April's Real Blog

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mom and Dad Made it About Themselves Again

When Mom got back from her visit w/Gramps, she found Dad grilling on the backyard barbecue. (Jeremy and I were inside making delicious vegan foods!) Dad was like, "So how's yr Dad, El?" Mom went, "I think he'll B fine, John--and Iris had a nice break from caregiving. Looking after him is a lot of work... U're always afraid that he'll choke or fall or something. He's so lucky 2 have her. He's so lucky to have sum1 there 2 care 4 him when he's failing, when he's frightened, when he needs help." Dad was all, "I know." Then he put an arm around Mom's shoulders and they simul-thoughtbubbled, "And I wonder... When the time comes... which one of us will play that role."

U prolly have noticed this is a pattern. Contact w/Gramps always leads them 2 consider themselves getting older. Hm. Make of that what U will.


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Wednesday, July 30, 2008


OK, so I just heard what happened when Iris got back, ending Mom's few-day stay w/Gramps. Mom was all, "Welcome home, Iris!" And Iris was like, "Hello, my dear!" As Iris walked in2 the apt, she sed this 2 Mom, over her shoulder: "Thanks 4 staying w/yr dad, Elly. I did appreciate my time away."

She put down her bags and went, "And I'm sure he needed some time away from me 2! --He must get tired of seeing my face day after day after day!" And Gramps went, "No!"

Iris grabbed each of his hands in her own, and went, "U don't get tired of me? Well, that's good. Because I love U--and U're STUCK w/me! ...Bonded, fastened, cemented and glued!" Gramps thought-bubbled, "The feeling is mucilage!"

Is your first reaction "bwuh"? Is it to go look up the word "mucilage"? That was my reaction. Its definition from Dictionary.com is:

1.any of various, usually liquid, preparations of gum, glue, or the like, used as an adhesive.
2.any of various gummy secretions or gelatinous substances present in plants.
And then mayB you're thinking, "Oh, so he means Iris sticks to him like glue. Is that good or bad?" And then you might be thinking, "But was he thought-bubble punning? What could be the pun? Oh, no. Was he punning on 'the feeling is mutual'? Gah, he was!" At least that what ran thru my head. This is an esp. weak pun (and I h8 puns 2 start with!). The only resemblance between the 2 words is the "myoo" sound at the beginning. [myoo-choo-uhl]/[myoo-suh-lij]. Ugh. Painful.


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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Witch Finds False Teeth Hi-Larious

Guess who was on Good Morning, Milborough today? The Witch of Corbeil (WoC)! The hostess, Candi Clonkers, was interviewing her abt Mom's visit w/Grandpa Jim. Here's a bit I remember:

CC: I think we'd all agree that Mrs. Patterson is a nice, nice woman, who LOVES her father! An all-around wonderful daughter and human being!

WoC: Yes, yes! That's what people need to realize! Elly's not perfect, but her HEART is in the right place. And she tries!

CC [consulting notes]: So, as I understand it, the part of Elly's visit people will be discussing today, over coffee and whatnot, featured her asking her father, "You're OK, aren't you, Dad? In spite of, you know... Everything... You're OK?" To which Mr. Richards said, "Yes," while hoisting himself up from chair to walker.

WoC: Yes! Elly is so caring....

CC: Then, she put one arm around him while saying, "You mean so much to me--to EVERYONE! We don't tell you often enough how lucky we are to have you here with us." Correct?

WoC: Yes! And I think this is something many families can relate to, families with elderly relatives who...

CC: Some of my sources indicate that April Patterson is a notable exception, as she visits her Grandpa often and tells him how much she loves him.

WoC: April! Well, she's a teenager! And a little spoiled! She might be nice to her Grandpa, but what her parents have to put up with, having a teenager in the house! Well, maybe they'd visit Jim more often if they didn't have to deal with her!

CC: But would they, really?

WoC: No. Not really. But let's get back to Elly's visit. Don't forget their lovely HUG! Right after that dialogue about how lucky the Pattersons are to have Jim with them, Jim let go of his walker, walked his feeble, failing body over to Elly, and gave her a hug!

CC: Sources tell me that during the hug, your father's body, seen from the back, looked squat and womanly. And the back of his head looked quite a bit like Elly's daughter-in-law, Deanna's!

WoC: Horrible, picky people! I'd like to see them do better?

CC: Huh?

WoC: Er, never mind! Let's get back to how wonderful this moment was! Elly said, "Ooohh! I'm gonna feel this hug for DAYS!" Then Jim thought, "Me too." And after he and Elly disengaged from the hug, he put a hand to his shirt while thinking, "I left my teeth in my pocket!!!" [Laughs hysterically, tongue extended.]

CC: Why do you find false teeth so funny?

WoC: Aw, c'mon, isn't it obvious? They're TEETH, that come OUT of the MOUTH, that can be LEFT PLACES and LOST and BRANDISHED AT PEOPLE and can BITE their owner by mistake! What's not to find hilarious?! [Laughs again.]

CC: Didn't this "joke" scenario happen before, about seven or eight years ago, when Jim was living with the Pattersons? Doesn't that diminish the erstwhile humour?

WoC: NO! If it was funny then, it's still funny NOW! And most people aren't going to remember so far back, so it'll be new to them!

CC: And why the heck doesn't Jim keep his teeth in his mouth? I've never seen the logic of taking them out and sticking them in a shirt pocket.

WoC: Well, if you did loads of research and development as I do, you'd know--it's something OLD people DO! It's an "old" thing. You wouldn't understand!

CC: Okay! So, on that note, that's all the time we have for this segment! After the next break, join us for the toast-and-jam diet!

I didn't stick around for the toast-and-jam diet. I went right from seeing that to writing this. Now I'd better go get ready 4 my work @ the vet clinic and more errands 4 Liz!


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Monday, July 28, 2008

Painful Punning

It turns out one of the reasons 4 Mom's visit was 2 infodump Gramps re. the wedding plans. While Mom was still sitting on the floor in front of Grandpa Jim's chair, she was all, "I'm glad Iris decided 2 visit her son, Dad. I've been wanting sum time alone w/U. I haven't been keeping U up-2-d8, but now I can tell U what's going on in our lives." And Gramps went, "Yes!" How odd, U'd think Mom cdn't keep Gramps' "up-2-d8" when Iris is around. It's not exactly classified info.

NEway, Mom went on w/"The wedding is all planned. We're having it on August 23rd." Hm, don't U think Gramps wd know that from having received an invitation? Or mayB he was one of the 10 non-RSVPs and Mom assumed that Iris threw away the invite and never told Gramps abt it? Sorry, I'm digressing again. Mom continued like this: "Elizabeth is going 2 look lovely in Mom's dress*, and Anthony's uncle is supplying formal wear 4 the men!" Don't U think the detail abt Anthony's uncle supplying formal wear is a weird thing 2 include? Y shd Gramps care abt that? Or mayB Mom feels the need 2 show how little this bride and groom actually had 2 pay 4. Found dress. Don8ed flowers. "Supplied" formal wear. What else?

Next thing Mom said was, "April's going 2 sing! Wait 'til U hear her! Michael's writing a wonderful speech [groan], the children R all in the wedding party!" Then Gramps is supposed 2 have thot, "I guess U cd call this a 'glow-by-glow' description'!" Y Gramps? Glow by glow? What has Mom done 2 his brain?

Doug McKenzie, in answer 2 yr question, we do have taverns in Mboro, but I don't know if that's what made Dad l8 that one time in 1980. He sez he doesn't remember the incident. I can't believe it--he's had lots of head trauma over the years.


*That's NOT Grandma Marian's dress!

