My Pet Freaking Peeves in the Grocery Store

groceriesThere are days I leave Wal-Mart with shaking hands and doubting humanity. What’s wrong with people and why do they do the dumbest most inconsiderate stuff while shopping.

My pet freaking peeves:

1. Cashier, when you are bagging my groceries please don’t put three cans of dog food with the grapes, tomatoes and bananas.  Do you hate me? Do you want me to have a miserable life? Apparently so. My question is….do you do that to your own produce or just mine? And you’re a grown ass woman, you know better.

2. Lazy people rolling up and down the isles in the battery powered carts….when there’s nothing wrong with them.  I see you in the parking lot, chasing you grand child, chasing a quarter rolling between the cars, trotting toward you friend for a big hug. But you get in the store and ride in a cart cause you’re LAZY. Some of you guys…I know there’s nothing wrong…you just don’t want to walk! Then you act all entitled, as though you are royalty and were supposed to leap out of the way so you can pass. Or you stop in the middle of the isle, for twenty minutes, while you text your sister and nobody can get around you.

3. Ladies, why do you run into a friend and you both park your carts right in front of the milk while you catch up. I stand staring at you, praying you’ll scoot over so I can grab a half gallon of one percent milk. But you are so engrossed in your conversation you don’t even  notice. Get out of my way…go do that in front of the men’s underwear section. There’s never anyone there.

4. It happens to everyone, sometimes you start picking out apples and suddenly…boom. There’s a produce landslide. Apples are bouncing across the floor endangering children and old people and getting really bruised.  And then you just walk away. How can you do that? Stop and  clean up your mess.  But put the abused apples in a bag, not back on top of the pile. Don’t ruin every bodies’ apple experience.

5. Parents, stop being mean to your children in the store, especially when they are in the shopping cart.  It makes you look like a horrible ass and I’m pretty sure yelling at a kid and smacking them will not make them stop crying or cheer them up.

And finally #6.  Did you realize by the time you get home you have to touch your groceries 6 times!.1.put things in cart 2.put things on cashier belt 3. put bags back in cart 4.put bags in car 5. get bags out of car 6 put stuff away. No wonder I hate my food by the time it’s all finished.

 

There are some things I like when I go shopping.

I like when I make a face at a baby and they laugh.

When I’m walking in and somebody says…”here, take my cart.”

When I have two items and the lady with 78 lets me get in front of her.

When there are fruit samples, so I don’t  end up with a bag of apples that taste and feel like the recently bounced across the produce section.

I feel better now.

If you like this check out my book on Amazon. It’s only 2.99! Raising Kids You Actually Like

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Harrison’s Blanket

gunMom was off the couch before the sound of skidding tires stopped. Then there was the crash noise, it was like a building getting blown up. And right then I knew it was a real bad accident.

“Call 911,” she said, then she was gone, running barefoot across the yard to the accident.  We live on a curve on Highway 5 in Garland County. I don’t know why, but people are always having wrecks right in front of our house. Mom says people underestimate the curve, I think they just drive too fast.

I talked to the 911 lady for a minute, then looked out at Mom.  She was squatting next to some bushes on the drive way, close to the road. Then she stood up and yelled, “Harrison, bring me a blanket, hurry up!” That seemed kind of weird cause it was a hot day but I grabbed a blanket off the couch. It’s real soft and has a picture of a wolf howling at the moon on it. I didn’t take my favorite one, a really soft Razorback blanket, but it was a pretty good one

When I got down to Mom, she was next to some guy who was shaking so hard his teeth were rattling.  She wrapped the blanket around him and he tried to say something to her.

He must have crawled up our driveway, away from the wreck, for some reason. Maybe he didn’t want to see his friends all messed up.

There was smoke floating around and I could smell gasoline.

The guy kept saying something and Mom couldn’t understand him so she leaned closer,”What is it?”

He cleared his voice, “I should have died. I should have died right here with her. I should be dead. God, I can’t believe you didn’t kill me.”

“No, don’t say that.  God kept you alive for a reason. I’m so sorry about the girl, was she your friend?”

He didn’t answer, just curled up tighter into himself and leaned against mom like he was a little kid.

I started to walk down to the road to look at the cars but Mom stopped me. ”Don’t go down there Harrison. You don’t need to see that. Run up to the house for me and start a pot of coffee.”

