Category Archives: Childhood

Random Ramblings

Just a few, unrelated and utterly irrelevant thoughts I have had recently….

I’m kind of a sucker for those sites that post decadent dessert recipes on Facebook. It infuriates me, however, when “Easy” is in the title, however. Thing is, if I’m going to make and then of course consume said dessert, it is not in my belly fat’s best interest for it to be “easy” to make. The recipe should include ingredients you have to work for, like a specific kind of berry only found on the top of the Rocky Mountains. Or honey that has to be tapped from a specific maple tree located deep in the forest. Or corn meal that you have to grind yourself.

I might want to grow my hair out and see how long it can get. This notion was inspired by seeing Megan Mullally’s beautiful hair while watching Summer of 69, the big hearted and smartly hilarious comedy show she and her husband Nick Offerman created. Also, she played the ukulele during the show so now I want to do that too.

I love Pinterest but recognize that it can be a black hole. Or like the kettle corn I can’t seem to get enough of, despite feeling sick to my stomach and hyped up at the same time. Or like when my cousin and I, as kids,  would spend hours upon hours gazing through the JC Penney Christmas catalog with calculators in hand, pretend shopping for things we wanted to buy.

Hubs recently shared that he had to “drain the lizard”. As in, he had to pee. Use the lavatory (wasn’t that weird how the bathrooms in school were called this back in the day? Such a weird, unused word today). Hubs told me this was one of his favorite euphemisms. I prefer when he tells me (seriously, even in public) that he has to “go potty”. Weird, right? But I find it endearing. It reminds me that he was once the daddy to our no longer little spawn, and our charming 3 year old grandson. The daddy and “Papa” who said/says “make sure to go potty before you get in the car” and “do you need me to take you to go potty now?”

One goal I have in life is to be able to sing through the entirety of  R.E.M.’s “It’s the End of the World”. While undoubtedly frenetically paced, this is a classic song, amiright?And once I’ve accomplished that goal, I should easily be able to get work as an auctioneer. Maybe I could add that to the list of possibilities for my job search.

 

Brought to you by the letter “P”

Disclaimer!!! I have not been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder (yet anyway). However, my alter ego, Pollyanna, has a variety of personas. Such as Pubescent Pollyanna, who is currently penning this post. Pubescent Polly has perhaps been unleashed as a result of my current life circumstances. Many of my days this summer have been reminiscent of a time, long long ago, when my pubescent self was home alone, listening to pop music on my boombox and writing pathetically putrid poems, songs, and plays. The grown up me, however, posits that life experiences, whether painful, parental, pleasing, peculiar or a partnership of two or more of them, have unveiled a plethora of personas in which I inhabit. And all of these personas I’m discovering are propelled by  Real Rhonda.

In addition to Pubescent Polly, there is:

Pokey Polly: She’s the one that takes 8 times longer to finish a meal than anyone else on the planet. Especially when eating pizza. Or Pie. Or Pineapples.

Peaceful Polly: She’s the one who just wants everyone to get along for Pete’s Sake! She strives to be mindful. She meditates daily. She protests peacefully for truth, justice, and human rights.

Passionate Pollyanna: She’s the one who is nuts about music. And food. Like peanut butter and pistachios. Peaches and pumpkin (though not together. She has no interest in being Pukey Polly). And she loves the color purple. And Hubs, her partner in life. And puppies.

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A pack of pretty, perky puppies!

 

Planner Pollyanna: This is the one who underneath it all, loves herself a party. Planning the party is a joy for her. She does her best to ponder who to invite, what they like to eat and drink, listen to and what games they might like to play.

Persnickety  Polly: She’s kind of a snarky bitch. She’s hard to please and may come off to some as a perfectionist. She doesn’t do a lot of blog posts.

Playful Pollyanna: She’s the one in control now. She is perpetually in cahoots with Pubescent Pollyanna. She likes to goof off a lot. She has more fun than any of the other personas.

