Saturday, December 25, 2010
A few years ago, my husband and I bought our three kids identical, really nice (read expensive) stocking gifts. Since it was a few months before Christmas, I hid them away. (Can you hear the punchline coming?) I hid them so well, I haven't been able to find the gifts since. My only hope is that someday, when they're found, they will be worth a lot more than the original cost.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
My poor old dad was selected for jury duty.
I should say, my poor DEAD dad was selected for jury duty -- nearly a year after he died.
Um... I'm sure we're no longer getting his social security checks. I find it a bitter-sweet thing to laugh about with all sorts of images flying through my mind. Dad died on Christmas Eve day last year.
Monday, December 20, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
(Although this title sounds like a Native American family, it's not.)
A couple years ago people built a house diagonally across from us. The neighborhood scuttlebutt was that there were over 200 electrical code failures to be fixed before they moved in. With that gossip in the reaches of my mind, when I saw the smoke pouring out of their basement window, I panicked. I threw on my winter coat and boots, not caring that I hadn't showered or brushed my teeth, nor even met our new neighbors yet. I ran-flailed-slid across the ice and snow to quickly get to their house. We'd moved to Michigan from Western South Dakota, where forest fires (and smoke) were very common. The Michigan habit of burning leaves in the Fall still makes me nervous. So I slip up to new neighbor's door, ring the doorbell and pound away, not caring that it's only 7:30 in the morning. Their house was on fire! Their brand new, multi-code-failured house. The door tentatively opened.
"Your basement's on fire! There's smoke pouring from the window!!!" Notice I didn't even take the time to introduce myself.
"Which window?" (I told them.) "Um... we're doing laundry. That's probably from our dryer."
Colors flashed before the backs of my eyelids in memory recall: Black smoke -- carbon or tire or oil burns; Yellow-Brown smoke -- the Black Hills are burning; White smoke -- cigarettes, or car exhaust on a cold day, or breath on a cold day... or heat from a dryer... on a cold day.
"Um. Hi. I'm your new (crazy) neighbor. Welcome to the neighborhood." (Notice I still didn't introduce myself, hoping that they would forget the entire incident. I slid home and buried my head under a blanket for an hour, trying to forget it happened, too.)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Driving through Plainwell, Michigan, last week, my husband and I noticed a car with the advertising on it: "Angel Pest Control."
My husband and I laughed as he elaborated: "I bet they're very busy this time of year. Those angels can get rather pesty around now."
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
When my first born was about six years old, I took his brother and him to a local park in Western New York. The boys were running around and playing, when First Born walks up to me, face pale and concerned. At first I thought something had happened to his brother, but they were both safe.
"What's wrong, honey?" I asked.
"That sea gull just cried for help," he informed me.
I listened, and sure enough, it did sound like the sea gulls were crying "H-EELP!"
It took a while to convince my poor, concerned son that that was just sea gull talk for "Hello." (Makes you wonder where he got the idea that animals can talk, doesn't it?)
Friday, November 5, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Thursday, October 28, 2010
I love fall hiking. The colors are amazing; the weather is unpredictable; and the number of two-legged critters are limited. On a 2-hour hike today on new trails, two thoughts occurred to me: 1) Stick Snakes, and 2) Doing a Francie.
Stick Snakes. These guys make me jump and yelp every time I hear and spot one, especially in the fall. They happen when someone hiking behind you happens to kick a stick along the trail just right, and it goes sailing under the fallen leaves to your side and in front of you.
Doing a Francie. I have a good friend named Francie. She is very conscientious about keeping the trails passable. She will pull fallen branches to the side of the trail out of habbit. With 30-60 mph winds the past couple days, the wooded trails are littered with branches and trees. Of course, I couldn't move the fallen trees, but as I hiked along, I'd slip my walking stick under the smaller fallen branches and fling them off trail. I dubbed it "Doing a Francie."
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
As I came rushing into the house, I reached the door handle, but missed it, swinging my arm in front of me as in an "aw-shucks" gesture. I said to my husband, "I missed the door." He replied, "Is that the bull-fighter who didn't show?"
