Top 10 Signs It’s Almost Christmas

Top 10 Signs It’s Almost Christmas …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

If you’ve interacted with anyone, on-line or IRL, recently, chances are that someone asked you, probably in an overly giddy fashion, “Are you ready for Christmas?!?!,” likely followed by a giggle and a tee-hee.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Top 10 Signs It’s Almost Christmas ...Gina's FavoritesI want to bop those people on the head with one of those giant candy canes, and say, “No, I’m not done shopping, our tree only has lights on one side, we haven’t even taken the photo for our card yet, and there’s still 2 pumpkins and 5 gourds on our mantel that I’m hoping guests think are just oddly shaped Christmas ornaments.”

So, no, I’m not ready for Christmas.

But, ready-or-not, even though we don’t get any snow (it was 61 degrees F here in Los Angeles today), I can tell Christmas is getting close.

Top 10 Signs It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

#10.  We’ve finished eating all of the candy “Santa” bought to stuff the stockings with. Again.

#9.  Our dogs are now producing pine needle-laced poop.

#8.  Our Christmas tree has been knocked over 3 times, fallen mysteriously twice, and been dragged across the living room once by our girl dog.

#7.  Our refrigerator has started making grinding, “I will die if you store Christmas dinner for 30 in here” threatening sounds to mock me.

#6.  All of the red bulbs, and only the red bulbs, on the strands of colorful lights decorating our roof line have stopped working.

#5.  We’ve received touching, heart-felt Christmas cards from each and every realtor within a 50 mile radius from our house.

#4.  My kids are completely covered by a thin, sticky layer of candy cane residue, and they think they have super powers because everything sticks to them.

#3.  My youngest son came out of my bedroom, and announced, “I did not peek at the presents.”

#2.  My pack wore our Christmas stockings to school last week, because I forgot to throw the load of socks into the dryer.

#1.  I’ve spent so much time with the Amazon delivery guy that I think I’m now his common law wife.

I assume he’ll be delivering any children our marriage produces.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Is it looking like Christmas in your neck of the woods?  How can you tell?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

A Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm

A Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm …Gina’s Favorites

#whatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm #whatIwantforChristmas

I want a Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm for Christmas. It been since before most of my children made their grand entrance into my life that I last waltzed into our bathroom, and was not greeted by a naked tube in the toilet paper dispenser.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm ...Gina's Favorites Christmas List

Apparently, I’m the only member of our household who can actually see when the toilet paper tube is empty. I think they all have some sort of Toilet Paper Tube Blindness (TPTB) (no, I did not look it up on WebMD. That would just tell me the toilet paper tube has cancer or Ebola, and I’m sure my family has TPTB).

I’d like a Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm for every bathroom in our house, but I’d be happy with just one for our powder room. It’s the only facilities we have downstairs for off-loading, and, as a result, sees a lot of traffic. Anyone downstairs with even a semi-urgent offloading need, or a touch of laziness, completes his or her transaction in that tiny room.

My children, neighbors, schoolmates, occasionally the FedEx guy. Everyone.

And, not a one of them has ever been able to see the empty toilet paper roll while they were in there.

I don’t think I’ve ever gone into that service center and NOT found supplies to complete the paperwork lacking.

I always pray that the person who last exited had just enough paper to complete his or her transaction in a thorough and business-like manner, and that the roll hasn’t been empty all day. I don’t even want to think about how many visitors to that facility might have selected drip-dry as the final step in their off-loading procedure.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Toilet Paper Deficiency Alarm ...Gina's Favorites Christmas List  The alarm could start with a gentle warning to the bathroom visitor that supplies are approaching a critical level. Perhaps, a soothing tone or calm voice. Nothing like the ear blasting, nerve wracking beep our van emits when its gas gauge drops below ¼ tank. Although, if you are going to get startled to the point of losing control of your faculties, I suppose the bathroom is the best place to do that.

Then, should the facility visitor fail to rectify the provisions problem, warnings could increase in intensity and volume.  The possibilities are endless, really.

Perhaps, an alarm could holler out from inside the dispenser, “Don’t leave me! I’m naked!” when a facility user tries to leave behind an empty tube while exiting the off-loading station.

Or, maybe, an effective way to encourage the loo lazy to replace the roll before making their escape would be for the alarm to use the moment the user’s hand touches the doorknob when the roll is empty to deliver an electrical shock.

