Our Lady of Fatima... Pray for us.
Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament... Hear us.
Our Lady of the Rosary... Strengthen us.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Funny Guy Friday... Eight to eighty... Blind, crippled and back on the road......

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband, Mark. So, I married a funny guy...
     On Wednesday, I came home from work early so I could take my mother to the eye doctor. When I came through the door, I entered the kitchen to find Noah sitting on the counter, with blood coming from his wrist, his knee and his mouth. He had had a bicycle accident.
     A neighbor, who happens to be an emergency room doctor, took a look and thought that he might need a few stitches. Cheryl went in one direction to the emergency room with Noah, and I went in the other direction to the eye doctor with my mother.
     Noah learned to ride his bike about a month ago. He was very cautious when he first started but continued to gain confidence with each passing day. He loves riding his bike.
     On the day of the big crash, he was crossing the street in front of our house and tried to make a quick turn back in the other direction to avoid a parked car. Being new to the road, he miscalculated and did a complete face plant onto the roadway. Score it Roadway 1-Noah 0.
     Because he is so cautious, I was worried that this little mishap would prevent him from getting back on his bike and riding again. Fortunately, he seems to be back in the saddle, and despite five stitches in his lip and a limp in his step, he is back on the road.
     My mother on the other hand, learned to drive about fifty years ago. She has never had an accident... and has no stitches... but she does not like to drive. She is uneasy driving on the highways and at night. Certainly, if I had my druthers, Naoh would ride his bike all the time and my mother would drive very little.
     You see, last Tuesday, my mother asked if I would take her to the MVA to get her license renewed. My mother is going to be eighty-two in the next few weeks and she was anxious to get this process completed. It seems that at eighty-two, no matter what she is doing, she is anxious to get it done.
     Anyway, she asked that I come to her house and help her fill out her application. I wondered if there were something different about the application because of her age. She advised that there were a few questions that she was not sure about. No problem.
     I went to her house and we reviewed the application. The application is the same, but the organ donor questions seemed to throw her for a loop. Anyway, we got it all squared away and it was off to the MVA. Just as an FYI, you won't be getting any of my mother's organs anytime soon.
     Anyway, she seemed to be very excited about the license renewal because she had had cataract surgery several months ago and she was sure she could pass the eye exam.
     We were lucky to arrive at the MVA when there were no lines, so we jumped right up to the counter. The very nice young lady asked my mother to press her forehead against the bar and read the fourth line.
     She saw nothing.
     I stepped up to offer my assistance and it was clear that she had not properly pressed her forehead against the bar, so nothing had appeared on the screen. Even with my help, she had trouble reading the fourth line.
     No problem, the lady kindly assured her, Just put on your glasses and try it again. You already have a restriction for glasses, so it will just remain the same.
     I don't have my glasses with me, she said.
     Mom, the glasses are right around your neck. Put those on and we are good to go. 
     I think these are reading glasses; I don't see well out of these. I don't think I have regular glasses. 
     What do you wear when you drive?
     I don't need glasses to drive. I don't see as well with these glasses. 
     What? That makes no sense, Mom.  
     We were told of two options. First, go home and find the correct pair of glasses and come back. I had a sneaky suspicion that the correct pair of glasses did not exist, so that was not an option. Second, we could take her for an eye exam and get the doctor to fill out the correct form.
     I have a good friend who is an optometrist and he got us in the next day. He started his exam and he gently told her that she does, in fact, need glasses but her prescription was not too bad. He then looked at the glasses that she had around her neck and got a puzzled look on his face. He asked my mother if she ever wore those glasses and then he left the room. When he came back, he asked her to put her old glasses on and to read the eye chart. She could see nothing. He then informed us that her current glasses were over two times too strong.
     Mom, after your cataract surgery, did you ever go back to the eye doctor to have your eyes checked. 
     No, they were better! 
     There you have it; her eyes are better. She is back on the road.
     Two ends of the spectrum. An eight-year-old that wrecks his bike and I want him back on the bike before he even gets his stitches out. And an eighty-two-year-old that has never had an accident but I would prefer that she drive on a limited basis... a very limited basis... preferably when the eight-year-old's bike is in the garage.
     Grace is sixteen and is making some noises about getting her license. I don't know what will be going through my mind when that happens.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… In.De.Pen.Dent...

