Fried Chicken & Lentils

Everyday Life with Jodie and Susan


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Ok, Santa it is

There were few things I was certain about before having kids, but one thing I knew – they would never believe in Santa. My girls were taught that Saint Nicholas lived a long time ago and gave gifts to the children in his town, blah blah blah and it is fun to PRETEND about Santa. Both girls soberly bought this story hook line and sinker. My youngest daughter glomming onto the fact that this semi fictitious character was dead. Try to talk to the kid about Santa, and her response was “he’s dead”.
Fast forward 7 years. The girls are big, and we have our little four year old son who LOVES Santa. I mean he loves him. Last year I started the same nonsense with the whole pretend thing. It was like I was speaking to him in Russian. My words fell on deaf ears. He didn’t argue or rebuttal or get upset – he just simply didn’t receive the information.
So now the only gifts that are under our tree are gifts for Santa. Santa has a scroll and a candy cane ornament. Our little son has written him letters and talks about Santa like he is an extended family member. He wants to get Santa a video camera for Christmas and leave it under the tree for him too. He is worried about what we are going to get Mrs Clause. He is not concerned about the gifts that Santa will be leaving for him, but is very excited about what the LETTER Santa will be leaving him will say.
So Santa it is. And the psychological experiment that are my children continues.


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The Special Sock Treatment

When I was a kid I would play all day and my legs would ache when I’d go to bed, so my mom gave me the special Kentucky home medical treatment of tying socks around the sore parts.  This was a method handed down from my grandma and after I pointed out all the aching spots that needed socks, I would look like a sort of sock mummy, but just on my legs.  I offered this treatment to daughter’s friend who looked at me with a special look and said “I think I’ll be all right, anyway.”  That’s fine; I’ve been running low on socks.


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A Christmas Drive-by for Your Too-Early for Christmas Pleasure

A couple Christmases ago, WD backed over my dad’s mailbox while we were visiting and we were in a hurry to get to some other Christmas event, so we just left it laying (correct verb in my dialect, sorry) on the ground and drove off like evil anti-Santas. Merry Christmas, sucker!

I was feeling guilty later so I called him to check if he saw it.  Someone else had dropped by and brought him a tiny Christmas tree they left on his porch.  Dad hadn’t noticed the mailbox and I didn’t know about the tree, so the conversation went like this.

Me: Well, dad, did you see what we left for you?

Dad (sort of happy):  Yeah, I did.

Me:  What did you do about it?

Dad:  I brought it on inside.

Me (incredulous):  What’dya do that for?

Dad (confused):  I just thought I should.

At this point, the conversation started to break down because even though dad has some pretty crazy ideas, I couldn’t fathom why he would be carrying a broken mailbox into the house.  We got it sorted out after that; dad got a new mailbox which still stands to this day and a little fiber optic Christmas tree (starting to get dusty) that he puts out every year.

I guess I am feeling Christmas-y because the dumb radio station started playing full-time Christmas music three days after Halloween.  Watch your mailboxes, my friends!


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WD Cooks

WD (remember my husband?) is away working and has to cook for himself right now.  I gave him some simple recipes, which he told me he simply substituted.  He was making stir-fry and it turned into what he called “more of a soup,” which is a pretty astounding change of an entree if you ask me. Good luck, WD.


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Me and My Big, Fat “Send” Button

I was writing a complaining e-mail to my daughter about her college’s “e-bill” system and I wrote a couple smart-talking sentences about how it doesn’t give very good information, then clicked a very satisfying “send.” Then I realized I had actually sent my whiny e-mail calling their new system dumb to the college accounts instead of to my daughter.

But they don’t know who I am really, do they?  As far as they know, I’m just another parent full of complaints and a red-hot send button.  I am going to try to keep it that way, too.  Sorry, ———- College, for being a bit of a whiner.  I think it’s wonderful that you switched to a paperless billing system and I will try to keep a more positive outlook about little changes like that in the future.  And I will try to check who I am sending e-mails to more carefully as well.


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How to have a good Halloween

Tonight was Halloween. Years ago, I used to start weeks ahead of time sewing cute kitty costumes and unicorns out of Garanimal sweat shirts and pants.  As my girls and I got a little older, I would spend Halloween day stressed out, yelling at everyone while trying to hot glue a couple of costumes together. Today, I offered my oldest daughter my bathrobe, my other daughter went as a color, but didn’t have the right color jacket to go with her scheme, and in turn was mad at me. Four years ago we were blessed with a baby boy.  Today that poor kid found some trash, and made his own costume out of that.  I feel proud that he has the creativity and ambition that my older girls will never know. Don’t do for your kids what they can clearly do for themselves is the lesson here. Let your four year old make his own costume out of trash.  First way to have a good Halloween.

Another way to have a good Halloween, is to send your teen daughter to a friend’s house early in the evening and put your focus on your other kids that you still feel you might have a chance with. Tell your friend how sorry you are, and then get the hell out of there – quick!  Come back later to your friend’s house (when the teen kids are out terrorizing the neighborhood) and eat up her delicious food. Eat a lot of it, because it makes her feel good about her cooking and it helps you feel less stressed when the teens come back.

After gathering your teen and preteen daughters back from the adults you pushed them off on, and eating a bunch of your friend’s good cooking – go home.  Drink your husband’s pumpkin ale, eat your kid’s candy, and hope that someone leaves you some very valuable, beautiful and entertaining gifts on your porch. That was the best part of my evening, and made for the best Halloween ever!  An anonymous tricker left a super great album, a valuable, genuine German beer stein – brought over from the old country, and I can’t remember what else was out there – but I know it’s good stuff!

That’s how you have a good Halloween.

And after all that – gather up all your friends and promise to take them on the most fun and beautiful bike ride the next day.  It will burn off the calories from the candy and beer, and gives you some unsupervised cars to anonymously slip some fun and interesting gifts into.