Monday, October 18, 2010
Saturday, October 16, 2010
Monday, October 4, 2010
While I was a substitute teacher in Buffalo, NY, a fellow substitute told me that he rejected all jobs for either P.E. or kindergarten. Since I thought those were easy-breezy subbing days, I asked him why not. It seems that during one of his P.E. kindergarten classes, a boy got stuck in the crawl-through tube of the obstacle course. The sub couldn't talk the child in or out of it, so bent down, reached in, and pulled out... a leg. Neither the sub, nor any of the boy’s classmates knew that he had a prosthetic. I imagine all those screaming kindergartners of that day, all grown up now, still have a fear of tunnels and substitute teachers.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
Every family has their own sense of humor. In my original family, it was all about bathroom humor, or putting-others-down humor. Since getting married, I have moved on to a different style of humor. Naturally, our children have picked up this unique family humor as well. When we get together, quick wit and spontaneous humor flies about us. Conversation from a time when our two adult sons were home: Older Son: So... What are we going to do today? Father: That depends on the outcome of two phone calls at noon. (To determine opening times) Younger Son: If the first call is successful, you will live. Older Son: Define success. (I love our family.)
Thursday, September 23, 2010
I saw this on a card last week. I'm guessing it tickled my funny bone mostly because I lived in Western South Dakota for nearly a decade, and often saw large herds of bison (some incorrectly call the animal a buffalo).
There was a drawing of a bison standing on its hind legs, talking into a cell phone. The message read: "I love the convenience, but the roaming charges are killing me."
Oh, give me a home... (la-la-la-la-la-la!)
Monday, September 20, 2010
I saw a small baggie laying on our front wall and wondered what it was. My view was partially covered by a large pot.
"Looks like gorp," my husband said.
*Light bulbs go off!*
Sure. I remember sitting in the Michigan sunshine two days before, and eating from the bag ... Wait! Two days? In an oak-neighborhood filled with birds, squirrels and raccoons? I checked the bag. Not even a nibble-hole in it. I opened the bag and ate a handful. Yep, I may not have remembered leaving the gorp bag there, but I did remember how stale the nuts were. I nibbled on a few more, along with the raisins and M&Ms and thought how picky our neighborhood wildlife was.
It reminded me of one of our honeymoon experiences where our backpacking meal tasted so bad, we couldn't eat it. Thinking to not waste the food, but let the raccoons whom we knew abounded there have a treat in the night, we left it on the picnic table, and crawled happily into our tent. In the morning we found raccoon prints on the picnic table, but the awful-tasting meal was left untouched by the gourmet critters.
One positive thing I've learned from this experience is: chocolate doesn't get stale! So... off to finish up my M's without the GOR&P.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Arrgh, me hearties! In two hours, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day!!! Be ye ready?
(September 19, 2010)
There be a'too many fav jokes, maties. Still, I be a'listin' three of 'em here for ye:
Q: How much did the pirate pay to get his ears pierced?
A: A buccaneer.
Q: Why does it take pirates so long to learn the alphabet?
A: Because they spend years at C.
Q: What do you get with you cross a pirate with a zucchini?
A: A squashbuckler!
Thursday, September 16, 2010
On my FaceBook page, I'd let my friends know that I'd cleaned two map turtles this week from our oil spill back in July.
One friend commented back, "What in the world is a map turtle?"
Another added, "I'm glad someone else asked that question."
I wrote back (something like, without looking it up):
"A map turtle is a creature which, if you're lost and rub its underbelly, then put it down, you can follow it wherever you want to go."
(Actually, if you just do a search for it, lots of sites pop up about map turtles.)
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Riding with some boy scout leaders this past week, one told me that he used to canoe with his troop to Alaska and back. The other one topped that by saying he took his troop to Hell and back.
Yep. Alaska and Hell are two towns in Michigan along the river.
Thursday, September 9, 2010
While on Mackinac Island, MI, where no motor vehicles are allowed, we rented bikes for a couple hours. I took our younger son on a seat on my back wheel. My husband rode a tandem bike with our six-year-old son behind him. Thing is, on the tandem bike, the adult seat in the front did not have adult pedals or spacing. My husband's legs were moving like he was doing the doggy-paddle the entire time. Also, our six-year-old didn't mind all the hard work. He told his dad that he could relax, because he (our son) had things covered equally. Dad would pedal going up the hills, while he would pedal going down.
Monday, September 6, 2010
While researching snakes for a writing project, the herpetologist at Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South Dakota, gave me a personal tour our the place during off-season winter. He answered all my questions, and so much more.
At one point, he paused in front of the emerald snakes' glass cage. Pretty animals, I thought. Aggressive animals, he said. I took a step back.
He told me they weren't poisonous, but that during the summer months, he liked to wait until there was a crowd in front of these pretty (and aggressive) animals to feed them or clean their cage. They were very passive, until he reached in, at which time the snakes came alive, striking at him with open mouths, while the visitors screamed and pointed.
