderly Laughs

December 14, 2013

I should seriously get out more.  I have been thoroughly entertained by elderly people these last few days in my journeys around town.  Laughter is good for the soul…. and my soul has been well nourished!

Walgreens.  Change for a $20 and some red and green MnMs.  That’s all I was after.  Standing in line behind one elderly gentleman, I assumed it would be a quick ride as he was only holding a Hershey’s bar with almonds.  And the almonds shouldn’t take any extra time!  No.  It was anything but a quick ride.  I could have walked all the way back to the pharmacy waited in line behind two people getting multiple prescriptions and it would have been faster!  The gentleman was a little hunched over… I wondered if it was due to hearing loss and his tendency to lean toward anyone who was talking?  He was a cute grandpa: matching light blue jacket, polyester pleated pants and tennis shoes.  His gray hair was a bit long for his conservative dress… maybe he was out strolling for a lady friend???  The also elderly cashier rang up the candy bar and pronounced, “$1.09.”  The customer replied LOUDLY, “That sign right there says it is only fifty-nine cents!” The cashier asked him to punch in his phone number so he could get the store discount.  Ain’t no way on God’s green earth was he going to share his private information with a dang computer!  On and on he ranted, “You don’t know who is going to be getting that information!  The government is trying to take our money, take our medical, and now they want to call us at home!  I’m not putting in my number!”  I felt sorry for the cashier, who tried to explain that the overpriced candy bar was only going to be on sale with a precious phone number.  “NO WAY!  It says FIFTY-NINE CENTS!”  Around and around they went like Elf in the department store rotating doors!  At that point my MnMs were starting to melt in my hand and not in my mouth.  I volunteered to put my phone number in so the man could save fifty cents.  I stepped around the man and typed in my digits.  Both elderly men thanked me, as did the next three people in line behind me.  The happy, candy bar-carrying man then warned me about government intrusion. I secretly reassured him, “It’s our old home phone number that has been disconnected for four years.”  And then my secret was out.  He laughed so hard while telling everyone in the store, the parking lot and driving by on the street that I outsmarted the government by using a phony phone number!  I couldn’t quit laughing!

Next stop: Kohls.  Black socks.  That’s all I was after.  This time I ended up in line following two elderly women… as opposite as they could be.  The first gem that drew my attention was leaning heavily on the counter in her black bling-bling velour sweat suit.  Her thick, black-rimmed glasses were perfect circles approximately four inches across each heavily make-upped eyeball.


She was adorned with hot pink lipstick in the same shade as a swatch of her used-to-be-gray hair.  She was loudly protesting that the store didn’t carry the cappuccino machine that was in the advertisement she was waving over her head.  The woman who was assisting her was on the phone asking for someone to come to the front from housewares to help the flashy lady.  “Yes, could you please have John come to the front,” she asked and the bug-eyed lady leaned forward to yell into the phone, “IMMEDIATELY!”  This caused involuntary bursts of laughter from me and the modestly dressed elderly woman in front of me.  Our giggles were not appreciated by the cappuccino-less lady.  She turned to us and hissed… seriously hissed, “This is NOT funny!”  In my head I was answering her back, “OH, this is Hysterical!  I think this is SO FUNNY! You just barked at me for laughing!”  The other laughing culprit was much more kind than I.  She apologized and went over and put her arm around the pink-haired yeller, telling her that she knows this can be a stressful time!  Pinky did calm down quite a bit.  But I couldn’t quit laughing.

Bring on the Christmas cheer, old folks!  I love it!

Yet Another Event-filled Trip

September 25, 2013


(Blurry photo courtesy of yours truly!)

Yet another event-filled trip including airports, airplanes and mishap after mishap.  It started with the suitcase being 62.5 lbs… 12.5 lbs OVER the weight limit.  Do we want to pay $75 for 12.5 lbs.?  NO!  So the unzipping of said bulging suitcase and our two carry-on suitcases commenced.  Followed by much shoving and re-weighing.  Finally, we got it down to 49.5…. but the airport scale announced a .5 lb. gain on the drive to the airport.  Whatev.

On the drive to the airport in the dark of the early morning, I realized I neglected to adorn myself with my silver jewelry and my WATCH!  I am going to be late ALL WEEK!  Thankfully, a fellow glamor queen brought two and shared.  When we got to the airport, I dug around and found replacement jewelry so I wasn’t naked.  Whew!