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Boring reminiscences again

Apparently, one of the movies that Mom brought 2 Gramps was abt a married couple where the guy left the woman after they'd been married more than 30 yrs. Mom got really emotional during the movie, cuz it was set up so U really sympathize w/the woman and feel like the husband leaving came totally out of the blue.

After the movie, it seems that Mom told Gramps that the whole sitch had her remembering sumthing that happened on August 24, 1980. Gramps tried 2 pretend he was sleeping, but it didn't work and Mom told him NEway. She remembered looking @ this weird clock she used 2 have, which was shaped like an apple that had been cut in half, so the clock face was on the white part of the apple. It didn't have all the numbers, just 9, 3, and 6, w/dots showing where the other numbers shd go.

Mom recalled that when she looked @ the clock, it was 7:00 PM. She remembered also looking @ her watch 2 corrobor8 the time, while holding little Lizzie and saying, "John's over an hour late! --Where cd he B?" Then she remembers putting Lizzie in her yellow high chair and pacing so hard she actually caused the word "PACE" 2 appear in the air 2x. Meanwhile, she remembers that she, Liz, and Mike were in a backgroundless void that was orange, and Mike seemed only 2 have a torso, while Liz and her high chair both seemed 2 abruptly end where Liz's knees were. As this happened, Mom thought, "Maybe he's had an accident. --He cd B in a ditch sumwhere ....seriously hurt!!"

She also remembered saying, "Where R U, John? I cdn't LIVE w/out U!" But then she remembers the backgroundless void turning Dayglo green as she thought, "Or.. What if he drove sum1 home. --A luscious young thing, perhaps... And what if he went in 4 a drink! --And if..."

Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of Dad SLAMming the door shut and going, "Hi, honey, I'm home!" while the backgroundless void went back 2 orange. A moment later, the orange gave way 2 white, as Mom shouted at him in white letters on a yellow background, "WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN!" While her face turned red.

After Mom finished that story, apparently Gramps went, "Boxcar! Boring! 1980!" And Mom got in2 a tiff abt him being grouchy and 1980 being a "fun" year 2 talk abt.


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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bringing glurge smiles

Lilliput's had a special "breakfast" event this morning, and Moira and Beatrice asked me 2 help them set up 4 it. It turned out that most of the ppl @ the breakfast were the same peeps who R alwayz showing up @ Lilliput's 2 have coffee w/my Mom and talk abt our lives. It's creepy how much sum of these ppl know. And how much sum don't.

NEway, this one chick was going, "Elly is so wonderfull [sic]! The way she agreed to stay with her elderly father while Iris has a vacation is just so, so wonderfull [sic] and so, so NICE!" Sum1 else sed, "Yes, I know what you mean! Like for example, Elly told her father, 'I brought some of your favo[u]rite grub, Dad. I'm gonna make Shepherd's pie, chicken and biscuits, bread pudding and trifle!' Isn't that nice?" And sum1 else sed, "Nice? What's with Elly and the heart-attack-stroke-cancer food? Does she want to kill off her father so she doesn't have to deal w/him @ the wedding?" Another person sed, "Hey, who invited the mean ppl here?"

Moira interjected, "We do allow ppl of differing views!" And sum guy with an Indiana accent was like, "Well! You really should limit this to people who appreciate how warm and loving Elly Patterson and her family are. Except April!" And I sed, "Hey!" And he went, "Oh, Hi, April, I didn't notice you were here!" And the chick who'd been saying "wonderfull" sed "April who?" And the guy who'd made the comment abt the food was like, "April! John and Elly's youngest, who is 17 and still living in their house!" And that woman looked v. v. confused.

Then sum1 else sed, "As a family-dynamics counselor, I really appreciated the way Elly told him, 'And despite yr grouchiness, we're going 2 have fun.'" And sum1 else sed, "Oh, me, too! And as teacher, I also liked how she went on w/'I brought you some good movies, April's new book, recent family photographs and herbs from my garden.'" One woman @ the table went, "Michael's book! What has the poor guy done 2 deserve that drivel?'" And the easily confused chick was like, "No, not another mean person! Michael is a wonderfull [sic] writer, and his books R wonderfull [sic], 2!"

I sed, "U know, there's only one 'L' @ the end of 'wonderful,'" but then Moira shushed me and whispered, "We're not supposed to correct them. At least not so directly."

Next, sum woman sed, "I lovedd [sic] it wen [sic] Ellie [sic] told Jimm [sic], "I've brought you the noosepaper [sic], some musick [sic], some choklit [sic]... and--' and then went, 'U're smyleing [sic]! Woww [sic]! I C a smyle!!'" I whispered 2 Moira, "Wow, sum of these ppl R really lousy spellers!" She nodded and looked a bit weary. (Not 2 B confused w/"wary," BTW.)

And yet another woman was all, "Oh, but don't forget the very, very, very best part! As Elly sat cross-legged on the floor, looking quite lovely, by the way, and not at all frumpy, so take that, Elly's critics, her father thought this: 'Yes... you've brought me that too.' 'That' meaning a smile! C that? Elly is just the best daughter EVER! Ever, Ever, Ever!'" And a lot of ppl nodded their heads, tho a couple were muttering abt how they hope that my mom doesn't consider pics from 1979/1980 2 B "recent family photographs."

Then the woman who'd just sed that stuff abt Mom being the best daughter ever sed, "By the way, I thought of some more things that could be written about Anthony: 'Anthony was frightened yet excited about his upcoming nuptials to the lovely Elizabeth Patterson. After all, his first marriage had gone terribly, terribly wrong, and though Elizabeth was, of course, quite different from the first Mrs. Caine, Anthony was still Anthony, and he was terrified that he might make some kind of an error....'" I heard a couple a ppl whisper, "Oh, God, SHE's here?" And I figured this was a gd time 2 get outta there.

As I was leaving, a coupla ppl who'd been called "mean" @ the table came up 2 me and sed sum really nice stuff abt how I'd B OK, just so long as I focused on my goals, didn't let my fam get 2 me, and made sure I left Mboro far, far behind as soon as I left 4 uni. That was really nice 2 hear, and it made me think how that table must B like "opposite land" if those ppl were considered the "mean ppl."


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Friday, July 25, 2008

Mom TRIES, yo!

K, so I heard sum more of what went on when Mom started her few-day stay w/Gramps. It seems Gramps was using his walker and had a storm cloud over his head while Mom was folding a towel. Mom told him, "Iris is only going 2 B gone 4 a few dayz, Dad--and we're going 2 have a gd time!" Poor Gramps, do U have the impression that Mom's plan was "remind Gramps every 20 minutes that Iris is away and Mom is staying w/him 4 a few dayz"? Yeah, me, 2.

Mom went on w/"We'll go outside, we'll watch movies, we'll make sum popcorn, and...." Gramps did a big "SNORT!!" and began 2 clump away from Mom, towards his armchair. As he was sitting, Mom was like, "Look. I know how hard it is not being able 2 talk, not being able 2 do the things U used 2 do. I know..." Gramps cut her off w/a "PFFTBLTTT." Then Mom stooped down 2 slitely below eye level w/Gramps and she went, "OK. So I DON'T know how U feel.... But I TRY!!" And it seems Gramps either smiled or smirked @ her.

Jeremy thanx w/yr help last nite making sure Gramps wd B safe. U R super-smart, yrself!!!


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Thursday, July 24, 2008

Good Grief!

OK, here's what I heard abt the start of Mom's "staying with"* Gramps so Iris cd go away a few days.