It’d just be a small shock.

Probably.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Does your family suffer from Toilet Paper Tube Blindness (TPTB)?  Do you get stuck with re-stocking the loo, too?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #whatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m want to read your #whatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my Something Completely Different…Sort Of post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device …Gina’s Favorites

#whatIwantforChristmas

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device #whatIwantforChristmas

I want a kids’ shoes tracking device for Christmas. We, as in me, spend more time looking for my kids’ shoes than for anything else.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley I Want A Kids’ Shoes Tracking Device ...Gina's Favorites Christmas ListHopefully, the tracking device will come with a setting to help me locate my shoes when one of my kids has “borrowed them” (my black suede boots are particularly prone to “wandering” this time of year, apparently drawn toward the dangerous mystique that is my daughters’ closet).

If the tracking device also has a setting that allowed me to determine whether a child’s missing parka was left at school or on the soccer field, even better.

But, I’d be more than happy with a basic kids’ shoes tracker.

I’m betting Santy Claus has an amazing shoe tracker to keep track of all the elves’ shoes. He could pass that on to me. I don’t mind a little wear and tear, as long as the tracker works, and finds shoes, even if they don’t have pointy toes.

The Jolly Guy needs to realize I’m ready to put out for this, too. And, I’m not just talking cookies and milk.

I’m willing to throw in some very fancy eggnog with a big splash from a very old bottle, just the thing to put some spring back into his step on a long night of deliveries.

As long as I can find the bottle.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you can see all of my #whatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #whatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing my Something Completely Different…Sort Of post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Something Completely Different…Sort Of!!!

Something Completely Different…Sort Of!!!

by Gina Valley

Giggle along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

And Now For Something Completely Different…Sort Of

I’m starting a new tradition, and I’m hoping you’ll all join me.

We all know and love the Facebook November “What I’m Thankful For” schtick (depending on your point of view that may or may not be typed in the sarcasm font).

Now let’s go with something a bit more down to earth and realistic. I’m calling it:

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Something Completely Different…Sort Of!!! Christmas List

25 Days of What I Want For Christmas

#whatIwantforChristmas

*Notice the cool matching hashtag.

This new trend will not only rapidly sweep extra fun and frolic across Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest, it will also have all of the fancy bells and whistles of a full throttle Facebook trend, plus be compatible with Apple, Android, and Google. I’m not sure about LinkedIn. No one’s sure about LinkedIn.

I encourage you to join in for #whatIwantforChristmas. It promises to be great fun, if we all take it lightly, to be steady a source of eye rolls, if taken too seriously, and to be not nearly as creepy as that freaky elf on the shelf dude no matter what. <shudder!!!>

I’m sure you’ve already figured out the idea is to post about one thing you want for Christmas each day in December leading up to Christmas on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or all of them, but let’s fine tune this sucker a little before we get the ball rolling.

What you want for Christmas does not have to be a material or physical thing. For example, I ask for the same thing from my family every year for Christmas: a clean house and obedient children. I think they’ve never given me that because they aren’t sure how to wrap it.

Each thing you want for Christmas should be something somewhat unique to you. For example, we all want Peace on Earth and an end to world hunger. No fair putting that sort of stuff.

You can post about anything you want, but that doesn’t mean you should. My sister once posted about wanting spatulas for Christmas. She has received over 200 spatulas from friends and acquaintances since, and years of ridicule about “aiming high” from me. So, before you post about your love of tube socks, or anything “fellowship” related, think twice.

Got it?

Good.

So without further ado, mainly because I’m not sure what “ado” is, here is the first post for #whatIwantforChristmas:

(you can insert a drumroll here if you are someone who is into flourishes)

I took the most glorious nap today, and all I want for Christmas is another one!  #whatIwantforChristmas

Please, Sir, may I have a nap?

I’ll be leaving out extra cookies for Santy Claus in hopes of scoring this gem this year.

I don’t even care if he wraps it.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Be sure to hook up with me on Facebook and Twitter  and Pinterest so you see all of my #whatIwantforChristmas posts.

I’m looking forward to reading your #whatIwantforChristmas posts, too. Shoot me your Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest links if we aren’t already connected. I’m looking forward to giggling along with you!