I nodded but didn’t move.  I was just looking at the guy.  He was so sweaty and dirty and banged up it was hard to tell what he looked like. He was tall and skinny with a bunch a bad tattoos on his arms and legs and a big thing on his neck that I couldn’t figure out. It kind of looked like a weird shaped  cross with some lightning bolts in it.

She gave me the look that said “hurry up and go”,  I didn’t want to leave her alone with him.

Just then, we both heard the sirens way off in the distance and the guy opened his eyes. “I can’t be here, I gotta go.” He tried to stand up but couldn’t do it so Mom and I each got under one arm. We started to walk him down closer to the road but he wouldn’t let us. “No, I can’t talk to them. I can’t go down there I gotta get out of here.”

“Why?” Mom asked but he just shook his head and tried to give her the blanket back.

Mom wrapped it tighter around him, “you can’t go anywhere like this. Will you go up to the house with us? Just till you get your legs back?”

More sirens were stopping in front of our house. Each sounded different.

He nodded and let us take him up to the living room. Because he was so tall we kind of dropped him on the couch and he groaned and took a deep breath.

“Are you ok?” Mom asked as she sat down next to him.

“Just my ribs, nothing I can’t handle. I’m ok.”

“Harrison, go get a bowl of warm water and a wash cloth.

“Yes ma’am.”

I heard him say, ”That’s a good kid” as I ran back to the bathroom.

It took me a little while to find a clean wash cloth and I knew Mom would get mad if I brought them a gross one. Finally, I found one in the dryer but when I came back they were really talking.  He was sort of crying and Mom had her hand on his shoulder. The sirens outside had all stopped but I could hear the rumbling of a tow truck or two and people were yelling at each other.

He said, “She was the only thing keeping me clean and from going back, you know? And now she’s dead out there.  I don’t know why I’m sitting on this couch and she’s out there dead.”

I knew with these kinds of conversations I needed to wait for Mom to wave me down.  I couldn’t just bust in. I used to do that when I was little and it really made my dad mad.  Once he back fisted me and I flew half way across the room like you see guys do in the movies.

Finally they both saw me, and Mom said. “Bring it on down Baby.”

I put the bowl on the coffee table in front of the couch.  It’s made out of a lobster trap my dad got when he was down in Florida.

The guy looked at me and said, “So what’s your name man?”

“Harrison.”

“Cool, like Harrison Ford.” There was still a little bit of blood coming out of his nose and he sniffled it back up. “Thanks for helping me man. I appreciate it. My name is Leviticus, from the bible but people just call me Lev.” He coughed then and made a face like it really hurt.

Mom rubbed his back and said, “Harrison, would you do me a favor but you have to do it exactly like I tell you. Run half way down the driveway and ask one of the officers if they need anything. But do not go all the way down to the road, do you understand?”

“Mom, I’ll be fine. I’ve seen gross stuff before,” as soon as I said it I knew I’d screwed up.  Lev looked down and mom gave me one of those looks.

“I’m sorry, I just meant…”Mom shook her head.

None of the cops would even talk to me. When I got back Lev was drinking  water and mom was just listening. Every time he stopped talking, I thought he was going to cry again.

My mom is really good at talking to people about the bad stuff, about the things that happen that you wish never ever happened.  She talks to mostly ladies about their husbands and boyfriends and dads after they hurt them real bad.

When I was little, like eight or nine, Mom and I stayed in a place called The Safe House. We were there a couple of weeks so my dad couldn’t find us.  Mom made all kinds of friends there. Lots of ladies talked and talked to her about the stuff that was hard.

She told me,  they talked about the stuff they pretended never happened.  Then she made me remember a couple of really bad times with Dad. About the time he burned me on the shoulder with his cigarette, and once hit mom so hard her tooth flew out and went under the couch, stuff I really wanted to forget. That’s when I understood what Mom meant about  those ladies. After a while, she was so good at listening The Safe House gave her a job.

A couple of times the husbands got really mad at Mom for talking to their wife’s. So she started going to the firing range with her new gun. It was really fun. She got way better than me, but I didn’t care.

They were on the couch talking for a long time, so I went to the kitchen and made a ham and cheese sandwich with ketchup.  Then I went back to the living room and asked them if they wanted me to make them one.  They both shook their head no, and mom kind of smiled at me so I knew I’d done the right then.  I was picking some of the crust off my sandwich when Lev leaned forward and I saw a black pistol tucked into the back of his pants. The blanket was tucked behind it, that’s why I could see it.