Next, you would have thought it was our first time traveling…. (and Rick is a pilot for Pete’s sake and heaven all mighty!)… We BOTH got pulled over at security.  I left a water bottle in my purse.  DUH!  Rick left his wallet in his pocket for the full body scan.  That didn’t go over well.  AND he put the laptop in a conveyor belt bin WITH his belt and shoes.  Uh… big time no no.

Next, we had a blowout on the handle of the FAVORITE carry-on.  No big deal, right?  I mean, how much do you use the handle on the top of the small suitcase?  Only every single time you try to move it up or down.  Moving on.

Airspeed indicator malfunction.  That’s what our two hour delay sitting in the plane on the tarmac was caused by.  My pilot-husband did confirm that whatever that indicator indicates is pretty important for flight safety, so we patiently and impatiently waited before our 4.5 hour flight.  So, we landed two hours behind schedule, but not late enough to miss out on a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich in Philly.  YO Adrian!  The crack in THE bell, and all that jazz.

Upon arrival at the Sandy Cove retreat center in North East, Maryland, I discovered that I left my favorite turquoise reading glasses in the seatback pocket on the airplane.  That just plain made me said.  Those were my favs.  Yes, they were from the Dollar Store but STILL!

My $10 manicure only lasted two days… and I didn’t even do any dishes.  So it cost me another $2.95 and $2.85 to match the color and buy more top coat, turning the $10 manicure into a $16 manicure…. gah.!

But we arrived in Ellicott City, Maryland today to one of the biggest hotel rooms I have laid my eyeballs on in a looooong time.  I even stole borrowed two chairs from the hall and we had a 7-man meeting in our plentifully spacious room.   He shoots!  He scores!

Father’s Day! Two-thousand-twelve (twelve…twelve….twelve)

June 17, 2012

Nora and her second Father’s Day with her Daddy.  Rick and his second Father’s Day with his Colombian princess.  She wrote him a beautiful card, “Thank you for being my dad. I love you!”  Brought tears to my eyes when I think of how blessed she is to have him as her Daddy.

During church this morning, I realized for the first time that I’m thankful to another father…. in South America… who fathered a little girl who was destined for our family…. and destined to do GREAT things for eternity through her testimony.  A father whom I’ll probably never meet.  But a father whose life impacted our family GREATLY.  Thank you, birth father, for your precious gift to us.  I silently said his full name and prayed a blessing on him.

We spent the day with my Dad up at my parent’s house with most of our family (minus one child who was camping) and my brother’s family.  The line of cards was the longest I’ve seen in a while.  Lot’s of love and sentiments.  Our family is blessed beyond measure with godly fathers for generations!

At lunch, we all shared a memory of our dad… the stories varied from saving a daughter from swarming ants, to removing socks full of fleas, to cleaning up a crib smeared with *unmentionable* smelliness…. and those were the first three stories.  I felt like we were stuck in a Green Acres episode down on the boondocks.  Seriously?  These were the only happy Father’s Day memories???  I jumped in next with a story of my dad fixing the most amazing dinner, in my humble 5-year-old opinion, of popcorn and sliced apples.  I was SOOO impressed with his culinary skills!  More stories followed of kids being swung up on the roof and slammed into the side of the house first….. dad reading the Bible every morning…. being chased and tickled… being impressed with dad’s ice skating skills…. and dads who dressed up like a woman and Peter Pan (with tights).  It was all quite amusing.  Nora told the story of the day she met her Daddy and he cried tears of joy and almost made her cry and then he made a funny gulping noise.  (Love it!)

Dads play such a critical role in the lives of their children…. as examples and role models for their sons… and as admirers, protectors and guardians for their daughters.  Thankfulness permeates my soul as I realize the quality of the fathers in my family… solid men of integrity and strength through good times and bad.  All following the heavenly Father and leading the way to Him. Thanks, Dad.  Thanks, Honey.  Thanks, Rob.

So blessed!


First Time EVER!

February 24, 2012


(Image scraplifted from: )

Yes, it’s that time of year again…. Scrapping in the Pines, our bi-annual scrapbooking retreat for four days in the cool pine-covered mountains of Prescott, Arizona.  There are seven of us going….. but this time I’m packing GAMES!  Yes, you read that right… GAMES!  Yahtzee, Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, 13 and Carcasonne!  We’ve never played games in Prescott! And movies, but we always take movies!

