Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why I Will Never Eat Frogs:

In light of it being Veteran's Day and all I had to share this story....A little tribute to a brave soldier who just so happened to be my Grandpa. 

Before my Grandpa passed away several years ago I was able to video tape him telling the story of how he earned his bronze medal in WWII.  It's a story that my cousins and I have heard repeated many times during our lives and never tired of hearing.  The following story is directly from my Grandpa's mouth, word for word copied from the video tape.  For the full effect you must read it with a thick Italian accent.  =) 

Disclaimer: Please disregard the grammatical errors and politically incorrect references and keep in mind these are the words of a man with very broken English.

Grandpa's Bronze Star Frog Story

"It was the Isle of Biak.  Just south of the equator...close to the equator.  We were going to patrol through the jungle to see where the enemies are.  There were 5 of us - 1st scout, 2nd scout, radio operator, squad leader (he was an officer), and a radio guard.  So we were walking near a stream of water...not a river....just a small stream.  There was a lotta frogs.  Ribbit... ribbit.... ribbit...*insert grandpa's frog sound effects*.  When I went across on a bridge made of wood.  I don't know if the natives made that or if the Japanese were there before us.  So when you walk on the bridge the frogs stop making the noise.  I walk about 200 yards and I stop.  The patrol leader said "did you see anything, Marocco?"  I said, "I didn't see anything ahead of us but I'm concerned about those frogs."  He didn't know what I was talking about...he said, "what about the frogs?"  I said, "remember they make all that noise, then we pass and they stopped.  Now they should be starting again because there's no body there.  But they're still quiet."  He was pretty fast, he said, "you think some one's following us?" I said, "yeah...I think we got the Japs right on our back...they're following us."  He said, "OK, lets take cover." 

You know in the jungle it's easy to take cover behind the bushes.  They pass us...They were 12 of them....Only 5 of us....they were looking saying "where'd they go?"  So after they passed he (the squad leader) was in charge of it ~ he take advice from everyone.  I said, "I think we should follow them see where they are going."  So we did.  It was a whole battalion...a lot of Japs.  So, he said "we call the artillery"....they were about 5 miles behind us with the cannon.  They fire 1st round it was a little too short it was almost on top of us.  So the next one was right at the target...he said "FIRE FOR EFFECT" and they open up every cannon they had.  They blasted...they ruin everything.  So we went back to the company. 

The next day we went back there to see how much damage we did.  There was a lot of dead Japs but you know some of them got away.  They left behind a lot of food, even wine, so we drank their wine and that's it.  We went back (there was a ceremony) and one day a guy in a jeep came by and said "I'm looking for Private Marocco".  I said "I'm Marocco...what do you want?"  "Oh, the colonel wants to see you."  I had no idea what the colonel wanted. 

The Colonel said, "I want you to tell me about them frogs.  I got a report from your captain".  And so I told him ~ I said, "when I was a little boy in Italy I used to go catch frogs all the time and so I know when you walk by they stop making the noise...then after about a minute they start again....first one, then another, then pretty soon they all start.  And this time they were all quiet so it made me suspicious that we were being followed."  I said, "it sounds crazy but...." He said "No it doesn't, I'm gonna pass that on to all the training camps!  Everybody should know that!"  So I got a bronze star and that's it. 

I told the Colonel "I used to eat a lot of frogs ~ But I'll never eat another frog as long as I live ~ They saved my life!"

Friday Fragments

Welcome, to another addition of Friday Fragments...hosted by the fabulous Mrs. 4444 @ Half-Past Kissin' Time.

*Smurfette: "mommy, can boys have babies?"
Me: "No, honey, boys can't have babies."
Smurfette: "I know, mommy, I was only testing you."
*Dear baby girl, please stop testing me. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to continue passing your tests. When the whole "how do mommy's get pregnant?" question pops up? I'm totally cheating off Great Grandma's test and telling you "they swallow water melon seeds".

*Me: *singing to some tunes while cleaning my house*
Dreamy: MOM! PLEASE! 1st I had to go for an MRI this morning and now THIS??!! REALLY??!! How much can a kid take??!! *snicker*

*"Tiny long saggy boobies" and "little boobies nipples pictures" ...these are 2 recent google searches that landed someone to my blog. Seriously.

And so is this....word for word...copied and pasted....
"So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad And I’m still trying to figure out how that could be." ...I hope she wasn't looking at my blog for the answer!