I stopped chewing and my mouth kind of went really dry. I tried to look at mom hard and shift my eyes toward the gun but she didn’t figure out what I was doing. Suddenly, I really wanted Lev out of our house and away from my mom. I liked him, kind of, but I just had a weird feeling. I didn’t leave the living room after that.

After a really long time, everything out front was cleared up and Lev asked my Mom if she could give him a ride down to The Bucket, a gas station and store about three miles from our house. He called somebody on her phone and said, ‘I can’t talk about it right now Brother. You just gotta pick me up.”

He kept that wolf blanket pulled around him real tight the whole way there even though it was real hot outside. After a few minutes of everybody being really quiet and weird Lev said, “I didn’t even know your house was up there. I’ve never seen it before.”

Mom kind of laughed. “Yeah, we like it that way. Nobody messes with you if they don’t know where you are.”

I said, “Mom calls our driveway  the worm hole.” Nobody said anything after that.

When Lev got out of the car he tried to give it back but Mom told him to keep it. I was glad she did that, cause he still looked cold and I really didn’t want that blanket anymore. He told my mom thanks, a bunch of times then got into a really beat up old Ford pickup with a bashed in driver’s door.  He kind of nodded at us with a real serious or worried expression, like he knew something.

I saw Lev two more times that first semester.  Mom started letting me run into the Bucket to pay for gas and then she let me pump it too.  I walked in one morning and he was at the counter buying cigarettes.  It was only a few weeks since the wreck but he looked a hundred years older. And he was even skinner.  There were a couple of sores on his arms, I guess they were still left over from the wreck. Lev looked at me twice then said, “Hey, I know you.”

I nodded at him and tried to smile, but it was hard because his eyes looked so bad. They looked like eyes that are all red before you edit them on the computer.

“How’s your Momma doing?”

“She’s good.” I put a ten dollar bill on the counter for the gas.

“You tell her I said thanks”. Then as I was walking out I heard him say to the guy behind the counter, “That bitch saved my ass after the wreck. If they’d found me in that car I’d have been in jail till I was dead.”

It kind of made me mad that he called Mom a bitch, even if he was sort of bragging.  My dad used to call her that all the time and I’d get real mad but Mom always told me to ignore him. She said he was just mad at the world and took it out on the people he loved.

The next time I saw Lev he was sitting on the curb in front of the Movie Store. He was smoking a cigarette. When Mom and I got out of the car he looked right at us but didn’t say anything. I took Mom’s hand even though I don’t do that in front of people any more. We walked past him but he didn’t say anything. He just stared at us as like he was mad or something. He looked gross.  Mom was squeezing my hand really tight until we got in the store.

I looked up at her and she just said, “I don’t know Harrison. He looked pretty messed up. We need to just leave him alone.”

“You don’t have to tell me. He looks like a zombie.” I said and took off to look for a movie.

Right about then, Jim, who owns the video store, started walking outside. He stopped and said to Mom, “Freaking tweekers will sit there and run everybody off.”

Then I watched him talking to Lev. Pretty soon Lev stood up, he stared at Jim like he was gonna say some thing or bow up on him, but then he just walked across the parking lot toward the woods.

Christmas vacation that year was awesome.  We actually had snow for a couple of days and my best friend Hunter stayed with us for four days, because his mom was having a baby.

On the day before school started, Mom had to go to Walmart. She said it was gonna be a really quick trip and I could stay home by myself if I wanted.

Once she left, I snuggled up in her big bed with all the quilts and pillows and my Razorback blanket to watch Sponge Bob.  I made a fort and then fell asleep. When I woke up, I knew something was wrong. I could hear somebody in the house and it wasn’t Mom, it was somebody who walked different and was kind of banging into things.  I moved the edge of the blanket just enough so I could peek out without anybody seeing me.

Lev walked into Mom’s room and looked around. He looked worse than anything I’d ever seen, with his hair all over the place and sores on his face.  He walked over to her dresser and started shoving all her jewelry in his big green coat pockets. I could see his pistol shoved down the back of his pants. Then he opened up her drawers and started throwing all her underwear and stuff out on the floor. My heart was beating so hard I could see my tee shirt moving.  It sounded like it was right up in my ears and I was really scared Lev would hear it too. I tried to breath real soft. Then he backed up close enough to the bed where I could have poked his pants, or grabbed his gun. But I was too scared to move.

