Today I am incensed by Mo&*(r *&^c*er s. It all deals with unnatural deaths.

First……my fellow 1978 Graduate of CHS. I don’t remember ever interacting with Tim, but I remember him. I remember that he was outgoing. R.I.P.

Next. I know this happened back in January, but somehow I am just finding out about Phoebe Prince. She hung herself. Kids from school were bullying her, in person and electronically.

The Dating Game contestant/winner murderer guy. BTK Killer, Joseph Duncan. I HATE those guys.

You hear about senseless killings all the time and sometimes it hits close to home. I’ve been lucky so far that it’s not happened in my immediate sphere, but it could and I do not know how I would deal with it. I get so emotionally involved in these tragedies. Is our future predestined? If your time is up, does God put you in a place where you are sure to die. What about situations where scores of people die at once, were all their numbers up and the same time. If you get caught up in someone else’s “appointment” are you reincarnated, sort of a cosmic do-over. Natural death is hard enough, what kind of grief must come with knowing your loved one suffered before they died?

Bullying someone so relentlessly that they take their own lives to escape it, how do these cliques evolve? One person in that group of kids didn’t have enough moral fortitude to say, “come on, Dudes, back off. We’ve done enough.” Not one? And these were girls, mostly, the kinder (we are taught) gender.
I have a love/hate relationship with High School memories. I was teased for being overweight. I spent a good deal of those four years trying to be unnoticed. We all have a few memories like that. If you don’t have those memories, you might have been the bully. Are all bullies just mean and ornery? Do some of them practice defensive bullying because they are being bullied elsewhere?

Serial killers, pedophiles, people who shoot people at schools, restaurants and business plaza’s …….I always wonder how their parents feel. How do you stand the fact your child inflicted death on other human beings? Surely no one sets out to raise a homicidal maniac.


Everybody's Workin' for the Weekend

The weekend winds down. It never seems long enough.

We count the days down one by one. Monday afternoon I think, “One down, four to go” Tuesday. “Two down, three to go” and so on and so on and Scooby dooby do!

Now that I am nearing 50, all time flies by. I’m surprised that when I look back over the events of the day, that I don’t see them in a blur. I get up at the last possible minute. I can do that now that my daughter is 13 and I don’t have to feed her, dress her and do her hair. She does that now, thank goodness. Sleep is a relative word here, I take five 9 minute cat naps. The alarm blares at 5:30, I go to the clock (I’d never make it if I kept it in reach) hit the snooze and sink back into bed, when the alarm goes off nine minutes later and I repeat at 9 minutes intervals til 6:06.

Time flies and suddenly I’ve got exactly no minutes to get dressed, and it’s a mad last minute rush while Chris sits ready on the couch twitching nervously cos she’s one of those “leave early” type of people. Obviously a disgusting trait inherited from her father.

No matter how quickly I move, (I can move fast when I have to, many of you think I have one speed, plod, but I can scamper when necessary.) I always manage to get everyone where they need to be on time, I don’t know how, 6:06 to 8:07 is a total blur.

Everything moves speedily along, lunch time comes and goes, then *smeck*, the drowsies ascend, you tank up on a cuppa joe and hope that the afternoon isn’t draggy.

I feel as if I’m wishing my life away, minute by minute. I catch myself thinking, “I can’t wait til 4:30” then I mentally scold myself for wishing time would pass faster than it already does.

Minutes to days, M-F to the weekend, the weekend flies by. Days to weeks, week to months, months to years. It’s almost April already, the first quarter of 2010 almost over, it’s unreal.

I get to thinking about something someone told me the other day and I come to the realization that was the year before the last. Where does time go? It’s a cliché, the older you get the faster time passes. It’s true though, as most clichés turn out to be.


Shaddup Baybeh, Ah'm tryin' ta sang

If someone were to ask me, "Auntie Vi, do you have some words of wisdom for young mothers?" The answer would be,"why, yes, I do. Sing to your baby."

I have always loved babies. Before I became a mother, I baby sat my godchild on my days off. I would play with her and sing to her all day long. When it was nap time, I’d hold her and sing her to sleep. She’d watch me with big brown eyes and raised brows, going to town on a pacifier.

I’ve sang to all my baby loves. I hounded my poor cousin Lizard after her son came along. I’d drop in on my way home from work to hold my little boyfriend for a few minutes. She was polite and said, it helped her start supper, but I had to be a pain. I’m a baby groupie, so what, ya wanna fight about it?