Iris went, "I shdn't B going, Elly." And Mom was all, "Of course U shd. U don't get away nearly enuf!" Then she zipped up Iris's suitcase and sed, "Dad and I will B just fine. The nurses will help with his bath, and he can manage with, U know... personal things." I guess we shd B gr8ful she didn't Brit-drop "the loo."

Then Iris stuck a finger in the air and was like, "Now, he likes a bit of oatmeal B4 bedtime, he gets up @ nite, so leave a lite on--watch him if he tries 2 use the stove, make sure he takes all his pills on time..."

Mom didn't say NEthing, she just grabbed Iris's suitcase, and in silence, they left the apt, went down the elevator, and left the bldg, where Dad was waiting w/his 'vASSe. Mom broke her silence then, w/"John's here 2 take U 2 the airport, Iris--and don't worry--Dad's in gd hands." Iris hugged Mom and went, "Good hands... Good heart..." Mom sed, "Goodbye." I wda sed, "Good glurge!" And Charlie Brown wda sed, "Good grief!"


*Yeah, I just felt like putting "quotes" around that.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


So I heard that Mom showed up while Gramps and Iris were sitting outside. Mom was like, "Hello, Dad! They told me @ the front desk that I'd find U 2 out here." And Gramps was all, "Yes!" Then Mom was like, "It's so nice 2 have a garden behind yr apt." And Gramps again was all, "Yes." Then Iris went, "Elly has come 2 stay w/U dear--while I go and visit my son!"

Next, it seems Mom sat down by Gramps and went, "U know that I'm staying w/U 4 a few days, don't U, Dad. U remember, don't y..." And Gramps got impatient and cut her off w/"YES YES YES!" And Iris sed, "His memory's long enuf... It's his temper that's short!!" And Mom apparently looked mildly gobsmacked.

And so begins the story of "Elly stays w/her father so Iris can get away a few days." Calcul8ed 2 make U all think she's a "gd daughter" after all. We'll C if it works, eh?


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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Gramps the Conversation Piece

This morning, Gramps sent me another e-mail:
Hello, April!

In case you were wondering what happened after we got out of the elevator where no one was talking to me? Well, Iris wheeled me outside to the seating area where the olds in my building like to sit around and chit-chat. Two building employees came up to me--a young woman and a young man, and the young woman said, "It's good to see you outside, Jim!" She talked right to me, April! That was so nice! Then Iris said, "He's looking well, isn't he!" And the young man said, "Very well!" Then Iris told him, "He's had a few ups and downs, but in general, his health seems to be stable." And the man said, "Good to know, good to know."

Iris continued: "We've had some visitors lately and taken some nice drives. He watched a movie last night, and his daughter is coming to stay with him soon." If I could have spoken, I would have said, "Yeah, I'll believe THAT when I see it!" Also, I noticed that this nice young man was Asian and he almost seemed like an Asian guy drawn by a 60-year-old woman who has trouble drawing Asians without making them look as though their eyes are always closed! But then, I just thought, "I used to be part of a conversation.... And now, I'm a conversation piece!"

But don't feel too bad for your old Gramps. Your visit yesterday really brightened my day, as always!


Aww, poor Gramps. I hate when ppl talk abt me like I'm not there. :(


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Monday, July 21, 2008

Talking walls

Gramps sent me an e-mail:

Just a quick dispatch from your Gramps. Iris took me into the elevator recently, as she is wont to do. The elevator was quite full, and as soon as the door closed, the "oldies" in the elevator shared the most scandalous gossip! Iris forbids me from sharing the details, but I can tell you that I found myself thinking, "If only the walls could talk!" Wait, maybe the reason I was thinking that was because everyone seemed to be ignoring me, down at wheelchair level, while they swapped their gossip. And if the walls could talk, at least then, someone would have been talking to me!

Oh, my, there goes the old fert, getting himself depressed. April, I know you're busy with the vet clinic and Liz's wedding plans, but can you spare some time today to visit your old Gramps?

Grandpa Jim
So I wrote back and sed I wd def. make time 2 visit. I'll get Dixie out from where Mom has her tied up and also bring my guitar, of course!


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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Things that make you go, "Whatever"

Dee came by early this morning 2 tell Mom abt how Robin got himself all dirty by digging in their yard and rolling around and kicking and stuff. Dee said that she found him in a dug-up area by the fence and took him inside 4 a bath, and that while she was bathing him, she was thinking, "How can so little sand get in2 so many places?" I sed, "If he was digging by the fence, and not in the sandbox, wasn't it DIRT that got in2 so many places?" And Dee, sed, "Um, yeah, I guess so." And I sed, "How come he wasn't playing in he sandbox?" And Dee sed, "Well, I don't know."

Then Mom sed, "Quit interrupting, April. Adults are speaking. Deanna, I know EXACTLY what U mean! Y I cd tell U stories abt Michael that wd curl yr hair!" Then, she got this stricken look on her face and sed, "Oh, my God, MICHAEL! What's going on with him? Has the Johnston Institute unerased him yet?" And Dee looked blank 4 a second, and then she pulled a letter out of her purse, and handed it to Mom. "This just came in yesterday's mail," she sed, "It sez they R making 'progress' w/the process of 'recorporealizing and reintegrating Michael Patterson.' They don't specify when he'll B back, tho."

Mom took the letter, read it, snf-snffed a bit, and handed it back 2 Dee. She was like, "U came over here and the story U led w/was 'Robin got dirty' and not 'Michael's progress'?" Dee looked kind of sheepish, but Mom threw her arms around her and went, "U really R one of us now!"

Then I was like, "Dee, who's watching the kids?" And Dee was like, "Uh-oh! I left them alone! Michael erased is so much like Michael busy 'writing' that I 4got. I've gotta go, Mother-Elly!" And she did.


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Saturday, July 19, 2008


I'm just gonna turn this entry rite over 2 Liz, who is already hanging over my shoulder and trying 2 think of a made-up errand 2 send me on. Brace yrself 4 her blinding wedding colours.


Ha, smartypants April thinks she knows everything. I'm not going to use my wedding colours today. I'm going to use the colour scheme I'm thinking of using to redecorate the master bedroom after I marry Anthony and move into the house. And shut-up to all of you who keep telling people I already have. I am NOT that kind of girl (anymore), I still have my own apartment with a cat, and no one can prove anything!!

There, isn't that pretty? This would be the main colour, and this would be the accent. April is so mean, she asked me if I'm colour blind when I showed her my swatches. That's almost as bad as how her mean friend Shannon Lake is always asking if I've been evaluated for special needs. I don't know how April gets such mean friends!

Well, anyway, I have a story for you! It's one of those stories that shows that Anthony is JUST LIKE DAD, and therefore PERFECT HUSBAND MATERIAL!!!

Frenchy, and I had just finished our shopping, and we stopped at that outdoor greasy-spoon place where Pattersons who are not April like to have greaseburgers. Anthony and I were both having wraps, because those are "in" right now, and we all had fries. Frenchy asked me, "I get to be a flower girl when you get married, don't I!" And I told her, "Yes, Francie--you and Meredith will be flower girls." Frenchy asked, "Who gets to go first--me or Meredith?" And I cleverly told her, "Robin goes first because he's the ring bearer." This was so distracting, Frenchy never got the idea to ask who got to go second. Instead, she asked, "Why can't I carry the rings?" And I told her, "Because you'll be carrying flowers!"

