Oh To Be Young Again…Or Godzilla!!!

Oh To Be Young Again…Or Godzilla!!!

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Oh To Be Young…Or Godzilla!!!

I took two of my sons with me to the gym today.

They wanted to go.  I should have realized that was a bad sign.

I’ve been wanting to take them with me for a while now, so I could teach them how to use the equipment correctly.

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 Oh To Be Young Again…Or Godzilla!!! Working Out GymSo they would be safe.

So they would be knowledgeable.

So they would not need to go to the Emergency Room.

It seemed like a good idea.

The only problem was they didn’t seem to realize what a truly horrible place the gym is.

They had a great time.

I tried to explain to them that it was not a fun playground, no matter how much fun they thought they were having. I reminded them that gyms are such accursed places that they put them in prisons.

They are, apparently, too young to realize that the elliptical trainer is not a fun racing simulator, but actually punishment  for years of starting dinner with Oreo’s instead of salads.

They thought weighing themselves on the super accurate, right-there-in-front-of-everyone scale was a hoot. They even tried standing on it in different ways in an effort to make themselves heavier. Heavier.

I wouldn’t weigh myself on that scale even if there was a blackout and everyone in the gym was blind.

They weren’t the least bit self-conscious or uncomfortable, as they climbed onto the leg press machine, despite needing to contort themselves into what appears to be a gynecological exam position, with their knees nearly in their ears.

I blush every time I use that machine. They laughed and discussed whether tooting would provide them with enough jet propulsion to lift another 20 pounds (I’ve been victim to their tooting. It could easily lift another 40).

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 Oh To Be Young Again…Or Godzilla!!! Working Out GymI came home feeling like I was dying and wishing I could take a nap. I wondered if I could just melt into our sofa.

They came home energized and ready to go for a run. They jogged around our block twice before coming into our house.

I was too tired to even mix my protein drink.

They made it for me, and then dashed out to re-arrange our garage. They were excited about doing some more lifting.

I could hear them laughing and joking as they moved around the heavy boxes and tools.

When they came in, they asked me if we could go to the gym again tomorrow.

Before school.

When it opens.

At 5:30 AM.

I think this is why Godzilla steps on young people.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Do you have any overly enthusiastic gym-mates? Do your children like to work out? Does lifting a fork full of food to your mouth really burn calories?  Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it. And, I can’t get off of the sofa.

Photos courtesy of Dreamstime.com – Used with permission.

Amazon Ships Water Buffalos, Right?

Amazon Ships Water Buffalos, Right?

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this Gina’s Favorites post.

Does Amazon Ship Water Buffalos?

There are a lot of different answers I expect to hear when I ask one of my children “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?

Just pack and shower and find the bag of hamster food.”  Isn’t that all you needed to do in the first place?

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 Amazon Ships Water Buffalos, Right? TravelDo I have to bring underwear and socks?”  No, but you’ll have to ride in a trash bag, strapped to the roof of the plane.

I don’t see why I have to go.  I’m missing the party of the year.”  That’s another reason you have to come with us.

I can’t find any of my left shoes.”  How are your hopping skills?

What trip?”  The one we have been discussing in secret family meetings for the last 3 months, so we could keep it from you, just to mess you up.

These are but a few of the multitude of variations I’ve heard.  In fact, I think the only answer I have never heard to the question “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?” is “Nothing.  I’m all ready to go.”  I haven’t even heard that when we are on the plane at 25000 feet halfway to our destination.  We usually get home from a trip before we’re all ready to go.

But, of all the answers my pack has given me, I realized there was one other answer none of them had ever given me before.  Until last night:

I said to Son#1, my eldest, most organized, best shot at being ready-to-go offspring, “What do you still need to do to be ready for our trip?”

And, he said, “Find my pet snake.”

Find my pet snake?

I opened my eyes wider than I thought was possible.  “Find her?  When did you lose her?” I asked in what was not a completely calm voice.

“Four days ago. She was there when I went to bed, but she was gone when I woke up,” Son#1 answered way too calmly.  “I kind of forgot to lock her tank.  But, just that one time.  I always lock it.”

Son#1 had been asking for a pet snake for…I don’t know exactly how long… I think since he learned how to talk.

He is, in general, very responsible and careful with pets.  His dog, Trixie passed away recently, and he gently cared for her through the end.  He has a pet catfish that he got several years ago when it was 1 ½ inches long.  It’s now nearly 2 ½ feet long, and eats fish that are 5 or 6 inches long for lunch. When I was a kid I couldn’t keep a fish alive long enough to get it home from the store.

So, he’s good with pets.  Usually.  Excluding this “left the tank unlocked just this one time” thing.

“Four days ago?” I asked, remembering all of the guests and pop-in holiday visitors we’d hosted over the past 4 days.  I thought about what would have happened if the snake had shown up in the bathroom while my mother-in-law was in there…processing.  It wouldn’t have been pretty.  She’s from the Old Country.  She’d have made us Snake Stew without batting an eye.

