Friday, November 26, 2010

My Son

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. Angie, my oldest brother, Jim, his friend, Angela and I were guest of  Paul and Ann Graham, our aunt and uncle. Aunt Ann is our mother, Sarah McCord Graham, sister, and Uncle Paul is our Daddy's first cousin, therefore, making them our aunt and uncle on our mother's side, and our 2nd cousins on our Daddy's side. This  makes their children, our cousins, our  1st cousins on our Mother's side, and our 3rd cousins on our Daddy's side. Confused yet?  We had tons of food, great fellowship and made  memories.  I am blessed to be a part of such a wonderful family.

My son, Eric, spent the night with me last night. I had Eric when I was 17. We've kinda grown up together, with Eric being the more mature of the duo for many years now. I like it that way. I'm fond of telling him I marred a Playboy quality body giving birth to him. (as we age, we can all remember ourselves any way we chose, right?)  Eric moved to Florida in 2001, when my brothers, Jim, Ted and Dan relocated because Daddy's business was expanding to the middle part of Florida.  I remember very well the day we brought Eric home from the hospital when he was born.  In those days,  they circumcised little boys about 30 minutes before they dismissed them from the hospital.  Dean, our Mother who raised us, told me to put alcohol on his navel and Vaseline around his freshly circumcised penis.  My little brothers, Ted, who was 8 and Dan who was 5, at the time, was watching, when I went to change his diaper.   I remember just like it was yesterday, asking Ted  what Dean had said. Ted replied 'she said to put that Vaseline on his navel and alcohol on his pecker', which was completely opposite from what Dean had said.  I carefully put the cotton ball on top of the alcohol bottle, got it good and soaked,  stuck it directly on Eric's penis. Eric started crying and lost his breath and was turning blue. Ted, Dan and I started screaming and hollering. Daddy came running down the hall, picked Eric up, blew in his face, Eric caught his breath and finally calmed down. Daddy told me not to touch the baby another damn time, or Eric  wouldn't live a week. As Eric became older, and we told the story about the alcohol, Eric would say not to worry about it, because it acted like fertilizer.  Eric called me 'Claudia' until I got married to my second husband. I didn't have a problem with being called Claudia. He and I got in a big discussion when he was about 4. He thought I was his sister. I kept telling him that I was Jim, Tim, Jeff, Ted and Dan's sister, but I was his mama. Eric said 'No, Mama is our mama, and you are our sister'. I finally got him straight on it.   When Eric was in college, he had to have many surgeries on his foot and ankle (due to a local doctor's incompetence and just sorry doctoring).  Two of my friends came up to visit Eric when he was having surgery, one of them said a man in the elevator had stopped her and asked if she was Demi Moore. Eric had back in the room about 1 hr, and was still groggy from surgery, he said 'undoubtedly the man had said Skinny Whore, and you didn't hear correctly'.
Karen J.  said that a Graham, fresh off the operating table, is funnier than most folks when they are fully awake.

Eric and Angie would never address me, without saying 'yes mam' or 'no mam'. They have wonderful manners and have turned out to be outstanding adults. I always thought the most important thing I would every do was raise those children, and I took it very seriously.  We always had fun, and laughed daily.
When Angie got 'wittiest' in her senior class, Eric said  Angie must be going to school repeating things she heard Eric and I say.

Angie got busy putting up Christmas decorations today. We always get a live tree. We like the way it makes the house smell, and Angie enjoys gripping and complaining about having to water the tree daily, and vacuum up the needles. The Christmas lights just about drive her to drink every year, so I try to have two good bottles of red Zinfandel ready to go. I can highly recommend the Rabbit Ridge Merlot, if you order it in a good restaurant, it's about $50 a bottle, I found a few bottles last week at the Kroger for $9, which is one helluva deal.  We prefer red wines over white wines. I have traveled extensively in the past 15 years, and have developed a fine appreciation for the grape.  While in South Africa in 2008, on a Safari that Greg Roche gave me as a birthday gift, I had the opportunity to zip line for over 2 miles, through the top of the jungle. Luckily, we visited a winery first, and I was able to 'wine up' prior to zip lining. It was a tremendous experience, and I think I might not have enjoyed it, had I not self medicated on grapes prior.
I learned in Spain, the hybrid of the grape has more to do with the taste, then the vintage of the wine. I also learned that price has nothing to do with wine, if your taste leans more to ripple than a fine Bordeaux, no problem, and a screw top is not necessarily better than a  corked wine. I found out on my own that wine in a box is crap.

