I Just Gotta Be Me!

I think I’ve found the cure for the problems in the world . . . at least in our personal interactions with others. I’ve recently gotten my DNA analysed by two different companies. I did this to see if they both manage to pretty much match . . . and they did. I’m authentic!

Anyway, the results were surprising and exploded into thin air all the myths I have held as to where I came from re. my ancestry. In fact, the second analysis went into more detail showing every ‘hit’ contained in my DNA even if it wasn’t as dominant as the major ones.

Well, I’m not as German as I thought although it is in evidence. I am, however, very British, Scandinavian, and Irish. The second DNA testing broke things down even further and showed every ‘hit’ that revealed some minor bit of ancestry. Turns out I have a bit of Middle Eastern, Jewish, and Native American in my genetic makeup. Seems my background hits some of the hot buttons on current relations in the world. Obviously, there were some moments where animosity didn’t enter into  ancestral relationships.

It made me think that is the liberal world, I could either be praised (although I had nothing to do with it!) for being what I am and dealing with such conflict in my make up. Or I could be denounced for not going forth and proclaiming something or other (I don’t know what as I am not liberal!) about how I’m dealing with this internal conflict. Hey, I was happy with being me before the DNA results and can’t see being unhappy after the DNA results.

So, I think everyone in the world should have their DNA checked and unless you are totally pure in whatever ethnic group you determine to be optimal, you learn to accept everyone for what they are now and forget about the nuances in breeding except for the fun of having a conversation about it.

Fashion Myths of Summer

Fashion Myths of Summer
Barbara M. Barthelette

1. Only about a tenth of a percent of the population can go around with a bare midriff without looking fat . . . I have yet to see that person.

2. Tank tops may be considered ‘cool’ but exposed and dingy underwear straps are not.

3. Sleeveless exposes arm pits, an unattractive but necessary part of our anatomy. Clothing should leave some mystery in life!

4. Shorts cut your view of the leg off right at the fattest part of your leg . . .making even a thin thigh take on the illusion of ‘greatness’!

5. You don’t look elegant trying to sit in a short skirt without exposing your underwear – you look like you are trying to sit in a short skirt without exposing your underwear!

6. Would you object to being forced to stroll along the beach in your under wear? Why, then, would you voluntarily do so in a swimsuit with even less fabric?

7. If you pen your boy friend’s telephone number on your wrist, it will be washed off long before you break up. If you tattoo his name on your rump, you will spend your life after break up doing a lot of sitting.

8. Tight clothing never makes you look thin. Think overstuffed sausage here!

9. Skin-tight jeans show off every figure flaw – reread number one above.

10. If people can guess whether you are wearing underwear or not, you are either not wearing enough or you need less flimsy clothing.

11. Chewing gum is not a fashion statement. In Germany, it is called kau gummi (pronounced cow gummy) which seems to fit so draw your own conclusions when your jaws start snapping.

12. If you attract someone because of what you expose, what happens when your personality surfaces?

Did You Happen to See Where My Budget Went?

Budget, Children, and Uncooperative Husbands
by Barbara M. Barthelette

Budget has been a constant in our life as a one-income family. And even though we were offering up the ‘freedom’ of the outside workplace, God still saw fit to send us crosses particular to our station in life. I look back on those days with some nostalgia but am pretty sure I would rather not have to actually return to some of those mommy moments! Here is a particular memory on trying to maintain children and a budget!

We all have a sock basket of some sort. You know, the place we put the socks that come through the wash minus the mate they were made for! Our cross is that we will never match them all up, we will never get to the bottom of the sock basket and we will often find socks we don’t remember ever inviting into our homes. The size of the cross depends on the size of your sock basket!

Cooking can be a cross when it is days before payday and you have to be creative, not only in what you make but what you tell the children it is so they will eat it! That is why lids were invented for pots so family can’t come in and get preconceived notions about dinner.

Coupons for grocery shopping and special sales stretch the budget but can be a cross for the family. “Why do the fish still have their heads on?” They were on sale because they were cross-eyed. The store had to leave them on to make sure the customer knew this before buying. “How come you didn’t buy potato chips?” Goes back to the Irish potato famine. Still a shortage of potatoes. Check your history book.

Paper towels are a necessity in the kitchen. I usually end up with an empty roll and find ‘used’ paper towels all over the house. There were thirty paper towels, precisely separated and laid out on the floor from back door to bedroom. “We were pretending the floor was a deep river and the paper towels are stepping stones!” A sudden yell for help from the bathroom that there is a flood quickly tells me what they tried to use the rest of the paper towels for! They had used up the bathroom tissue to reenact The Mummy.

I keep trying to come up with time-saving, money-saving ideas to run my home happily yet frugally. I considered giving each person a sock basket of their own but quickly realized I would then probably have six or more baskets full of socks. I mean, what are the chances they would ever compare the contents of their respective sock collections?

I tried starting a rumor that potato chips were made from creamed zucchini, carrots and turnips but my gang figure that if it is fried, it can’t be all bad.

I tried assigning each their own roll of bathroom tissue. I thought I had a system figured out. I would keep written records and the stuff under lock and key. I would check out a roll to each person, initial and date the inside of the tube and make note of the distribution in my notebook. When they brought me their empty cardboard roll, I would check the first date, the date returned and give counseling on waste not, want not as needed. It didn’t get off the ground, My husband wouldn’t cooperate on this one. He said that if we weren’t a one-income family with mismatched socks and on a budget, he would take me on a long, long restful vacation.