Be sure to invite your friends to join in by sharing this post with them on all of your social media spaces.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

The Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!!

The Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!! …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

That Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!!

My go-to crunchy snack of late is almonds. They’re no Cheez Doodles, but they are a healthy choice. They’re low in carbs, high in protein, and yummy.

Usually.

I’ve also started taking a multivitamin. Technically, I’ve always taken multivitamins, but I’m not so good at the pill swallowing thing, so, for the last decade or two, I’ve had those gummy vitamins.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley The Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!! ...Gina's Favorites

My sister, the doctor, recently pointed out that “someone your age should have a much broader spectrum of nutrients in their supplement to aid in brain sharpness than is available in a gummy bear.”

I pointed out that, first of all, they were not gummy bears; they’re gummy vitamins.  And, that my age is 10 years younger than hers.

But, I knew she was right (nobody tell her I said that), so I found a multivitamin with all the bizarre brain sharpness supporting stuff in it she said to take, and I’ve done pretty well swallowing the giant pill each day for the past month. I think I’m almost a grown up now.

When I began this pill-swallowing-act-like-a-grown-up routine, I realized that my stomach was less than welcoming to the giant pill, and quite prone to reject it altogether (and to return it to sender in a most rapid and disgusting manner) if I did not have a little snack right before I swallowed the near-submarine-sized chunk o’ health. So, I usually eat a few almonds when I’m getting ready to trip the pill fantastic.

Today, I grabbed my 12 almonds (yes, I count them. OCD – the gift that keeps giving!), and started munching them while I got out my multivitamin and my fish oil capsules out of their bottles. Yes, I’m becoming quite the health nut (Chocolate is still healthy, right?).

I was just about done with my almonds when I bit into what I thought was an almond, but was clearly a minion of satan.

I immediately wanted to cry out “Something evil this way comes!” but I couldn’t because it tasted so bad I was gagging (and no one was home to hear it anyway, other than our dogs, who have never put anything into their mouth that they didn’t find delicious).

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley The Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!! ...Gina's FavoritesThis taste was worse than the rotten, cherry cough-syrup taste usually gifted to me by the occasional bad nut in each bag (almonds are not technically nuts, but still). It was beyond-this-world horrible.

I gagged. I coughed. I spewed the rancid mess into our kitchen sink.

Then, I gulped from the faucet and swished and gargled and spit in an attempt to rid my mouth of the foul invader.

I was truly a vision of breathtaking femininity.

The nasty nut had crumbled and wedged pieces of itself in between my teeth. I briefly wondered if the power washer we rented to clean off the patio would fit in my mouth or if my dentist would consider opening his office on his day off to blast my teeth with that water jet thing they have.

But, it occurred to me that, were I to bite into some good tasting almonds, the pieces of those yummy almonds would dislodged the pieces of the evil almond, rendering them spit-outable.

Just as I was tossing the last two almonds from my hand into my mouth in an effort to get the foul remnants of the disgusting almond out of my teeth, I remembered the reason I was munching on almonds in the first place. I was preparing my sensitive stomach for the arrival of my multivitamin.  The horrible almond, I realized as the last 2 almonds landed in my mouth, was not an almond at all.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley The Healthy Stuff Will KILL You!!! ...Gina's FavoritesIt was my multivitamin. (how are vitamins good for us when they clearly are made out of evil?!?!)

And, I realized just in time to abort the first chew, those last 2 almonds I’d tossed into my mouth to save me from the evil almond, which was not an almond, were not almonds, either. They were fish oil capsules.

I think the multivitamin is not so much helping with my brain-sharpness.

So, I’m calling my sister, the doctor, to tell her, as soon as I get back from the store.

I’m buying some gummy vitamins.

And, a bag of Cheez Doodles.

They may not be good for me, but at least they’ve never tried to kill me.

Laugh out loud!

-gina

Do you take vitamins? Are you good at swallowing pills? What healthy stuff do you do? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

My Dad’s Dadisms …Gina’s Favorites

My Dad’s Dadisms …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

It’s hard for me to believe it’s already been a month since my dad was killed in an accident. I will never get over losing him, but my family and I are slowly beginning to heal.

Happy, funny memories like the ones that inspired this Gina’s Favorites post about him help a lot with that process.

