Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

So Here’s How It Happened

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So, there I was. Standing next to my broken down car, while drivers honked and yelled “You’re blocking the lane,” I wiped the tears from my eyes as I was put on HOLD by AAA. How did this happen…what did I do wrong? How did my little red car become this mass of smoke and steam? I’ll tell you how! Because, I listened to THE MAN!

I remember how proud I was six years ago when I first laid eyes on my precious little bug of a car. It was shiny, it smelled good, it ran like a top and it still had a warranty. Fast forward six years and the little red car was still the apple of my eye. Sure, it had a few dings and some of the love bugs that smashed into the bumper and hood became imbedded for life. But, it was mine and I was so proud the day I made the last payment and received the title. It was finally mine after six years of soul sucking payments!

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I never worried about the little things, such as windshield wiper fluid, oil or other silly little things that made cars go Vroom..Vroom. MY MAN took care of those details, or so I thought. He laid down the law when I first got the car. NO ONE except THE MAN was supposed to open the hood and fiddle with this part and that without his supervision. I followed the LAWS OF MAN to a T…so why was I now on the side of the road unable to find that thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up?

Of course, after a fifteen minute conversation with the AAA representative and finding that a tow truck would be on it’s way in a timely manner (one or two hours minimum since “It is Memorial Day…we’re pretty busy!”) I phoned THE MAN and informed him I was on the side of the road, dodging irate drivers, and needed his assistance.

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A half hour later I was soaked to the skin in sweat and ready to shoot the next person who honked their horn to let me know my car was in their way. No one stopped to see if they could help me push the car into a safer location. They were too busy yelling at me to open my hood so cars could see that my little red bug was broken down. I did manage to get the hood up after pulling out the manual and locating the thing-a-ma-jingy and I eventually located my Hazard lights to warn drivers. I had reached the limit of what I knew to do with a broken down car and awaited the arrival of THE MAN!

I almost wept with relief when he finally arrived with a bucket of water.

“What happened?” he asked.

“I don’t know! It was kind of chugging as I drove and then when I got off the exit, it exploded!”

“When’s the last time you put water in it?”

WHAT! Hold on! Isn’t that THE MAN’S job? I don’t even know which of the strange containers under the hood holds water. I didn’t need to know such things, because THE MAN was taking care of maintaining my car. Right?

No, my friends, as in any situation when dealing with THE MAN, I was now subjected to a litany of sins I had committed prior to having my car decide to do a rather admirable imitation of an erupting volcano. I was supposed to check something called the temperature gauge. I was supposed to notify THE MAN the second that the car didn’t act right (yeah, okay, I’ll call from the highway and say “Hey, my car’s chugging a bit” while deep in three lane traffic traveling at 75 miles or more.) I was supposed to check the fluids periodically.

As much as I wanted to throttle THE MAN, I held back since there were far too many witnesses.

I answered my phone, shaking with rage and heard the AAA representative ask me if I was in a safe place until the tow truck could arrive.

“I am,” I told her, “But I’m not sure about THE MAN!”

Eventually, as days went by with my car in the shop receiving a new engine, THE MAN admitted to not fulfilling his duties in maintaining my car. I admitted that I was silly to trust the care of my car to someone else. I have now learned how to check the water, oil and more importantly the location of the thing-a-ma-jingy that keeps the hood up. Balance has been restored in the house and the little red car is once again parked in the driveway after costing a couple of thousand dollars to repair.

Yesterday, I noticed that the air conditioning unit has now become inoperable. It shoots out hot air faster than a furnace. I think I’ll wait a few days to tell THE MAN. I’m sure it’s my fault the damn thing is broken!

I have decided that if my car bites the dust I’m going to convert to an alternate, cheap and easier to maintain mode of transportation.

horse for sale

Just saying,

Cranky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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9 Comments »

Sad News – Shirley Temple has passed away.

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Shirley Temple Black

1928 – 2014

I can’t stop the tears. I feel like I’ve lost a little sister. Shirley Temple Black passed away today at the age of 85. The world has lost a talented child star and a great lady who did so much good work in her lifetime.

She will be missed but I’m sure she’s tapping away with the angels and putting lots of animal crackers in her soup! RIP Shirley!

20 Comments »

A Look Back…A Look Ahead

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Well, slap me silly! I almost missed my anniversary! I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I first stepped into the wonderful world of WordPress. And, oh what a year it’s been.

I remember sitting in a doctor’s office waiting for Danny’s name to be called (that’s what you do at doctor’s offices..you wait…you wait and you wait) when I overheard two women talking about a blog they both followed.

At the time, I had no idea what a blog was. It sort of sounded like some kind of alien communication device. My first instinct was to move further away from the two old bats but my curiosity got the better of me. Very politely I turned to them and asked “What the hell is a blog?”

They gave me a look that screamed “DUH” but I guess they felt sorry for me so they explained that blogs were used by different people in different ways. Some used them as a personal journal; some people used them to showcase their writings and some people just enjoyed reading them.