It doesn’t matter if you sing well, I sound like Lucy Ricardo, but babies think it’s beautiful. They watch your face, and mimic, I mean, you gotta sing like you was in one of them there Hollywood musicals. Not for nap time though, church songs sung soft and low are best for that.

Mel is 13 years old and will still sneak under the covers when she can't sleep and ask me to sing to her. Her first request is “Country Roads”, then “A, You’re Adorable”, and always “Will the Circle Be Unbroken” for the big finish.

I learned this from Dot. That’s right. She was not all bad, it would be wrong of me to let anyone think that. I’ll sure my kids will have negative things to say about me when they are compelled to share their stories. Mel will say I’m too over protective. Chris will say I nag her when she’s driving. That’s something else I got from Dot, back seat driving.

“A, You’re Adorable” is the song I remember Dot singing. She and I had a rousing duet of “Winter Wonderland” that we sang on any road trip, no matter the season. She’d sing Mills Brother’s songs to me, songs her Dad used to sing to her mother. She didn’t do hymns, but she knew some show tunes.

I think the world might be a friendlier place if people really did just break into song. Chris and I have a rousing rendition we do of “The Inquisition”. If you are riding in my car and “Drops of Jupiter” comes on the radio, I will kick you out of my car, if you do not sing along. (Friendlier place, see?) Other songs I must sing along with are “All-Star”, “Mohair Sam”, the “Jane” part in “Guitarzan” “Flowers on the Wall” “Tuesday’s Gone”, “Rock and Roll All Night”……….the list goes on and on.

Singing to your baby enhances bonding, at least it has in my experience. And the bonding continues. I’m amazed often by Mel, who has inherited her father’s by ear skills but has not tapped them yet, sings along with an oldie, every word and nuance. “Where’d you learn this song?”
“You used to sing it to me”


What a Difference 3492 Days Make

Stardate 12/18/1982
Captain's Log
This is my wedding day. My first wedding. The man in the picture is not my hubby, but with out him, the pic will look very odd, so he gets to stay.
Age: 22
Location: Lafayette La
Like any other 22 year old, I was sure I knew alot about life. My occupation was answering service operator. I had known my new husband 3 months prior to marrying him. My mother protested my marriage, but showed up, she could not very well harrumph about and let everyone know how much she disapproved without being there in person. I was given in marriage by my good friend Dawson.
I was exactly 2 years younger than X1. His birthday is the day before mine. We are both only children. There was a huge geographical gulf between our back grounds. He was what we Southerners like to call a "Yankee", even though he had lived in the west (Colorado and Arizona) from a very young age.
He ate butter on his sandwiches instead of mayo. When I said "Do you want some tea?" he automatically assumed I meant a cup of hot tea. He applied butter to pastries that were already frosted, Folks, I 'bout freaked out.
Po-Tay-Toe, Po-Tah-Toe.....To-May-Toe, To-Mah-Toe...or in my case, Taters and Maters.

Stardate 7/10/1992
Captain's Log
This is my wedding day. My second wedding.
Age: 31
Location: Hernando MS
I have a 8 year old daughter. I have known my new husband 4 years and 10 months. My occupation is sleazy motel front desk clerk, the motel is sleazy, not me. Well, to be fair, it was only semi sleazy...anyway.... My mother protested my marriage, but showed up, she could not very well harrumph about and let everyone know how much she disapproved without being there in person. I was given in marriage by my dear cousin, Dood Cuz.
I was 9 years older than X2. While I was an only child of a woman who didn't like children, he was the baby boy brother, very beloved by his parents and big sisters. The 9 year age difference wasn't a big problem, for the two of us, anyway, because I was a bit kiddish for my age and he was a bit reserved for his age, so it sort of evened out.
He knows when I ask "Do you want some tea?" I am talking about a cold glass of sweet tea straight from the fridge. No ice, ice only waters it down.
Funny that regional differences make a bigger difference than an age difference. Still, each hubby had their own endearing traits and aggravating tendencies. What if you could custom build your mate? I'd take some things from X1 and some things from X2.
If it was possible to custom order a husband in this click and choose world, my spouse would look like 1968 James Garner. Be handy, able to fix cars and anything else he turned his screwdriver to. He'd be funny and put anyone who crossed me in their place, quickly. But, I still wouldn't be satisfied, cos you need conflict and diversity to make life interesting. I think it's the striving for a thing, getting it, changing your mind, chasing another clue.....all these things keep us going. It's our nature to chase an elusive dream. A body must have something to strive for. If you're not going forward, you're stagnating. Keep on keepin' on. Live long and prosper. Be excellent to each other, and...............Party On, Dude!!!!!!!!!


