Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Oh Shoot!

What has happened to us that something big and ugly happens (i.e. another Colorado shooting) and all of a sudden everyone else's behavior becomes an open subject for judgement? The killer can't just be held accountable for his own awful actions. Now EVERYONE is somehow sinister. EVERYONE is making a poor choice.


Today I heard about a post on Facebook where someone saw a little boy dressed as Batman. He was running down the sidewalk and saying "I'm going to shoot you! Pow Pow!" Now, before last week, I'd like to think the person posting the story probably wouldn't have thought twice. But TODAY, the poster has decided that it's a clear sign of bad parenting. That the child was somehow to blame for his "terrible behavior" and his parents are insensitive. The comments below the original post are just as ludicrous. Everyone bashing the mom for not teaching her young son better than that.

Wow. Really? So a little BOY was pretending to SHOOT something? Yep. That's clearly a case of oh-so-terrible parenting. How DARE that child pretend? If he was wearing a cowboy hat, would that have made it okay? Or how about a Superman cape? Last I checked, little boys start pretending to shoot guns about 30 seconds outside the womb. They also turn every stick they find into a sword. But I digress.... Back to the "terrible" mother...

Obviously, the god-awful woman didn't force her child to sit in front of the television and scour the news stations to learn all he could about the crazed killer in Colorado enough. Or worse... maybe she told her son all about it and encouraged him to dress up and act appalling and rude to every stranger he could. Blah. Whatever. When you start trying to pound on little kids for playing around, you must need a hobby.

*sigh* Ok...one more thing...

This whole gun control thing is just flat pissing me off. I am a Texan. And I like guns. But now others think they should get to jack around with my constitutional right? Because of the bad people out there making poor choices, it becomes MY fault for wanting to have a gun? Really????

Let me get this straight:

Somehow a maniac works the system to get UNBELIEVABLE amounts of ammunition and innumerable semi-automatic arms, and it's my problem. Is that what I'm to understand? My right to bear arms is in question? (yeah yeah....forefathers meant muskets...whatever....)

I am sure if I'd tried to buy all that stuff, the FBI would have shown up at my doorstep after the first UPS delivery. In NO WAY is this situation somehow an indication that we need stronger gun control. Killers will get their supplies with or without a change in laws.

What if someone with a concealed handgun had been in that theater and been able to STOP the shooter from killing all those people after the first shot fired? Would that person be a hero or a bad guy too? I wonder.

Ugh. I'm not trying to get political here. I'm just trying to add a voice of reason to an otherwise ridiculous stance. We need to blame the ones responsible for their actions, not make society as a whole responsible for those actions.

So if you see one of my kids doing something that is very "kid like" or you hear me talking about my guns, please just walk away. Talk about me on Facebook if you must. But frankly.....your best bet would be to find a hobby.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Yes. I can.

“To live; to love; to learn; and to leave a legacy” ~ Stephen Covey

Every summer - usually late July or early August - is a magical time for me. My garden is almost fully producing the fruits of our labors, the weather is hot and the locusts are announcing the dog days of summer. But most of all, my grandma's spirit rises up in me and reminds me of the sturdy stock from which I came.

My grandma, Lila Beth Marsh, lost her mother when she was 13. From that point on, she worked her fingers to the bone helping provide for herself and her family of father and three brothers. She became the cook, the cleaner, and the main female presence in their lives. (I'm sure there's more to the story that I don't know, but that's how I picture it all in my head. I see it all in sepia tones...pictures of hard working men coming home to this sweet little girl who has been busting her rump to cook for them - smiling through tired eyes.)  

She married when she was 16 and bore three daughters. The eldest of those daughters gave birth to me. And Grandma didn't even realize she'd just become one of the best friends I'd ever have. 

We spent innumerable hours at Grandpa and Grandma's house. After school, we watched our cartoons and Gilligan's Island till Mother got off work. And in the summers, we were there to liven the place up with every imaginable entertainment we could create. My brother usually went with Grandpa while I went with Grandma. The bank, the nursing home, the church, the garden, the kitchen and the bean/pea patches were usually our stomping grounds. 

The garden, kitchen and bean/pea patches were my favorite.....leading me straight to the legacy I hope to continue to leave for my children: canning vegetables.

Nothing brings me closer to Grandma than lugging the pressure cooker and all my canning supplies up from the basement. Wait... maybe the smell of shelled peas and snapped beans....those might actually bring me closer.  Or making jelly...that's in the running too.  See? This is why the answer is probably just the time of year.....

I get out my (Grandma's) Ball Canning Book then set Sadie up with her bowl of beans or peas to begin shelling/snapping and I start washing my jars. Grandma's kitchen magically appears in my mind's eye and I am at utter peace. Nothing feels safer than stepping back in time and reliving the canning days in Grandma's kitchen. All is right with the world. Everything makes sense. NOTHING can bother me when I'm listening to the rattle of the canner or screwing down the lids on the pint jars filled with delicious veggies.
Gosh I love her. I hope she can somehow look down from Heaven and see that all the things she unknowingly taught me while keeping my entertained weren't lost. And that I'm encouraging her great grandchildren to learn them too.