Then I got this brilliant idea. It just hit me out of the blue, and I couldn't wait to say it: "And if you and Robin and Meredith are really, really, really good... I'll have a very special gift for you when the wedding is over." Anthony leaned over towards me and said, "Here comes the bribe!" I held my french fry mid air and felt my face getting that "gobsmacked" look, which is the perfect look to get when someone "zings" you with a pun like that. I thought, "Wow, that is EXACTLY the kind of thing DAD would say." And I felt SO proud of Anthony. Though part of me felt he was kind of, oh, what's that vocab word I was supposed to teach my grade fours in the last week of school? Oh, right, "undermined." Especially since he did that right in front of Frenchy. Oh, well, Mom told me that's what I need to get used to as a wife and mommy.

Liz Almost-Caine

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Accepted by [his] daughter?

Well, Liz tried 2 "trick" me again this morning, w/another made-up errand, but I told her there's no need, she can write abt her lame, disturbing trip 2 the grocery store w/Antman and Francie all she wants. I can use the time 4 sumthing else. K, so I'm turning this over 2 Liz.


Hmph. I might give her an errand anyway. I like putting April to work! Anyway, I liked my fancy wedding-colour text so much yesterday, I'm going to do it again, except I'll make it mostly violet with teal accents. Because I haven't decided which colour I'll emphasize at the wedding!

Ooh, pretty! Let's see. So Anthony and I took Frenchy grocery shopping. And because I'm going to be her new Mommy, and Anthony is the man, he went to browse in their hardware section while I took her up and down the food aisles.

In the cereal aisle, Frenchy asked, "Can I have some sugar cereal, Elizabeth?" And I said, "Let's get healthy stuff today, OK?" She followed that up with, "Then... Could I have some candy?" I could have pointed out that candy isn't "healthy," but if I did, she might remind me of that the next time she sees me eating candy, and also, Anthony lets her keep a giant candy drawer in the kitchen at their house, so I said, "You have candy at home."

A minute later, she said, "How about a toy?!! I haven't had a new toy for a lonnngg tiiiiime!" And I said, "Not today." That's when she started pulling at my hand and going, "PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE?!!"

So I bought her a toy, and after we checked out, Anthony caught up with us, and I told him, "I've been accepted by your daughter, Anthony....She's started to NAG me!" I said this right in front of her. Was that wrong of me?

Oh, and I'm so good, I got our groceries and
Frenchy's toy in fabric "Green Sacks." Not paper OR plastic. I am wonderful! I wonder where I can get Anthony a nice "This house saves water" sign.


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Thursday, July 17, 2008


Hey, there, foax, there's not 2 much going on rite now, just.... Oh, w8. BridezilLiz is here and she's yelling 4 me again. I'll B rite back.

HA! It's me, Liz! I sent April out on an errand because I knew she'd be logged into her blog, and I want to tell you a sweet, sweet story that will FORCE you to like Anthony! Oh, but first let me change this boring text. I want the text fancier. And in my wedding colours!

Much better, don't you think? I don't know why people say violet and teal are not a nice combination!

Anyway, Anthony and I took Frenchy to the park recently, for a picnic. Isn't that sweet and quaint? After I lay down the blanket, Frenchy insisted, "Swing me, Daddy! Swing me!!" So Anthony grabbed her by both hands and swung her so fast, she didn't seem to have legs the whole time she was swinging. She seemed like a torso. It was a little scary, but very SWEET, April. Sweet! Then, suddenly Anthony was so dizzy, he had to let go and sit down. He had a little twister over his head and dizziness bubbles and specks around his head, too.

And silly Frenchy, she asked, "Why are you stopping? ...I'm not dizzy yet!" See how charming? Don't you and your cold-hearted friends just LOVE Anthony now? You'd better love him! Even though he hasn't helped out with the wedding, which is women's work anyway, so don't be mad at him for that, Mom and Dad say you're not allowed!

Liz (NOT BridezilLiz!)

Oh, man, I can't believe Liz just did that! What a freak! But, oh, well, that lame story is what I was going to tell you about anyway, so I guess I had 2 spend the time on Liz's lame errand instead of Liz's lame story, eh?


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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Mom makes us all sorry, eh?

This morning over brekky, Dad sed 2 me, "April, I will tell U a story that shows U sumthing U need 2 understand abt marriage. Last nite, Yr mother and I were getting ready 4 bed, and as I put my Dentist's Choice brand toothpaste on my Excavat-R toothbrush, I sed, 'This wedding's been a lot of work, but U're enjoying it, Rn't U, El.' And yr mother sed, 'Yes. I have 2 admit I am.'" I sed, "Dad, the wedding's been a lot of work 4 every1 but U! And Dad sed, "Sh, let's not go there, yr Mom mite hear and get angry abt that, even tho she hasn't thot 2 get angry abt that yet!" I sed, "Y don't U just help out?" And Dad sed, "The answer 2 'Y' is 'Y.' 'Y' chromosome, that is!" I rolled my eyes.

Then Dad sed, "Well, yr mother continued w/'It makes me think back 2 our wedding. We just walked in2 it, didn't we. We didn't question it... We just went ahead and got married.' I was brushing my teeth, so I didn't answer rite away. As I wiped my chin with a towel, I sed, 'And it's lasted 4 over 30 yrs--so, I guess I've dun all the rite things!' Yr mother, who had been abt 2 brush her teeth, suddenly discarded her toothbrush and sed, 'What do U mean--U've dun all the rite things?!' I put a hand on one of her arms, looked @ her sheepishly, and sed, 'It was a joke! I was kidding! Honey, I'm sorry. Really. I'm sorry.' Then a bit later, as we snuggled 2gether in bed, I thot, '....I did the rite thing.'"

I was like, "U mean U sed U were sorry when U really weren't?" And Dad sed, "U betcha. It's called 'diplomacy.' That's what U need in marriage. Diplomacy." And I sed, "U cd also try and avoid making jerky little comments in the 1st place." Dad looked stricken and sed, "If I never made jerky comments, there'd B no makeup snuggles. Don't U know makeup snuggles R the best kind?" And I sed, "Oh, I just remembered, I need 2 B @ the vet clinic early so I can leave early and work on wedding stuff." And Dad sed, "OK, well, don't work 2 hard, buddy!" Blargh.


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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cuz Liz, she's freaky!

After my stop @ Lakeshore Landscaping, I brought Liz the catalogues, saying, "Lawrence let me borrow sum catalogues, Liz!" She sed, "Gr8!" And we sat @ the kitchen table. While Liz went thru one of the catalogues, I sed, "He sed 2 choose what U wanted and he'll take care of the rest." Liz went, "He and Nick R so generous."

Then, I did that annoying ticking-off-fingers-to-count-items gesture while saying, "So... U're wearing 'Grandma's' dress, the flowers will B taken care of, the bridesmaids R organized, the place is booked and we've talked 2 the caterers. ....What wd U like 2 freak out abt next?!!" Liz did a heavy-lidded stink-eye look, but I think that mite actually have been cuz she hadn't had time 2 think of what she wanted 2 freak out abt next. Liz needs 2 mull things over a lot.


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Monday, July 14, 2008

Aw, no, Lawrence, don't PUN!

Yeah, so yesterday, I had 2 stop by Lawrence's biz, Lakeshore Landscaping, 2 talk 2 him abt the flowers 4 Liz's wedding. Lawrence was all, "So, U're in charge of the flowers, hum?" Gah, so my dad has Lawrence doing the "hum" thing now. Who's next? I went, "Yup! ...That's me!" Elizabeth wants sumthing that'll go w/teal and violet ribbons [cuz she didn't take Mira's suggestion abt changing her hiddy colour scheme]." And Lawrence opened up a catalogue, saying, "Let's check the catalogue." He asked me, "She knows that Nick and I R giving her the flowers as a wedding gift, doesn't she?" I thot mayB the reason 4 this question was Lawrence bracing himself 4 Liz 2 take full advantage by way over-ordering, but I wasn't sure. I sed, "Yes. It's really kind of U, Lawrence!" And he sed.... Oh man, here's what he sed: "No problem! ..Business is blooming!!"