I was amazed! “There’s something besides “Matlock” reruns and playing stupid games on Facebook!” I thought to myself. “Who would have thunk it?” I ran home and fell right into the WordPress World.

Well, that was on January 27, 2013 and the rest is history (as they say). When I look back I am amazed at the difference WordPress and all you wonderful people have made in my life.

From the moment I stepped into WordPress, I was hooked. All of you out there have so much talent, so much to say and you do it so well! You inspire me and you motivated me to make the most out of the rest of my life.

The best words to describe this past year is UNBELIEVABLE! I’ve progressed so far in my writing (and been lucky enough to have numerous pieces published) just from learning from all of you!

So, what’s ahead? Well, as you might know, this geriatric old biddy is now a full time college student aiming for a degree in journalism. I’m still writing those short stories and getting closer to revising the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo. I still like it, but need the time to really sit down and work on it. Those damn short stories keep calling me and to tell the truth, they enable me to hone my skills in writing so I’m not worried! Plus, I have such a damn good time writing them!

How do I thank all of you? I have over a thousand followers now and in one short year, I’ve gotten over 20,000 views and almost 5,000 comments (okay, so half of that number are mine…picky..picky!) I’m chuffed! I’m honored! And, I am oh so grateful to all of you.

So, what’s up for Cranky in the next year? Who knows? And, that’s the exciting part! I’m not getting off this roller coaster…it’s too much fun and it certainly has put a skip in my step. I am working on time management so that I can do my schoolwork, keep up with my writing and still manage to keep in touch with all of you.

We’ll just have to take it one day at a time. But, what great days they will be! I just know it.

Love,

Cranky

15 Comments »

One Proud Grandma…One Great Day

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Okay, now that my horrible, horrible speech class is over I can finally get a post done! I really didn’t think that college would take up so much of my time but it’s too late now!

I’ve got three A’s under my belt and heading into biology! Last night I just glanced through the book and had to put it down. The pictures were pretty gruesome but I’d taken anatomy years ago, so c’mon birds and the bees, bring it on.

Danny and I are weathering the chilly weather here in Florida and anxiously waiting for tomorrow which should be the start of a week filled with sun and warmer temps. I have felt so bad for the people in the country getting hammered again and again with subzero temps, ice and snow! Now they know why southerners say “y’all come back now!”

So, the speech class is done and better weather is coming, so there’s been a lot of clapping going on. But, I am a Grandma, first and foremost so I must bring up the fact that my grandaughter, Elizabeth and her friend Camilla have, oh, how should I say this?

THEY ROCKED THE FLORIDA REGIONAL SCIENCE FAIR! Oh yeah, they are going on to the State Science Fair and they are only in eighth grade!

The two traveled with Camilla’s family this summer and collected data in Costa Rica to compare with data collected in the U. S. I’m not sure what the project is about since I haven’t been able to see it yet (but I will). I know they put a lot of hard work into their project and I’m so proud, well, even Cranky has a big old grin on her face.

So, while I try to think of something to write about, I’d just like to present the 2014 FIRST PRIZE winners of the Florida Regional Science Fair. (Did I mention I’m proud?)

1557338_10200465848407817_1108972766_o(Clue: Elizabeth has blond hair!)

So, let’s put our hands together and give them a round of applause!

I’ll be back soon!

Cranky

14 Comments »

Another Legend Passes

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Pete Seeger wrote with a message and his message will live on many years after his death.  Rest in Peace, Pete! I know you’re forming a folk band among the angels right now!

There is a time…Turn, turn, turn!

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Remember Me?

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I know….I know! I haven’t posted in weeks and believe me, it hasn’t been easy not to click into WordPress.  However, I’ve been having a tough time in my latest class “Public Speaking” and I haven’t spent time on my site…that time has been spent on this Horrible, Horrible course!

I used to do Public Speaking but it was 25 years ago.  I have forgotten more then I can remember and as easy as it sounds to write out a simple outline, stand up and deliver the damn thing…it’s a lot of work.  Research, audience analysis, blah, blah, blah.

Who knew such an innocent sounding course would be keeping me up at night? Anyway, since I’m not a quitter, I will survive this horrible, horrible course and then I’ll be back to say “hi” on a more regular basis.  Love ya all and hope all is fine!  Just be patient with me until I get through this horrible, horrible course!

Who would have ever thought that I’m actually looking forward to my next course, Biology! Guess I’d rather dissect a frog then give a speech!

Take care and I’ll be back soon!

Love,

Cranky

P.S. Have I mentioned that this is a horrible, horrible course?

15 Comments »

Bye Bye Phil

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Phil Everly

1939 – 2014

Once again, we must say farewell to another Rock and Roll legend.  Phil Everly passed away today after a battle with lung disease.

He and his brother Don formed the duo the Everly Brothers and they influenced many other singers of their time.  Songs such as “Wake Up Little Susie” and “Bye Bye Love” earned them a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.

