Posted in Family, Just Funny, Quirks and Other Weirdness

traditionally untraditional part two. OR why Kevin wasn’t allowed to eat the rum cake.

The most bizarre of the untraditional has to be the characters around our table and the conversation that ensued. Did we share all the things for which we are thankful?  No. Did we discuss politics- Hillary, the Donald, immigration, or the economy?  Thank heavens, no. Was there mention of deflated footballs, California wildfires or Syrian refugees? A discussion of the year’s best books or most disappointing movies? No. No. No. No. No.  

Instead, Kevin nearly stabbed the cowboy in the face (accidentally?) with a steak knife, while Mom displayed a burn on her hand from a glue-gun mishap. 

The 10-person, full-table Thanksgiving dinner discussion
went something like this:

“Three things you should never grab with your bare hands:a pan right out of the oven, a sharp knife, and a hot glue gun.”

AND OH, THE ARK OF THE COVENANT!” the cowboy instantly interjected.

Kacey and I reenact the face-melting scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark.

“Yeah, that would be a bad way to die.”

“True.  Speaking of bad ways to die: would you rather get chomped in half by a

Woodridge, IL, USA --- Great White Shark Opening Mouth --- Image by © Denis Scott/Corbis

shark or swallowed whole by a whale?”

“Shark…no, wait…whale.”

“Seriously?!?!”

“Yeah…I’m afraid that the lower half of me would be bitten off by a shark,
and the upper half would still be alert and know what was happening.”

“True, but if you were swallowed whole by a whale,
you might get in there and find out you aren’t alone.”

Kevin waved, pretending to be inside a whale, and said, “Hi Elvis!”

“Speaking of dead, how many squirrels have you killed at the bookstore this year, Dad?”

“342 of those glorified rats, all with a single shot 22!”

Wow. These potatoes are so creamy.

Of course none of those squirrels were shot when Nana was around!”

“Of course not! Nana would set them free, then cut down an oak tree so they can find food without endangering themselves.”

(Nana asks if anyone wants rum cake. We are all stuffed from pork tenderloin and potatoes, so the answer is a unanimous “no“).

2369764376_9931db8a8cThe conversation continues with my sweet 90-year-old grandmother: “I used to catch mice and put them in the garbage disposal.”

I’m sorry…WHAT???????  

She repeats with her delicate soprano voice, “I used to catch mice and put them in the garbage disposal.”

Shock and Awe. Oh, and Disgust.

Kacey turns three shades of green (chartreuse, pistachio and olive drab, to be exact) and begins to look like she is going to lose her just-eaten holiday meal.

Nana asks if anyone wants rum cake. It has been approximately 6 minutes since the last time she asked. The answer is a resounding, and again unanimous, “NO!”

Since Kacey is now feeling pukey, she shared the memories of a “Fear Factor” competition from her college days at Lipscomb fear-factor-logowhen she finished drinking a pureed hamburger, peanut butter and DIRT milkshake and was the only remaining female competitor.

(Yes, yes. A proud moment INDEED in her $80,000 college career.)

Kacey tells her end of the table (mostly men): “After that I quit. The final contest involved eating bull balls.”

The mostly female end of the table didn’t quite hear her, so she repeated louder, “After that I quit. The final contest involved eating bull testicles.”

The cowboy then wanted to know why she felt comfortable using the term “balls” with him, but chose to say “testicles” to the matriarchs.

These potatoes are so creamy.

“I used to eat brains and eggs. I liked brains and eggs.”

“Gross. I can’t imagine eating brains, though I do like me some eggs.”

“Hyena eggs?”

“WHAT?”

“You said ‘hyena eggs’.”

“No I didn’t. I said ‘I do like me some eggs’.”

“Oh. Nevermind.”

61hrB4WrkXL._SY355_“Speaking of balls, when is Nana going to pass on her Christmas ornaments to the girls?”

“HEY! Some of those decorations are MINE!” Kevin objected.

68423_0000“Yes,” Kacey said, “But the Frosty Friends are all mine.”

“Fine. But I get all the Star Wars ornaments!”

Yes, because nothing says “Happy Birthday, Jesus

” quite like a Sith lord.

“Speaking of frosty, anybody want rum cake?”

“NO!!!”

“Well, what does everybody want for Christmas?”

“I don’t know. I haven’t even started thinking about Christmas yet,” says my mother.

“How can you not be thinking about Christmas when the entire house is decorated for it already!?!?”

“I had to start decorating early, we’re having a party here next weekend. I can’t relax till it’s done!”

“Speaking of relaxing, did I tell you I had a facial last Monday? It lasted for a full 90 minutes.”

“I got a pedicure for Christmas one year. It lasted for a full 9 months.”

“Nine months? The pedicure lasted for 9 months?”

“No, the polish on my toenails lasted for 9 months.”

Dad interjected, “Apparently they painted her toes with automotive enamel.”

christmas 2Really, ya’ll, does anybody want rum cake?”


We finally acquiesced and imbibed in a rum cake so strong it was illegal for Kevin to eat.  Then we cleared the table, put away the wheat stalks and turkey 
rings and helped Nana redecorate the dining room with a trio of glittered Christmas trees.

Posted in Just Funny, Quirks and Other Weirdness

traditionally untraditional. part one.

My family loves to be traditionally untraditional, especially when it comes to holiday food.

For years Mom would faithfully get up in the wee hours of the morning to baste the turkey – only for us all to admit years later that none of us even like turkey. We had a few years of trial-and-error options like fried turkey and Tofurkey and Turducken and othersuch critter combinations (just don’t say it incorrectly in front of the children!), but they all taste like they sound.

For the last few years, Dad has thrown caution to the wind and prepared either a prime rib or a pork tenderloin with a Jack Daniels marinade, glazed with a brown sugar/cranberry reduction, while Mom double-stuffed the potatoes and maple-glazed the bacon and over-soaked the rum cake.  It is nothing short of A-mazing.

thanks26Adding to the traditionally untraditional feel for our holidays is Mom’s flair for decorating. The dining room is completely harvest-festive, from the dramatic stalks of wheat reigning over the tablescape, to the subtle touches like leaf-shaped pats of butter, to the whimsical turkey-embossed napkin rings.  

Why is that untraditional, you ask?  

Because my mother callously engages in the practice of irreverent holiday jumping.

While the dining room is harvest-festive, you should understand that Thanksgiving is confined to that space, and that space only. If you venture out of the dining room, it’s like stepping through the wardrobe into Narnia, because sometime back in August she began completely Decking the Halls for Christmas…and the front porch and the den and the garden room and the foyer and all the bedrooms AND THE BATHROOMS.

516oO0W3S4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_I am so not kidding. Sometimes there are as many as EIGHT lighted trees, all with different themes and/or color schemes. The house rivals a the Southern Living Christmas edition.

I, on the other hand, am still contemplating whether or not I want to go to the effort of putting a pine wreath on my front door.