AND… please make sure you’re seated for this announcement… I’m not scrapbooking at Scrapping in the Pines!  I know!  Unbelievable.  I am making cards this trip.  I’m always a bit envious of my sister’s beautiful handmade cards that arrive in our mailbox several times a year.  Mine are usually handmade by a little Asian woman and purchased in a big box at Costco.  But after my third box of that type…. I have LOTS of baby and sympathy cards… but I’m fresh out of birthday cards … AGAIN  Enough! 

I scooted into Barnes & Noble tonight and bought a card making magazine….it cost as much as buying five cards at Hallmark, but it will be worth it’s weight in gold when I’m done.  All of my scrapping patterned paper, ribbons, buttons, eyelets, lace, trim, glitter, flowers and such will be making the journey.  Along with blank cards and envelopes.  I also resurrected the stamps, ink, embossing glitter, heat gun, and the metal embossing template!  What a blast from the past!  WAIT!  Inspiration just struck at this very moment… and you’re here to witness it first hand…. I can MAKE the envelopes!  Oh, sweet mother of baby Jesus, that is a great idea.  My aviator husband has all kinds of maps that will be perfect.  YES!

And so, it will be the first time EVER that this retreat should REALLY be called “Relaxing, Gaming and Crafting in the Pines.”  But we’re not changing the name after 15 years!

My Peeps

February 1, 2012

Last weekend I had the joy and privilege of speaking to the Arizona homeschoolers in a mid-year refresher.  We all found sitters and gathered together in a hotel in Mesa and can I just say that it is so energizing to be with your peeps.  We are all in the trenches together.  We are parents lacking socialization with other adults all day long because we’ve chosen to school our kids at home.  We laughed, we cried, we laughed some more.  We shared our victories and our struggles.  No matter how hard our journey seems, there is always one other family who has it WAY worse than we do… and it secretly gives us hope.  If they can keep on schooling, so can we! 

We listened to Tim Hawkins’ new homeschool song

and we laughed until we cried.  Happy tears with my peeps.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

As the evening progressed, there were door prizes, laughter, a Southwest buffet and then I shared our homeschool story…. the challenges, the kid that couldn’t read, my failures as a homeschool mother, the triumphs and what we’ve learned along the way.  It’s cathartic to give your testimony.  It not only gives hope to others, but you realize how God pulled you through your circumstances and you’re still alive to tell the story.

It was a good weekend.  And I’m ready to finish the homeschool year now.  Not quittin’ anytime soon.  Thank you, my peeps, for showing up and keeping me on my journey with my kids.

Classic Elderly Gentlemen

March 17, 2011

My daughter and I were out about town and, oh, did we have some good laughs brought on by some GREAT old men. 

We were entering Walgreens when we noticed a line at the register of four or five people… including a heavily tattooed young woman and an elderly gentleman.  The man either needed hearing aids or simply had a booming voice… which could be heard throughout the store as he commented to the young woman, “Darlin’, you’ll grow to regret them tattoos!”  Larisa and I both burst out laughing as we made our way out of sight.  I’m sure his comment and volume made that young woman’s day!  Classic!

An hour later, we were eating In-N-Out burgers in the parking lot and a silver old-school mini van pulls in towing a light green fishing boat.  The small type of vessel that holds four people on a good day, and three elderly fishermen on a sunny day like today.  Sitting in the middle of the boat was a while plastic lawn chair…. for back support, I’m guessing??  The men slowly climbed out of the van…. VERY slowly.  These men were in their 80s at least.  The tallest of the bunch exited the van and we had the pleasure of viewing his outdoor adventure attire:  camouflage pants and a white t-shirt that said “Shut Up and Fish!” on the back.  Another burst of laughter without forewarning.  Classic!