*Had a fantastic morning with my kids at their school for "pancakes with parents". Only, they didn't want to sit with me. I tried to explain to them the meaning of "with parents"....but their buddies are more fun to sit with. Gonna have to work on that. I think I embarrassed them when I started belting out Josh Groban tunes. *no, of course I didn't.....YET!* =)

*I haven't even started Christmas shopping. There once was a time when I would have been completely finished by the end of October. *try not to gag*. I would get it all done in one long girls weekend shopping excursion. Now it's just a chore. I'll probably be one of those people at the store at midnight on Christmas Eve. I'm dreading it this year. I don't know why. I'm thinking about doing all my shopping on line this year. But then I can't bargain hunt for the sales. So....any suggestions? I like does anyone know of any great bargain shopping sites?

*Dreamy update - MRI was done Monday. Couldn't get in to see the doc for a follow up appointment to discuss the result of the test until NEXT Friday! ACK! But the good news is....he thinks it's getting better. He actually participated in gym yesterday and did a little running and jumping and woke up extremely sore just from that little bit of activity. He has lost all muscle tone in these 4 months of slothful living. And I'm praying this won't lead to yet another injury when he returns to gymnastics.

*We had Hefty's conferences last night and I'm enormously proud of him. Every one of his teachers had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. My personal favorites..."he's very hard working" and "he's very polite". Makes the recently discovered "eye rolling" seem a little less infuriating. =)

*I watched Hitch last night for the 374th time. And I laughed just as hard this time as I did the 1st time. Love that movie.

"Right. Well, see, I'm more of a literal kind of guy. So when I do this...
*twists his arm and slams him on the table* This is more like me saying that
I will literally break your shit off if you ever touch me again. mkay punkin?"
I really want to be able to use that line on someone in real life. Wouldn't that be "bad ass"?

*I steam cleaned all my carpets yesterday. The great room and 3 bedrooms. 2 hours after they dried? My dog shit on it. Why. do. I. bother?

Friday, April 2, 2010

My quarterly report

2010 update:

*Since my last post Hubby found out he had Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome. Which basically means he had some faulty electrical wiring in his heart....resulting in his heart rate going all hay-wire...for which he needed surgery (which he just had done today) to short circuit this electrical problem. He is recovering nicely and is currently in la-la land delivering pixi dust with flying unicorns.

*Hubby's aunt passed away. She was a truly inspirational woman. She decided 3 weeks in advance the precise day she would die. And she did. With a smile on her face surrounded by those she loved most. We should all hope for such a dignified passing.

*Her illness is what finally gave me the motivation I needed to put an end to my smoking habit. A woman who never smoked a day in her life passed away from lung cancer. It's just not right. And I have to say, it's been a cake walk this time around. It'll be 3 months on Easter since my husband or I have had a cigarette and it was so easy to quit this time around that I have to attribute it to divine intervention. There's just no other explanation.

*I've started a biggest loser club. There are 19 in our exclusive and oh-so-posh weigh loss club. You wish you could be this cool. *insert "L" sign on forehead* We've lost over 80 lbs so far. =) 8.8 lbs of that came from my very own rear end.

*I leave for my girls trip in 12 days. =) Enough said.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Dear 2010,

I had high hopes for you.

2009 had nothing but wonderful things to say about you. She said you had extraordinary potential for greatness. I believed her. But, and please don't take this the wrong way, I gotta tell've been a bit of a disappointment thus far. I feel we may have gotten off on the wrong foot. A misunderstanding perhaps? Whaddaya say we just start over? Start this relationship from the beginning on a better, more stable foot this time? That'd be lovely.

Looking forward to better tomorrows, Mamma Smurf.

January 4th - Hubby leaves work in the morning and drives himself to the emergency room with symptoms of a heart attack. Chest pain, shortness of breath, feels like he's gonna pass out, and diaphoretic. Is later diagnosed with WPW syndrome and is now awaiting an appointment with the cardiac electrician and possibly a cardiac catheter ablation procedure to cure it.

January 8 - Daughter complains of itchy head. A letter was sent home from school before the holiday break saying that lice has been going around the school. So...when my daughter complains of an itchy head? I freak out. Guess what I found. Go ahead. Guess.


