Langley Writes

about her rich and random life

Happy Mother’s Day and why I feel like a heel May 7, 2011

Filed under: family,general drivel,gratitude,happiness,holidays,joy,poems — Langley Writes @ 5:00 pm
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Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Wow, it got here fast. In fact, it snuck up on me, caught me unaware and unprepared. In truth, I have loads of viable excuses but come on, we’re talking about Mother’s Day. I could have and should have done better.

My mom reads this blog and I know that she knows how much I love her, how much she means to me. She knows this because we have a mushy (and forgiving!) family. We hug and laugh and love to the extreme. Out loud. For the world to see. She knows. But still, it’s Mother’s Day.

Mom, in her interminable style and grace, has given me (another) pass. She allowed me to postpone our Mother’s Day celebration. My mother and I will not celebrate Mother’s Day tomorrow. Because we live in different states, we will celebrate in a few weeks, when we can be together. I can’t wait to see her.

Here’s an excerpt from a lighthearted Mother’s Day poem I wrote last year:

Mom finds humor every day
Her laughter fills the air
Family time was joyous
We didn’t have a care   read more…

I posted this on Facebook today and want to post it here too:

This pic is of Mom & Dad when they were in the hospital having me. Look how young they were! Mom, I'm posting this in honor of Mother's Day. I love you.

Guess what mom’s comment was. When she saw the post she wrote: Was I ever that young and that small? And just think… we brought home the prize!

What a sweetie. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

(Mea maxima culpa. I hope my brother and/or my sister have my back tomorrow!)

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Super Siblings: I Won the Sweepstakes April 22, 2011

It’s true. I won the siblings sweepstakes. My brother and my sister are exceptional people. If they weren’t in my family, I’d still want to hang out with them. The three of us are wildly different but it works seamlessly. We all have our strengths, our ‘position’ within the familial unit. Birth order probably has something to do with the harmony, but so does personality. We just fit together. It makes sense.

It’s hard for me to summarize my relationship with my brother and my sister in a single post. In fact, I could write for days and not clearly communicate the depth of my respect and love for both of them. So I’m taking the easy road. I’ll let other, more articulate people speak for me. Here are some of my favorite quotes about siblings:

A sibling may be the keeper of one’s identity, the only person with the keys to one’s unfettered, more fundamental self.  ~Marian Sandmaier

We know one another’s faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar.  We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws.  ~Rose Macaulay

I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers.  It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage.  Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.  ~Maya Angelou

To the outside world we all grow old.  But not to brothers and sisters.  We know each other as we always were.  We know each other’s hearts.  We share private family jokes.  We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys.  We live outside the touch of time.  ~Clara Ortega

Sibling relationships – and 80 percent of Americans have at least one – outlast marriages, survive the death of parents, resurface after quarrels that would sink any friendship.  They flourish in a thousand incarnations of closeness and distance, warmth, loyalty and distrust.  ~Erica E. Goode, “The Secret World of Siblings,” U.S. News & World Report, 10 January 1994

 

Ricochet Rabbit: A Favorite Childhood Cartoon April 21, 2011

Ricochet Rabbit was my hero.

He was a cartoon character from a short segment on Hanna-Barbera’s The Magilla Gorilla Show. Ricochet Rabbit and Droop-a-Long were the law in the western town of Hoop ‘n’ Holler. Ricochet Rabbit was fast, real fast. He could race around and bounce off walls at the speed of old-timey animation. Nobody could catch Ricochet Rabbit. As a kid, I was little and fast. Nobody could catch me. I practiced bouncing off the walls, always hopeful that I would magically become as rubbery as Ricochet. I wanted to literally bounce off the walls. I thought that was soooooo cool.

My parents were in an informal bridge club. The games rotated and when it was their turn to play host they would pull out the old vinyl-top card table, open a can of black olives and a jar of peanuts, and make sure we had something to occupy ourselves in the back of the house. I was very young. I loved attention.