Ick. Poor Lawrence, my fam barely ever pays attention 2 him NEmore. If they don't need help moving, or a summer job, or a tree, it's like they 4get he xxists. So mayB he thinks it's cuz he doesn't pun enuf 4 my pun-happy, fam. Please, Lawrence, don't come over 2 the pun side.

Dreadedcandiru2, U R rite, Liz is really making sure I have, like, zero spare time w/all this wedding stuff. She even tried 2 get me 2 quit my job @ the vet clinic. No way, man! I may only B a cage cleaner there, but I still get 2 observe and learn, so that's important 4 my future, U know?


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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bridal Checklist Meeting

So, Liz called a special wedding-planning meeting yesterday. It was me, Liz, Mom, Dawn Enjo, Shawna-Marie Verano [or her new name], and Dee. I had the strange impression we were only having this meeting so that ppl who only pay attention 2 us once a week wd know that wedding planning was happening. 'Course those ppl also prolly think Liz and the Ant have been engaged since they had their stupid "checklist" d8 last summer. Oh, and Liz liked that whole "checklist" thing so much, she made us use that approach 4 our dumb meeting.

First, Dawn went over a list of stuff I had 2 say "check" abt. "Bridesmaids gifts?" "Check." "Groomsman's gifts?" "Check." No one went in2 how Jeremy and I had 2 go 2 every vendor in Mboro 2 beg them 2 don8 free gifts, of course. NEway, next, it was my turn 2 say a bunch of stuff Mom had 2 say "check" abt: "Corsages? Roses? Music? Limo? And photographer." "Check. Check. Check. Check. Check." Sum1, I'm not sure who, went "This list is dun, then?" And Mom thot-bubbled "Cheque!!!" and held up her finger like she was motioning 4 a waitress. Even tho we weren't in a restaurant. MayB she was mentally correcting Anthony, since @ the end of that "checklist" d8 I just referred back 2, he asked his waiter 4 the "check" instead of the "cheque." That's considered v. gauche in Canada.

NEway, Dawn referred 2 another list and went, "OK, we have the chair covers, table cloths, napkins and place cards." Mom sed, "The place cards we ordered R not available." Y wd that only come out then, after the order was made? Next, Shawna-Marie piped up, referring 2 a list of her own: "Lawrence will B delivering all the flowers in the morning xxcept 4 the bouquets, which will B picked up @ noon." Dee looked over her shoulder, as tho she cdn't trust Shawna-Marie 2 tell us what was really on that list.

Mom asked, "What abt the dinner?" Yeah, of course she did. Dawn replied, "We decided on the entrée, rite?" And Mom jumped back in w/"And the cake will B individually wrapped and available at either end of the head table." Huh?

Shawna-Marie checked her list again and sed, "Music will B live during the ceremony and the dinner, but we have a DJ for the..." Dawn interrupted that w/"W8! The guy we hired can't come!" Then Liz stood up and went, "They've asked us 2 move the ceremony away from the fountain. ....It's being repaired." Mom went, "What?!!"

Dee referred 2 her own list and went, "My mom can't find the fabric she wants 4 the flower girl dresses, and suggests we change the colo[u]r scheme from teal and lavendar, 2 rose and powder blue." Huh, I was surprised 2 learn that NE1 asked Mira 2 B involved, and that she agreed. NEway, as we continued 2 check over stuff, I had a feeling that Mom was thot-bubbling something about "No wonder ppl cry @ weddings.... They're so happy 2 have them over with!!" Yuh. Nice sentiment, Moms.

Jeremy, it was v. nice of U 2 do that whole camp thing as a favour 2 me. Believe me, U will B rewarded v. v. handsomely when U return! <3 <3 <3


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Saturday, July 12, 2008

A stupid conversaton between Dad and Ant

Ecch. So, on that day of all the wedding planning, the one I've been telling U abt all wk, Dad succeeding in getting Anthony NOT 2 go in and help. Instead, they sat on lawn chairs set up w/their backs facing the house, having cold drinks as Edgar sat by Anthony. Dad was like, "So, U're going 2 B a member of the family @ last. I've gotta say, that makes me happy, son!" Dad and the house went in2 silhouette, while nothing else, including the drink in Dad's hand, did. And Dad sed, "Elizabeth's had a couple of close calls. Nice boys, but Elly and I always hoped that U and she wd get 2gether." "Close calls"? That makes it sound as tho NE1 other than the Antman wda been a disaster just cuz Mom and Dad had their stoopid hearts set on Anthony. Anthony, of course, went "thank U." He must know Mom and Dad have been pimping him 2 Liz 4evs.

Dad left silhouette and did the usual "sales" job re. Anthony. He sed, "U're a hard worker, sensible, kind, a dedicated father.... U'll B a wonderful husband!" Then apparently, they simul-thought-bubbled, "Or else." Really? Is this a real concern? Are they actually acknowledging that Anthony was NOT a "wonderful husband" 2 Thérèse? Nah, no1 in this circle ever admits that.

Oh, and as U mite know, Mike got erased! C Dee's comment from yesterday. Mike has no sense of who not 2 mess with! NEway, Mom was on the fone early this morning. I heard her end of the convo, where she was saying, "U have 2 bring back Mike! Yes, redraw him! Come on, you know he's your favourite as well as mine! Yes, U can teach him a lesson up there in Corbeil before U send him down here, just redraw him. Yes, I understand it's not his place 2 tell yr employees that they shd B looking 4 work, nor mocking their 'cease and desist' orders. Of course, they should be taken seriously. Yes, I understand. Gerald is no longer to be considered April's future husband. Frankly, John and I have never liked that boy and we've always secretly hoped April wd get him out of her system and move on 2 sum1 else. We never sed so because we thought 'childhood sweethearts as Patterson destiny' was the rule now. Yes, yes, do what U need 2 do, just get me my boy back!" Mom hung up the fone and sobbed.

I sed, "U really don't want me 2 end up w/Ger NEmore?" Mom sed, "Nope." I sed, "He doesn't remind U of Anthony NEmore?" Mom sed, "Not even a little bit. I hope this doesn't mean U're going 2 want 2 get back 2gether w/him just 2 B a rebellious teenager type." And I sed, "No, I just wish U'd sed all this stuff B4 so Mike wdn't have tortured me w/his constant 'When U marry Gerald' stuff, ignoring me whenev I told him I never will." And Mom sed, "He did that?" And when I sed he did, Mom shook her head and sed, "I should have taught him abt letting up on stuff like that, but I never did. I blame yr father."

NEway, that's all I've got 2 tell U now.


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Friday, July 11, 2008

Dad trains Anthony in the ways of Patterson Men

So, on that same "wedding planning" day I've been telling U abt, Anthony skulked his way in2 our yard, where he found Dad. Anthony was all, "Hey, Dr. P! --How's it going!" Dad, who was in the process of winding up the garden hose, was all, "Fine, Anthony!" Anthony went, "Is Liz around?" And Dad sed, "She's in the house. They're going full-tilt on the wedding plans, so I wdn't goin there if I were U." Oh, no, can't have the menfolk help with the wedding. Not even the groom.

Anthony asked, "Is there a problem? And Dad responded, "It's a wedding! There's ALWAYS a problem! Sumthing's not rite here, a dress doesn't fit there, ppl haven't responded, the caterer's out of town..." Hm, I dunno Y Anthony needs Dad 2 school him in the ways of weddings. It's not like Anthony hasn't ever had 1. Anthony sed, "MayB we shd just elope." And Dad went, "What? ...And spoil all the run?!!"