See tuned tomorrow, same time, same station.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

So Many Reasons To Be Thankful

I spent the night with my brother Dan, Suzy and Carson last night. We left Rockledge at 5:30 am this morning, to take Carson to have a test at Scottish Rite in Atlanta at 8.30 this morning. Carson was pronounced in excellent shape. The subject of my blog came up, and Dan mentioned that I had not told anything bad on myself.

          "What are you talking about?" I asked.
          "Well, for starters, how about when you got drunk on that family cruise and got  locked outside your
           room naked?" Dan said.
          "Gosh, Dan, you sound like you have never been locked outside naked"
          " I haven't" Dan replied
          "Well, now you have something to look forward to you, don't you? Besides, that was over 3 years
            ago, and I didn't think it was that big of a deal." I said.
          "That cabin boy saw you, and so did Ted".
          "I'm not concerned about Ted seeing me naked, and it's not like I'm going to run into that cabin boy
           at the Piggly Wiggly. I also vaguely remember being covered up with a towel."
          "It was small towel, not a full size one" He said.
          "It's not my fault that I was woefully over served, and I told you at the time to go whip that bartender's
           ass and defend my honor"

I suppose I should be thankful that Dan did come up, and find me locked outside in the hall, wrapped up in a very small towel. If that had happened at the Walmart in Dublin, I might have gotten a little out of whack. My theory is, if you are going to be over served by a bartender, and possibly, find yourself locked out of your room naked, the best case scenario is to be out of town, among family and complete strangers. I didn't see the big deal then, and I certainly don't see it now.  However, if it will make my baby brother feel better for me to tell this, so be it.

I think we had 26 family members with us.  The next morning at breakfast, the entire group knew of my
little episode.  Naturally, Dan was the first one down, so he could tell the rest of the family. Telephone, Telegraph or Tell a Graham................We just cannot help it..

  Best Wishes for a Wonderful Thanksgiving. Family and Friends make our lives fuller.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Credit Where Credit is Due, But I want the Cold Hard Cash!

Richard Slade called me yesterday, and right off the bat, accused me of plagiarism. He said he had coined the phase 'As the Graham Cracker Crumbles' about 15 years ago.  Richard wanted credit in my next blog.

Dear Richard,
Before I offer you my most humble and heartfelt apologies, I would like to ask you a few questions first.  Was anyone around when you first said 'As the Graham Cracker Crumbles'?  Do you have anyone that will come forth and be a witness?  Were you referring to the regular Graham Crackers, or the chocolate ones? Do you really think anyone is going to pay me for sitting on the sofa in my PJ's, blogging on the Internet? You have told me for years that you were going to write a book about my family. No one would believe most of it, and your work would be thought of as fiction.  I know you have been around for some of the most colorful events, primarily relating to the huge cookouts we used to have before all the younger kids (now in their teens were born). I'm going to list a few below.

1. The Christmas night you were grilling ribs outside and talked Dusty (age 13) into trying that Dave's Insanity Hot Sauce. Dusty just thought it burned his mouth, until he went to the bathroom to pee. Do you remember how he came running out of the bathroom screaming "I've got hot sauce on my pecker". Dusty was sweating like a ole time preacher trying to run a revival.  Naturally, we all got tickled and laughed at him. Suzy being the nurse, jumped into action, we all went in my little bathroom.  About 20 of us were in my small bedroom, and taking turns looking into the bathroom. Dusty was screaming and hollering. Dusty pulled his pants down, and Tim announced to the crowd, that had grown to about 25, that Jeff had two girls. Dusty said his pecker was drawn up due to the hot sauce.  As we were all taking turns, looking in to see Dusty's bright red small pecker, jokes were being made, like "wonder is it's the same color as Rudolph's nose" by then, we were all calling Dusty " Dustine", just for sport.
Suzy decided that vinegar should be poured over Dusty's small, bright red pecker. Tim said "we don't want to pickle it, and what a small pickle it would be". More laughter from the bedroom, crowd was up to 40 by then. Jeff and Carole came in about the time the it was all over. When we told Jeff about Dusty getting hot sauce on his pecker, Jeff asked Dusty why he stuck his pecker in the bottle of hot sauce in the first place.