Dude...seriously?? They say the dear Lord doesn't dish out more than a person can handle?? REALLY?? I beg to differ. I haven't had a decent night's sleep since. I've washed at least 3 dozen loads of laundry. Bed linens are changed daily. All unwashable toys, pillows, comforters, etc have been bagged and are out in the garage where the creepy little critters can freeze to death until I can get around to washing everything. My furniture, floors, and mattresses are now vacuumed daily. I've spent 2 hours each day for the last 4 days picking through my daughter's hair strand by frick'n strand. In the last 4 days I have discovered where the phrases "nit picking" and "going through something with a fine toothed comb" originated from. Knowledge I could have gladly lived a lifetime without. Thankyouverymuch.

Your head itches now doesn't it??? =)

And now? We are waiting for more bad news. As my husband's aunt is terminally ill with lung and bone cancer. A woman who never smoked a day in her life. She was diagnosed in November and is not expected to make it through this week.

Which, of course, in itself, is

But this also means that my husband will likely have to fly out of town next weekend which means I will have to travel to Chicago with 3 children by myself next weekend for a gymnastics meet. With a child with lice. Most likely in a snow storm. (The last 2 years that we've driven to this meet have been through snow storms....Why should this year be any different?? ).

Oh, well hello name is Mama Smurf....*holding my arm out for a hand shake*'s such a pleasure to meet you 2010! I'm really looking forward to getting to know you better! And I'm hopeful that this urge to gouge your eyeballs out will pass soon. Let's hope the 2nd impression is better than the 1st.

Better late than never?

This is how good I am at blogging....or how close I am to a dementia decide: I wrote the following post over a month ago. Then forgot about it. It's been sitting in my draft box for that long. I sat down on my couch and decided to fiddle around and try blogging from my iPhone cuz, well, it's been awhile, again, and....well....looky there. A 1/2 assed post just waiting for the publish button:

Here I go again! It's been almost a month since my last post. I lay in bed at night thinking of brilliant posts.  Yah know...right after I complete the grocery and todo lists in my head.  They come to me one after another night after night. And by the time I wake up in the morning? They're gone. Never to be recalled again. I don't know what happens to them.  The sand man?

I have my Single Parent Hat on again as hubby is out of town. Again. Somethin's gotta give. I'm overwhelmed, exhausted, and teetering on the proverbial edge of insanity. My prayers lately sound a little like "Dear God, please help me be a better and more patient mother tomorrow". I hate going to bed feeling that way. HATE. IT. Especially during this time of year when nothin' but sugar plums should be dance'n in my (and my kids) head(s). BAH!

Grandma's highly anticipated volume 2 heritage album Christmas gift is still not complete. Once complete it'll take a couple weeks after uploading to receive it in the mail which at this point means the earliest hope for it's arrival will be sometime in.....January....of 2011? I'm dreading that phone call. "ummm, Grandma? You know that scrapbook I promised you? Yeah..... it'll be a little late  I'm still not done with it  did you really want it?  How's about a nice Snuggie instead?  They're sooooo comfortable and cozy warm.  Toasty even."

We spent the week of Thanksgiving with my FIL.  In Texas.  That?  Just sucked the holiday spirit right out of me.  I missed Thanksgiving with my family.  I didn't get to do my black Friday shopping.  The lights on my house didn't get put up.  We missed the last "warm" weekend for outside/yard fall cleanup.  Which means I either brave the frigid MI weather to get the leaves off my lawn or they will be the topic of conversation in my neighbors' homes.  I didn't start shopping until last week...when in past years I would have had all holiday shopping completed by October.  I know I should be happy that my husband was able to spend Thanksgiving with his father....and that my children were able to see their grandfather....and that my FIL didn't have to spend Thanksgiving alone this year.  But.  Well.  Yeah.  That's all I'm gonna say 'bout that.