Persistent Polly-She is particularly important. She perseveres people! She doesn’t give up no matter what. Even if people don’t like her pitiful blog.

Pondering Pollyanna: This persona is pensive. Perhaps a bit deep. She pens posts about personal observations about life and possibilities.

Pitiful Polly: Despite her white privilege, she finds things to whine about anyway. She is not allowed to pen any posts on Pollyanna’s Path.

Pissy Polly-She is the political one. She only posts when something in the political arena truly, positively, pisses her off. And she has potential solutions to whatever the problem is that has her so perturbed.

People Pleasing Polly: She is present in the vast majority of posts on this blog.  She prefers to hear positive commentary, but because she is able to partner with Peaceful Polly, she is very open to constructive criticism.

Then there are the personas of Pollyanna that no one will be reading because they suck, like Pretend Pollyanna, Preposterous Pollyanna, Petty Polly, Pretentious Pollyanna, Patronizing Pollyanna or Pessimistic Polly.

As Real Rhonda I hope in the future to present my precious followers with plenty of other personas, such as Progressive Polly, Promising Pollyanna, Proactive Polly, and Praiseful Pollyanna. Because Perfect Pollyanna doesn’t exist.

 

 

 

Dads I love with my whole heart

Where do I even begin? Saying my dad is the best is an understatement. This is the man who worked up to 3 jobs at a time to provide for myself, my mom, my 2 siblings and our dog.  This is the man who expresses his affection for those he loves freely and openly. This is the man who has a knack for coming up with nicknames for his loving family members to express his unabashed love for us all. I loved when he would refer to me as being “Yoon-a-que” (a clever play on the word “unique”). He is more likely though to call me “Rhoda Joda”, which he’s been doing for most of my life. My sister, Kelly, is referred to by him as “Kel Kel Poo Poo” and mom is “Mama Buns”. I think it is fair to say his original nicknames for each of us made us feel beloved by him. And he is so beloved by so many. He taught me through example the importance of honesty, integrity, patriotism, hard work, teamwork, and determination.  He had a keen interest in what I was learning in college and the work I did as a social worker. He taught me how to appreciate nature and all the critters (especially dogs) within it. We shared a love of ice cream at the Dairy Queen. Often he’d sneak me off to scarf down hot fudge sundaes in the summertime, followed by a peaceful drive in the country.  His existence raised my standards in who I would choose as my partner in life, and for that I am forever grateful. While I won’t be able to spend Father’s Day with him, I hope he truly knows how much I love, admire, and respect him.

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My dad groovin’ out with his mardi gras beads in Alabama circa 1990 something

 

My father in law, Jim,  is the best second dad I could have ever hoped for. He is patient, funny,  and one of the most generous people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. He loves to talk politics/conspiracy theories. He is well known by all who love him for his great sayings like “You win some, you lose some”. Hubs tells me as a teenager, Jim’s one piece of advice to him was to “wear a raincoat if you’re going to play in the mud” (you get it right?). He is fun loving and a very involved Grandpa to our two kids. He has always had a habit of napping in his big comfy recliner, even amidst the chatter of those around him and the t.v. on. When the kids were in elementary school and they would spend weekends at Grandpa Jim and Grandma Alice’s house, he wouldn’t even flinch (though I highly suspect he was really awake) as the kids would adorn him with funny hats and lipstick. He has a deep love of animals and an uncanny ability to communicate with them. He has been known to take his cat Chester (whom was rescued as a wee kitten from the bushes in front of his house by our youngest) on a walk around the neighborhood with a leash. He is great at fixing cars, and along with my dad, got our old black Oldsmobile into good running condition the day Hubs and I were to leave on our honeymoon road trip to Mackinac Island 27 years ago.  A gift of labor we appreciated more than words could say. I am blessed that Hubs was raised by this guy. He was an excellent role model for how to be a good man. I won’t be seeing Jim on Father’s Day this year either, but I hope he’s able to spend time doing his favorite things like spending time outdoors and watching Nascar on the tube.

Dad
Classic Jim from circa 1970 something

 

Hubs-the love of my life and the best dad my kiddos could have had. Patient, just like his dad, which is much appreciated since I am quite certain living with the kiddos and I all these years would have been challenging even for Job. Hubs at his core is fun-loving, affectionate, and a wonderful teacher of life lessons. He is the dad that spent hours upon hours helping our kids with their homework. He is the dad who taught them how to fish and how to ride a bike.  He is the dad who  modeled how a good spouse operates by always working in partnership with me to ensure the house was kept up, supporting me in my career/job choices, treating me respectfully, and not shying away from showing his affection for me each and every day. He is the dad who modeled for our kids how to be a good citizen and human through taking them to see Obama speak, chaperoning church youth mission trips, volunteering,  and writing thoughtful, heartfelt, and thought-provoking editorials in the local newspaper. He’s always encouraged the kids to further their education and delights in celebrating with them when they’ve achieved milestones in their lives. He is a great communicator and his listening skills are admirable, which I’m sure the kids would attest to. He loves having conversations with them about life and love. He learned much about how to be the wonderful dad he is from both our dads, which is a great blessing. I will be spending this Father’s Day with Hubs and plan to do everything in my power to make it a day he will appreciate and enjoy, because well, I love him and he deserves it.

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Hubs in his happy place…fishing on the Mississippi River

 

Donuts

Donuts are no doubt right up there with hot dogs as the worst thing one can consume. Yet they remain a delectable delight in spite of our best efforts to maintain a healthy diet. My favorites are puffy, sticky glazed ones. With a hot cup of Joe they are especially scrumptious. I also enjoy me a blueberry cake donut (which is totally fine because blueberries are one of those healthy superfoods right?) covered in a bit of sugary icing. And I find chocolate bismarcks with creamy vanilla pudding tucked inside a most decadent treat.

A trip to the county or state Fair is not truly complete without digging into one of those little white bags filled to capacity with those deep fried nuggets of goodness sprinkled generously with sugar and cinnamon, am I right?

As a kid growing up in northern Minnesota, back when the danger of carbs was not basic knowledge, and I operated under the assumption that I would forever be slender and fit (aka innocence is bliss), I frequently would pop into the bakery next door to my parent’s clothing store after school.  Often I would purchase a long John with maple flavored icing which I’d wash down with a cold Coke. Good times.

Nowadays, I adhere to a new rule regarding the donut. I refuse to pay for them. Think about it this way: why would I pay (Hub’s) hard earned money for something that will be akin to poison for my body? Plus, think about all the scenarios in which free donuts are ‘a plenty: Community time after church, volunteer gigs, the break room at the office (granted, this is currently not a scenario I am a part of at this time, but surely have been in the past).  There’s a level of giddy excitement when treats like donuts are free for the taking, kind of like what I would imagine one would feel upon learning they had won the lottery.

free-donuts

So there’s this donut shop located in a sort of run down strip mall near us. It’s housed next to a pot dispensary and a liquor store we sometimes frequent. And it appears to never be open for business. It’s called Holy Donuts and sports large pictures of donuts in the windows with what appears to be either orange construction paper or perhaps curtains beneath them. Not sure what that’s about. I surmised several possibilities about the owners of this donut shop, ranging from this being a cover for a super secret spy ring, to it being run by a lonely old man whose kids are all grown and living out of state and  doesn’t have enough help to run the shop so he is only able to make so many donuts, hence the reason it is apparently closed 88% of the time.

However, I did me a little research (aka googled Holy Donuts). Turns out they are a “mom and pop” shop, so that blows my theory of this being run by a lonely old man using the last bit of energy he has slaving away in the kitchen making donuts by himself. And they only serve fresh donuts, no day old crud going on in this joint. And the coffee they serve is fresh roasted locally. And to top it off, their website states that they are “humble and privileged to serve a lovely community of folks”.

There is an exception to every rule, right?