2. The following Christmas, Nick (abt 12) got a small pistol and holster. He was working on his quick draw routine, when he misfired and shot himself in the fleshly part of his leg. At that time, Nick was really 'fleshy' all over, and it was a small caliber gun.  Greg Roche picked up Nick and tried to carry him up to Tim's house. About half way to the house, Greg had to put Nick's fat butt, down. Greg said it would be no need in the EMT's having to load up both Nick and Greg. Nick recovered from his gunshot wound a long time before Greg's back get well from lugging Nick's hefty butt around.

On second thought, how much money do you want?


Monday, November 22, 2010


My niece, Kennedy, came over to help me with that big list of chores that Angie leaves daily.  Kennedy is a very worldly 10 year old, who lives in Florida with my youngest brother, Dan and my sister-in-law, Suzy. While I was getting dressed to go to town,  (folks in Dublin expects one to dress before leaving home, while over here in East Dublin, we have absolutely no problem with someone darting into the Piggly Wiggly to pick up a few thing, while wearing their pajamas.  We were not given the title 'Red Neck Capital of the World', we earned it!)

Kennedy pointed out that we didn't have any boxes to pack in, and asked if I was really going to wear those drop rhinestone earrings with the pants to a sweat suit and the tshirt I had on. "Of course, I am". I said. I have never seen a day that pair of rhinestone earrings and some red lipstick would not make better.  While we were driving into town, Kennedy begin to tell me that her parents had her on a real strict
diet. I can't image a 10 year that needs to be on a diet, Kennedy didn't look overweight to me, fluffy in a few places, but not fat.  Kennedy tells me that she is constantly having to hide things like candy bars and Cheetos to tide over her to the next fat free, no sugar, no taste cardboard meal.  Suzy might weigh 105 pounds if you cover her with sorghum and roll her in oats.  My baby brother, Dan, is a little different from the rest of us. To start with, he has a horrible germ phobia. (He always goes to the vegetable section of the grocery store, so he can put his hands into the plastic veggie bags, before he even touches a cart. He also keeps a 55 gallon drum with a hand pump, full of hand-sanitizer handy, so he can coat all exposed places of his body, and anyone else in his close proximity, and the list goes on.........). Dan takes a ton of supplements and vitamins daily, causing him to have the worst stomach gas in the Southeastern Conference. Our brother, Jeff, told me a few years ago, on a trip to Argentina, Dan had that turbo gas so bad that Daddy told Dan if he farted again, Daddy was going to make them land the plane, and put Dan off). My baby brother is also a health nut, he bicycles about 20 miles and goes to the gym daily.   Dan doesn't touch alcohol, has never smoked a cigarette, would not be caught with a piece of red meat in his mouth, hasn't had sugar in years, etc. etc. I take  pride in telling him  he is going to be run over on his bike and that a 5 pack a day smoker will get his lungs and someone who has been to rehab more times than Lindsey Lohan will get that pristine liver. He has a good sense of humor, and adds that Suzy will mostly likely spend all of her free time, after his untimely demise, at the 75 Chrome Shop, checking out truckers.

I told Kennedy I thought she was just about perfect, which is exactly what Kennedy thinks about herself.  "I don't want to be so skinny I have a flat 'no butt' like Mama's got" she tells me. "All Grahams have great butts" I assured her, as she ordered her second fried rice. 