Smile along with me.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley My Dad's Dadisms ...Gina's Favorites

Top 10 Ways to Be A REAL Dad

My dad’s a pretty amazing guy.  In fact, the older I get, the smarter he gets!

He’s truly got this whole dad-thing down. You can’t find a better example. If you’re wondering what you need to be a real dad for the long haul, let him help you out:

#10.  You’ll need to develop a unique linguistic style. My dad has his own language. He’s the only person I know who uses phrases like “Dab gum it!” or “Don’t be a panty waist!” (I’m still not sure what that means exactly, but I always took it to mean “Quit your whining and move your arse”).

#9.  You’ll need to be consistent. Every April 1st my dad goes out to check my mom’s car’s tires, because every April 1st my mom tells him, as an April Fool’s joke, that her car has a flat. Even though he usually remembers it’s April 1st long before he gets to her car, he still checks. Just to be sure. Then, he goes back in the house and plays a joke on my mom. I’m predicting fake dog deposits this year, as they have a new puppy.

#8.  You’ll need to develop quality control systems. My dad reloads the dishwasher after I load it. Every time. Even at my house. Of course, I do the same thing to him. Apple. Tree. All that.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley My Dad's Dadisms ...Gina's Favorites#7.  You’ll need to find your center. My dad is the most even-keeled guy I know. I’ve seen him get his finger caught in an electric auger and barely raise his voice. I screamed at my kids for letting the dog eat the Parmesan cheese last night (in my defense, the dog had run all over our house shaking the container as he went, thoroughly garnishing our home with a fine cheese coating. Nothing like a well garnished home to produce a “scream at someone” kind of moment).

#6.  You’ll need duct tape and a tool belt. My dad can fix anything. Anything. If he doesn’t have the needed tool he’ll get it. If they don’t make the tool, he’ll make it himself. I’ve never heard my dad say “I can’t fix that.” He looks at stuff differently, through Dad-vision glasses. I might see a former seating device, he sees a perfectly good chair that just needs 2 legs, an arm, a back, and a seat.

#5.  You’ll need a rod and reel. My dad’s an amazing fisherman. If there’s a fish in the lake, he’ll bring it home for dinner. I’m a pretty amazing fisherperson myself. If there’s wild caught salmon at Costco, I’ll wrassle a package into my cart every time.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley My Dad's Dadisms ...Gina's Favorites#4.  You’ll need to speak “auto” and carry a big wrench. My dad is The Car-Whisperer. He’s rebuilt engines himself, left out a couple pieces, and still made it hum like new. I, on the other hand, am The Car-Killer. I’ve had cars burst into flames just because I thought about being on time to a meeting.

#3.  You’ll need to be a nutritionist. My dad always makes sure people get just what they need to eat. When my eldest child was only a few months old, my dad knew he needed some ice cream, and made sure he got some. I admit I wasn’t completely supportive of the idea at the time, but the fact that he chose Rocky Road to feed my little toothless wonder might have impacted my opinion.

#2.  You’ll need to be a chef of haute cuisine. When I was a child and my dad would cook a meal, he always cooked everything in one pan. When we’d ask why he didn’t use separate pans for different foods, he’d reply, “Why? It’s all going to the same place.” Often, when I survey the mountain of pots and pans I’ve dirtied making dinner, I see the wisdom in my dad’s method.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley My Dad's Dadisms ...Gina's Favorites#1.  You’ll need to realize that your kids will always be your kids. My dad still dad’s me to this day, even as I have kids of my own. He makes sure I have a coat on when it’s cold. He reminds me to drive safely. He tells me I need to eat more protein. In other words, he loves me.

Take a page from my dad, and you’ll be amazing.

And, no, you don’t have a flat tire.  Probably.

Well, you better go check.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What do you see in the dads in your life?  What dadisms should I add to my list?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

DadSpeaks …Gina’s Favorites

DadSpeaks …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

It’s hard for me to believe it’s already been a month since my dad was killed in an accident. I will never get over losing him, but my family and I are slowly beginning to heal.

Happy, funny memories like the ones that inspired this Gina’s Favorites post about him help a lot with that process.

Smile along with me.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley DadSpeaks …Gina’s FavoritesDadSpeak

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but the detail oriented scientist in me has observed that dads and moms have some differences.

Perhaps you’ve noticed.

