The Meanest Mama in the World

This year in honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to write something special to the best meanest mama in the world.

When I was young, my sister and I used to pee out the window of the second story of our house.  My mom would reach her limit on how many times she believed us when we would plea for the bathroom, and peeing out the window was the best choice left.  Peeing in the closet was second best (or worst…depending on your view point).  We tried to pee like normal kids, but Mama wouldn’t let us.  We would tip-toe as far as we dared at night after we were sent to bed, and retreat when threats of spankings came our way.

Speaking of spanking, we knew who we had to fear in our house.  Daddy would whip his belt out of his jeans with great flare, but that is as far as he went.  Mama loved spanking us so much she did it ALL the time.  AND she never would let Daddy.  Mama had us pick our own switch off the bushes.  That’s how you know you have the meanest mama in the world: she makes you pick your own torture device.

Other mamas like to take their children to McDonalds for a treat… or say, a Happy Meal.  Not my mama.  The only time I went to McDonalds was with friends.  Furthermore, my mama would sing songs about McDonalds milkshakes being like polluted lakes and french fries between your toes.  My mama insisted on eating at home.  AND she hardly EVER bought us soda.  She was so mean.

My sister remembers this much better than I do, but in the summer, when it was the hottest outside, Mama would lock us out.  (She always waited until it was hot.)  She wouldn’t let us come inside, even to use the bathroom.  AND, when we did, it wasn’t to watch TV.  Nope.  No TV for us.  Mean Mama made us read instead of watching our non-existent TV.  If we complained about being bored, she would say, “I can give you something to do.”  That meant that you better skedaddle.  Because “something to do” really means “chores.”  We were seldom bored enough for that.

If we were lucky enough to go to the pool, Mama wouldn’t let us just run and jump in when we got there.  We had to wear sunscreen THEN wait for hours before we could get into the water.  If we had been fighting before, we would have to wait even longer while our friends and siblings swam.  She never let us swim in the deep end without her watching.  We would have to first go ask, then go to the deep end to jump off the boards.

We NEVER got away with skipping church.  She had to meet all of our friends families before we could play.  We had to do our own laundry much younger than our friends did.  Our pantry was full of homemade canned green beans, tomatoes, and beets.  We had frozen peaches, strawberries, corn, and pickles all winter.  AND she made us help her clean the kitchen.  When it was time to clean our room, she would come check to make sure it was cleaned.  If it wasn’t cleaned good enough for her, she would have us redo it.  Worst of all, she wouldn’t let us say the “b word.”

I can say it now though:

Butt!

Butt!

Butt!

And there isn’t one thing she can do about it.

me and mama

Happy Mother’s Day to my meanie mama.  I wouldn’t trade my horrible childhood for a million dollars.

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How To Beat The Homesick Blues

“I’ll be home for Christmas…” has been running through my head on a repeat-cycle.  Of course, I won’t be “home” for Christmas.  Actually, to be honest, I don’t even really know where I consider home to be anymore.

  • Option One:  It could be my Tennessee house.  That’s where I go now when I get vacation time.  It’s the same home that I spent the majority of my childhood in–so it has good memories.  It’s where the family meets, where my things are stored, etc.
  • Option Two:  It could be Northern Virginia.  I was there for three years–the longest I’ve ever lived and worked in one place after graduation.  That’s where many of my friends are–as well as part of my family.  I equally feel the need to go there on vacation.
  • Option Three:  Or maybe it’s true that “home is where the heart is.”  If that’s the case, then Mexico is my home.  I miss it when I leave.  I can’t imagine living back in the States running the rat race.  I tell people that I must have a Mexican heart–because I sure do love the life and the people here.

In any case, today home is with my family.  I love my sweet family here–but between Skyping with my sisters and seeing pictures of my Mama with my nephews, I’ve come down with a bad case of the Homesick Blues.  The homesick blues are what happens when you start yearning for things that you can’t have.  I’m not one to stay blue too long, and between Ale and Victor that’s hard to do anyway.

This is today’s cure-all recipe for all that ails you (if what ails you is the Homesick Blues):

  • 1 pot of Chicken and Dumplings
  • 1 pitcher of Sweet Tea
  • something Chocolate

It works, I tell ya!

I remember watching Mamaw make Chicken and Dumplings.  She would use the whole chicken–complete with bones for better flavor.  Sometimes all the bones didn’t get removed, and that made eating a chore.  This is how I made Chicken and Dumplings today:

  1. Boil chicken in a big pot of water with a generous amount of ground pepper and a pinch of salt.
  2. After the chicken is cooked, pull it apart with a fork to shredded pieces.  Allow this to keep cooking in the water.
  3. While Chicken is boiling, make biscuits:  2 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/2 cup butter or shortening, 3/4 cup of buttermilk.  Mix dry ingredients.  Add butter and cut it with a fork until it is in pea-size pieces.  Add milk and mix–but not too much!  Turn out onto floured surface.  Pat down until your husband walks by and asks if you’re making pizza.
  4.  Give him a lesson on how to properly say dumplin’.  “Dump-lynn.  No, Dump… now lynn.”  Give up on that–but don’t give up on those biscuits!  (The secret is to not mess with them too much…)
  5. Slice the dumplings into strips and drop them into the boiling water.  They will sink–then start floating!
  6. Allow this to cook on medium heat until the dumplings are cooked.  You will end up with a nice gravy broth from the flour in the biscuits.
  7. Add mixed veggies like peas, carrots, corn, etc.  (Mamaw didn’t do this–but it makes me feel better about eating biscuit soup…)
  8. Feed your family hearty bowls of chicken and dumplings–but puree some until it looks disgusting for your baby.  (It just looks that way–it’s actually still delicious!)
  9. Serve with a tall glass of ice tea…sweet, of course!

That’s it!  That’s all you have to do to feel better–and less blue!  Well, it doesn’t cure it completely, but at least you won’t be hungry and blue!

Home Visit

Maci and Ale

I watched my baby last night–she was laying on a blanket in the floor, and Mama was “gettin’ her.”  In the South, that means that she was tickling her tummy all the while saying, “I’m gonna getcha, getcha, getcha!”  Alexandria laughed and laughed.  The sound makes my heart so happy.

During the night, she snuggles up to me like never before.  I can’t decide if this is because she’s extra snuggly (being away from her daddy and home), or if it has something to do with the pillow-top mattress we sleep on.  Hard Mexican beds don’t allow for a lot of movement during the night.  She cuddles up beside me, and I look down to see her cubby little arms tucked between us.  This morning Mama took her and played with her–letting me get a few extra winks.

At gospel meeting yesterday, she sat up on my lap.  It makes me sad that her papi couldn’t see her.  She was (is) so big!  Her cousins (from the youngest to the oldest) wanted to play with her during meeting.  I remember that, you know.  I loved sitting with my nephews in Omaha.  It gave me something to do other than listen…  Hence the reason why I said, “No” when my very capable niece wanted to hold Ale.

Oh, sweet Ale!  She is so loved!  My suegra (mother-in-law) loves it when her son tells her everyone loves our baby.  It makes me so content and proud to see everyone loving on my baby.  She’s got an important role, I just know it.  There’s a place that she’ll fill someday–maybe just giving unconditional love to God’s children!  Only he knows, but I hope he empowers me us to raise a beautiful, strong, kind, and helpful young woman.

pic collage