Kennedy has a little brother, Carson.  Carson was born with a heart defect, and is unusually small for his age. He always looks like he's up to something.  He cusses like a drunken sailor, when he's out of hearing range from his parents, lies about having a  big pecker, and tells everything he knows. He  knows where to find the naked girls on the Internet and wears cologne every day.   Carson told my brother, Ted, and me  that he caught his Granny, Suzy's mother, in the bathtub.  "You know the worst part?  She didn't even have her teeth in"  he said grinning.  Carson is always one more infraction away from being kicked out of school, and he's only in the 2nd grade.
Dan said he came home from work one day and caught Suzy on the couch, crying with a cold rag on her head. "What's wrong with your Mama?" he asked Kennedy. "I don't know, Carson came home from school with a note about 'home schooling' and mama's been crying and carrying on since". If Carson ever hears anything, he's quick to tell it. Telephone, Telegraph or tell a Graham, we always say.  Not being able to keep a secret is another Graham trait, we got it from Daddy. He has never kept a secret in his entire 80 years on this earth. When I spend the night with Dan and Suzy, I always sleep with Carson. He thinks I'm wonderful. I ask him all of the time "Who's more fun to sleep me? Me or your raw bony Mama?" He says things like I'm real cuddly. I use these opportunities to warn him  of skinny women, you can't trust them, they won't cook for you, they will not cast a shade in the summer, or keep you warm in the winter I tell him. When he gets older, probably 9, I'm going to let him know that skinny women are most likely to spend all of his money. 

Kennedy is piled up on the sofa with me. She is addicted to true crime tv, just like me. We've made much progress today. We had lunch, window shopped, picked up some boxes to pack up in, and re-done our eye make up twice.  I still haven't picked up another pecan, or started on those closets. A house will keep, but a niece grows up quickly.

See you tomorrow, same time, same station.

Friday, November 19, 2010

A 'Virgin Exerience' at 56 years of age!

Today, I'm starting a new phase in the life, at 56,  now that I realize I'm much closer to the end of the road, than the beginning, it's time to start pecking away at that 'ole Bucket List'. I've always dreamed of writting the perfect Southern Gothic novela, full of wit, great recipes, even greater sex, and wisdom that will be right on up there with Sun Tzu. With no hope of that happening, I have chosen the next best thing!  I've become a Blogger.I can't say that blogging is something I have always wanted to do. I met my very first blogger at the Service League Antique Fair, here in Dublin, Ga, two weeks ago, Angela Hall W?, and now, I'm one of them. I am reasonably sure that I have never even read a blog, unless it is some form of political fodder, of which I am sadly addicted. 
For about 16 years, I've been a member of Rosemary Daniell's Zona Rosa Group. I've met with these groups of 'power pen prima donnas', some of them are very talented, whom have become published authors, some are estrogen dripping whiners, but, most are like me. Women who are closer to receiving their first social security check than they are to receiving an invitation to any coming Cotillion. While I have much love and respect for Zona Rosa's talented and widely published author and leader, Rosemary, I have sat through her meeting and marveled  at her patience, how she can listen intently to essays that would make me want to look for the nearest heavy object to bludgen the author, or, at the very least, scream at the 'author', "get a fucking life or either buy a vibrator", preferably a vibrator that needs to be plugged into the wall, to ensure the 'author' has enough volts ran through her body to alter her brain waves, so, that at the very least, she might become moderately interesting.   Rosemary offers the kindest and most honest encouragements possible, with her southern feminine charms that comes from generations of good breeding. While I might be a scant 37 years away from that single wide trailer I once lived in with my first ex-husband, I am well aware of my roots. Charm was not something that my Daddy thought a young girl needed to succeed in life. He placed charm and sophisitication way down the list, with learning to bait a hook, clean a dove, or change a tire rounding out the top of the list. I am the oldest of six children, the only girl, with 5 boys following, so Daddy quckly decided it would be easier to adopt a 'one size fits all' policy for raising children. I know how  to clean a shotgun, lead  doves in the field, how to fish for catfish with fresh chicken liver, and then skin the caught fish, which is entirely different from how you clean other fish, like bass or bream that have to be scaled, sharpen a knife without ruining the blade or gut a freshly shot deer. While I may know how to do these tasks, I hope I can go the rest of my life without having to do the last one. The way the blood smells still makes my stomach turn, just to think of it.