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark.  So… I married a funny guy.
     'Tis the season for debates. I hate these things, but I guess we need to have something for the undecided voters. I am sure that these debates will help tip the scale one way or the other.
     I just got done watching the second presidential debate.
     Okay, full disclosure… Technically, I didn't watch it. I had more important matters to attend to as the Tigers were playing the Yankees in the final round of the American League Playoffs. I did kind of watch the first debate, and that was fun. Okay, full disclosure again. I flipped over to it every once in a while between innings of the Oriole-Yankee game. They really should stop scheduling these debates in October during the baseball playoffs.
     Anyway, at some point during the second presidential debate, I was forced to venture into the family debate room because I heard what I thought was an argument between Grace and Matthew. It sounded like Matthew was accusing Gracie of saying something, or not saying something. I could not really figure it out exactly, but I knew I had to put an end to this quarrel. Turned out, it was not Matthew and Gracie, but instead, it was Mitt Romney and debate moderator Candy Crowley arguing about what the president said, or didn't say, in the Rose Garden following the embassy attack.
     I wasn't able to break up the debate, but I was able to go back to my baseball game and go on the computer next to the TV.  You know what I was able to do? I was able to look up exactly what the president said on that fateful day. Think about that for a second. Immediately after a candidate states a "fact," I, a complete computer moron, am able to research the statement and either confirm or refute that statement in a matter of seconds. You would think that with this kind of technology, it would be easy for those undecided voters to figure this whole thing out.
     In an effort to help any of you undecided voters, here is what I found out… both sides can claim they were right. It seems that the president did use the words "acts of terror" in a sentence, BUT… he may not have been talking about the events in Libya. Okay, undecided voters are still confused.
     Well, that wasn't very much help now was it?
     I knew after the debate I could just turn on the television and flip around to the news channels and see what the experts had to say. Surely, we would get some consensus on the issue. I mean he either said it and he meant it, or he didn't. I flipped on the FOX News channel and it was all very clear. He did not call it a terrorist attack and the president is in big trouble. Oh, and by the way, Candy Crowley was rude and uninformed. There you have it, case closed. Vote for Romney.
     Just for fun, I clicked over to MSNBC to confirm my findings. Wait a second, this could not be right; they were telling me that Romney had it all wrong and they think that Candy Crowley was fair and in control of the facts. Check the box for Obama.
     What the heck was going on here?
     What are undecided voters going to do?
     Now, can we talk about these undecided voters for just one second? Who can honestly say that they are undecided at this point? What have they been looking at for the past six months? Oh, I get it; we have two candidates that are so closely aligned in their political views that the independents/undecideds cannot make a distinction. Thank God that one of the candidates is black and the other is white or undecided voters would never be able tell them apart.
     Every time I hear the words undecided voter I think of the independents. Whenever I think of the word independent, I have to say it like Hermie the elf in Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer. You remember Hermie... he declared that he and Rudolph were In.De.Pend.Dent... as if he were not exactly sure what the word really meant. Hermie was confused and a bit out of touch.
     Hey, I may have stumbled on to something about these independents. They are confused and a bit out of touch. They do not fully grasp all of the facts of these very important issues. Perhaps, if they don't understand these issues, they shouldn't be allowed to vote. Now that wouldn't be right; every citizen has the right to vote, no matter how confused and ill-informed they may be. In fact, with two weeks to go in this election, these are the voters that the two men running for the highest office in the free world are trying to woo. We may be doomed!  
     I have a couple of suggestions for our two candidates. 
     Before you say that I have no political experience, I will advise you that I was elected Vice President of my elementary school and was eventually promoted to president when the president was unable to fulfill his duties (I recall he got suspended and was stripped of his duties). Anyway, I ran on the soda platform. I promised to explore the possibility of having free sodas with lunch. 
     Boom, baby! There it is. Promise the independent voters free stuff and they will love you forever. What's that? Free stuff has been promised before and it really isn't free? Someone has to pay for all that free stuff? That can't be right because I know we already give away a lot of free stuff. Politicians have been doing it for years, and we still have money in the coffers.
     What's that? We don't have any money in the coffers? Not only do we not have money in the coffers, we have a huge deficit, like in the trillions? First of all, that can't be right because I know we give away free stuff all the time. And second, you're making up the word trillion just to make it sound worse than it is... like saying a kajillion dollar deficit
     You're not making that up? Trillion is a real number? Wow! That's like a kajillion dollars!