For example, around our house, mom (me!) includes something green with every meal she prepares, even if it’s just chocolate kisses in green foil wrappers.

Dad (The Professor), on the other hand, includes cheese with every meal he prepares. He never includes green, even on St. Patrick’s Day. He’s a meatetarian, so he doesn’t want to chance ingesting a plant part.

Mom insists The Pack is dressed appropriately, in outfits that are at least close to matching, and are unmistakably clean. Dad is happy with Pack attire as long as there aren’t any parts hanging out that shouldn’t be.

In our house mom tends to be very direct and to the point, i.e. “No, you may not wear that.  You look like a hooker.” Dad tends to be a bit more tangential, i.e. “Did your mom see that outfit? Are you going to a costume party? I thought you had school today.”

I guess everyone’s parents have their own way of communicating. I know mine do. My mom bakes a different cake for us every single day while we visit. She’s taught my kids to sew and to garden. She tells me how beautiful I am, even when I look like something the cat dragged in, thought better of it, and dragged back out again.

My dad takes a different approach to communicating.

My dad is the sweetest man alive.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley DadSpeaks …Gina’s Favorites

While I visited my parents last winter I needed to drive from their tiny mountain village to the closest big city to pick up The Professor from the airport.

My dad wanted to serve as my chauffeur, as he usually does while I visit, but that would have left my mom, who suffers from Parkinson’s Disease, home alone with 9 grandchildren and no one to help her.

Nevertheless, he was quite concerned about me making the long, snowy drive, as he knows I’m a SoCal beach girl and don’t often drive in isolated areas, much less snowy ones.

He told me to wear my tennis shoes for the afternoon drive to the airport.  “You’ll be more comfortable,” he said.

He packed my boots and coat in his car for me. “You never know if the car is going to break down and you’ll need them if it does,” he said.

He sent a water bottle with me. “It’s cold so it’s easy to forget to stay hydrated and you’ll be gone for 3 or 4 hours,” he said.

He told me to park on the second level of the parking structure at the airport, in the back, on the street side. “That way you will have the shortest walk to the terminal,” he said.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley DadSpeaks …Gina’s Favorites

He demonstrated to me how to work the heater in his car. “You don’t want to over-heat,” he said.

He showed me where the light control switch was located. “It’ll be starting to get dark before you get there,” he said.

He reminded me to use the car mirrors as I backed his car out of his garage. “Use your mirrors. Use your mirrors!” he said.

He was looking out the window when I returned to his house.

He worried about me the whole time I was gone. “The roads get slick here. Black ice can sneak up on you,” he said.

He carried in my coat and my boots from his car. “You’ll want these for your walk in the morning. They’ll be warmer when you put them on if we bring them into the house,” he said.

What he really said, each and every time, was that he loves me.

My dad is “Papa” to 18 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren,

but he will always be my dad.

Love you, dad!

-gina

How does/did your dad tell you that he loves you? How do you tell other people you care about them? Are the male cooks in your life cheese-dependent? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Who ARE These People? …Gina’s Favorites

Who ARE These People? …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

It’s hard for me to believe it’s already been a month since my dad was killed in an accident. I will never get over losing him, but my family and I are slowly beginning to heal.

Happy, funny memories like the ones that inspired this Gina’s Favorites post about him and my mom help a lot with that process. Honestly, just reading this makes me cry, but I’m smiling, too. He was a great dad and grand-dad. I was blessed.

Smile along with me.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Who ARE These People? …Gina’s FavoritesWho ARE These People?

I try to take my kids the 1400-ish miles to visit my parents a couple times a year.

But I can’t.

We can go to their house.  We can visit the people who live there and look just like my parents.  But they are not my parents.

I don’t know who these people are, but they are not my parents.

My mom never baked a “Cake of the Day,” or, right before bedtime, or anytime for that matter, never encouraged us to “Have another big piece of cake or two to finish it up” because there’ll be a new cake baked in the morning.  Today’s Cake of The Day was chocolate, by the way.

My parents never let the dog sleep in our rooms, much less our beds.  Heck, our dogs were rarely allowed to hang out indoors at all.  I know my parents would never let their giant golden retriever beg for and receive food from the dinner table.  And breakfast table.  And lunch table.  And snack table.