Shrinking and Expanding Houses – Chapter From Motherhood

Shrinking and Expanding Houses
Chapter from Motherhood
by Barbara M. Barthelette

One of the most common complaints I hear from other mothers is that there is not enough room in their houses. They are desperately trying to keep track of all the ins and outs of managing a home and budget and space seems to aggravate everything. Or should I say, the lack thereof? No matter how large a home may look when you purchase it, the family soon crowds every corner and cubby hole. Bare floor area is at a premium.

We moved to a bigger home years ago. In the process of moving, we gave away sixty bags of used, outgrown items and disposed of sixty bags of trash. I estimate it took all of five minutes in the new home to replenish it all. But even though the floor space seemed to be shrinking, mathematically, I realized this could not be true. After considerable thought I have come to the conclusion that houses expand in order to accommodate all that is brought into them on an almost daily basis. The whole earth is getting larger even as I type.

Now this expansion is not readily visible to the naked, uninformed eye, but once you start thinking about it, you begin to see this for yourself. Every week we go shopping for one reason or the other. Necessities of life don’t make themselves known in one shopping trip. In the course of all these excursions, we often buy other items, bring them home and put them away. And every time we do so, we always manage to find a place to put the stuff. Why? Because houses expand to meet our expectations! And, because everyone is going through the same process, the yards and streets accommodate the changes. Have you ever gone back to an old neighborhood and were surprised at how small it is in relation to how large it seemed when you lived there? That is because you moved all your stuff to another location. And why do you find it harder to run around the block now than when you were a child? Simply because of house expansion.
It seems to me that since this may turn out to top global warming as a problem, I have started to work at reducing the expansion problems in my own home and hope, by example, to encourage others to take this matter seriously.

The rule now is that before any new item enters the house (other than the edible variety), a resident item has to leave. Although it sounded like it would work, children aren’t into concepts. They were acquiring expansion-oriented possessions and disposing of microscopic articles. There was no balance and I could almost hear the walls creak as they enfolded each new acquisition. I knew the battle was lost he day my daughter dragged in a large, storage trunk for her room. With a defeated sigh, I asked her what she was going to do with that? She cheerfully replied, “Oh, I am going to put stuff in it!” I guess accumulation is an inborn tragedy acquired at birth. I remember taking this daughter home from the hospital in a simple sleeper and blanket. As I exited the hospital room, the nurse handed me several bags of stuff for the baby.

The Demise of Willard – from Barbara’s Memory Book

We had a rat in our garage. We named him Williard and then went shopping for whatever it would take to close down Williard. A few days later, I was coming in the garage and there was Williard, passed on to his final reward. I called the children to view the body. My older daughter wanted to know why I wanted them to see a dead rat. Before I could say anything, she answered herself and said, “I guess it was to give us closure.”!

Barbara’s Mommy Chronicles – You Know It is Time to Hang up the Telephone When . . .

Can I come in, please?

You Know It is Time to Hang up the Telephone When . . .
By Barbara M. Barthelette

1. The children seem taller and older.
2. The children have not bothered you for the last half hour.
3. The children have bothered you for the last half hour.
4. The seasons seem to be changing.
5. There is more than one newspaper on the driveway.
6. You run out of crackers to hand out to keep peace and order while you are on the telephone.
7. You notice bicycle tire tracks on the kitchen floor.
8. Dust starts to settle on you!
9. You discover the children have invited Jehovah Witnesses and a couple of Mormons into the living room.
10. You husband walks in from work with bags of fast food because he knows. .

Barbara’s Mommy Chronicles – The Abbreviated Version

I awake in the a.m. and retire in the p.m. I live in the year some thing or other AD. As far as I am concerned those are about all the initials I need in my life. Life, however, doesn’t agree on this point. Each day finds me deciphering mysterious sets of letters that represent actual people, places and things.

I am trying not to be paranoid but I feel like I am constantly on a game show of some sort. The representative initials can hit without warning. It is up to me to successfully translate their meaning before I can continue with my life. Initials, lone letters of the alphabet loom on the horizon of my sanity. Try as I might to avoid them, they invade when least expected and I have to immediately struggle with a translation in order to keep up.

I arrive at morning Mass in the a.m. and soon hear that the RCIA will meet that evening. CCD will take place on Monday afternoon. It is suggested that all attending these meetings get there ASAP. They probably divulge the newest sets of initials early on in the program so one doesn’t want to be late.

As Mass progresses, if I find anything out of the ordinary, I am told to refer to the last meeting of the NCCB.

I return home, slowing at RR crossings. I discover the sprinkler system is on the blink and will require PVC piping PDQ or we will have a flood. On the way to the garden shop, the radio DJ tells me it will be warm and sunny. Pretty long words to be used by someone with a two-letter name.

At the store, I experience a delay as the IBM system seems to be down and they are having trouble getting through with the AT&T. The clerk gives me a bright smile and apologizes for the SNAFU!

My busy day requires visits to both an MD and a DDS. Good thing I am not a PhD or I might spend more time than necessary trying to figure out why.
When I get home, I get my mail and find letters from AARP and advertisements from BMW. There is also an invitation to a BYOB party. I feel the strain of the day setting in and decide that I won’t care about finding out what a BYOB party entails. The sender provided a SASE so I could RSVP promptly.

An evening in front of the television sounds brain-numbing enough for an over-abbreviated person. I tune in just a they show pictures of UFO’s on the news. And the same story appears on ABC, CBS and NBC. A semi-interesting documentary on the life span of a bat suddenly informed it’s viewers that it was being shown on PBS.

A video selection begins with a soldier who is AWOL. The newspaper has the ACLU defending someone again. I make a deliberate effort to calm myself and think in well-spelled out, whole words because I know if I really start emoting at this point, I will pass out . . . and someone will probably start CPR.