He raised his long sleeved shirt and said, "See? They're just like cat scratches, and don't even hurt as much."
HOWEVER, the author of this post does NOT encourage you to stick hand, arm, or any other body part into a snake cage, poisonous or not. Thank you very much.
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
When we lived in the Black Hills of South Dakota, we liked riding the forest roads -- dirt road, one-lane roads, don't-see-anyone roads. On one such trip -- a "we've got an hour to kill before a meeting; hey let's drive into the Hills" trip -- we got a flat tire. We're AAA members. No worries, right? Wrong. Outside of the towns, there are only three spots in the Black Hills which have cell phone coverage. We were not in one of the spots.
We guessed correctly where the spare "donut" tire was. The manual let us know the jack was in the glove compartment. My hubby lay on the rocky, dusty ground while I was to read the instructions to him. Only, I didn't have my glasses. I held the manual at arm's length, reading slowly, word by mistaken word. Time's ticking. My husband needed to be back in town for his meeting. He stood up, grabbed the book from my hands, and said, "Just stand there and look pretty."
So I did. I wonder, though: Is looking pretty in the woods when there's no one around, the same concept of "if a tree fell in the woods and there's no one around...?"
Monday, August 23, 2010
Fairs are fun. People have worked hard all year (or summer) to bring food, produce, animals, art, and entertainment together for this one week.
It was a bit of an adjustment for our family when we moved from Erie County in Western NY, with nearly a million people living in the county, to Western South Dakota, which, when combined with North Dakota, holds about the same number of residents as Erie County.
That first August, friends took our high school son to the 4-State Regional Fair in Rapid City. Prior to this, we'd attended the Erie County Fair near Buffalo, NY, but that was a county fair, not a 4-state regional fair. Our son was thinking eye-popping huge.
When he got to the end of the runway, he looked at his friends and said, "So where's the rest of it?" They turned, and pointed down the other side of the runway.
Yep, there's a difference from urban living and frontier living. I actually appreciate them both.
Where's the rest of the fair? Spread throughout a four-state region.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
While visiting our son and daughter-in-law this past weekend, our daughter-in-law made some wise crack to my husband.
He looked at her and asked: "What will your cats do if they hear you start screaming?"
Her response: "Probably just look up at me and say, 'Why are you disturbing my nap?'"
(P.S. He would never do anything to harm our sweet daughter-in-law, and probably not the cats, either.)
Monday, August 16, 2010
While passing through Chicago today, we noticed a road sign which read: BRIDGE REHAB.
Of course, we were travelling with traffic, too quickly to read the finer print below it. My husband thought it was a very scary thought -- like, bridges on drugs.
My piggy-back thought was wondering if they (the bridges) mess with the "Bridge May Be Icy" signs when no one's looking. Or maybe they (the bridges, again) are actually the ones who knock over those orange cone markers.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Because I've cleaned oil off of turtles lately, here is a turtle joke for you:
When the two birds watched the turtle repeatedly climb up a tree to the first branch and push off, wildly flapping it's webbed feet all the way down to the hard ground, the papa bird said to the mama bird, "Honey, I think it's time we tell him he's adopted."
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I've been working cleaning animals from our local oil spill. Since we must keep quiet around the animals so they don't get stressed, laughter (especially mine, which gets a wee bit loud sometimes) is not allowed. So it's been quiet, quiet, and serious.
Here is a sad riddle for you:
Question: When is a snake slimy?
Answer: When it is caught in an oil spill. (Because, as we all know, snake skin is normally really smooth and not slimy at all -- at least if you stroke it from head to ... er... end.)
WAIT A MINUTE! That wasn't clean humor, that was dirty humor.
(I promise when I can laugh out loud again, I'll start re-posting.)
Monday, August 9, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
We always try to be prepared when we go out or travel. Once when my husband was on a conference in Jackson Hole, WY (now called Jackson BTW), I decided to take the day off and travel through the Tetons taking photos. I had everything I needed -- and my husband made sure I did as well. I had the keys to the van, my driver's license, AAA card, credit cards, money, cell phone, water, and a packed lunch. A kiss good-bye, and he was off to his conference, while I was off on my photo adventure.
Just outside of Jackson is a pull-over with a sign. So I pulled over, and got out to read it. I parked and stepped into the cool autumn mountain air. When I turned around, the view of the Tetons was breathtaking. I went back to the van to get my camera. As I was pulling it out, the wind whipped the door against my elbow, and slammed the door shut. I took some awesome photos, then went to get into the van to continue my adventure.