We’ll miss you Phil.

5 Comments »

Bring It On

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It’s that time of year when we look back and wonder where the hell 2013 went to.  It seems as if, in the blink of an eye, the months sped by and we are now on the brink of another new year.

2013 was a banner year for this old lady.  I discovered blogging.  I met new friends…new mentors…and learned so much from all of them.  I was shocked to discover that I seemed to have a knack for writing…trust me, I still shake my head in disbelief when one of my works gets published.  I was inspired by all of you to start thinking about the last quarter of my life and what I wanted to do with it.  I’m now chasing down a degree in journalism and look forward to being the old fart walking across that stage at graduation.

2013 was an interesting year and I’m hoping that 2014 will bring more surprises, more discovery and more success in my writing endeavors.

Before the year ends, I do want to share my gratitude and my appreciation to all of you who have lent me a shoulder to sob on; you have given me the inspiration to break out of my shell and let the words flow; you have smiled with me, frowned at me, and laughed together as we looked at the silly things in life. Two fists thump on my chest to all of you for your friendship!

So, 2014, bring in on!  I’m ready, willing and able to see what you have in store for me and for my friends here in WordPress!

Everyone have a safe and Happy New Year!

Love,

Cranky

7 Comments »

The Worst Speech Ever!

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My next course in college will be a real challenge.  Just the title “The Art of Public Speaking” is enough to make me break out in sweats.

I’m sure many share my fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and having to put a voice to the words I write.  I had hoped that I could go through life without having to stand up in front of a crowd and talk again. Because, I have been there before, and it wasn’t pretty!

I remember being in eighth grade and entering a writing contest.  I really can’t remember what I wrote about, but I managed to make the list of finalists.  Cool, right? No, my friends, not so cool.  Because now I was expected to read my speech in front of the whole school, my family and visiting school administrators.

Just the thought of having to speak in front of  over a hundred pairs of ears gave me nightmares for weeks.  My History teacher, who was in charge of mentoring us in Public Speaking skills, was close to a nervous breakdown by the time the speech competition arrived.  I just could not stand at that podium and get the words to come out of my mouth, not even with an audience of one.

To make things worse, the other contestants and I had to draw numbers from a hat to determine who would speak first, second and so on.  There were six of us, so I hoped if I went last, perhaps my other classmates would be so bad that I would be able to “Wow” the audience with my own speech.  Oh yeah, folks, you guessed it.  I picked the number one spot…lucky me!

The day of the competition, I tried everything I could to convince my mother that I had a life threatening disease and bow out of the competition.  She didn’t believe me.  I tried to fake laryngitis with my History teacher. I tried to fall down the steps leading up to the stage, hoping to give a new meaning to “break a leg” but the other five contestants were standing close behind me, pushing me forward.

On shaking legs, I reached the podium, laid my papers on the top, and reached down deep inside for the courage to begin.  Evidently, from the sounds of rustling and fidgeting in the audience, it took me longer than I thought to find that ounce of courage.  I finally locked my eyes on the first paragraph and opened my mouth.  I can only imagine what I looked like with lips moving and no sound coming through the loudspeakers.

I took a deep breath and tried again.  To make a long story short, I finally managed to choke out the first paragraph and forged on.  My twenty-minute speech took much less time since I gave a great demonstration of speed reading while I presented my material.  I think I finished in five and when I spurt out the last sentence, I immediately ran off the stage and into my mother’s arms, crying copiously.

“Don’t cry, honey.  You did your best,” my mother said. My mother thought I was weeping with shame when actually, I was weeping with joy.  No one, based on that performance, would ever ask me to speak in public again.  I suffered through the other speeches with the rest of the audience, although the remaining five contestants showed much more talent for public speaking than I did. I walked up to the stage as my name was called to receive the trophy for third runner-up.  Do the math, three winners and three runners-up equaled last place for my dazzling performance.

So, you can understand my lack of enthusiasm for this next course.  Yes, I have matured a bit and I have had experience teaching software classes to students. But, that fear of standing in front of a podium again is starting to keep me up at night!  Let’s hope my instructor has a few tricks up his sleeve to bring out the Public Speaker in me!

Wish me luck!

Cranky

11 Comments »

Cranky’s Christmas Wish

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I tried to address this card, but I can’t find an envelope big enough to include all the names of the people that I want to send this card to. I’m just going to have to settle for hoping that all you wonderful, talented, creative people that I’ve had the privilege to meet this year get my personal wishes for a Very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, or whatever holiday you celebrate!

There is no card large enough to hold all my love for you guys and there is no way to convey my appreciation for putting up with Cranky’s shenanigans all year!  I hope the next year brings you success, happiness, and a publisher if that’s your desire.

So, from my family to you and yours, Have A Very Merry Christmas.

Love,

Mary Ellen, Danny and Buddy

18 Comments »

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