Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Can you believe this?

I read the other day, in one of those columns where people say they are giving advice, but really they are just saying things anyone could say, without even understanding the littlest thing about the rules of family, where a mother is complaining that HER mother is giving the kids treats behind her back.  The so called ADVICE person, went and trashed the grandmother to the mother. CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?  How can anyone say they are an expert on family matters when they don't even know how to keep the first rule of family which is NEVER GET IN BETWEEN SOMEONE AND THEIR MOTHER.  Seriously, I mean, can you believe it? But I read it with my own eyes. I am still shaking my head. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

What's with all the vampires?

 Dear Madrone, my youngest girl, Lolla is 13 and  loves the vampires. It's blood this and moon that, and I can't understand what the big deal is.  Should I be worried?  Mom in Morrisburg

Dear Mom, Nah, it's no biggie. She's thirteen, that's what they do.  If it isn't vampires, it's horses, if it's not horses, it's Frankie Avalon. Or Frankie Avalon on a horse. Whatever.  It's nature's way of getting you ready for when she goes out with an actual boy (two legs, no bloodsucking.)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Gratitude VS Attitude

Sometimes you do someone a big favor and they thank you. Sometime you do the same favor for someone else and they hate you forever.  Gratitude on the one hand, attitude on the other. It's less mysterious than it seems.   A favor says "I own you" You may not mean it that way, but that's what it says. You are up. The other person is down.  Maybe in no other respects than the favor you are going to do them, but that's what it is.   I could never get my father, may he rest, let me even buy him an ice cream cone. . UNLESS I bought one for myself that I didn't really want and then said. Will you do me a favor? I can't finish this ice cream cone. THEN he would take it. TRUTH

Friday, June 11, 2010

Taking Heat

Ok, I just want to be clear about something.  The Rules of Family are the rules.  It's pretty clear to me that if you are a breathing human being, it's the same. Don't mess with someone and their mother, heck even bears and moose know that.  BUT! it doesn't mean you don't break them. Sometimes you have to. It only means that people won't thank you.  For example, your child is married to a low class no good. You couldn't stop it, and now they've got kids. And the guy is bad news, really bad.  You step in, break things up because you figure your kid is going to end up hurt or worse.  You do it because you have to. BUT do not under any circumstances expect gratitude. You may get it, but you may just as likely get attitude. Trust me. If you don't understand that this is a likely, normal reaction, you will be in for big surprises...

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

More on donuts

The donut conversation went on for quite sometime... After everyone agreed to disagree on how the donuts GOT to the bbq,  everyone started to eat them. One mother said to her kid, who, between you and me, would have done well to stop after the first ten, hey fatso, stop stuffing yourself.  No one said anything, because it was the mother, and there's no point in interfering, but I noticed a few eyeballs rolling.  The rolling meant a few different things though.
  1. Put the kid on a strict one donut limit.
  2. Don't call the kid names, no wonder he's eating like there was no tomorrow.
  3. Let the kid eat.
 Any of the above might be a good conversation starter in another universe, but in this one you can't tell a mother anything. Oh people try all the time, but it does no good. 

Monday, June 07, 2010


 The question came up when I was at the family BBQ yesterday, who should bring the donuts? We chewed that one over for quite some time and no one's mind was changed.  Some said the donuts should be brought by the oldest, some said the youngest, some said the person who lived closest to the bakery, some said the person who lived closest to Tilda's which everyone admits is the BEST bakery, some said that the person who invites should make sure there are plenty of donuts on hand, just in case no one brings any.  Me I kept my mouth shut, since I don't care for donuts, give me some cheesecake any day.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Flowers VS Vegetables

Dear Madrone,
    I live with my sister, both of our husbands have passed, may they rest, and while it's sad they're gone, they were good providers and we're not big spenders anyhow.  So everything is hunky dory. Except this. I myself love a flower garden. My sister thinks they're a waste and wants vegetables.  We bicker over this every year, and have never come to any agreement.  So please we ask you, which is better?
Sisters, ok except for this one thing.

