Strange Talk

Kansas Farmland

My parents both came from families that had many colorful interesting sayings & expressions. My father was born into a Kansas farm family. My mother was born into a West Virginia mountain coal-miner’s family. This makes my sister and I Hickabillies. For some reason we are proud of this.

The other day one of my father’s favorite words popped out of my mouth. I had not heard (or used) it in years. It’s funny how your subconscious mind stores things from childhood that you don’t even know you remember.

did·dly·squat (dĭdˈlē-skwŏtˌ) noun, Slang:  A small or worthless amount.

Origin of word:  Too insignificant to piss on. (I don’t know if that’s true, but it makes sense.)  Used in a sentence:  “I got diddly squat for my bonus this year”;

Dad drove us all crazy with this expression:  “We?? You got a turd in your pocket?” You might be saying “What???” to your screen.  I know, it’s a strange one. It took me months to get it, and  dad had to explain it to me (hey, I was a dumb kid!)

Grandma often hollered at us when we were being rambunctious; “Too much laughing always turns into crying!” Sis and I would just snicker and roll our eyes. And damn it all, she was right. Somehow during our giggling & carrying on somebody got pinched, poked or scraped and ended up crying. One day my sister’s precious Ooffy, her old stuffed dog’s head flew off.  Her scream reached decibels never heard before by human ears. Imagine a couple of screech owls, trapped in a metal barrel. That would have been music.

I remember it like it was last week. A mind-numbing horror to witness, especially for a five-year old. They only way to get her to calm down was promising her  Ooffy would have surgery to re-attach his head and he would be OK. Grandma took headless Ooffy into her bedroom and sewed him back together. Then bandaged him up. Whew! My sister still thinks it was my fault, 45 years later.

Not only was Grandma right, but her words of doom actually came out of my mouth last Saturday when my granddaughters were playing and giggling (quite loudly). They turned to me and said, “What???”  I simply rolled my eyes and said, “never mind”.

Not a minute later both of them were crying.


photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Mother[less] Day

Nita Joyce (Browning) McGuire; a.k.a. "Mom"

I lost my dear Mom in March, so this is my first Mother’s Day without her. Instead of moping about, crying and blowing my nose on Sunday, I have come up with a plan to treat myself and honor my mom at the same time.

Mom grew up in a coal miner town in West Virginia and her family was “dirt-poor”.  Beans and cornbread was a typical meal. [On Sunday’s after church, she would get to eat meat – provided her Uncle’s squirrel hunting went well – Yuk!]  Mom had beans & cornbread quite often growing up, and still “craved” them to her last day. Go figure. At least she never made my Dad hunt for Sunday supper.

My Plan is to put on a pot of pinto beans when I get up. I will “soak” them overnight, par-boil them, and throw them into my crock pot with a couple of small ham hocks. My Mom did not approve of  “my way” of cooking beans, although she did admit they were tasty after I made them for her. We also differed on the cornbread. I like the sweeter, cake-like kind, and she wanted the traditional cornbread that her grandmother baked in an iron-skillet to get a crispy crust kind. Mom and I both are very particular about our beans & cornbread. Every time I make this meal I think pleasant thoughts about her, and I also thank God that I don’t have to eat squirrel on Sunday.

Part two of the Plan – spoil myself. A treat would be yummy scones. Oh great!  Now that I thought about scones I cannot get them out of my head. Even my hubby’s famous banana pancakes are not tempting me. I guess I will have to bake scones after I get the beans cooking. So what if I have to increase my insulin dose? I hope they are worth it.

The Plan part three – catch up with my dearest friend, who is also Motherless, while we work on our crocheting.  I proposed this idea to her voice mail and I’m anxiously waiting her response. Her 2 sons probably have wonderful things planned for her tomorrow, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Back up Plan 3 – start my Mother’s Story. Do some free-writing and outlining my memories. If that proves too difficult, there is a children’s story I promised Mom I would write. A story that would honor and preserve a silly game my Dad would play with my sister and I.

And if my muse craps out on me?  I have Thursday and Friday’s soaps (that Mom got me addicted to again), saved on the DVR.

I think these things could make tomorrow bearable.