At the perfect time, I would blast into the living room where the grownups were playing bridge. I would run around the room, flinging myself against the walls yelling bing, bing, BING! Ricochet Rabbit. (Ricochet always referred to himself in third person).

That’s where the memory ends. I have no idea how my parents explained my bizarre behavior, although I’m certain that wasn’t the only dramatic outburst these folks ever saw from me. I’m positive I graced the guests with encore preformances of Ricochet Rabbit whenever my parents hosted bridge club.

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In fact checking this post I was amazed to discover that Ricochet Rabbit only played for 2 seasons, only 23  episodes. The Hanna-Barbera classic ran from January 14, 1964 – December 4, 1965. How (and WHY!?) it made such an impression on me is a mystery. But I still think Ricochet Rabbit was a cool cat, and I am pleased to write about him for R-day in the A-Z Blogging Challenge.

Perhaps it’s Ricochet Rabbit (who lived in Hoop ‘n’ Holler), that started my love of alliteration. That should have dawned on me when I wrote this post: Alliteration: Why I Love It.

And maybe Ricochet Rabbit’s propensity for referring to himself in the third person prompted this post: Writing About Yourself in the Third Person. BTW, the comments on that post make me laugh.

I still feel like Ricochet Rabbit sometimes. Bing, bing, BING!

 
Source: wikipedia.org / image: public domain
 

Popsicles and Baby Pools April 19, 2011

When I was a kid we didn’t have much money. But kids don’t know that. There is an age where you don’t think about what you have versus what others have. I had everything I wanted. I had unlimited popsicles and a baby pool. And I loved popsicles.

My mom used to make red kool-aid popsicles. Inexpensive and delicious, she poured red kool-aid into paper dixie cups and let them half-freeze. Then, when the consistency was firm enough to hold a stick upright, she’d lovingly place a stick in the middle of each popsicle and let them freeze solid. A blowup kiddie pool is the perfect place to eat red kool-aid popsicles. It doesn’t matter how fast the popsicle melts or how messy you are.

Simple pleasures are the best.


I have fond childhood memories of splashing in the blowup kiddie pool slurping quickly melting red kool-aid popsicles. So for the A-Z Blogging Challenge my P-word is popsicles. Yum!


 

M is for Meat: Sweet Meat April 15, 2011

Just now, when I stumbled onto an idea for an M-day post on the A-Z Blogging Challenge, my heart started racing and I began grinning like a jack@$$ eating briars. All because… my sister is going to kill me for this one. I’ll get there…

In the south, we nickname everything. It’s fun, funny and creative. Often, we have many nicknames for the same person, pet, restaurant or whatever else we nickname. Growing up, my dad called me Punkin Head (Pumpkin Head), or Punkin. My head is not especially big but he still calls me that, among other things. My brother’s nickname is Bubba and I’m not kidding. He runs a successful business but never asks clients to call him by his real name. He’s always been Bubba. There were two Bubba’s in our neighborhood so, growing up, I always called my brother Bubba Watts and the other kid Bubba Brickell. Nobody thought it was odd that I called my own brother Bubba Watts because you almost always have to follow ‘Bubba’ with a last name in the south. There are too many to keep them all straight.

My sister’s name is Mary but, in true southern style, she had to have a nickname. She nicknamed herself at a very early age. She started referring to herself as Mimi instead of Mary. And because I put nicknames on everything-even nicknames-I started calling her Sweet Meat. She was my Sweet Meat, my baby sister. (By the way, Baby Sister and Baby Girl are common nicknames in the south but she managed to sidestep those. Now that I think about it, however, she would probably prefer Baby Sister over the evolution of Sweet Meat. I’ll get there…).

As time went on, Sweet Meat became Meat. Just Meat. And it stuck. So we still call my sister Meat. If you don’t know the origin of her nickname, I know how it sounds. It’s terrible to call someone Meat. And I try, I swear I do, to call her Mimi-but I just can’t. Meat pops out of my mouth every time I speak to her. It’s a term of endearment, a pet name.

