Thursday, March 18, 2010

Grampa's Gotta "Grab & Growl!"

Through the years little phrases have crept into our mutual vocabulary. Not only are we finishing each other's sentences with this little sub language, it is something that's uniquely OURS! (Twins supposedly develop their own secret language. Anyone coming to our house would think these terms are our unique Howe family expressions)

For example:

CRIDDLES are the little bits of unwanted trash around the edges of a room or under the sofa. In the Criddle Spirit, I took to the LDS General Conference address by Elder L. Tom Perry about his mother's instructions to clean the corners and the middle of the room will take care of itself. The talk went on to talk about cleaning out the corners of our lives with repentance.

LONG SKINNY KAHNA is a narrow closet that holds school supplies, extra folders, well organized paper supplies of all kinds, our hair cutting tools and the extra heating pad. The name has a history. When 3 year old daughter Sally attended a production of the late Robert Peterson's "Man of LaMancha" she minunderstood the star's character name (Alonzo Quihana) It came out as Long Skinny Kahna. The name stuck.

MADE UP CUSS WORDS: "Mussledorf", "Crummy Buttons" and "Bindersnatch" are the only three I can remember. One night we had an impromptu Family Home Evening on swearing. We decided as parents to make up words as an alternative to the popular accepted four letter variety. None of them mean anything specific. They're general nouns to have in reserve to mutter under your breath or scream out loud at the peak of your frustration. Frankly, I don't remember the kids ever using any of them. Likely too uncool! We did, then we'd all dissolve in laughter.

GRAB & GROWL is all about fixing your own dinner from left overs. "What," she asks me, "are your hands broken?" I think it comes from Gramma Rosie's side of the family. beyond that, just dunno! I always ask sometime during the day--hopefully no more than once--what we're having for dinner. If she's not feeling well or she's accomplished a bit too much and has collapsed on the couch with a heating pad, her feet up, I'll get the Grab & Growl message.

GRAMPA'S COOKING HISTORY: I burned some kind of omlette made to impress my newly wedded spouse in when we were first married. She sayes I cooked the little disaster on heat set too high and ruined her favorite frying pan. I admit that I like too many spices all at once. I add barbeque sauce or tasty salad dressing way too early. Most always, I'm stuck with my own put together out of the fridge meals. They're often too dry and always too strong. My own Grab & Growl generally leads to just Grin & Eat it Mah-self!

For the last 30 plus years I am allowed to heat up TV dinners in the Miker-O-Wave (as they refer to it in some of our favorite Britcoms like "Grace and Favor") She'll accept me turning on the kettle for her herbal tea, but I can't remember a single time since that charred fry pan incident in 1973 that she'd eat anything I "fixed"!!! Oh Thank Heaven and the Relief Society for their carry-in sustenance when Rosie had eye problems and couldn't see to get to the stove. (I got so many lovely dinners, I had to run a spread sheet to figure out which dishes to return with my thank you notes) JRH

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