The doors were locked. Apparently, that tricky wind knocking the door against my elbow, pressed down the lock button. I stood, alone, within sight of town, but no one around even on the road, as I looked through the van windows onto the seat at all the things I need for just such an emergency.
(The end of the story is that a kind, but rare to that pull-over, visitor let me use his cell phone to call. Then, about an hour later, a AAA truck pulled up in the pull-over. It took about ten seconds for the man set my van free, and for me to be off to see what other sort of trouble... I mean, adventure... I could get myself into.)
Can't seem to get the correct url for a quick link.
For a little bit of work, it will be worth it. Check out youtube and type in: Kristin Chenoweth Singing "Taylor the Latte Boy."
Thanks to Friend Ruth for passing on this video. Wish I could have easily passed it on to you!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Getting ready for bed, I heard a crash coming from the kitchen as plastic things cluttered to the floor. Then came my husband's steadied, angry voice: "Whoever did that should be shot... slowly!"
Not knowing for sure what happened, but reasoning that since only two of us live in the house now, and he wasn't claiming to be the one who "did that," and only slightly worried about the consequences of my words, I said from the bedroom: "Buh... aaaaa... nnng."
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
I almost let it slip past without one balloon getting burst or even licking any real or e-frosting from my lips.
It's been one whole year since I started this Sand Castles Humor Blog. Yeah. I love celebrations. Whoo. So here is a TWO FOR ONE -- a first on this blog, I do believe. I shall share my brother's one and only clean joke he knows (by his own admission):
Question: What do you get when there are 25,000 female pigs on this side of a hill, and 25,000 male deer on the facing hill, and they run down to the valley together?
Answer: One hundred sows and bucks.
(If you didn't get it, say the answer quickly. Okay, more quickly. More... Got it now? Happy Anniversary, Sand Castles!)
I like familiar-comfortable in foods, but, unlike my husband, I also like to try new things.
When our sons and DIL came for a recent visit, I discovered there wasn't enough frozen mixed veggies for five adults. Solution: I grabbed another bag of veggies from the freezer -- something green and colorful; something I'd never tried before -- and added a handful to the pot.
At supper, both my boys asked at almost the same time: "Are these edamane?"
My eyes lit up in surprise. My well-cuisined sons were familiar with this new-to-me veggie. "YES!" I answered. At which time, they both confessed to have eaten the husks. I was still in eye-blinking-delight mood when I noticed they both looked a little green themselves. I was then educationed by them, neither for the first nor the last time, about the proper way to eat edamane.
Oh, well. The discussion at the table then went to eating fiber and trees.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Now they finally admit it... Women enjoy nice, tranquil walks through the woods. Men are from Mars!
(Took a while for me to get a YouTube account working. THAT wasn't funny.)
Check out my one and only (so far) cyber video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=fA1rHYFDB7o
Thursday, July 15, 2010
A very sad incident happened here in MI in 1998. Five members of a family were executed. The murderer attempted to escape today, and was shot in the head. It brought to mind the tragedy to all involved in it.
HOWEVER, in an article reported on the irony of the case, that he was shot in the head, like he'd done to his victims, the reporter quoted the prosecuting lawyer as saying, "What you sew, you shall reap."
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Another story from when our son got married & my dad...
As mother-of-the-groom, one of my jobs was to walk down the aisle and light my son's candle for him to have available for the unity candle. So mother-of-the-bride and mother-of-the-groom walked down the aisle together, lit our candles, then retreated. I was then escorted down the aisle back to the first pew, and sat next to my father. In his none-too-quiet voice, he turned to me and said, "Well, aren't YOU special."
Monday, July 12, 2010
I went to a wedding this weekend. It reminded me of "a funny" which happened to my sister when she got married several years ago.
Our father was pushing 80, and on a drug which gave him lousy short-term memory, as well as release any inhabitions he may have had. My sister planned an outdoor wedding. It downpoured. The only shelter was a walk-around porch around 2 sides of a nearby building, which was locked. So half the guests stood along one side, while the other half stood along the other. Dad walked my sister down the aisle.
He knew it was her wedding. He knew there was no music. So he decided to add his own.