Then he started going through the third drawer when Mom stepped into the room and she already had her 9mm leveled on him. I poked my foot out just a little at the end of the bed and wiggled it so she’d know I was there. She didn’t do anything different but I kind of knew she saw me.

Lev stood up and looked at her. Then he took a step back, towards me, like he was gonna sit down on the edge of the bed or something. He had his hands up.

Then he dropped his right hand and it started going backwards, but he was talking nice to Mom. She just said, “The first words you ever said to me were the truth. You should have died that day.” Then she fired two rounds, almost at the same time, it seemed like.

Lev almost fell on top of me, but he missed the bed and fell on the floor. There was still a really loud ringing and the room smelled like fireworks. I wiggled out and ran to Mom. I hugged her so hard and cried and tried to breathe normal.

She was crying and hugging me real hard, then she said, “I got all the way up there then remembered how much I hate shopping alone.”

She pulled her cell phone out of her back pocket but I kept on hugging her.  She smelled like soap and smoke. She called 911 and told them what had happened but she never stopped kind of brushing the back of my head with her fingers, like she was trying to get tangles out of my hair. It’s the same thing she does when I can’t sleep and she sits on the edge of my bed talking to me until I fall asleep.

I could feel my heart slowing down and I could almost breathe normal. Mom peeled my arms off of her  and said, “Let’s get a Coke and sit outside till everybody get here.”

“Who?”

“The police.”

“Why are they coming?”

“Harrison, I shot a man. The police have to come.”

“But he was stealing your stuff.” My hands and legs started shaking as I thought about what might happen. What if they arrested her? What if they put her in the police car? Would they let me go with her?

She took my hand and held it really tight and we walked to the refrigerator to get a couple of Cokes then went outside to the porch. My hands were so sweaty I had to wipe them on my pants. When I tried to open my Coke my fingers were shaking so hard Mom took the can from me and popped it.

Then she put her arm around me and pulled me really close to her. My ears were still ringing and the fireworks smell was stuck in my nose. I leaned my head on her shoulder and closed my eyes. Then we sat there together, waiting to hear the sirens.

Check out my book on Amazon Raising Kids You Actually Like….just 2.99! What a deal.

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Cat Poop Under The Boy’s Bed

boy sleeping in bed (2)When I put on my big boy pants and commit to vacuuming my eleven year old son’s room I go through most feelings one experiences when faced with the  death of a friend. Fear, grief, anger,  denial and then acceptance.

I also find the most astonishing and disturbing items. Today that list included a twenty dollar bill I gave him to buy me a birthday present. There was a pile of what I believe was dried up cat poop….but we don’t have a cat.  I found a pair of shoes he lost last month so we had to go shopping again to replace them. The ten or twenty  uncooked spaghetti noodles under his desk kind of made me wonder and clogged up my vacuum. Of course there was the typical stuff too, ping pong balls, shot glasses filled with colored water and a single fuzzy slipper. But the bra I didn’t recognize under his bed kind of shook me. What has this kid been doing in his room?

I have to do these “throw away” missions when Sandor isn’t home because he’s a strangely sentimental pack rat.  His father is a pack rat because he believes at some point he’ll need fifteen empty coffee cans and the electric drill that doesn’t work.  Sandor hangs on to everything because he’s an incredibly sentimental boy.  He’s not wimpy, he stays dirty sixty percent of the time, loves playing foot ball in the mud and spitting watermelon seeds and cherry pits.  But when it comes to his family or childhood he saves everything. He won’t let me throw away old school books, “what if I forget my teachers.” I wasn’t allowed to throw away a cheap broken yo yo because “it’s the first cool think Nick gave me in kindergarten.” The broken drum sticks have a special place, “those were the first drum sticks I ever broke!” And any out of focus family picture goes in a special drawer.

Then I found something that made me sit down on the edge of his bed. It was a little black and white composition book with his name written on the cover.

Inside he and his best friend had written some rules in their terrible crooked handwriting.

1. Stick up for friends!

2 Be sly around girls.

3 never cook bacon with shirt off!