So, for the first time in the 16 years that my husband and I have been together....there will be no outside Christmas lights.  That just sucks.  I put the tree up.  But that's it.  There will be no Dicken's Village this year.  No wreath on the front door.  I didn't even pull out the nativity scene.....*GASP*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chocolate Milk is the Weapon of Choice

I just received a phone call from my 7th grader from the school office:

Hefty: "Hi mom"
me: "Hello"
Hefty: "I was sent to the office"
me: "why"
Hefty: "Because I spilled my chocolate milk at lunch"
me: "You were sent to the office for 'spilling' your chocolate milk?"
Hefty: "Yes and it got on a kid's shirt"
me: "spilling is accidental....are you sure 'dumping' isn't the term you're looking for?"
Hefty: "Well....I didn't 'dump' it....I kinda 'tipped' it"
me: "you 'tipped' your chocolate milk on another kid?"
Hefty: "yes"
me: "WHY?" *frustration rising due to his purposeful vagueness*
Hefty: "Well...I was sitting in that seat and I got up to throw something away and when I got back he was sitting in my seat and he wouldn't move so I 'poured' my milk on him"

That conversation was followed by a conversation with the principle which is when I was told that he was given lunch clean-up duty for his crime.

I believe I've just officially received an early initiation into the "mother of a teenager" club. His birthday is tomorrow. Assuming he lives that long....

On the one hand I'm laughing because dude....I will never have to worry about this child being picked on. He can hold his own. But patting him on his back for sticking up for himself is probably not the politically correct parental thing to do. So how exactly does one punish this type of infraction?

And I'm just realizing that I forgot to ask who he did this to. I'm praying it wasn't one of my friends' children.

Another parent of the year award down the drain....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

There's Gotta Be A Book In Here Somewhere....

Stephanie Meyer was on Oprah recently and I just watched the DVRed version yesterday. I find her story incredibly fascinating. She's just an ordinary SAHM of 3 boys. She was at that crossroads in her life on the verge of losing herself (and her mind) in the name of motherhood. I've been there. Hell, I may still be there. She revealed that Twilight came from a dream. She had never written a short story let alone a novel nor had she any aspirations to be a writer. She is an avid reader but had never been into vampires or vampire stories. She simply had a dream one evening about a girl and a shiny sparkly boy vampire. She wrote her dream down and it became the 13th chapter of Twilight. She didn't even tell her husband she was writing this story. She told her sister. Her sister read it and encouraged her to try to find an agent and publisher. She was rejected by NINE agents before she found one that said "I'd like to read more".

And now 5 years, 4 books, and 2 movies later? She's an extraordinary SAHM.

I'm an ordinary SAHM.

I have lots of dreams.

And I read lots of books.

So lets analyze these dreams and see if we can't come up with a general idea for a book...

I used to have recurring nightmares about a certain individual in my life (whom will remain nameless). I haven't had one in a very long time but I've done horrible unspeakable things to this person. They say you never dream about doing things that you would never do in real life? I say an emphatic "BULL SHIT!" They were that bad. Each dream is a little methods of torture varied from dream to dream but the main character was always the same. I would wake up in a panicked cold sweat and it would take me several moments to realize that it was just a dream. It would take me awhile to calm down enough to fall back to sleep...but then the dream would always pick right back up where it had left off. They were always so real. And very vivid. I've never read horror stories. I don't do scary movies. Hell, I couldn't even watch Scooby Doo as a child. And the closest I've come to a scary book is the first four chapters of Patterson's Along Came A Spider. I read those four chapters three weeks ago and haven't been able to work up the nerve to go any further. Too dark for me. But maybe I could turn this dream into a horror novel?

Speaking of recurring dreams....I used to have another recurring dream back when I was a child. In this dream I walked through the front door of our house looking for my mother but had found the living room filled wall to wall, floor to sealing, with stacked washing machines and dryers. My mom, of course, was in the bathroom on the other side of the living room....and in order to get to her I had to climb through this maze of washers and dryers. Maybe I could turn this dream into a whimsical children's story about....?.....?......How to help out with the housekeeping??

I always have dreams about losing my children. Several nights ago I dreamed dreamt dreamted dreamed that my daughter and I were riding our Sea daughter was riding behind me when I hit a big wave and she flew off the back side. I was sitting on the strap to her life jacket so she flew right out of it. I turned around to go back to get her but she never came back up to the top of the water. I panicked and....woke up. Never did find out if she survived. Another horror flick.

And then there's the dream I had of walking through a meadow full of daisies (my favorite flower)...all by myself....happy as a clam....when out of nowhere a big ugly snake popped up, hissed at me, wrap itself around my leg and sank it's two inch fangs into my thigh. Ironically enough, this dream occurred during the Aunt CB drama.

I think it's safe to say the only story these dreams will ever turn into is as a case study for a Psychiatrist's Digest magazine.

Guess I'll just stick to my day job....SAHM extraordinaire....