Whatever. I guess it's more "fun" if U insist on witnessing it from afar and let the "ladies" 2 all the wedding stuff. Shut up, Dad!


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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Lifetime commitment to wine

Liz and Mom went out 2 the back deck and sat in the same spot where Mom had been sitting when she lost her patience (ha!). Liz had poorly rendered bare feet, while Mom had what looked like mutant hooves. Liz sed, "I just wanted it 2 B simple, Mom. No big deal! But it's still so...." Mom interrupted w/"I know, dear." 2 bad. I wonder how Liz would have ended that sentence. Mom went on w/"Every1 gets tense when they're planning a wedding. There R so many details--and besides, it's not just a party! It's an enormous decision. U're making a lifetime commitment 2 someone... 2 build a future and a family w/him... 2 B faithful and loving and honest and strong. This is a major turning pt in yr life!" Liz got this staring, gobsmacky look on her face, and cd've sworn she heard a southern-USA accent saying, "Darlin', quit it w/that Dixie face U Pattersons get when U have that 'looking-in-the camera' expression." Mom thot she saw a dashing man passing through the yard just then, 2.

NEway, after Mom sed that bit abt "turning pt," Liz looked @ Mom and sed, "Shd we put wine on the table? ...Or have it served?" Then Mike came out the back door (holding a milk bag he wanted 2 "borrow") and sed, "No! If U're going 2 say 'wine,' U have 2 make a pun. On 'wine' and 'whine.' How can U pass up a pun-opportunity like that?" And Liz sed, "Go away, Ugly brother! U have no idea how stressful this is 4 me! U got 2 sit back and let Mira plan yr wedding! I have 2 do everything myself! AUUUGHHHH!" And Mike ran away.

Jeremy, thanks 4 coming over last nite so we cd hold ea other up.


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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Mom's in2 recycling, U know.....

On that same day that I went 2 the beach w/Eva and Vicki, and that Mom was losing her patience, I made the mistake of trying 2 get Liz 2 chill. She had her elbows on the table, holding her head w/both hands. She had the wedding binder open 2 the page that featured her wearing her gown, and had a pamphlet, a magazine, a list, a pencil, and a cup on the table, 2. I put a hand on her left shoulder and the other on the scruff of her neck, while saying, "Lighten up, sis! U've got a whole month 2 go!" And Liz stoop up, grabbed her cup, and sed, "That's EZ 4 U 2 say! U can take off 2 the beach w/yr buddies! U can sit an' watch TV! U're not totally responsible 4 a major event here!"

Liz put her cup on the counter and I splayed one hand @ my sternum, Patterson style, and sed, "That's not fair! I'm helping! I'm in charge of the flowers, remember?! I addressed all the invitations! I'm making the table decorations!!!"

Mom had skulked in2 the room as I was saying that last bit, and we suddenly all went "AAAGHH!!" in unison, while reach our arms @ one another. Then we threw our arms around one another, and Dad showed up, all, "Group hug?" And Mom went, "No... We're holding each other up!"

I thought, "Huh, that sounds really familiar. " Then I realized that Mom used that same concept when she and Moira Kinney hugged back in February of 2006, rite after Mom agreed 2 sell the store 2 Moira. I know Mom says she prides herself on recycling, but there is no environmental benefit 2 reusing yr "jokes." Just boredom.


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Tuesday, July 08, 2008


W8 a minute. What?

OK, @ sum pt during all the reminiscing over the past couple of wks, Mom and Liz decided on a d8 & location and sent out invitations. I still have no idea when the wedding is, cuz no1 tells me NEthing. I hope it's not gonna B a day when I've already got plans!

So, here's what happened. Liz was @ our kitchen table, hunched over her papers, while Mom filled yet another mug of coffee. Liz asked, "Have NE more RSVPs come in, Mom?" And Mom sed, "Yes, but we're missing abt 10." Liz, looking a lot like Meredith 4 a moment, went, "I hope they respond soon. I have 2 tell the caterers how many meals 2 prepare." Oh, that's EZ. Pretend all 10 will B there. If they don't show, Mom will eat their meals. NEway, Mom and Liz went in2 silhouette a moment B4 Liz sed, "Y do ppl w8 'til the last minute? How can we plan this if we don't know..." ::snerk:: Pot. Kettle. Liz. I mean, isn't this wedding being "planned" @ the last minute? But Mom didn't say that, instead, she sed, "Relax, honey!" Liz and Mom unsilhouetted, and Liz went, "I CAN'T!" This caused Mom not only 2 get a gobsmacked look on her face, but also 2 lose most of her forehead, so it became at best a .5-head.

Mom went outside 2 the back deck, placed her coffee cup behind her, shrunk, put a spindly rite hand on her rite knee, her left elbow on her left knee, and held her .5-head w/her left hand, mayB wondering how 2 reclaim it. Dad, also shrunken, put his left leg on the bottom step, so he was kinda lunging, and asked Mom, "How's it goin' Hon?" And Mom went, "If U're talking abt my patience .... it's gone." Dad sed, "'Patience' was not the referent of 'it,' and you know it, Elly. Don't play dumb 4 bad wordplay." OK, he didn't say that, but wdn't it have been cool if he had?


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Monday, July 07, 2008

Liz is in a pissy mood

Liz has been @ our TTH a lot, planning her wedding. Just the other day, Liz was sitting @ a table fuming, and I asked her what she was so upset abt. She was like, "April, U just cannot understand how stressful it is 2 plan a wedding! I have 2 make all these decisions! I can't just say, 'Whatever comes is OK w/me.'" I have 2 make definite, distinct choices. It's horrible, April! Horrible! I should be allowed 2 let faith and f8 decide all this 4 me, but I'm NOT!" She burst in2 tears, so I asked her if there was NEthing I cd do 2 help. And she sed, "YES! Get out of my FACE and stay out of the way."

So I called Eva and Vicki Simone, and we went 2 the beach. When I got back, Mom was all, "April, we're working on the wedding! --I thot U were going 2 help!" And I sed, "I was helping!" Then Mom and I went 2 where Liz was hunched over that table, fuming again, and I sed, "...I was staying out of the way."

OK, if U C a pic of Emma Sue Jenkins, and sum1 tells U it's my Grandma Marian, do NOT go along with it! Grandma Marian looked like Mom, only older. Emma Sue Jenkins looks kinda like the Granny in Looney Tunes, the one who has Tweety Bird as a pet. There is a disinformation campaign, which we think originates in Corbeil, 2 get ppl 2 believe Emma Sue Jenkins = Marian Richards. NO! We must resist!

Jeremy, I think it's awful how peeps R trying 2 confuse my poor Grandpa Jim abt Grandma Marian!


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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Blogging from Beyond

Hello, April Patterson's readers. This is the Ghost of Grandma Marian, hacking into April's account. Normally, we ghosts are urged not too interfere too much in the lives of the living, but sometimes a spirit just gets fed up!

Recently, my daughter Elly and granddaughter Elizabeth went to the home of my grandson Michael and his wife Deanna, so that Liz could try on "my" dress, after Deanna's alterations. I commented here before to say that I don't know whose dress that is, but it ain't mine! My dress had a high collar, buttons up the front, mutton-chop sleeves, and no lace. It fit in perfectly with my image as a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

So, Liz put on this dress that looks like something you can pick up off the rack at any bridal store today, and she stood up on a block that Dee had placed for her. Dee was pinning the hem, and Elly was kneeling in such a way that, for a moment, I thought she'd lost her legs. Then I saw one pathetic little heel of hers peeking awkwardly behind the swath of white fabric she was holding aloft, and I knew she still had legs, only they were poorly attached.

