Friday, November 11, 2016

Don't Mess with Tradition

Today’s post is a writing challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked 4 – 6 words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That’s the challenge, here’s a fun twist; no one who’s participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

my words are: turkey, duck, permit required, EMT, hazmat suit, green belt

These words don't really belong in any sort of normal tale. Good thing I'm not a normal sort of person. I took this one a little less seriously than I do with a lot of my fiction. I needed that after everything that happened this year and especially this week. 


It was a normal Thanksgiving at our house. Well, at least until the guys in hazmat suits arrived.

Okay, let me backtrack here. I’m getting ahead of myself.

So the thing about Thanksgiving is that the fam is kind of spread out, right? My brothers and I are all grown and married with kids of our own. There’s 12 grandchildren total. It’s tough to get everyone together on actual Thanksgiving and still have time to visit respective in-laws and not lose our sanity in the process of traveling every-fucking-where in such little time. My family agreed a long time ago that we’d do Thanksgiving on the Sunday before that way no one was in a rush, and we could kind of spend some time that weekend catching up and letting the kids visit.

That part was the normal part.

We all came down on Friday to Mom and Dad’s. We don’t all spend the night here because 12 kids in one house along with 4 couples is a big no, man, but my oldest brother drove his RV down so he and his wife were in the driveway with his 4 kids. My youngest brother and his wife and baby get the spare room because, you know, he’s the baby with a baby. My family and my closest brother’s family both stay in these little cabins by the lake. We’re only about 10 miles from the old homestead, but it’s nice and peaceful out there by the water, and the rest of the crew comes by on Saturdays to hang out for awhile before we all head over to the Fall Festival. That’s always the plan, and that’s exactly how it all went down this year.

Sundays are for our big dinner. Dressing, greens, homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and usually both fried and roasted turkeys. It takes a lot of food to feed us all, and by the end of it, Dad always has his old hunter green belt undone and draped over the back of his recliner. In all these years, the guy hasn’t so much as changed the style of belt he wears, but considering I’m the only little girl he ever had and I married a woman, he’s kind of had to change his values especially after we adopted Sadie and Emma, twins with Down Syndrome, and Deon, who is Black (we’re white). My wife and I didn’t set out to rock the boat and have such a hodge podge family, but we fostered these kids first, and their families never even made an attempt to get them. We all just worked together. We’re family, and we love these kids like our own. And we still foster, so who knows what the future might bring?

So the man who has had the same kind of belt for my whole entire life has had to learn to change every single thing he ever imagined for the life of his little girl and in the process, he had to relearn a lot of the beliefs he held. Mom, too, really. But they’re more on board and a bigger support than ever. It’s a strange juxtaposition. The man still isn’t big on change no matter how much my identity and life choices have made us all grow and be closer. So it was no surprise that he was not down with the idea of a turducken this Thanksgiving when my mom sprung that fact on us, and by fact, I mean she had already bought and cooked the thing and laid it on the table before we ever knew what hit us.

The first sign of trouble came when Dad looked at the thing, frown etched on his face, and said, “I thought there was some sort of permit required for you to serve one of these…” He paused then seeing the look on Mom’s face and added, “…culinary delights.” Nice attempt at a save, Pops, but Mom wasn’t at all impressed with his level of sarcasm. She didn’t have much to say in reply, but she has one of those faces that tells every single one of her emotions. Zero poker face on that woman.

Dad was losing hope at that point as all table filled leaving no more room for any sort of regular turkey, fried or otherwise, but he still just had to ask, “Please tell me there’s turkey.”

“Yeah there’s turkey. That’s why it’s called a Turducken, Hank. Tur for turkey. See what they did there? Turkey, duck, and chicken all in one pan, and since you don’t help out with Thanksgiving cooking, I’m telling you from experience that it’s a whole lot easier to cook than the alternative I do every year. By myself. Alone. In the kitchen at 5 a.m.”

Yeah, she went there.

And yes, it shut the man up for a bit.

Right after we made our plates and sat down to eat, though, he excused himself to the bathroom which was a bit odd. I mean, all the kids know that when you’re called to the table, you better have your hands washed and have did whatever business you had to do. All of us being at the table at one time didn’t get to happen too often, and he kind of holds it sacred, I suppose.

He was gone awhile, and we joked about him needing to make peace with the idea of a turdurken before sitting down to take part. All of us were dying to dig in, plates piled high and all those heavenly scents making our mouths water. We were about to take a vote to start without him when he sauntered back in the dining room, smirk planted on his face. I knew something was up at that point. I was a Daddy’s girl my whole life. I know every expression that man ever makes, and that one in particular meant he had a trick or two up his sleeve.

I decided to see how the whole thing played out.

I should also add that my dad is an EMT, and he has a lot of people out there that owe him favors for shifts covered and all that jazz.

That’s when the guys in hazmat suits showed up. At first it was a little bit of a shock. Probably to the whole neighborhood. In hindsight, I’m pretty sure my dad called in a favor. I mean, that’s the only thing that could have happened seeing as how they came in, communicating on walkie talkies about the risk, headed straight for the table, bagged the turducken, then asked Mom if they could see her permit.