"Here comes the bride...," he started singing in his booming bass voice. My sister felt warm and wonderful. Her daddy was singing to her when all other music for her wedding had failed. "... Big, fat and wide..." he concluded in his same loud voice.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
I was substitute teaching for the first time in this one kindergarten class. The classroom arrangement had six children sitting around each round table, with a basket of pencils, markers, scissors, etc. in the middle. It was early in the school year, so the kids were hardly used to having their own teacher, let alone a sub. Still, the day was going well... until...
One child threw up.
That wouldn't have been so bad, except that instead of vomiting in the bathroom, or even on the floor, he let it go forward -- towards the center of the round table.
That wouldn't have been so bad, except that as I turned to the sound, I witnessed three others at his table following suit. Before I could respond even with a step forward, a couple other students at other tables joined in the fun.
Thankfully, gone are the days when the teachers have to do the cleaning up. Yes, my friends, there is something good to say about contagious diseases from bodily fluids.
"Everyone up!" I commanded.
The little ones didn't hesitate in obeying this stranger-adult.
"We're going for a walk."
School policy (I knew because our two sons went to the school) was that anyone who vomited was sent home for the day. I marched the entire class down to the office. Dropped off the six green kids, explaining that, in IMO, only one child, the first "offender," was actually ill. Then, I took the kids outside for a walk around the school -- a couple times. (The school did not have a playground, but thankfully the fall weather was fine for a fresh-aired walk.) When we returned the windows were opened, the messes were cleaned up, and gone was any reminder-smell.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
SHORT VERSION --
Question: What did the little fish say when it hit its head against the concrete wall?
LONG VERSION (which happened yesterday; and yes, Ross is an adult) --
Jeff: What did the little fish say when it hit its head against the concrete wall?
Ross: (looking at Sandy for a hint)
Sandy: Oh ___ ...
Ross (moving his lips like a fish, and turning to Jeff): OH-WOH-WOH.
Sandy: No, Ross. That's not the answer. It was Oh-Something.
Jeff: It wasn't Oh-Something. Ask me the question back, Ross.
Ross (thinking...): What did the little fish say when it hit its head against the cement wall?
Jeff: It wasn't a cement wall. It was concrete.
Ross: What's the difference?
Jeff: (Gave explanation of the difference)
Ross: Oh. Okay. So, what did the little fish say when it hit its head against the concrete wall?
Ross: (Mouth dropped open and eyes popping out of his head at Jeff saying "that word.")
Sandy (laughing): It's a three-letter word, Ross, not a four-letter one!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
I'm sure these things must happen to other people, only, they simply don't confess them like I do.
1) It was dark-ish, more like dark twilight.
2) I was tidying up the kitchen,
3) ... in my summertime bare feet,
4) ... without turning on the light.
There's just something about the l-o-n-g evenings of June and July which thrill me -- enough to not use lights until I'm almost ready for bed. It used to drive me crazy as a kid to have to go to bed in the summer while it was still light out. But as an adult, I love that deepening twilight time.
So, there I was, tidying the kitchen counter in the dark, when I came across an opened package of bean seeds. I knew it was beans because I had just planted a third crop of them earlier that day. The top of the package was folded over. I picked it up to move it to the other seeds, where it belonged.
However, I soon discovered that even though the top was folded, not only was I holding the package upside down, but it wasn't bean seeds after all. Tiny radish seeds sprinkled out past the folds and over the kitchen floor.
Ever step on radish seeds, in the dark, in bare feet? As a kid, the soles of my feet would have been too calloused to notice such things. As a twilight adult, seeming rather like the Princess and the Pea, I felt every single tiny bugger work its pain up to my brain as I made my way over to the light switch where I brushed off my soles and went to find a broom and dustpan.
All right. Confess up. Anyone else ever do something like that?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
My husband and I decided to buy ourselves some bikes a couple weeks ago. They were new, and bought through a brand-names sporting goods store. We paid a penny each for them. Truth!
Okay. Here's the deal. We went looking for new bikes, on a day flooded with other errands. We found what we liked, but since we didn't have our bike rack with us, couldn't take it home. We were told we would have to put them on lay-away, even though we'd be back in half an hour to claim them. The clerk also told us that we could not pay for them entirely -- store policy for lay-aways -- but we could pay everything but one penny.
Dear Hubby and I grinned at each other, paid for both bikes -- all but two pennies -- went home, got the bike rack and went back to the store. We walked in with a penny each in our palms and said to the different clerk now at the counter: "We want to buy two bikes. Here's two pennies." Without blinking, he said, "Oh. You have them on lay-away."
Well... WE thought it was funny to buy bikes for a penny each.