Next thing I knew, Dee was pulling at Liz's bodice, pins in mouth, as Elly held the pin cushion and Liz had an incongruously smug expression on her face. Maybe it was the novelty of being "felt up."

Liz continued to look smug, closing her eyes and posing as if a photographer from Modern Bride were in the room, and Elly said, "You've done a wonderful job on this dress, Deanna!" And Deanna said, "Thanks, Elly!"

Liz opened her eyes as Dee tugged at the waist line and said, "It sure was hard to cut the fabric. I kept wondering what your Mom would think." And Elly said, "My mother would have loved to see her wedding dress worn again." I guess that's true. I wonder where it is?

Elly told Liz, "Turn around again, please, Elizabeth." And Liz twirled about while saying, "Like this?" Elly said, "Yes... I think she'd have been very happy. And if she was here right now.... She'd be helping you to try it on." I was about to say, "No, Elly, it's 'if she were here right now,'" when suddenly I saw another ghost, a plump, cheerful, stereotypical 'grandma' type, holding a ghostly veil aloft, as if she were about to place it on top of my granddaughter's head.

Naturally, I had to intervene. I tackled her and said, "Who the heck are you?" She said, "Why, I'm Emma Sue Jenkins! I used to live just down the street, when I was alive that is. I love weddings! I used to crash every single wedding in Milborough, and no one ever stopped me, because I was a sweet old lady and they figured I knew someone. I think this veil would look lovely on your granddaughter." I said, "Don't be stupid. You can't put a ghost-veil on a living bride! Didn't you read the manual?" Emma Sue got up, dusted herself off with her ghost-veil, and said, "Hmph! I'll find another wedding to get involved with!" And she passed through the door.

Later, as Elly bathed in the claw-footed tub that's in the basement of their new house (the space that's supposed to be April's), I stood to one side and judged her. What kind of a mother is she, spreading lies that April's been picking flowers from the neighbourhood gardens, just so she can simultaneously get April out of the house (to use the tub) and also cover for that no-good son of hers, whom she never taught you should never steal flowers from people's gardens? I'm going to judge her some more after I wrap up this entry for you all.

Cordially yours,

Ghost of Grandma Marian

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

Michael and Moral Relativism

Uch, mayB if we R v. v. good, we will get in2 present-day stories this coming week, eh? Meanwhile, Mike has more 2 share from the boring past:

Formerly little sis. I was in the middle of my writing today, when my children came into my sacred writing area of retreat and asked me a question. Normally, if they do this and they are not obviously bleeding, I ignore them until they go away. However, on this occasion they were asking a question of moral importance, so I decided it was important to stop my writing to listen to their question. I said, “What is your question again?” My daughter said, “For the 10th time Daddy, Gramma Elly took a case of food out of the back of Mr. Singh’s store and she didn’t pay for it. Isn’t that wrong?”

I said, “I want you to know that you can’t go taking food from someone’s store—it’s very wrong. However, in the case of Mr. Singh’s store, there are few good reasons why we can take from there. First of all, we’ve taken food from Mr. Singh’s store before.” My kids said, “We did?” And then I regaled my kids with the story about your taking food from Mr. Singh when you were younger and how you eventually paid him back, so it was all right you took the food in the first place. I would say more about this story, but it did not happen in 1979.

I said, “Second of all, there are many people who are going to make contributions to your Auntie Elizabeth and future Uncle Anthony’s wedding. What you saw was probably your Gramma Elly taking food for the wedding.”

Then I continued, “In fact, children, I have a story from 1979 when I learned all about this.” My children groaned, and this is the story I told them:

Once when I was little, we had a neighbour named Mrs. Baird. She had a garden of prize-winning flowers. One day when my mom, your Gramma Elly, was not feeling good, I picked some of the flowers to give to her to make her feel better. She said, “Flowers! –Thank you, Michael!—Where did you find them?” I said, “Well, I sort of …er…got them from Mrs. Baird’s place.” I think mom thought I might have gotten them from some public park or a botanical garden or something like that. She said to me, “You can’t go taking flowers from people’s gardens, Honey---It’s very wrong. You must NEVER do it again! But if you do---try and leave on the stem.” I said to my kids, "Do you understand the meaning behind my story from 1979?"

My son said, “Don’t eat stem!” My daughter said, “It’s OK to steal!! Yay!!” I said, “No! No! No! Mrs. Baird had given us flowers before for me to give to Gramma Elly when she wasn’t feeling good. That’s why Gramma Elly knew it was OK for me to do it again.” My daughter said, “You left that part out.” I said, “Goodness. Read between the lines.” My daughter said, “OK. Gramma Elly got pastries for Auntie Liz’s wedding. Yay!!” My son went “Yay! Pastries!!” also.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell morality stories to young children.

Michael Patterson
Esp. when the stories lack morality!

Jeremy, I got yr txt message and I can def. help U and yr mom 2day. What time do U want me 2 come over?


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Friday, July 04, 2008

Cleaning rooms and pouring milk in 1979

Mike found another reason 2 share a story from 1979:

Formerly little sis. Just the other day with my kids, I was pouring milk from a milk bag, when they asked me how it was that I learned to do that. Well, April, after having told my children so many stories from 1979, I was surprised that they would actually ask for one. I said, “Well, kids, to answer your question, I will have to tell you another story from 1979.” My children groaned, but allowed me to go ahead. This is the story I told:

Back in 1979, our mother was notorious for cleaning my room and Elizabeth’s room, because she was very fastidious and she didn’t trust anyone else to clean the rooms like she wanted them to be cleaned. By and large we stayed out of her way when she was in a cleaning mood. She would pick up my Super Teddy sans cape, and would mutter to herself “If women resent their position, they have only themselves to blame.”

My children immediately said, “What does that mean Daddy?” I said, “Well kids, back in 1979, there were these things called feminists. They would like to say things which got women confused, like whether or not it was better to have a job or to be a mommy to be both. What it means is that if you didn’t want to be a mommy or a worker or both of those things; then you didn’t have to. And if you were a mommy or a worker or both of those things, and you didn’t want to be, it was your own fault, because you picked it in the first place.” My daughter said, “Did you pick to be a daddy, ‘cause mommy says you didn’t?” I replied, “Mommy’s right. But these things only apply to girls. Boys have to be both a worker and a daddy.”

I continued on, “Then my mother would sometimes mutter, ‘If men were only taught as boys to do things for themselves…this problem wouldn’t exist…’” My son said, “Huh?” I said, “Exactly! This was confusing to me too, when I was 5 years old. But then an amazing thing happened to me that made it all clear.” My children said, “What?” I said, “I went to my mother and said, ‘Hey, mom…could you get me a glass of milk?” and she said, “Sure, Mike…as soon as I get your room cleaned up.” This was basically the same thing as saying, “No”. I thought it might mean that she wanted me to clean my room; but she was in a cleaning mood, so I knew it meant for me to get out of the way and get the milk myself.

I had never gotten milk by myself, because I was afraid of the milk bags. I had been my entire life, all 5 years of it. But then, thanks to my mom, I was going to have to get a glass of milk by myself. This is how you do it:” and I demonstrated with a milk bag, a milk jug and a pair of scissors.

Step 1: Put milk bag into the milk jug.
Step 2: Snip the corner of the bag by holding the very corner and using scissors
Step 3: Pour the milk into the glass.
Step 4: Drink milk.