I swear that woman turned about 57 shades of red. Not from embarrassment. She knew she’d been beaten.

That’s the little story about the ONLY time my family had turducken for Thanksgiving.


Here are the rest of the submissions: 

Baking In A Tornado

Not That Sarah Michelle

Spatulas on Parade

The Bergham Chronicles

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy


Confessions of a part time working mom

On the Border

Evil Joy Speaks

Friday, November 4, 2016

Not So Thankful

Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 13 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My subject is: What is something you AREN'T thankful for? 

It was submitted by:

I was super glad I didn't have to talk about what I am thankful for. Seriously. I just knew with it being November, it would probably come up in my prompts. It's been a tough few months around my household, and while I do try to focus on the good things, I really didn't want to get all fake and make it seem like I have my shit together. I don't. Not by a long shot. Everyone else will be doing their 30 Days of Thanks like it's a competition to see who has the greatest life and I will be over here eyerolling so hard I look like I need an exorcism. And maybe I do. That might explain a lot. 

So here in all its glory is a list of things I am not thankful for this year.

· Working in retail hell

· People who shit in the sink at our store and leave it

· That woman who watched her child throw up in our floor at work and just left it laying there.

· Men who think it’s appropriate to loudly comment on my tits while I’m making minimum wage to smile at them.

· Men who feel they need to tell me to smile more

· People who feel it’s their duty to treat anyone in a service position like absolute dog shit just because we have to take it with a smile.

· The fact that 2016 decided it was THE year that everyone would die.

· Bill collectors

· Minimum wage being absolutely disastrously low

· This clusterfuck of an election

· People who still don’t get what cultural appropriation is

· People who think that being politically correct is a sign of weakness instead of realizing it is about respect

· The phrase “all lives matter”

· Locker room talk and its acceptance

· Cases like Brock Turner where the future of a rapist is more important than making sure he never rapes again

· Boxes with like 50,000 cans of Vienna sausages in them

· Sky shelves

· White people wearing corn rows and getting featured in magazines

· Lil Wayne

· Ignorant Halloween costumes

· Cranberry sauce in a can

· Underwire poking out of my bra while I’m at work because that’s just the perfect fucking time to deal with even more bullshit, eh?

· Walmart registers that refuse to scan printable coupons

· Coupons (it’s a love-hate relationship)

· Having not quite straight but not quite curly hair

· Hot dogs

· That one kind of person who feels it’s absolutely necessary to tell me I will regret my tattoos

· Answering the questions: “are those real?” and “did they hurt?” about my tattoos multiple times a day

· Seeing on average 120 people in 4 ½ hours on a cashiering shift

· Remakes, shitty ones anyway. Michael Bay ruined my childhood.

· Ashy elbows

· 100% humidity


· Not having multiple Halloweens per year

· Lost. Not being lost but the series Lost that took so much of my fucking time just to end that way.

· Cliffhangers. My heart can’t take it. My anxiety can’t take it.

· Oh. Yeah. Anxiety period.

· My child being a hurricane.

· Climate change deniers.

· Fox News

· Being lactose intolerant. I just want a fucking bowl of frosted flakes that tastes like it’s supposed to. Is that so much to ask?

· Adventure Time and Regular Show coming to an end

· Pokemon Go costing money. FUCKERS!

· Survey apps. They never do a damn big of good.

· Generic Cheez Its. No. Just no.

· Sports. Whatever, man.

· Patronizingly pink tools

· The Walking Dead. I AM SO DONE.

· Makeup not being made for pale people. Im tired of looking like Donald Trump. Orange is not a natural color, yall.

· Hairballs.

· Being self conscious

· Pretending not to be self conscious

· Body con dresses

· Being financially unable to be more conscientious about what I buy… coffee, chocolate, clothes, food, whole department stores… they all take further advantage of marginalized populations

· Politicians

And finally because who has the time to read my entire list… crazy relatives.

So yeah… I have a list just as long of things I am absolutely thankful for, but as I said, it’s nice to be honest and vent about all the things we avoid bitching about during the holiday season. That’s life. Balance. There are as many pros as cons, and sometimes one outweighs the other. It’s absolutely good and necessary to find the good in life even if it’s only small things, the little things, but I also think it’s vital to be open, honest, and (when possible) humorous about the things that you don’t care for, the cons, the negatives, the things giving your trouble in your life at the time. Burying them to act like life is perfect on social media isn’t going to help anybody. Keep it real. And have a good Thanksgiving.


Here are links to all the sites now featuring Secret Subject Swap posts. Sit back, grab a cup, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado

Not That Sarah Michelle

The Bergham Chronicles

Spatulas on Parade

Confessions of a part time working mom

The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver

The Lieber Family Blog

Dinosaur Superhero Mommy

A Little Piece of Peace

Never Ever Give Up Hope

Evil Joy Speaks