4 Remember bro code!!!

5. Pals before gals.

6 Stick up for bros

7 Stick with your girl till it gets bad.

8 Be a safe but cool driver

I’m going to have to talk to him about the cat poop and bra. But I think the kid is doing ok.

 

If you liked this order my book Raising Kids You Actually Like on Amazon. It’s fun and cheap, only 2.99!

 

 

 

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I Still Can’t Dance

danceAlright men, this one is for you. But I need you to promise me one thing. This is really, really important.  If your girlfriend, wife, sister or daughter has something in their life and it makes them happy, smile and say, ‘that’s a great thing!”  Even if you are lying. Do it with a smile. Say it like you mean it and love her.

Years ago, I think my husband and I had been married three or four years. He teased me about my dancing. He made fun of me, in a loving fun way. I haven’t danced once since then, in fifteen years later.

Trust me I loved dancing. I am a freak about music.  Ask me for  the lyrics to a Johnny Cash song, Grateful Dead, The Killers, The Clash, Miranda Lambert, George Jones, John Prine, Gil-Scott Heron, Al Green, Aretha Franklin or Keb Mo’. I know them all, every word, and I can hear the beat in my head. But when I dance or try to keep rhythm it comes out all wrong.  In church I have to look at the other people to know when I’m supposed to clap. My kids laugh at me, but they help and they don’t make me feel bad.

But years ago. when I was dancing with my husband and he made fun of me, afterwards….I took it to heart and I stopped dancing. Something in me broke and that was an end.

Dancing is something so wonderful I really don’t have the words. It’s what sets us apart from most animals. It’s an expression of joy, love creativity and passion. When people finish dancing they walk away smiling usually and there are very few things that make us all smile in life.

At that point, when I was made fun of me, I lost something so wonderful and precious and fun.Apparently it’s gone forever.  Fifteen years later I mourn the loss of being able to dance like the death of a friend, who made me smile and laugh. I miss it so because dancing was wonderful and joyous and silly. But it’s gone now. I’m a pretty bold and strong person, so if this could happen to me I can only imagine what has been taken from other people by a single sentence.

After his comments I actually went back and found video of my dancing at bars and weddings. It was awful, spasmatic and embarrassing. I made Elaine, in Seinfeld, look like a Russian Ballerina. But I looked happy.

Tonight I cried and cried as I sat in the bathtub and watched the last twenty minutes of  Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swazey and Jennifer Grey. Their beautiful and brave dancing made me cry so hard, I was embarrassed…even though I was alone.  I so want to dance like those kids, but I never will, not in this life time.

In that moment years and years ago, something was taken from me and it’s just gone.  It’s not any bodies fault….it was just a joke, an off handed remark. Actually I know it’s my fault because I let dance be taken away from me. He couldn’t have done it if I didn’t let him.

So, before you make fun of somebody for something they love, something that brings them joy like line dancing or quilting or speed walking…stop, then shut up.

 

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I Still Can’t Dance

dancingAlright men, this one is for you. But I need you to promise me one thing. This is really, really important.  If your girlfriend, wife, sister or daughter has something in their life and it makes them happy, smile and say, ‘that’s a great thing!”  Even if you are lying. Do it with a smile. Say it like you mean it and love her.

Years ago, I think my husband and I had been married three or four years. He teased me about my dancing. He made fun of me, in a loving fun way. I haven’t danced once since then, in fifteen years later.

Trust me I loved dancing. I am a freak about music.  Ask me for  the lyrics to a Johnny Cash song, Grateful Dead, The Killers, The Clash, Miranda Lambert, George Jones, John Prine, Gil-Scott Heron, Al Green, Aretha Franklin or Keb Mo’. I know them all, every word, and I can hear the beat in my head. But when I dance or try to keep rhythm it comes out all wrong.  In church I have to look at the other people to know when I’m supposed to clap. My kids laugh at me, but they help and they don’t make me feel bad.

But years ago. when I was dancing with my husband and he made fun of me, afterwards….I took it to heart and I stopped dancing. Something in me broke and that was an end.

Dancing is something so wonderful I really don’t have the words. It’s what sets us apart from most animals. It’s an expression of joy, love creativity and passion. When people finish dancing they walk away smiling usually and there are very few things that make us all smile in life.