Dear Sisters, 
  I beg to differ with you, if this is the thing that bothers you so much that you need to waste my precious minutes, then you are definitely not OK.  This so called problem is so easy there are at least one thousand ways to solve it. Here's ten
  1. Take half the garden each year
  2. Take turns every other year
  3. Let the other person have her way because you love her
  4. have no garden at all
  5. Mix the flowers with the vegetables every year
  6. Flip a coin each year, the winner gets to pick
  7. Ask a random stranger (or ten or thirty, however many) what they think you should do and do that.
  8. Repeat #7 only do the opposite of what other people think.
  9. Add up the number values of the words flower and vegetable, and then compare them to the winning numbers of the Pick 5 on the first day after the danger of frost is passed and whatever is closest, do that.
  10. Decide if you spend more on cut flowers or fresh vegetables and go with that
I could go on and on and on, but just in case you don't get my point, here it is. You haven't solved this problem because you DON'T WANT TO.   That's a whole other question, which is one you haven't asked, but should.
God bless, Donna

Friday, June 04, 2010

Asking Family

It's really important to remember that when you ask family for something NO MATTER WHAT, it's going to be bad if they tell you no. Even if you're a jerk for asking, even if they don't have what you ask for, even if they've given to you a hundred times before.  That no is going to stand between you forever. People don't understand even the simplest things sometime.  What's the worst that could happen?
you ask. Ha! There are so many's just one.
My brother in law knew a guy.  This guy was a no good, a dead beat, and he was into the bookies for mucho moolah. Now the guy had a younger brother of his own, who was pretty well heeled, mostly because he worked like a dog and saved his pennies, and the wife did too.  They had a nice house and a couple of kids who were clean and smart. The no good always went to the brother for cash when the heat got too hot, and the brother always gave.  Until one day, when the debt in question was caused by the no good taking a nice trip to the old country on a credit card he did not deserve. This was the last straw, the brother said no. Enough. What happened? The mother, who had mostly kept out of it, blamed the younger brother when the no good got worked over by a disappointed gentlemen. Pointed the finger at them, at a family dinner, which started a screaming fight between the younger brother and his wife later than night when the wife made noises about the nerve of his mother (Breaking the biggest rule, really not a good thing to do) which resulted in a pot of sauce being thrown though a window, and landing on a poodle that had been walking by, and breaking its leg, which was a very bad thing as this dog had a pedigree out the wazoo, and was ruined by the incident, which resulted in a nasty lawsuit that the poodle won and put the younger brother in the poorhouse, without a wife, who left, with kids, married a guy with even more money and no brothers.  

SO it's very bad to put family in a position where that could happen, and it happens all the time, every minute,just like that world population counter at Penn Station in the city. 

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Saying No To Family

When is it OK to say no to family?  I have news for you. It's never ok.  When family asks you for something you must give or be ready to take heat.  So, Madrone, you ask me, does that mean I have to be a doormat  for my cousin Joe Schmoe who asks me for a ride every day to work and never offers gas money. I'm on the hook for the dead beat? No, not exactly.  All I'm saying is that when you lay down the law, and say, pay up you cheapskate, you will be the bad guy, not Joe Schmoe.  It doesn't mean that you have to be walked over, it's just that no one will pat you on the back for it.  If you think people are going to pin a rose on you, you're in for a surprise. You may be right, but that's not going to stop anyone from giving you the hairy eyeball as the next Sunday barbecue.   

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


Hope you all enjoyed your barbecues, or however you heat your meat on a holiday weekend.  I had a very nice time, thank you very much, and now I'm back.  It's the warm weather, and that's a good thing.
A question came up the other day, which I am still thinking about: when is it OK to say no to family?
It happens all the time, but people don't think about it.  And they should.  More tomorrow on that. 
God bless.