My kids were amazed. I said, “And that, children, is how to do that, learned all by myself; because mom was busy cleaning my room.”

Michael Patterson
So, Mike, did U ever learn 2 clean yr own room, or did U just let that B Dee's job once U got married?

Happy 4th of July 2 my U.S.A. readers!


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Thursday, July 03, 2008

Gross food in the past

Poor Merrie and Robin. Mike used 1979/80 Patterson "food" 2 teach his kids sum kind of cruel lesson:

Formerly little sis. Just the other day, I heard my children complain about how they were constantly subjected to carrots as a part of their daily diet. They whined, they complained, they caterwauled and made all kinds of obscene gestures in my direction. All I could do was laugh and laugh, because I knew that, if they experienced the kinds of meals to which I was subjected in my youth, they would embrace carrots joyfully.

So, I told them, “Kids. I have heard your complaints about carrot coins, and I have decided that you should have a meal I had when I was growing up.” My children said, “Gramma Elly food?” And I said, “Even better. Gramma Elly food she used to make back in 1979.” My children moaned, “No! Not another flashback!” But, of course, I couldn’t make the meal from 1979, without telling my story from 1979. This is the story I told, as I made them their meal of liver and spinach.

I said, “One day I was eating and making noises like this: CHEW GULP! Gobble CHOMP Glut!” My children laughed and said, “Just like Gramma Elly!” I said, “Not only was I slurping and drooling, but my cheeks were stuffed with food and my drink was all over the table.” My children said, “Hooray! Gramma Elly food!!” I said, “Not only that but my drink spill moved on the table, my food moved on my plate, and plate kept changing sizes.” My children said, “Yay!! Gramma Elly food that moves!”

Then I said, “My mother, your Gramma Elly, came over to me and said, ‘Where are your manners, Michael! You’re eating like a pig!! Now SLOW DOWN!’” My children said, “Where were your manners?” I said, “They were right there. I was eating in the style that all Pattersons eat, except for your Auntie April who likes to pretend she is better than we are. And you will note I used an exclamation point instead of a question mark, so you would know it was a rhetorical question. Gramma Elly asks a lot of those.” My children said, “Huh?” I said, “Questions you are not supposed to try to answer.” My children said, “Oh! Those!” My daughter said, “So Gramma Elly said you were eating like a pig and you should slow down.” I said, “That’s right. We Pattersons may be gross and disgusting slobs when it comes to eating; but we do not eat quickly like pigs do.” My son said, “Eat slow and slobber.” I said, “That’s right son. Eat slow and slobber. That’s the Patterson way.”

My daughter said, “So why did you eat fast?” I said, “You will find out with this meal I am making you, the very meal my mother served me that day.” I sat the meal of liver and spinach down before them. They looked hungrily at it, since no part of portion of it looked orange or carroty. As they started eating, they slobbered, they guzzled and they got faster and faster. I said to them, “My explanation to my mother for my speed you should know by now. ‘But it’s liver and spinach, Ma!...If I slow down, I’ll TASTE it!!’” My children began to realize with horror in their eyes the truth of my statement. They wolfed down their meals in rapid succession and immediately ran to the washroom where I heard the harsh sounds of wisdom issuing from their young throats and stomachs.

I said to them, “I trust there is no problem with carrot coins tomorrow, eh?” My children said, “No, Dad.” Lesson learned.

Michael Patterson
Ick. Cdn't U have just told them, instead of getting them 2 eat that slop? 'Course I really don't understand Y they (and U) wd react by eating it fast, instead of just refusing 2 eat it. Like most kids!

Jeremy, U R rite abt the socks. I wondered Y my shoes didn't feel rite. I'll return yr socks 2 U when we get 2thether this evening, eh?


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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The cement of yesteryear

Mike has sum more sharing 2 do abt a long time ago:

Formerly little sis. We were talking at the Canada Day celebration about how you were still waiting for Dad to finish out your basement space to live, and it occurred to me that Dad did, at one time, actually build things around the house which were not related to model trains. One time in particular I remember was when he decided to put in a concrete sidewalk. I had asked him to help out, but was told I was too little. Needless to say, when I saw what Dad had done with the concrete, it cried out for a little artistry. Even then I had to feed my muse.

My muse on that day was hungry for a few good footprints and handprints and the letter “M” for “Muse” in different sizes. Admittedly it was an early attempt of art; but anything would have been better than the flat boring concrete sidewalk Dad had put in. I left my work unsigned so Dad would have to figure out exactly which budding artist in the neighbourhood had so coolly decorated it.

He stared at it for awhile with his trowel in hand and his other hand in his hair, pondering the mysteries of art. Dad was not stupid though. He figured out I was the artist, and grabbed me by his right arm, which for some strange reason had a left hand on it that day. Dad was also wearing cowboy chaps, which still does not make sense to me. But the most disturbing part to me was that he had discovered the identity of the artist and was not pleased by my artistic improvements. As I was being grabbed, I said, “How did you know it was ME?” In retrospect, I should have asked for constructive artistic criticism.

I have since learned that I have a certain style, a certain “je ne sais quoi” that colours the timbre of my work, making it clear when something comes from the artistic stylings of Michael Patterson. But back then, it was a mystery to me.

Michael Patterson
Mike, I asked Dad abt yr story. He sed, "Oh, yes, I remember that. Yr brother was such a scamp! I figured that those 'M's' stood for 'Mike' and also that that was just xxactly the kind of thing Mike wd do. It didn't take a detective!" I sed, "It wasn't his artistic stylings that tipped U off?" Dad laffed and sed, "I C U've gotten Michael's version of events. Ha-ha-ha! 'Artistic stylings'! W8'll I tell the model-train club abt this!" And he wandered off.

Jeremy, that was so much fun @ the Canada Day celebration last nite! It's a shame what happed 2 Ger. Do U think we shd visit him @ the hospital this evening?


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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Mike's Burps and Braacks a Long Time Ago

Did U know Mike's been burping for decades? Did U care? I thought not, but we R still on flashbacks, and Mike is on2 burps from days of yore:

Formerly little sis. Just the other day I thought I was alone and after drinking a particularly bubbly glass of pop, I decided to see if I could still burp the way I used to when I was 5. I must say, that even in my 30s, I still have it. However, my wife, the lovely Deanna, felt the need to track me down and inform me that I was not to make those disgusting noises, in case I set a bad example for my children. It reminded me of a very similar incident from when I was 5.

I was wearing a Hawaii shirt, and I had just clipped the fingernail of my right thumb so it was especially square. Then I drank from my Fizzo Pop can a good drink of carbonated delight. With my tongue out, as if I were laughing, I said, “Burp..Burp…Burp! {A triple lead-in.} BRAAACK!” complete with drops and bubbles. It was quite stupendous. Mom came up to me and said, “Michael! You are not to make those disgusting noises!”

Then she took my pop can from me and said, “I don’t want to hear that again…do you understand?” Down and dejected, I went to pick dandelions with Lawrence Poirier, and lie in the grass and look deep into his eyes and discuss my troubles as 5-year-olds are wont to do. I said to Lawrence, “Gosh, Lawrence—How can a guy get good at something if they don’t let you practice?”

It was a younger and more innocent age, and of course I know the answer to that question now that I am older. The answer is university and beer. That is where I honed my burping skills. I can recommend it to you. I certainly hope you will develop that as a skill instead of doing as Elizabeth did in university, where she tended toward developing the skill for getting hangovers.

Michael Patterson
Mike, I think the burps and hangovers both seem unappealing. I'll come up w/my own stuff 2 do during uni.

Patrickrsghost, sorry abt that scary experience U had c-ing yr friend's grandma.


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