At that point, when I was made fun of me, I lost something so wonderful and precious and fun.Apparently it’s gone forever.  Fifteen years later I mourn the loss of being able to dance like the death of a friend, who made me smile and laugh. I miss it so because dancing was wonderful and joyous and silly. But it’s gone now. I’m a pretty bold and strong person, so if this could happen to me I can only imagine what has been taken from other people by a single sentence.

After his comments I actually went back and found video of my dancing at bars and weddings. It was awful, spasmatic and embarrassing. I made Elaine, in Seinfeld, look like a Russian Ballerina. But I looked happy.

Tonight I cried and cried as I sat in the bathtub and watched the last twenty minutes of  Dirty Dancing with Patrick Swazey and Jennifer Grey. Their beautiful and brave dancing made me cry so hard, I was embarrassed…even though I was alone.  I so want to dance like those kids, but I never will, not in this life time.

In that moment years and years ago, something was taken from me and it’s just gone.  It’s not any bodies fault….it was just a joke, an off handed remark. Actually I know it’s my fault because I let dance be taken away from me. He couldn’t have done it if I didn’t let him.

So, before you make fun of somebody for something they love, something that brings them joy like line dancing or quilting or speed walking…stop, then shut up.

 

 

 

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A Letter From My Father…1943

irvin-mcdaniel powMy dad, I. Granger McDaniel, spent four years in German POW camps during World War II.  I just found a brittle and faded letter he wrote to his father while a prisoner.  He forged his own birth certificate and high school diploma to join the RAF, so he was just 18 or 19 years old when he wrote this letter, which is beautifully written.

Dear Dad; Thanks for your swell card, it certainly helped! Excuse this lettering I can do better. I have been studying a little Architecture. Just as a hobby mostly history. I’m extremely pleased to know you are getting along so well. We will have a big time when I get back.

I guess I would like to come home and say “Well dad I know now you were right and I’m ready to listen to you now, and start a a-new where I left off” but I’m afraid that pride which I inherited from you, will prevent me from ever doing so.  The hell of this situation is I can’t plan in anyway for the future, however, have chosen my work and now must stick to it. Ol’ fate  kinda slipped me a lousy hole card but i’m hoping that it will suffice to make me just that much stronger. I have some fine ideas for when i get out. One is for remodeling the house. Tell everyone hellow for me and keep Cal. working. If you run across any old Architecture books try and get them for my collection I’m going to have. Take good care of mom for me. Bo-

There’s nothing much I can ad to the beauty and eloquence of this letter.  He was a hell of a man.

Recently a RAF historian contacted me. he’s put up a whole page about Dad’s plane being shot down…and more.

http://218squadron.wordpress.com/pilot-officer-irven-granger-mcdaniel/

 

 

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Explaining ISIS To An Eleven Year Old

mapOnce, my oldest daughter Mary, explained something to me.  She claimed all my children could carry on adult conversations because I explained everything to them. If a child asked me a question, I never said, “oh, that’s grown up stuff” or “you’re too young to understand that honey.”

When Mary was seven or eight and asked me what all the fuss was about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky, I did my best to tell her what was going on. Obviously, I didn’t tell her anything about the blue dress or the cigars. I did however tell her the President was married and he shouldn’t have a girl friend.

When six year old Jack asked what meth was and why his friend’s daddy went to jail, I talked for twenty minutes.  I told him how disgusting Meth was, I told him how it was cooked and why his friends father went to jail.  I also told him I knew for a fact that daddy loved his son he just had a real bad problem.

I’ve tried to explain the Jewish faith, republicans, democrats, plagiarism, global warming, perjury, purgatory  and entitlement to very young children. Because they asked.

I often times make my kids watch a little bit of national news with me every week.  Not because I want them to be frightened or bored,  I just want my kids to know what’s going on in this world of theirs. Someday soon they will be in charge of things.

Recently, there have been three pressing issues I’ve had to visit with Sandor.  First there were the event in Ferguson, Missouri and the shooting of Michael Brown. I actually drew that one out for him. First I listed the few facts we actually had in the case. Then I drew circles with peoples reactions. There was the cop circle, the peaceful protesters circle, the looters circle, the National Guard circle, the media circle etc…

Last week I tried to explain Ebola. That was kind of a messy one. But he understood and didn’t freak out. (I kind of want to freak out).

