The Bald Kid’s Frankenstein

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Nothing beats a good book. Everybody knows that…

Our family book club finished the Chocolate Touch last week, and promptly moved on to Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein. Ewwwww…Not so sure how I’m feeling about that. Perhaps I’ve shared with you my sentiments on severed body parts. And now, the fact that some nutty guy has sewn a bunch of them together, hooked up some jumper cables to the dead dude and has him stomping around scaring people doesn’t make me feel any better. I know, I know…I haven’t read it yet, so how can I possibly judge? Right?

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Yeah, well, maybe I haven’t read the book, but I have seen the movie. Ok, not the real movie, but the Abbott and Costello version and that’s good enough for me. The monster does have some pretty cool boots but the stitches in his head really creep me out. And his eyes…why doesn’t he open his eyes? If he did, maybe he could put his arms down and walk like a normal…ummm…dead guy and not draw so much attention to himself.

Ok, I admit it. I’m stalling. But I have good reason to. It all stems from the fact that Frankenstein and I go waaay back. Back before most people reading this were even born.

Yeah, I’m that old.

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Anyway…so I have this big brother, right? My sister and I share a room with him and he has a few strange hobbies.

1. He collects bugs, and moths and spiders and pins them to a styrofoam block…sometimes while they are still kicking. Vile.

2. He saves dead things in the patio freezer–like an old owl and a huge tarantula because someday, he’s going to be a taxidermist and he wants to be ready, so he’s saving up. Disgusting.

3. He has a thing for building toy models. Not car models, or plane models, ohhh nooo. The only kind he is interested in are the monsters. He has Dracula-with blood running down his face. He has Wolfman-with his dirty, pointy teeth. He has Creature from the Black Lagoon–with green and silver claws. All very, very nasty.

But the dumb model that really kept me awake at night, the one that I couldn’t take my eyes off when I was in the room alone, the one that looked like he was gonna swagger right off that ledge and pinch me in the neck with his creepy out stretched hands, was Frankinstein. Of course he was carefully arranged on a shelf right across from my bed. The better to see him with.

Photo from IMDB

You know, I wasn’t stupid. I knew it was a silly piece of plastic, glued together and painted by my morbid brother…Igor. But the thing that got me, that kept me wondering and tossing in my little seven-year-old sleep, was the fact that my brother…Boris, loved to tell me that someday when he had enough money, he was going to go down to the hobby shop and buy a motor. He was going to put that motor in old Frankie-boy’s back and bring him to life where he could promptly take good care of any annoying little sisters that might happen along. No jumper cables needed. Listen, my brother was Vlad the Impaler so, yeah, I believed him. OK maybe I was stupid.

At any rate, what it boils down to is that Dr. Frankenstein’s monster and I are not pals. Not even close. But I’ll read the dang book, because it’s Rhen’s tough-guy choice and I want to be a sport. So it better be good. But when it’s my turn to choose, you better believe, I’m gonna make them all read Little Women or something so girly that their toenails curl up.

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Because nothing beats a good book. Everybody know that…

5 Things I’m Thankful For…

right this minute.

1) Roadside assistance…don’t ask. I’ll just say there was a lot of smoke and green fluid everywhere…sigh…

2) Eggnog Milkshakes. Around here you can only get them at holiday time. Yum! Just thinking of them gets me feeling all Christmasy. A good eggnog shake makes sitting in a dead car, waiting to be rescued almost…pleasant.

3) Our sweet babies Lily and Beckham. They are nearly 10 months old now and we can’t remember life before they came.

4) My brown slippers. I wear them all the time. I even went to the store in them once, by accident. They are just so comfortable. It’s easy to be happy when your feet are warm.

5) The low clouds around the mountains. It reminds me of the movie Brigadoon. It is so beautiful here. Every time I look out our front window I’m grateful to be right where I am.

 

 

What 5 things are you grateful for right this minute?

Veteran’s Day

~ Veterans Day, which used to be known as Armistice Day is a national holiday that falls on November 11, and is set aside as a day to honor combat veterans who fought and died for their country.”

I’ve never known much about this particular holiday because it doesn’t seem like people pay much attention to it. There are flags on many of the houses and and businesses in town-but since the kids aren’t out of school–even that doesn’t normally get my attention. It’s always just been one of those random holidays that I mixed up with the other ones– Memorial Day, Labor Day, Veteran’s Day.

So after some guilt induced research on the subject I learned that Veteran’s Day marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Ok, fine…well done…the ending of a terrible war. But here’s the part that surprised me.

In 1938, Congress passed a bill that each November 11 “shall be dedicated to the cause of world peace and …hereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.

I love the phrase, ‘dedicated to the cause of world peace.’  So, I looked up World Peace and came up with tons of sources. There were hundreds of  World Peace sites, World Peace photos, and even a World Peace cookie recipe.  I especially enjoyed the  World Peace quotes:

 

“The structure of world peace cannot be the work of one man or one party or one nation. It must be a peace which rests on the cooperative effort of the whole world.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945)

and:

“Peace, in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. It will not remove the pain of torture inflicted on a prisoner of conscience. It does not comfort those who have lost their loved ones in floods caused by senseless deforestation in a neighboring country. Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.”

— The XIVth Dalai Lama

But even those great words from good people left me feeling very hushed and small on a loud, angry planet. I want to help–I do. So we recycle, and conserve energy, and carpool, grow a garden, and try to compose, and make hats for struggling babies, and filter our water, and hand make whatever we can…I could go on and on.

But world peace? That’s a big one.

Then I found a few other words that shrunk the world back to a smaller, more manageable size for me. One that helps me feel strong and settled and able to make a difference again. This one:

“If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh

This, we can all do…

…and change the world.

10 Tips For a Not-So-Typical Disaster…

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A few years ago, my daughter and I found ourselves on a downhill road in a car with no brakes. Another driver recognized that we were in big trouble and pulled in front of us and was willing to let our car nudge into his to stop us before we crashed. How did he know to do that?

As we waited for a tow truck, he casually said, “You know, I read about ‘How to stop a runaway car’ in the Worst Case Scenario book…just yesterday.”

Today’s post is kinda like that. A bit of info that you hope you will never need, but will appreciate if you ever do.

My daughter Jillian has a friend that just recently moved to Galveston, Texas.  September 13, literally days after arriving and settling into her new basement apartment–the Galveston Storm “Ike” hit their area. She like hundreds of others, lost everything.

Three weeks later, another friend blogged about the ordeal and offered some valuable insight to anyone in an emergency situation like this. Here are some of her thoughts…

Monday October 7, 2008

There are still people without power. I can’t even imagine.

What was I glad I had in my 72 hour kit? What did I wish I had?

* I wished I had a method of cooking food. Maybe a camping stove or BBQ grill.

* Ready to eat foods. For example: nutrigrain bars, granola bars, cans of slim fast or V8, prepacked albacore that is ready to eat, canned fruit/veggies, protein bars, crackers. Cans of soup you could stand to eat cold.

* Comfort food. Some Oreos, a bag of chocolate chips or fruit snacks.

* Two weeks worth of all medicine you are taking. Most stores are out of EVERYTHING.

* I would have given my right arm for a battery operated fan. Just a little one. It was just so hot.

* Ice- Fill a couple of 2 liter bottles with water and put them in the freezer. Ice was a hot commodity.

*Photos and documents? Pay to have them digitized. Paper wouldn’t survive this.

*I packed formula, diapers, wipes and clothes for the baby. I forgot bottles.

*Bathroom stuff

*Car charger for your cell phone.

Be careful. Be prudent. Be wise. Be safe.

Just my two cents–for what it’s worth.