So there ya go. If you've wondered what I'm doing...now you know. I'm getting back to my summer basics. I'm connecting with myinner Laura Ingalls Wilder. I'm pretending I live in simpler days where I go to bed tired from working with my hands not battling the social masses.

I'm remembering my grandma.

And hoping just a little bit of her preciousness rubbed off on me.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

This Bud's For You!

"Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own" ~ Robert Heinlein

Soo......we threw a surprise 70th birthday party for my daddy. (I should add that it was on Kerry's birthday. haha He and daddy have birthdays that are a day apart.

I'm not sure what was more fun: planning it or actually having it. Keren (my fairy god-stepmother) hatched the party idea. Who knew she was such a fan of parties? NOW I know.

She called and suggested we do it in Texas - at my house no less.

Of course, I had a golf tournament to plan for work, so she wasn't sure if it was even possible. ("Oh ye of little faith, fair god-stepmother," I thought. "I am nothing if I'm not resourceful and capable.")

Oh... annndd did I mention this was sometime in MAY? Which meant we had no more than 6 weeks to execute the crazy plan? 

I went into overdrive. I donned my event-planning hat. Dusted off my fancy party apron and grabbed my work gloves. I began making my infamous lists....and started bugging the CRAP out of Keren and my sister, Jessy. Kerry received no less than 15 calls a day. This. was. serious.
No Party in Complete without Cajuns!

I searched the web for ideas. I scoured Pinterest. (See? It IS good for everything. I *told* you!) Blogs, magazines, facebooks.....none escaped my searching capabilities. Then I settled on my favorite things, and it was time to put the plan into place.

Keren and I began the endless scanning of pictures for a slideshow. (I'd add it here, but it's 24 minutes long and not even YouTube appreciates the need for the length.)

We discussed cakes vs. cupcakes; themes vs color schemes. Food, decor, invitation lists.... it was all covered covertly when Daddy was out watering the lawn or golfing or taking a nap. We were as sneaky as possible. And I can't tell you how many times we all almost slipped! It was terribly hard to keep the secret.

If anyone has enjoyed Keren's recent quick-fingered texts, just thank me later. I kept her hopping! We might need to look into a smart phone for her birthday present....just sayin'...

We made "Bud" tshirts with all kinds of things that reminded us of Daddy. Favorite sayings, places he lived and worked, his nicknames and of course a Bud slogan on the back made the shirts super fun.

Then we got old pics of him and made "masks" to hold in front of our faces when he came in the house. We hung a ton of pics throughout the house....all pics of him through his life.

But the REALLY fun part was seeing how many of his friends love him. Those who couldn't make it to the party sent cards and gifts for him to open when he got there. And one of his besties came all the way from Alexandria, Louisiana! (Wait...do men have besties?? Anyyywhooo...) 
The Pages from New Mexico

Billy was here from North Carolina. Another couple came from New Mexico. And let's not forget my sister and her crew driving in from UTAH!

The big day came - all the plans were falling into place. My uncle was in charge of keeping Daddy busy as well as playing in my golf tournament with him...to buy us some time.

 I had my decorating crew scheduled.... I went to work.... all was great! I even took him Starbucks just to start the day off right!
With one minor detour to the emergency room with Keren for some random kidney infection/stone/mystery to keep us all on our toes, we somehow pulled it all off without a hitch. (Imagine the sheer panic we all felt as we took turns in the ER....praying this wouldn't give away our secret!)
"Where'd y'all come from?" were his first words. He was completely surprised. Knocked off his feet.

And it was worth every second of planning. I can't even tell you how much fun it was to see him so excited. His feet didn't touch the floor...and the only food that made it to his mouth were the morsels Keren took him here and there.

Not only did we get to have a ton of fun that night, but we got to have a few days of family time too. We went to see "TEXAS" in Palo Duro Canyon, let the kids swim hours and hours, and just had precious family time. (With everyone living so far apart, it's harder than you'd think to get the Godwin side of the family together very often!)

Billy got to spend extra time with his "out of town" grandparents. (Technically, they are all out of town, but these are WAY out of town.) We all got to spoil the youngest of the bunch. It was a great time.

It was a moment in time none of us will forget. I know I won't. And I'm sure Daddy won't either. It was so much fun making him so happy and seeing him laugh and reminisce!

Keren and I decided we need a project to work on more often! We had so much fun planning that we'll be planning a Great Godwin Adventure Vacation next. 

Look out world...here we come...and there will be MORE of us because 
the 'other' sister's family will be there too!