And now he’s asked about ISIS. For the first time in twenty five years…..I can’t find the words. What do I tell him about an enemy so evil and unfathomable?  There’s nothing he can do to fight or change the situation with ISIS. When we’re talking about social issues like  like racism, poverty, bullying and  obesity I always make it clear to him he can change people and the world. But ISIS…I just don’t know.

 

If you want more Hampoland stuff you can order my book Raising Kids You Actually Like on Amazon. Thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Kids-You-Actually-Like-ebook/dp/B00NN2FOBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1411050534&sr=8-1&keywords=diana+mcdaniel+hampo

 

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A Whole Hampoland Book!

Breaking news, you can order an entire book of Hampoland now, from Amazon. and it’s just $2.99

http://www.amazon.com/Raising-Kids-You-Actually-Like-ebook/dp/B00NN2FOBW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1410980636&sr=8-1&keywords=diana+mcdaniel+hampo

 

 

 

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Ketchup for Dinner

ketchupThis morning, my eleven year old son, asked if he could put some Ramen Noodles in his backpack.

I asked him why?

“Well sometimes there’s food at Hunter’s house and sometimes there’s not. Last time I went over there was just ketchup.”

“What are you talking about?”

Hunter is his good good friend. Skinny, loyal to a fault  and silly. He won’t really talk to you until he’s known you for a while.  He loves playing hide and go seek in the dark and jumping off high stuff into the lake.

Sandor and Hunter generally hang out at  house but sometimes I let Sandor ride the bus to Hunters.

“It’s just that sometimes they have like every thing in the world to eat and sometimes there’s nothing. So I wanted to take the Ramen in case it’s a nothing day.”

That’s when I figured out what was going on. Hunter and his mom and sister get food stamps. She’s single and works (she might make eight dollars an hour)  but it’s not enough. When the food and food stamps run out…that’s it for a while.

Thankfully, Hunter gets free breakfasts and lunches at school every day, during the school year. He’s a good boy. He shouldn’t be hungry.  But I worry about him in the summer, when school is out. He stays at our house more and that’s a good thing.

I’m writing this now because the political season is here.   I hope our politicians understand there are people in their districts just like Hunter and his mom.  Those meals at school are vital. I know hand outs are not the answer but the “working poor” are a reality.  Don’t turn your back on Hunter.

 

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The Beauty of Breakfast

banannaBreakfast, most of us have habits we are comfortable with.  Mornings are the most predictiable time of our day.  In the radio world the morning drive is a lot more expensive because you’re likley going to reach the same listeners every day. In the mornings most of us are creatures of habit. We do most things in the same order everyday. We wake up, brush our teeth, get some coffee, read, shower, watch the news.  It’s the same thing day after day.

Every morning I do something that makes my husband Alex crazy. I take my first cup of coffee into the bathroom, turn on the shower (hot) close the lid on the toilet then sit and read for twenty minutes in the sound proof, steamy bathroom. That’s what makes me happy.

But Alex makes me crazy in the morning too? He gets up two hours before I do and I know he sits in the living room and smokes his first days’ cigarette in the living room.  He’s not supposed to smoke in the house, but I know he does….before I wake up.

The only thing that changes in our house every morning is the breakfast menu. This morning Sandor and Sam had fish sticks with ketchup and sliced tomatoes, yesterday it was pizza bites, the day before Honey Nut Cheerios. Sometimes we have scrambled eggs and sometimes cheese quesadillas with salsa.

My lack of breakfast loyalty comes, I think, from my father.  He was always experimenting at breakfast.  There were protein milk shakes with raw egg, pizza toast with sauce and melted cheese and one of his favorites…popcorn and grapes.  He thought that combination was just like cereal with fruit. Dad even thought steak tar tar with a raw egg and Tabasco was a fine option.

Mornings are so tough, I kind of think you should get to eat what makes you happy, within reason.   If I wake Sandor up and say, “Hey boy, get ready for some awesome buttered toast,” he’d never get out of bed.  But when I say “come try mybanannas and strawberries with chocolate sauce,” he’s all over it.

Personally, I don’t like sweet stuff in the morning. I’d much rather have a taco and hot sauce for breakfast than a donuts. But it’s all abut what makes you happy in the morning. Do what it takes to get out the door. You’ve got the rest of the day to get your fiber and eat salads.

 

 

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