     Okay, let's regroup. Promise the voters free stuff, but inform them that you will figure out a way to pay for the free stuff. If they ask how you will pay for it, tell them you will cut other non-important free stuff to pay for your newly promised free stuff. Wait, that won't work because nobody wants to give up their "bird in the hand" free stuff. 
      I know, I know… tell them we will raise revenues. Now this may confuse the independent voter, so be careful to assure them that this is not a tax, but if it were a tax, other people would pay it, not the independent voter. 
      Okay, let's review. Promise more free stuff. Don't take away any of the old free stuff. Avoid using big numbers when describing our money problems. If the money thing should come up, assure them that other people have it covered. 
     Hey, it worked in sixth grade, why won't it work with today's in.de.pen.dents?
     For those of you trying to figure out why I never sought public office after my successful term as student body vice president/president, I want to explain a little gaffe I made that ruined my political career. After a long contentious debate about whether the school should take up a collection for a gift for the retiring janitor, I was able to pass a bipartisan bill with 100% of the vote. At the conclusion of the vote, I said, and I quote, It is anonymous, the bill passes with all yays! 
     We can't have a president that doesn't know the difference between anonymous and unanimous. Vice president, maybe, but not president. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Funny Guy Friday... Cheryl's silent retreat...

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So, I married a funny guy...
     My beautiful wife went on a Catholic retreat this past weekend, leaving the kids and me to fend for ourselves. We do okay without her; in fact, we have our own little battle cry for these situations... We don't need no stinking mommy.
     I must admit that I miss her more than the kids do, but don't tell her that.
     The retreat was a silent retreat, but I still decided to text her a message on Saturday morning. Silent doesn't cover text messages. Anyway, as I sat in the parking lot waiting for Noah to come out of CCD, I thought long and hard about what I would say. Great minds think alike because as I was typing, I got a notice that she was texting me. I decided to finish my message and then read hers.
     Here is what I wrote:  Good morning. I love you. I just realized that my hair is turning blond. It may be gray, but I think it is blond. Kind of weird for a guy my age to go back to blond, but it's true. 
     Nice. Clever. Cute as can be. Then I read her message.
     Good morning. My love to all. Just met a woman that stopped me and asked me if I were your wife. We have name tags. She said that you are the kindest sweetest Christian man... It filled me up. You never know what effect you are having on people in an otherwise ordinary day. That's what it is all about... Showing great love in your vocation. That is what you did for this humble woman. I love you. I am praying for you all. Please pray for me, too. 
     Wow, my text sucked. Really? I think my hair is turning blond? Seriously? I had to follow up with something. This is what I came up with.
     M A R Y L A N D Marylaaaand will win. Going to the Maryland football game this afternoon. That's all I had. Was I wrong? Should I have given her more? It is my position that you don't text serious messages like that; you call. I don't care if you are at a silent retreat, you call! Was I wrong?
     While she was away, we all agreed that she was going to come home and "be all religious and stuff." In fact, we took bets as to what would happen first. Would she (a) suggest that I go on a men's silent retreat, (b) suggest that the entire family "ban all electronics" and observe quiet time at our house, (c) suggest that we clean our rooms and give all of our stuff to the poor or (d) all of the above.
      Now, I sort of encouraged the conversation which was all in fun. Was I wrong? By the way, if you had (a) suggest that I go on a men's retreat.....you won!!!
      Did I mention that this was a silent retreat? This is important because when she did come home, she had a lot to say. I mean a lot to say. A lot!!!
     So, she came through the door and came up to our bedroom where Matthew and I were watching the Redskins game. She sat down and began to tell us all about her weekend.
     It was fascinating. It was moving. It was inspiring... It was right at the end of the game when the Redskins were on the move.
     The conversation went something like this.
     I got in line during the healing service, and the priest put his hands on my head and I felt warm, then Father Dan came over and he also laid hands on me and I heard a wooshing sound that I could not explain. I think it was the Holy Spir.......
     Are you even listening to me? 
     Honey, RG3 just took a hit and is hurt.
     I just was telling you something important about my weekend.
    Let's be fair about this; we have invested almost three hours into this game, and there are four minutes left. It is not fair to expect us to ignore the game at this point. Again, let's be rational about this; this game is over in a few minutes and you are going to be here all week.  