I have been at home for the past 4 weeks, while looking for my next employment opportunity. I'm going to be truthful and say that I have not damaged my eyesight looking too hard. I've only had about 4 jobs in my life, I've never done a resume', or for that matter, been on a job interview. I've spent the past 8 years working in the political arena. I have a real knack for what I do, have been successful getting candidates elected, and employment has come relatively easy, through 'word of mouth', or a ' friend of a friend'. My daughter and I live together. Angie gets up and goes to work for the State of Georgia every morning. She leaves me asleep, mainly because I have stayed up into the wee hours of the morning, watching ID, 2020, or the other 'who killed who and why' true stories that I find so facinating. 

 Angie also leaves me a list of things that she thinks I should do every day, until I find gainful employment.   She thinks I should be cleaning out my closets to take the things I don't or can't wear any longer to Good Will, fold the laundry, sweep out the garage or unload the dishwasher. My task for today was to pick up pecans, I'm still in the pajamas I slept in last night,  (it's 5:45 pm) and think that I might have possibly become one with the sofa, the remote for the TV having grown into my right palm. The pecans will still be there tomorrow, unless, unbeknownest to me, we have a 'pecan stealing fairy' who will come and take all of our pecans. That would be a shame, especially since pecans are bringing a $1 a pound.

                                                                                                                       suggesting Imight I might as well 'fess up at this point, for the past few months, I've also started reading the obituarys, with more regularity.  Sadly, I'm at the stage of my life when I turn to that page first. I've also picked up the habit of reading the obits in larger newspapers, (now that they are all on line). After I read our local paper, I move on to the AJC, Augusta Chronicle, The Savannah Morning News, etc. It has come to my attention, the larger the municipality the deceased resided, the longer and more describing the obituary.  The recently deceased life will be so glowing remembered, it seems a damn shame the departed had to depart. I love the parts that list the deceased family, i.e., "leaving to morn her loss, her faithful and loving husband of the past 54 years" (who is going to check that fact?), "his neighbors will always remember him for dressing up like Santa for the past 35 years, or his love of gardening". Never have I read an obit where the mistress of the past 40 years was listed, or the time the departed got drunk and mooned the entire Kiwanas Club during the Christmas parade, or how happy the 'wonderful housewife and homemaker' was when her loving and faithful husband purchased that first double-wide. Some obits go on to mention the children, where they were educated, the grandchildren, where they are being educated, and little things everyone wants to know, like Skippy, the Cocker Spaniel, who was blind from cataracs and burdened with incontinence, but sat loving by the deceased side, day in and day out. Well, isn't that what Cocker Spaniels are supposed to do? I have a friend, an affirmed cheap ass, and bargin shopper, (Salvation Army, fifth or six hand shops, far removed from Second Hand Shops). While shopping in a Salvation Army in mid July a few years ago, she was lucky to find a gross of children size toothbrushes. Always a chick with a plan, she saved the toothbrushes for Halloween, dressed up in her Santa Claus outfit, (another bargin basment find), dragged her rocking chair out on the porch, put some Christmas music on her cd player, opened a tall can of Pabst Blue Ribbon, lite a cigarette, and awaited the Trick or Treaters. As she passed out the toothbrushes, she told the kids if they didn't brush their teeth, she (Santa) would not visit them on Christmas. Children left screaming and crying. What kid wants a toothbrush for Halloween, or to be treatened by a drinking, smoking Santa? I wonder is she will want that episode in her obit?  I have always had a fine appreciation for a sport, and would personally enjoy reading 'color' in an otherwise depressing story. I haven't put much thought into it, but I might want my obit to mention the first time I had great sex, I almost went home and told my first husband, or how I shot the tires out from under a mobile home that I caught my second husband violating the 7th Commandment in, or that I slept with an old boyfriend on the day after I married my third husband. Events that make up the fabrics of our lives.  Some  folks must spend years updating their obits, prior to needing one.  I knew a local man who wrote his own obit, it took up two columns in the paper and listed all of his Boy Scout badges, the school teachers who had the most influence on his life, his first employer, his entire list of hobbys, and more information that anyone needs to know about anyone else. I have been sadly married and happily divorced 3 times, and, to this day, I know more about this man than I did any of my 3 ex-husbands.  Did I mention, this man was so busy updating his obit that he died intestate? Died with no will at all, but one hell of an obituary.

Thanks to everyone that visited my first blog. Stay tuned tomorrow, same time, same station.  Those pecans ain't going anywhere.