Oooh....I'll Give You Such a Pinch

Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.

I love St. Patrick's Day, because I am Irish, at least maternally. Not sure what I am paternally, with my limited knowledge of my father's family (which came to me from Dot and may or may not be accurate). So I tell people I am Irish and White Trash.

Ah, me mother was an O'Brien, I think that her great grandfather was a first generation American. I don't know why the family left Ireland but I imagine they came to the new world looking for their fortunes.

Now, this is a warning. If you do not wear green tomorrow (Obviously this is directed to people I will physically see tomorrow) I will pinch you. Not hard, just a token pinch, but I'll do it. I start reminding people well ahead of time of their fate if they don't wear green. I do not think that green eyes should count, but I go along with it, BEGRUDGINGLY. I am admittedly aggravating about this, but usually I try to be charming and as lovable as possible ahem so I think people should afford me this, cos I don't ask for much.

There are a few people who escape my thumb-n-fore finger, but only because they've raised such a fuss in the past that it is no fun for me. Some (1) have gotten down right mean. True enough these people don't have a drop of Irish blood in them, and the old adage "Everybody's Irish on St. Patrick's Day" holds no sway with them. They are the Scrooges of St. Patrick's day, but they don't see the light by the end of the story. Bah Humbug and Begora on them!

BTW, what does Sylvester Stallone say on St. Patrick's Day? Yo! Begora!


The Natural...Part 2

I know you've all waited with baited breath to see the completed costume sewing projects.
Chris is some anime character and Mel is a Psycho Alice in Wonderland. Everything you see here is handmade by Chris, except shoes and socks. She even made the white rabbit an outfit and artistically altered him to look like a victim.


Life Goes On

Today my Mother-In-Law, Marie, would have been 79.

I remember her 62nd birthday. She came over to our house wearing a big sign announcing the news. "Whatever".

Last night, the girls and I were invited to eat supper with the family at Ryans. Marie loved these get together. She would have loved last night's and I'm sure she was there in all our spirits.

But as much as we miss her, I keep expecting my cell phone to ring and hear "It's MEEEE!", we can't stay mired down in sorrow, and she certainly wouldn't want us to.

That's Marie's great granddaughters Shellie and Bess with Auntie Jane looking on. It's a beautiful capture of the generations left behind. (BTW one of those babies is a doll......and the other one's a toy) Some day those girls will be Mothers and their mothers will be the MawMaws. See, it's a big giant happy circle. Disney made a movie about it, the circle of life, check it out. A little animated film called The Lion King.
BTW~~~~Happy Birthday Dr Cuz


The Arid Zone

I've lived in Mississippi or Louisiana my whole life, except one memorable year from Jan '83 to Jan '84. I had the great experience to live away from the South and Live in the West. While I missed the lush green of Lafayette, southern food, Coca-Cola (that was the year of New Coke) white bread, trees, spanish moss and you'll never believe this, but I missed Humidity. Anyway, I got to spend an arid year in the geographical center of the state of Arizona and I loved every minute of it.

I had my first child there, I met some people I can never forget, they still populate my tales of that year. I was a Southerner, well at the time, a "Cajun", because I had been living in Lafayette for years and I had the accent and could pronouce all the last names, and they thought I was a hoot. Of course, when you are Southern, and I'm sure this goes for all "Sub" cultures, the more people make over your accent, the more pronounced it becomes. I was Justin Wilson and Suzanne Sugarbaker rolled into one. Being Southern got me out of a ticket. I just simply got in touch with my inner Scarlett O'Hara and drawled my way out of it. This does not work in Mississippi, I know, because I have gotten a number of tickets in this state and the officers are not impressed by my southern accent. I sound like thier wives, mothers, aunts, girl cousins and daughters. But I'll bet a British girl...........I'm rambling.

That was a great year. I plan to be a little old lady in Arizona. Yeah, I'll have that roadside attraction on old Route 66. Snake skeletons and cactus jelly and post cards of the Grand Canyon and Jerome. I'll have long silver hair and wear lots of turquoise. And I'll have a Native American handy man, cos, I'm all politically correct and stuff. And you need a strong young man around to lift heavy stuff. I need to find one like that Wind In His Hair dude in Dances with Wolves.......sorry, rambling again. Where was I?.......I'm going to live in an RV, fly the rebel flag, and wear the colors on Mardi Gras. I'll sell okra and give instructions on how to cook it. Sell my own home brewed sweet tea by the gallon jugs. Try to get a glass of sweet tea in a resturant out west. The wait personnel look at you as if you are nuts and offer you raspberry tea.