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 Amazon Ships Water Buffalos, Right? Travel

“When,” I asked, “were you planning to tell me this?”

After I found her,” Son#1 answered. “That’s why I cleaned out my whole room yesterday.”

Great.  Another myth shattered.  First, I find out this Santa thing is a farce.  Now the Tale of the Cleans His Room For No Reason Kid is debunked. What’s next? Is someone gonna tell me that chocolate doesn’t burn calories?  Oh the humanity!

I stood there wondering where the snake was, and blaming my sister.

This reptile was just the latest in a string of critters she’s added to our family.  I remember the ducklings she’d delivered one Easter, and the water turtle that showed up for a birthday. Of course, there was the time 2 baby hamsters traveled the skies in Son#2’s back pack on his return flight from visiting with her.  I can hardly believe the TSA x-ray guy didn’t even say anything about them.  She’d sent the snake home with Son#1 after our last visit.

How was I supposed to explain to our house sitter, who had already expressed less than great joy at the prospect of living in the same house as the snake for a week, that she might want to double check under the covers before climbing into the guest room bed each night?  I shuddered at the thought that I should have been doing that the last 3 nights and didn’t know it.

Clearly, I’d need to mention a bonus first, then tell our house sitter about the free-range reptile.  Hopefully, she’d still be willing to take the job.  Otherwise, I hated to think what the odds were of coming up with a good house sitter at the last minute the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

But, there was no time to panic.

So, I decided to handle this like the mature adult I am.

I’ll get out our Maglite and start searching the house.

And, I’m shipping a pregnant water buffalo to my sister.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Had any pet trouble?  How did you handle it?  How do you feel about snakes?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photos courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

Spray Away!!!

Spray Away!!! …Gina’s Favorites 

by Gina Valley

Laugh along with this timely Gina’s Favorites post.

Spray Away For The Holiday

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Remember when your pre-school kids brought home macaroni frames and sea shells magically transformed by gold spray paint?  Well, that still works.  A can or 2 or 30 of gold (or silver) spray paint  can transform your home, change your life, and have you totally ready for the holidays before lunch.

What, you might wonder, can one spray paint gold, besides macaroni frames and sea shells?

Well, the traditionalists will tell you to blast some pines cones to place in a large glass bowl for an elegant look.  That does look nice, but I say “Why stop there?”

Kitchen buried in crusty dishes?  Spray paint those suckers.  Now you have charger plates each with a custom, handmade 3-dimensional design.  Macy’s will probably call you with an order for 1000 of them.

Mountain of laundry besieging your washing machine?  No problem.  Arrange the olfactory offenders into various sizes of conical piles.  Blast them with your can of magic gold-ness (this might require more than one coat), and you’ll be left with an entire forest of handmade, fabric Christmas trees to distribute throughout your home and yard.  Talk about classy décor!

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 Spray Away ...Gina's Favorites

Got a lazy teen?  Or two?  Do you have to put a mirror under his nose to check for condensation just to be sure he hasn’t passed on to that great messy bedroom in the sky, because he’s been prone on the living room sofa for 22 hours?  Spray him! Don’t worry, he’ll likely sleep through the whole thing and Christmas and New Year’s.  Your guests will be so impressed with how life-like the new sculpture in your living room is.

Cobwebs in the corners make you feel like you’re closer to Halloween, than a visit from St. Nick?  No worries.  A light spraying, and you’ve turned those bug catchers into delicate gold garland.

Did your 3 year old stain the fancy dress your mother-in-law sent her before she’d even worn it?  Gold that thing up, and you’ll take it from “stained” to “lamé -d.”

Living room rug speckled with stains?  Spray paint a large circle over each one, for a festive, new flooring up date.  Or, for a totally new, easy to clean look, spray paint the whole carpet – wall-to-wall .  It’ll  look holiday-delicious and you can hose away spills.

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 Spray Away ...Gina's Favorites

How about your yard?  Landscaping looking like the Munster’s house?  Pots filled with dead daisies?  Brown lawn?  Bent flamingoes?  Nothing a couple cans of gold spray paint can’t fix.  Let loose with the golds of spray paint land, and change barren into lushness, change dreary into opulence.

No time to wrap gifts?  Spray them.

Cat make some hairballs?  Spray them.

Spouse balding?  Spray him.

Sagging patio furniture?  Dented mail box?  Dingy guest towels?  Spray.  Spray.  Spray!!!

And, if Martha Stewart or the president of you HOA shows up at your door to complain about your efforts, spray paint her, too.

Laugh Out Loud!

-gina

Anything in your life that could use a good spraying?   When do you put up your decorations?  Shoot me a comment.  I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

Photo courtesy of Stock.xchng – Used with permission

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

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