My parents never said that we could “watch whatever you like” on TV, or “Let’s watch another movie. You can sleep in if you’re too tired in the morning.”  I grew up under the impression that staying up late and sleeping in was a character flaw.  These people encourage everyone in the house to do it, and occasionally join in themselves.  Who are they?

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Who ARE These People? …Gina’s FavoritesMy parents never loaded us into the car for a trip, be it to Grandma’s house, Disneyland, or the mall, after 5:00AM.  Usually, 4:00AM was the goal.  We were told we “have to get an early start” so often that I thought it was a federal law.  These people scoffed at the idea of waking my kids before 8:00AM to start packing up our van for our trip.  “Let them sleep,” they said.  “They’re young.  They need to sleep.”  What?

My parents would never hire someone to bring in a crane to remove a couple of the 150 foot tall pine trees in the forest in their “backyard” to make a better sledding run.  I believe we were told to “steer around” any obstacles in our path while sledding.  Steer around?  How do you steer around?  Does that mean bounce off? ‘Cause that’s what we did!

My dad would never make a tool for girls who don’t want to touch the fish they just caught to hold up their quarry for a photo without having to touch the slimy, flapping thing.  I was told that slime was good for my skin and would keep them soft.  As I recall my soft hands stank for a week after each fishing trip.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Who ARE These People? …Gina’s FavoritesMy parents would never say that children shouldn’t help with chores while they’re visiting their grandparents.  I don’t know who these people are who keep singing the “They’re on vacation.  They don’t have to help,” refrain every time I tell one of my kids to take out the trash or to clear the table, but I know they aren’t my parents.

My parents would never have a candy dish they constantly refill throughout the day so as to ensure children had an unending source of sugar readily available to them.  I don’t know who these people are who laugh about the trail of candy wrappers through their house, and say, “Isn’t that Sweet?”  Isn’t that sweet?  I don’t know.  I’m too confused to think.  I remember candy wrapper dropping costing me candy privileges for a week when I was a kid.

They don’t mind feet on the couch or toys everywhere, and just said, “We can vacuum tomorrow!”

Who are these people? And can I get that chocolate cake recipe?

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Did your parents morph into different people, too, when they became grandparents?  Shoot me a comment.  I’d love to hear all about it!

Where Did My Cool Go? …Gina’s Favorites

Where Did My Cool Go? …Gina’s Favorites

by Gina Valley

I’ve spelled my own name wrong three times already this morning. So, it seems fitting that my Where Did My Cool Go? post make an appearance for Throwback Day this week. Heaven knows my cool is nowhere to be found!
Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Where Did My Cool Go?

I’m not cool.

I realized that today.

I suppose, on some level, I’ve known it for a while, but today it became glaringly clear. Because today, I realized I have become my father.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where Did My Cool Go? ...Gina's Favorites

Don’t get me wrong. There’re a lot of cool things about my father. My dad is a great guy. He’s funny and smart and giving.  I’d love to turn into that part of my dad. But, I didn’t.

….

I’d just finished installing a new kitchen faucet.

We’d had to get a new kitchen faucet, because the old one had fallen apart. You had to use a pair of locking pliers just to turn the thing on, water temperature was a gamble, and it vibrated so much when the water flowed that dirty dishes kept bouncing off the counter.

So, we’d headed to our friendly, neighborhood, giant home improvement store (I’ve always thought running water in the kitchen improved any home) to get a new kitchen faucet set.

Some of the faucets were so expensive I wondered if they magically cleaned dishes all by themselves. The Professor took one look at the wall of water wonders, and announced he refused to pay more for this faucet than he did for his first car.

We picked the one that was in our budget, and looked like it could handle having our kids tie the dog to it without breaking off. The fact that it supposedly had an anti-fingerprint finish just made us giggle. I was sure our kids would accept that challenge. They’re very competitive. No faucet was going beat them.

….

So, there I stood in our kitchen, putting away my tools and looking at our newly installed faucet, when I heard someone say, “That’s a beautiful faucet.”

I looked around, and realized I was the only one there. And, not only had I said, “That’s a beautiful faucet,” I really thought that faucet was beautiful.