"Auntie Vi's Southern Things and Dead Snake Emporium" Moon Pies. Ceramic magnolias. I'm willing to provide a service. I will bring Southern Kitsch to the desert. As God is my witness, they will never be without tacky again.

Okay, kiddies how many of the following can you find in the picture up top? A girl in a flatbed Ford, an Eagle, and two crazy Mississippi kids doing the tourist thang.


Mother was a Scream

Here I am, Vi at 7, I'd say, probably March 68.

You see me beboppin' along, arms swinging, goofy girl walk. Happy, happy, happy. Then suddenly, a literal about-face, and sad, sad, sad.

Even though it's been 42 years and this clip has no sound track, I know exactly what happened. My mother screamed at me to "get out of the damn way". My Mother wasn't filming, she was sitting on the ground holding a Siamese kitten hostage. She screamed at me a lot, my young memories are punctuated with sarcasm.

Now, I can be sarcastic, but there's the smart ass sarcasm that's a form of joking, and there's biting hurtful sarcasm and having been on the receiving end of the latter I can assure the reader than I practice the milder incarnation.

Dot, she thrived on tart tongued lashings. I think she enjoyed the looks people would give her when she went into a tirade. Mistakenly, she thought "wow, they can see not to mess with me". Observers were thinking "ga, what a hateful heifer".

Actually, "get out of the damn way" is probably a toned down version of what was said. I imagine it was more, "get out of the damn way, before I stomp you through the GD floor". She loved to make those silly threats, but when I was 7, it didn't seem silly, it seemed as if I'd be sinking through the floor with her foot on my head. I know now, that's unlikely, but as a child, I thought she could do it.

She didn't say things like that because she was raised hearing them. She picked it up from a girlfriend of hers, who will be known in Auntie Vi blogdom as "Evil Ann". I look back at snapshots from the mid sixties, and when ever I am in Evil Ann's company, I am always close to tears. I do not have any fond memories of Evil Ann.

My mother wasn't a screaming shrew every minute of every day, surely, but that seems to be all I can remember of her from those times. Later, I remember she hand made all my school clothes, she helped me write lines if I was naughty at school and that was the punishment. She told my step-dad that I was to be allowed to watch "Alias Smith and Jones" and Saturday morning TV, when he grounded me from TV, because she knew those were my favorite shows. This was during a hiatus from Evil Ann, the years when we were back in Mississippi and Evil Ann stayed in Louisiana. Dot was still a screamer, but not so cruel.

Evil Ann didn't teach Dot sarcasm, Evil Ann was evil, but a little on the dumb side. She wasn't smart enough to be sarcastic, she could only master mean and hateful. Sarcasm was Dot's own.

When I was young, I thought all mothers talked that way, until I began spending summers with my aunt and got to know all her sisters-in-laws. These Mothers did not talk like that to their kiddies, they said down homey things in soft southern voices, you did not always think they were mad at you. They'd sit around with kids draped all over them, petting and cooing to their young, I never remember sitting in my mother's lap. These "aunts" would poke their heads out the door, every so often, to make sure everything was going okay in the "Hot Wheels Dirt Pile" My mother would put me outside in the Louisiana heat, our yard had no trees, and locked the door if I came in too often. One day she locked the door and forgot I was out there till after dark. That had to be 9 on a summer Acadiana night. At least, I tell myself she forgot.

But...I'm not here to whine about my Capoteesque childhood. I hope, by putting these things down on "paper" I can finally get over them. I have never gotten over Dot throwing away my Barbie Dolls when I was 12. In 1973, you could still be a 12 year old girl in Mississippi and play with Barbies. And anyway, I wanted to save them. And she didn't tell me till a year later, when She got tired of me looking for them. I gotta let go of that.

This picture describes alot for me. My dear UncaHoney was trying me to pull me in, I can't tell if I'm resisting or drawing closer. That's me, always just on the fringe, observing what's happening, being the historian, remembering the tiny details. Someone has to be the memory keeper after all. Memories, good and bad, are important. You never know when some itty bit of seemingly useless info turns into a big deal cos it helps a body look back, to grab a memory in danger of extinction. Guard your memories well, someday they may be all you have.