Old Dog Learns New Tricks

May 13, 2010
Here we are at our friend’s, Bruce and Connie, house in California… playing the train game Ticket to Ride.  Obviously someone just did something naughty…. you can tell by the faces in this photo. I’ve been friends with these folks for over 30 years.  WOW!  We still try to get together every year for a vacation of games, movies, laughs and more games.
In March when we were dealt the unwanted hand of “no more hockey” for our 13-year-old hockey-loving son, we cried for two days and then went to Bruce and Connie’s house for a week.  We needed the friendship… the laughs… the games.. the distraction from the life we’ve known for eight years that ended abruptly… and the life we thought we would be living for another eight years at least. 
While we were freeloading at their home, I learned two valuable tidbits from my friend, Connie. 
#1.  If you put parchment paper on the baking sheets while you bake cookies it makes your life easier, tidier, quicker and your cookies look WAY better.  She’s probably known this trick for years, but kept it a BIG FAT secret until this past March.  It’s only been two months since that miraculous discovery and I’m already on my second box of parchment paper.  Totally awesome!
#2.  Women who are slowly losing their sight REALLY should invest in a 10X magnifying mirror for the sake of their eyebrows.  I asked Connie for a mirror and she handed me this little gem.  I took one glance and was horrified at the condition of my blind eyebrow tweezing ability.  I have since purchased a purple $3 10X magnifying mirror at Walmart and my life is forever changed. 
There you have it.  Old dog learns new tricks.  It is possible.  (Makes me wonder what else Connie has been holding out on me???)

I’m the FOOL yet again

April 1, 2010

 april fools trick

In case you’re new here at MSJ, my family is world-renown for the rubber band on the kitchen sprayer on April Fool’s Day.  I got blasted again this morning…. you’d think I’d have learned by now.  Hardy har har!  I guess I’m a slow learner.  The boys laughed hysterically… one even rolled on the floor holding his belly.  THEN they asked me to make them a special breakfast of egg muffins!  The nerve.  Being the nice mom, not the revengeful mom, I made the egg muffins.  But when I set them on the kitchen table I mumbled, “I sure hope there’s no plastic pieces in these.”  They quickly dissected the breakfast bounty before biting.

Next, one son uses the bathroom near the kitchen.  He returns to the kitchen table, but both boys are smiling like the Cheshire cat.  A quick perusal of the commode revealed a ketchup packet folded in half under the toilet seat, awaiting a victim’s hiney.  Hardy har har.  I threw it away.  An hour later there was a Taco Bell packet folded in its place.  Hardy har har, again.

At that point, I explained that the fool would be cleaning up any mess that fool cleverly caused.

Then Rick called me from work and asked if I remembered a job he told me about in Michigan.  This was a premeditated April Fools joke in the making commencing over three weeks ago.  He talked of the position, pay, home prices, etc. etc.  I rolled my eyes at the thought of Michigan.  No offense to the fine people of Michigan.  And I know they’re fine…. I’ve met plenty of them down here in Arizona in the winter months.  He proceeded to tell me that they did a phone interview and he got the job.  Again, I said “Hardy har har!  I know it’s April Fool’s Day!”  He was a bit surprised at my sharpness just after nine in the morning.  I told him I was wearing a wet bra from the kitchen sprayer to help me remember what day it was.

I hope your day was dry and taco-sauce-on-your-bum-free!


February 17, 2010

Ok, I so laughed when I found this picture of a GUY wearing this shirt!  Live!  Love!  Laugh!  Scrapbook!

Tonight my sister flies in from Washington and tomorrow we leave for four days of scrapping in the pines of Northern Arizona.  It calms my soul and brings peace to my heart as I anticipate our next four days of relaxation.  Yes, we go twice a year.  Yes, we stay in a 1970s decorated cabin.  Yes, someone cooks and cleans for us.  Yes, we just stay in the cabin and scrapbook.  But we also leave once in a while for a hike or two… and we watch movies.  Girlie movies with love and romance and laughter and bliss.  See why I like this outing so much?  And we laugh.  Til we cry.  And then we laugh some more.  It’s basically an emotional release weekend without hubbies or kids.

This year I am prepared to work on a 2009 family album.  I usually do “event” albums of Christmas, or one holiday or vacation.  But I figured out that I don’t have the day-to-day photos in a book for all to see.  So I printed about 27 hundred photos from 2009 and I already made the first double page spread of each month.  I’m SO ready!

But first I have to unpack my suitcase… and wash my favorite comfy clothes.  Then re-pack my suitcase. 

I’ve given up making menus for my family for the time I’m away…. it seemed the more effort I put into making meals, schedules, grocery shopping, etc…. the more often the family went out to eat.  So now, I do nothing, other than replenishing the fruit bowl before I leave.  (I did that yesterday.) 

I will take my laptop, so I may blog, but no promises from this girl.  Nope.  There is only internet service if you drive to the front of the campground and sit in this one spot.  And even then, it’s iffy.  So, as I said, no promises.

Have a grand weekend.  I will.