I flashed back to holding the tools while my dad installed a new kitchen faucet in my childhood home when I was a teenager. I remembered him saying, while he polished it with a cloth, “That’s a beautiful faucet.” I remembered thinking how that was further proof my dad was totally uncool.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Where Did My Cool Go? ...Gina's FavoritesAnd, here I was, decades later, riding the same train of uncoolness. Today’s stop was “Admiring household plumbing fixtures.” I could only wonder whether tomorrow’s stop would be listening to Muzak, wearing sensible shoes, or buying high-waisted, polyester pants (as I typed that I thought, “at least those things don’t ever wrinkle,” and felt myself drift ever further away from cool).

When did this happen? When did I lose my cool?

I related my tale of uncoolness-woe to my friend, Vernice. I told her that I felt disheartened and aged beyond my years, because I found new kitchen plumbing fixtures exciting. I wondered aloud if it was because I have children. Had they taken my cool as well as my last functioning brain cell? Vernice nodded along, sympathetically.

“Well, you know…,” my wise friend began.

I can always count on Vernice, and her sage advice to keep me on course. I knew she’d know just what to say to help me get my cool back.

“…that really is a beautiful faucet.”

Apparently, Vernice has turned into my father, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you feel less than cool? Have you surprised yourself lately? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Stuck In the Car All Day

Stuck In the Car All Day

by Gina Valley

I’m hanging out with the fun folks over at Voiceboks today, laughing about what transpires when we’re stuck in the car all day with our family on a road trip. I hope you’ll click on over and join me there.

Here’s snippet of the giggles you’ll find there:

Great Things About Being Stuck In The Car All Day

School starts soon in our neck of the woods. I thought it’d be fun to squeeze in a quick, end of summer road trip to see the actual woods before school slips fully into gear. So, we, my pack and I, will be spending a couple days in the car.

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Stuck In the Car All Day Road TripSome people complain about being stuck in the car all day. In fact, many of the people in our car complain about being stuck in the car all day. And, I’m not just talking about the kids.

But, I consider myself to be a positive person most of the time, or at least when I’ve had enough sleep, or have mysteriously lost a pound, despite eating more chocolate the night before than I’m willing to admit to. And, positive person that I am, I can see many great things about being stuck in the car all day.

First of all, there’s no need to nag children to do their chores. They have no chores. They’re stuck in the car. It’s wonderful to have a break from that source of stress. Now granted, there are still a few things that need to be done, even when we’re in transit all day. But, the closest thing we have to doing dishes and vacuuming is throwing out Happy Meal bags, and brushing crumbs off of the seat and out the door.

Plus, when you’re in the car all day you get to play everyone’s favorite travel game Guess Which Side The Next Nose-Picker Will Drive By On. This simple game is great fun for all ages, from toddler to grandparent, and everyone in between. It does require some concentration, as nosepickers tend to race by at top speed (Why are nose pickers always in such a hurry? Is there some sort of Nose Pickers Anonymous meeting they’re all late for? I hope they don’t greet each other with a handshake).

Humor Funny Humorous Family Life Love Laugh Laughter Parenting Mom Moms Dad Dads Parenting Child Kid Kids Children Son Sons Daughter Daughters Brother Brothers Sister Sisters Grandparent Grandma Grandpa Grandparents Grandfather Grandmother Parenting Gina Valley Stuck In the Car All Day Road TripWhen you spend all day in the car, no matter where you go, eventually you’ll see some cows. I think the highway department sticks a herd out next to the highway every hundred miles or so to help keep things interesting. But, the great thing about cows is, if you do it just right, when you moo at them, they’ll moo back at you.

I learned that as a kid. We took lots of road trips. My dad would moo at the cows every time we saw some. Every time he did it, the cows would moo back at him, and my mom would say, “Stop that, Gino! You don’t even know what you’re saying to them.” From the way he’d smile, I think maybe he did know.

Spending the day stuck in the car is also a great way to ensure your children will behave well…a few years down the road. At some point during any all-day driving experience, every child falls asleep. If you make a point to snap tons of great Look How Funny You Looked Sleeping Sitting Up pictures, you’ll find them to be very useful for blackmailing your children when they become teenagers…

Click on over to Voiceboks to see all of my Great Things About Being Stuck In the Car All Day post.

And, remember, as always, the extra click to counts as cardio.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

What “games” does your family play while stuck in the car? Do you have a favorite road trip memory? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing what you have to say.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission.