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Filters.  There are all SORTS of different filters out there.  You’ve got your air filter, your water filter, your coffee filter…  I could go on and on, but I’m the Funny Sister, not the Boring Sister.  (Maybe sometimes, but let’s not get technical now, shall we?)

This is not a blog about all the different filters out there.  This is about MENTAL filters.  You know, the things that catch those comments that are best left INSIDE your head before they turn into words and come pouring out of your open mouth and then are promptly replaced by your foot?  That’s the kind of filter I want to address today.

I like to think I’ve got a pretty decent filter up in there.  *taps on her head*  I’ve come across some people in my time that, well, let’s call a spade a spade here.  Some people just have NO filter.  And it’s rather embarrassing to be around them.  They say something completely inappropriate for the situation you’re in and you can’t help but cringe.  You just wish you could take out your filter and give it to them, am I right?

I have different filters for different occassions because I’m advanced like that.  Sometimes, I’m like a collander, just letting stuff pour out when I’m with my friends.  Only the really private tidbits stay neatly inside my noggin because that’s not needing to get aired out.  Other times, I’m more like a coffee filter, keeping even the tiniest details in my brain, but giving out JUST enough information to get the point across.

While there are some people who have no filter, there are others whose filter only allows them to keep the focus on them.  Narcissists, if you will.  You come to them with a problem and all of a sudden you’re hearing all about how horrible things are going for them or how they had something JUST LIKE THAT (but totally different) happen to them and this is what they did.  They always find a way to take every scenario and make it about them.  They’ve got this nifty two way filter.  It won’t even let anything about anyone else in, so it’s ALWAYS about them.

Just something to think about.  What kind of filter do you have?  Do you HAVE one?  Do you NEED one?  Do you need a better one?

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dumb1

In kindergarten, I got in trouble for “doodling” on my dittos (who else calls them that these days?) when the teacher was reading the instructions to the class.  Except I wasn’t doodling.  I was starting the exercise because I had read and understood the instructions on my own.  The teacher realized this after a bit and recommended me for the gifted program.  Except they didn’t have a class for kindergarteners, so I was placed in the class with the first graders.  I felt smart.

Ever since, I have HATED feeling dumb.  But sometimes, you can’t help feeling dumb.  Sometimes even the smartest people do things that are DUMB.  I have definitely had my moments.  Let’s go over a few, shall we?

  • In either 5th or 6th grade, I misspelled the word “ugh” in the spelling bee.  I was so confident.  I stood up, and said, “Ugh.  U-G.  Ugh.”  And I smiled.  And then I heard, “I’m sorry, that’s incorrect, please take your seat at your desk.”  I was mortified.  I missed a three letter word.  I felt DUMB.
  • In junior high, we had a geography bee.  My first question was, “What state is surrounded by water on three sides?”  Again, with the confidence.  I smugly answered “Hawaii” and then immediately was struck by my own stupidity and put my face in my hands.  FLORIDA, you idiot, FLORIDA.  You know, the state I lived in!  My geography teacher even felt sorry for me, but I was still out of the competition.  Again, I felt DUMB.
  • I was hanging out with a small group of people in high school and I thought it would be funny to pretend to push the most popular guy into the pool.  Only thing is, I didn’t just pretend to push him in, I did it.  Oops.  And he was wearing expensive shoes and had his very expensive pager on him.  I thought I was being funny, but I ended up looking DUMB.  And I also stopped hanging out with that group shortly thereafter.  I just couldn’t handle the DUMB feeling.

Those are just three examples that come to mind right now, but I’ve felt DUMB many times before.  And I can’t stand it.  To me, feeling dumb is worse than showing up to a public event in just my underwear.  Seriously.  I’m not even exaggerating.  SuperDad likes to say that I always have to be right, but he acknowledges that I usually AM right, because I don’t speak on a subject unless I’m very certain what I’m saying is correct.  I don’t like to be wrong because it makes me feel DUMB.

It’s not that I think I’m incredibly intelligent.  I just like knowing the facts.  I like knowing the truth.  And the truth is, sometimes I am just dumb.  And that’s a tough pill to swallow.  So, what had made YOU feel dumb?

I love my husband.  Why?  Because he remembers what flavor Gatorade I prefer when I’m sick.  If you must know, it’s Lemon-Lime and I can only stomach it when I am frequently emptying the contents of said stomach.

Why yes, I do believe I’ve managed to catch the stomach flu that’s been making its way around our church.  FUN TIMES.  But God is good and he worked it out that I would have this fun stuff while SuperDad was on his work-from-home day.  And we usually go to a Bible study on Tuesday nights, so SuperDad loaded up the kids and left me home in a quiet house.  I got a NAP, can you believe it?

He’s a good man.  He brings me citrus flavored electrolytes.  And I love him for it.

I have a pretty bad memory.  I hear people talking about thier childhood memories and I think, “Why don’t I remember mine?!”  There are photos of me at events that I do not remember.  That’s downright jarring, let me tell you.

Last night at church, we had a “Souper” Bowl event for the ladies.  Each home fellowship group was represented by a soup, one of which I made.  (Thank you, Paula Deen, for the yummy corn chowder recipe!)  It was an evening of chatting, eating and fun.  I really enjoyed myself.  The highlight of my evening though, was completely unexpected and totally awesome.

As I was chatting with some friends before we started, I glanced down at a table and saw something that brought back a flood of memories that had long been forgotten.  There, sitting on the table, was a Betty Crocker New Picture Cookbook from 1961.  It was even the binder.  Y’all have no idea how happy that cookbook made me!

bettycba

I had to know who it belonged to and when I found out, I started talking to her about it.  You see, that cookbook is what started my love of cooking.  When I was home alone, I would take out that cookbook and see what I had the ingredients to make.  It’s how I learned to make substitutions (by trial and error) and started to create my own recipes.  I studied the How To section.  I read about how to be a good housewife (even though it didn’t sink in).  I learned that putting on some makeup and splashing on some cologne could not only lift MY spirits, but that of my family as well.  Seriously, it’s all in that cookbook.

As I was talking to the owner of the cookbook, I started to cry.  She asked if I was ok, and I told her I was the happiest I could possibly be at that moment.  All the happy memories of my time spent with that cookbook were fresh in my mind and I couldn’t help but smile.  Happy memories, all from a cookbook that was from an era I never knew.

I called my mom this morning to tell her about my evening and the happy memories conjured up by seeing that cookbook.  She told me she still has it, and she’s giving it to me.  Who cares if the cover is missing (from the abuse I most likely put it through)?  That’s my childhood right there, in book form.

This commercial makes me laugh EVERY time I see it. I never claimed to have a very mature sense of humor. And let me remind you I live with a man and teenage boy. Bodily functions are a way of life around here. Just ask CityGirl, who will happily inform you that her “butt is talking”. I swear, I try to teach manners around here…

This post is just for Kearsie, so she won’t feel alone in her materialism. 🙂

Ok, pull up a chair and sit down, because The Funny Sister’s about to tell you a little story. This is about how I gained possession of a diamond tennis bracelet.

I was 19 years old. I started working at a chain jewelry store, but after the holiday season, they didn’t need me. Luckily, a store 30 minutes away did and wanted me to transfer. I’ll never forget my first day. I walked in and waited for the manager so I could get set up. I found myself standing my the clearance case. I looked down and saw it. The bracelet. It was gorgeous. White gold with diamonds. I’m not a yellow gold kind of gal, you see. And white gold/platinum wasn’t nearly that popular yet. So seeing something in white gold caught my attention.

Y’all, I’m not even a jewelry person. That would be SisterFriend, who is affectionately known as the Accessory Queen. She’s got more jewelry than you can shake a stick at, I swear. But I digress…

The clearance case is always 50% off and I’d get my employee discount on top of that, but that bracelet was still WAY out of my price range. I mean, the thing was 3 carats total weight. Every day I would go into work and look at it. EVERY. DAY. I do not exaggerate. I would often offer to pull that side of the store at closing just so I could look at it more. Seriously. It was a sickness, an obsession. Occasionally the clearance case would have a special sale where everything was marked down to 60% off but it was still just too much for me to think about spending.

I worked at that store for a year, just to give you an idea of how long I drooled over it. Then it happened. It was about a month before I was going to leave my job at the jewelry store. I came into work and my manager looked at me. She had a smile on her face and I was confused. I thought I was about to get in trouble for something. And that’s when she said it. “Corporate just came out with our new sales. I think you’re going to be happy.” Apparently they were marking down every piece of diamond jewelry in the clearance cases 70% AND allowing employees to use their discount on them, which was unheard of. Oh, and did she forget to mention they were raising the employee discount temporarily?

My jaw dropped. It was as if God Himself were saying, “Here, have this bracelet.” I walked out that day with my bracelet. MY. BRACELET. MINE!

Since I bought it, I’ve moved quite a few times. There have been times where I thought it was lost. Panic races through me. I start to shake. I get nauseated. Just thinking about losing it drives me mad. But then it is found and all is right with the world. SuperDad bought me a beautiful jewelry box that holds my very few pieces of jewelry. The bracelet has it’s own special drawer. It’s my one really nice REAL piece of jewelry and it means a lot to me. Why? Because it’s the first instance I can remember having any form of patience and not being quick to act for instant gratification. And it paid off.

Every winter, my church hosts a Christmas tea for ladies.  It’s a great event, I’ve heard.  This year was my first, so I don’t have anything to compare it to, but if this year’s was anything like years’ past, it’s definitely something I don’t want to miss in the future.  This year theme was on Joseph, the unsung hero of Christmas.  Small hand tool ornaments were given to each in attendance.  Some of the table decorators used tools to spruce up their designs.  (You will never, ever see or hear me use the word “tablescape” seriously.  I shudder whenever I hear it.)

With that theme in mind, our pastor’s wife asked some of us to demonstrate our favorite gadgets.  Oh, I have plenty.  I asked SuperDad what he thought I should use for my presentation and he didn’t hesitate with his response, “Your laptop.”  Har-dee-har.  Yes, I use it a lot, but come on!  (Ok, seriously, I have a bit of an addiction.  I even have a PINK laptop.  It’s pretty.)  So, with no help from him, I started thinking about it.  I had quite a few I could use, but one was already being used by another woman.  I looked at what other ladies had signed up for and decided something very Mommy-centric would be best.

No, this isn't me.

No, this isn't me.

So I used my Maya Wrap, which was a WONDERFUL gift from SisterFriend. I believe it was gifted to her by a friend, but she wasn’t able to use it. I had a wrap made for me when I had CityGirl, but she DESPISED being in it. Seriously. She’d see the thing and start crying. I had hopes (and prayers) that BittyGirl would take to it better. And thank the LORD, she did. It makes life so much easier, especially with two kids. No clunky, heavy infant carrier to fight with when it’s just the three of us. We went to Disney World on our Thanksgiving vacation and it made life a LOT easier there too.

Pampered Chef Mix 'N Chop

Pampered Chef Mix 'N Chop

But I have more gadgets I love. One of them is the Pampered Chef Mix ‘N Chop. I used it when I make spaghetti, to chop up the ground turkey (I use beef very rarely). When I make chili, I use it. When I make egg salad (which I did today), I use it. I find all sorts of reasons to use it and I always say it’s the best $10 I’ve ever spent. LOVE IT. If you have the chance, get yourself one. You won’t regret it.

I also love my Pampered Chef Food Chopper.  I hate using a knife (I have horrible knife skills) and I abhor chopping onions.  This saves me.  I also use it when I make my chicken salad with leftover rotisserie chicken.  (SuperDad and SuperTeen are quite the fans of this one.)  The best part of this gadget?  It’s GREAT for taking out your frustrations.  My family knows it’s been a rough day based on how finely chopped ingredients get.  🙂

What are YOUR favorite gadgets?

One thing that I’ve always loved about SuperDad is his ability to make me laugh. Even in the most stressful times, he can say one word or phrase and make me crack up laughing. Mostly, they are quotes from some of our favorite movies, but other times it’s inside jokes that have come to be after our years together. A LOT of them come from Elf, our family’s Christmas movie tradition. SuperDad has an odd affection for Will Ferrell, apparently, as some of our other funnies come from his movies. I guess I could share a few to show you what I mean…

  • SuperDad enjoys giving me weird smiles when I’m in a mood. My usual response is, “Why are you smiling at me?!” His response is almost always, “Smiling’s my favorite!” (Elf)
  • When we’re feeling warm and fuzzy towards each other, we’ll call out “I LOVE LAMP!” (Anchorman)
  • When discussing our plans for the weekend, he’ll often say, “Well, um, actually a pretty nice little Saturday, we’re going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don’t know, I don’t know if we’ll have enough time.” (Old School)
  • And whenever he just wants to make me laugh, if I ask him what the heck he’s doing, he’ll respond, “We’re going streaking up through the quad and into the gymnasium!” (Also from Old School.)
  • When we think the other one is not being honest, we make the accusation, “You sit on a throne of lies!“. (Also from Elf.)

I could go on, but these are probably only funny to me, but I wanted to share them. What are your one-liners that cause instant laughter, no matter how tense the mood? Share with the group!

*The subject line is also from Elf.  Can you tell we really like that movie?  🙂

cranberriesTo cranberries, that is.  My favorite recipes contain them. I find any excuse to use them. I love drinking their juice. I love the tartness. I love them, plain and simple.

My favorite crock pot meal?  Cranberry Apple Pork Loin. My new favorite cookies? White chocolate cranberry cookies. (Substitute vanilla extract for the brandy if you don’t have it, still good.) My favorite sandwich? My own concoction called the Leftover Sandwich, with turkey meat, lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayonnaise, and whole cranberry sauce. I’ve been known to eat cranberry sauce just as a snack.  Must have can lines.

This is my ode to the cranberry. The sweet, tart, delicious cranberry.

Alright, y’all, who broke into my house and switched my little girl with a full blown toddler?   She’s a BIG GIRL now.  That wasn’t supposed to happen.  I made a deal with God that she would stay wee for a long time.  At least three years!  *looks at the calendar*  Oh, yeah.   It has been almost three years, hasn’t it?   My bad, y’all, my bad.

SuperDad showed me a video of CityGirl when she was about 7 1/2 months old.   She was furniture surfing and she said “bye bye”.  I looked at the toddler sitting on her fold out couch on the floor in front of me and said, “When the heck did that happen? When did she grow up?”   I feel like I blinked for a really long time and she grew up quick like.

I’ve told SuperDad this many, many times.   I feel like I’ve missed way too much with CityGirl. Being a working mother, I missed a lot of firsts with her.   I was thankfully there for a few of them, like her first steps.  (Which, by the way, were deliberately to me as I sat down after coming home from work.  Aww.)  I remember watching those and asking SD if she had taken steps while I was at work and when he assured me she hadn’t, I thought he was lying to make me feel better. Seriously.  But he wasn’t, and God had saved that little moment for me, so I wouldn’t go out of my mind with sadness and regret.

And now I get to be here for BittyGirl’s firsts.   And SuperDad might be the one missing them if things change and he’s no longer working from home.  And I’m going to hurt for him, as I know how it feels to miss them.  I’d better get in some practice with the camera so I can record some of them for him!

And then I remember growing up with SisterFriend and I think, “Great, I’m also going to be here for the first fight.”  See, I’m not sentimental ALL the time, I’m a realist too!  And if my girls are anything like we were, I think I should invest in some body armour for them now.  Do they make that stuff in toddler sizes?

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