    Was I wrong?
    Now, all of these things did actually occur. Cheryl did go on a silent retreat. I did text her that stupid message at the same exact time she was texting me that wonderful note. And we were watching the Redskin game when she came home and tried to get in "all the words she couldn't get in during her silent retreat."
     And this I now know: I will go on a silent retreat. We will ban all electronics. And we will clean our rooms and give all of our stuff to the poor.
     So I guess I just answered the question... Yes, I was, in fact, wrong.
     Wrong all along!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Funny Guy Friday… Homecoming...

     Funny Guy Friday is written each week by my husband Mark. So… I married a funny guy.
     It is that time of year again: the evening air is crisp; classes are back in full swing; and it's  homecoming time at the local high school.
     I was reminded of this seasonal football ritual when my daughter mentioned that our friend's son was on the homecoming ballot at his school. This struck me as very funny because we never had boys on our home coming court, only girls.
     So, I did what every friend would do to his good buddy, I called him and congratulated him on his little girl's accomplishment… I asked if his little girl had a nice dress picked out... and I wondered if she preferred a wrist corsage, a pin-on or just a bundle of flowers to carry.
     This boy had played baseball for my brother, and my dad-friend mentioned that when he had told my brother to make something of his son, he never thought it would lead to his being nominated for homecoming queen. I told him that my brother always said this boy was like the daughter he never had, and he would be proud of her.
     If you get a chance, let's all say a prayer that our friend's son realizes every little girl's dream.
     All of this leads me to reminisce about my own homecoming disaster. Not exactly a disaster but quite a humbling experience.
     I would like to sit here and write about how I played quarterback for our high school football team and was the star of the big game. Actually, I watched the game from the stands. But that is not the humbling part.
     I had a friend… who happened to be a very pretty girl.
     The two of us had a math class together, and for some reason, I struggled with that class. Fortunately, my friend was always willing to help me out. Okay, to be perfectly candid, the real trouble was not with my math skills but with my social skills. I really liked her and wanted to go out with her but was too much of a sissy to ask her out. Let's just say that no matter how much I tried, I could never get 1 plus 1 to equal 2.
     At first, I was nervous going over to her house because I liked her. I quickly got over that, but there was another big problem… her parents. Not really her parents because her mom was as sweet as could be. Her father, on the other hand, was a colonel in the Marines and bit of a disciplinarian legend.
     He was one of those fathers that boys would talk about and wonder if he could actually kill you with his pinky if you mistreated one of his four very pretty daughters. I was in the "yes, he would kill you with his pinky" camp. I will say that he always treated me well but why wouldn't he, I was Eddie Haskel on steroids. Yes sir. No sir. Whatever you say sir.
     After about three weeks, it had to be clear to everyone that the "tutoring" sessions were a mockery and a sham. I probably knew the material better than she did… but nobody looked better solving quadratic equations than she. My visits were becoming much more social than academic.
     One day, about two weeks before our high school homecoming dance, we were sitting in her living room when her father called her into the kitchen… out of my sight and out of my earshot. She was gone for several minutes before returning with a look of horror on her face. Immediately, I was grabbing my jacket and heading for the door. I must have done something to upset the colonel. She assured me that I had not… but something was seriously wrong.
     After several minutes, she told me what they had discussed. Her father had told her that that boy (me), that has been coming over for weeks now, and is currently sitting in the living room, is too much of a sissy to ask his daughter to the homecoming dance. As a result, he ordered her to come in and ask me to the homecoming dance.
     Now, this could have been viewed in two very different ways. First, my friend and her dad liked me so much that they cooked up this intricate plot to lure me to the homecoming dance. Or… he thought so little of me as a man that he decided he had to be my wing man with his daughter… and in the process, complete the emasculation.
     I was outraged, I was embarrassed. I was humiliated.
     I was elated.
     I was going to the homecoming dance with the colonel's daughter. I was never going to ask her on my own, and suddenly, she had been ordered to go with me by her father.
     Sir… Yes sir.
     As I sit here and think about it, my friend's son, the homecoming queen, is more of a man than I ever was when I was in high school.  
     Now for the rest of the story. My friend and I went out on one date, and one date only. I kept going over to their house, but the colonel never again intervened.
     What a lousy wing man!
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