She’s not really fond of her nickname and her husband, who came into the picture long after she was dubbed Meat, hates it. I try hard not to call her Meat in front of him but I know I do. I can’t help it. Her name is Meat.

PS – here is an article about Southern nicknames if you want to read more: Five Common Names for Boys in the South.  I could write 10 more of these articles and not cover half the subject.

Do you have a nickname or know someone who does?

 

A is for Absent / B is for Birthday April 3, 2011

Filed under: blogging,family,gratitude,happiness,joy,poems,writing — Langley Writes @ 8:01 pm
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In an effort to catch up on the A – Z Blog Challenge I’m combining A & B into one post on this blog. To further stretch the rules, I’m doing this combo-post on the wrong day. It’s a good thing the A – Z  challenge doesn’t have strict rules or I’d be kicked out for sure. In any case, the A & B combo-post will explain…

I was Absent on the A day because we went to my dad’s 75th Birthday party. Because we had to travel to get to his party, I was also Absent on the B day.

My family congregated in Charlotte for the festivities and we all had a big time. It strikes me that this is the second post I’ve written about family festivities and birthday parties. 2 out of 6. In case you are wondering, yeah, we like to celebrate. As a family, we’re always looking for a reason to get together and lift a glass. Hey, maybe that will be my C post – about celebrations! It’s hard to believe my dad is 75. He is a perennial child, in a good way. As I look back on some of my poems and articles it’s interesting to note how many times I’ve written about my dad. I’m going to link 2 of my favorites in case you want to know more about him.

On Being Raised by a Boy Scout

A Father’s Day Poem for Dad

I am blogging for the A – Z challenge on my Langley Writes about Writing blog, which is on Blogger. Since I know how to schedule posts there, I’m in compliance. Here on WordPress, I have no idea. We all know I’m a blogging newbie. One of the reasons I signed up for this challenge is to learn more about blogging in general. Maybe I’ll learn how to schedule a post here too, before this is all over! Let’s raise a glass to wishing!

Happy Birthday Dad! We love you!

 

 

 

 

Survivor vs. Dancing with the Stars March 25, 2011

During our walk last evening, my husband and I covered a myriad of important subjects. It bears mentioning that we are different in every way. It works for us, it keeps things spicy and interesting. Because of our differences, our conversations are always lively (in a good way). Last evening was no exception. The topic that became the most animated was deep (ha). We spent our evening debating which is the harder TV show to compete in/win? “Survivor” or “Dancing with the Stars?”

Both reality shows are fun to watch. The term ‘physically demanding’ is probably an understatement. In every post-show interview, the contestants say that participation in “Survivor” or “Dancing with the Stars” was much harder than they imagined. Both TV shows air plenty of footage of contestants breaking down, sobbing, losing their cool, etc. Both shows must be tremendously grueling, in a different way.

If I had to choose which reality show to compete in, it would be “Dancing with the Stars.” I would be better suited to a dance all day in a studio setting. I would enjoy learning new choreography, pushing myself out of my comfort zone. As hard as the days get, I could still sleep in my own bed and eat my own food. I could stay warm and dry. I could bathe and brush my teeth. So for me, even if the bones in my feet were broken and I still had to dance, that would be better than being on “Survivor.”

Naturally, my husband would choose to be a contestant on “Survivor.” First off, he can’t dance. He thinks he can but – no. Sure, he can shake what his Mama gave him, but BALLROOM – no. Secondly, he thinks hanging out on a beach, doing challenges and playing a social game would be a good adventure. I’m sure it would – for him. In fact, he probably would be good at “Survivor.” Every time we watch it, he tells me what he would do if he found himself in X situation.

The “Survivor” vs. “Dancing with the Stars” debate further underscores how different we are. It’s fun.

What about you? Which reality TV show would you choose to be on?

Who is your favorite reality TV show host? Here are mine: The Best Male Reality TV Show Hosts.

 

 
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