Tag Archive: family

The Dueling Siblings


kids fighting

Lee and Josie, God could not have created two different siblings!

They love to antagonize one another and then try to outwit each other in explaining to me why they were screaming at each other!

Lee just called me a terrorist!

Yea, huh, well, Josie called me an extremist!

Terrorist! Extremist!

Grandma quickly grabs the Webster’s Dictionary to look up the definitions!

Is there a children’s version of Webster’s?

My goodness! They are only 10 and 7 years-old!

Webster’s was no help so…

I asked Josie what is an extremist?

Her reply was, “somebody that can’t keep their big mouth shut! All they do is talk, talk, talk… drives me nuts!”

I couldn’t wait to hear what terrorist meant!

“A terrorist is somebody that calls you names, who run their big mouths all the time, and WHO talks a lot more than I do!”

Who knew that terrorist and extremist pretty much meant the same things!

In the words of Lee and Josie terrorist and extremist are:

You shut up!

No you shut up!

You shut up first!

No you shut up

You big mouth!

I am not a big mouth!

GRANDMA! Lee is calling me names!

GRANDMA! Am not!

On and on they go and while they dramatically debate who should shut up first or who called who names!

Grandma is very calmly chanting!

Om, Om, Om, I am free as a cloud floating in the sky!

Om, Om, I am floating over my happy trees!

Om, Om, Om, Om, I’m a happy bird, flying in my happy clouds, perching on my happy trees!

My inner voice is soothingly reminding me that I am a Calmly Dysfunctional Professional…relax… ever so peacefully release cleansing breath….relaxing.





Mother’s Day brings back so many memories and I guess my dysfunctional roots will always be with me and on some days they come to visit and as I and my memories stroll down memory lane… I laugh to myself at the craziness of it all.

My first clear memory of mother’s day was when I was about six years-old and my older brother, Marion, intentionally got into a horrible argument with my mother.

All Marion would have to say to mom to set her off were, “You’re an awful mother, and an awful cook!”

And it was ON!

They were locked in serious combat! “You, YOU are the most ungrateful, unappreciative, unthankful child!” “If you could cook a decent bowl of oat mill I wouldn’t have to eat at grandma’s all the time!”

Bull’s eye, Marion stuck gold because if there was ever one thing in this world not to say to mom… it would be to pay a compliment to her mimesis who happened to be my paternal grandmother!

Among the Holy Grille of things not to say! My grandmother would be at the top of the list! (That’s another story that transcends mother’s day!)

When the argument between mom and Marion escalated into hysterical crying and slamming kitchen cabinets… my dad who was in the background directing this mean-spirited drama that was playing out… would suddenly appear from out of nowhere and surprised mom with a brand new dress and necklace that he had bought her for “mother’s day!”

The one’s that were in on the mother’s day mayhem shouted “Happy Mother’s Day” but for the rest of us who did not have a clue what was going on said, “happy mothers day?”

Marion always said he wanted to be an actor and I will have to say he played his part to perfection!

One thing that has always amazed me is how my mother could go from being furious to, “oh, you shouldn’t have!” Her anger was gone! Poof! Gone like magic! No more tears!

“Oh, Kenneth” thank you!” “Why you had Marion to make me mad JUST to surprise me!”

Mom clutched her new dress to her bosoms, and off she ran to carefully applied her makeup, and then the fitting of her new dress followed by compliments on how she looked all day long!

However, my nerve-wracking mother’s day experience did not go poof!

When the next year’s mother’s day rolled around I had a plan in place to derail the arguments that I was so sure would happen.

One of my dear sweet aunts gave me brand new dish towels to give mom on mother’s day.

I conned my grandmother into making me a banana pudding without letting her know it was for mom. However, Marion picked up the banana pudding and if there is one thing that Marion loved it was grandma’s banana pudding.

So, while walking home with the banana pudding Marion decided to SPIT all over the pudding so that it would gross everybody out and he would have the sweet dessert all to himself! “GOOD GRIEF!”

As mother’s day rolled around I got up bright and early to make sure mom got my gifts, minus the banana pudding to overthrow an anticipated arguments because less face it what mom would not love a set of dish towels for mother’s day!

I was so smug in my confidence that I had outwitted the disaster about to befall my mother because she would instantly fall in love with my dish towels!

Visualize, my disappointment, when my desperate attempts to make mom the happiest mom in the world failed because what I failed to figure in the equation is that fighting had become a family tradition!

I left home on that day and visited with the aunt that gave me the dish towels until another memorable mother’s day passed.

As time went by the important of mothers day died a natural death until all my siblings were grown adults, became parents and understood things that immature minds could not figure out at the time.

Once I married. I really never thought about or respected the sanction of mother’s day until I became a mother myself. However, I still never bought into the commercial hype because it all seemed senseless to me.

Some of my sweetest memories are when my three kids would get up early to make breakfast for me.

I could hear them creeping up the stairs and I would pretend to be asleep when then burst into the bedroom with my breakfast sitting precariously on a tray!

I would look at them in surprise and it warmed my heart to see their little chests puffed out with pride and their eyes huge as half dollars as they would yell, “Happy Mother’s Day Mom!”

Bill would snuggle up beside me and we both enjoyed our children as I ate every bite of my breakfast!

When Ben was 8 years-old he made me a mother’s day card that said, “I love you little, I love you big, I love you like a big ol fat pig!” The card was complete with a picture of a pig covered in mud! AWSOME!

Now, I ask you, can you find that kind of love and devotions in a Hallmark Card ? I think not!

There were also some funny mother’s day gifts from the love of my life, Bill, such as, a mixer, and a Teflon skillet.

On one particular mother’s day- eve, I had some friends visiting and Bill was showing off the Teflon skillet he had bought for me for mother’s day and he asked one of the women that was visiting… what she thought of the big skillet?

She took the skillet out of Bill’s hand…looked it over and then sad, “Well, it’s certainly large enough to crack you over the head with it if you ever bought me something like this for mother’s day!”

The poor woman was serious but I was laughing hysterically because of the look on Bill’s face was priceless! “But, but, it’s Teflon?!”

I have never put much importance in buying me gifts on mother’s day because I already had/have what I wanted in life.

To borrow a quote from Ben, “I love my children little, I love my children big, I love my children like a big ol fat pig!”

I am devoted to my husband, children, and the Graham’s Fabulous Five (grandchildren)!

Who needs more than that!

But… let this serve as a warning to my sweet family…if you ever decided to make me furious then give me a beautiful dress, and yell suprise!

The best advice I can give you is to RUN and then never EVER complain when you see my beautiful dress cut up into neat little strips of cloth to be used as dust rags!

Just saying!

Donna Faye, CDP

Coal Busting Etiquette

When I was growing up we didn’t have heat pumps, oil stoves, or furnaces to heat our home.  We had a Warm Moring wood and coal burning stove.

One thing that would always drive my dad crazy was the fact that there were six kids in the house but not one of us would bring in a bucket of coal to keep the fire from going out in the stove.

I remember the day as if it were yesterday when dad got so mad at us that he made all six of us go with him to the coal pile so he could show us ‘how’ to put coal in a bucket.

So, here we are, all six of us circled around the coal pile listening to dad lay down the law about how that from this point on WE were going to bring a bucket of coal in the house…or we would all get our behinds tanned with a belt.

For good measure dad demonstrated how to properly ‘bust’ big chucks of coal so there would be no excuse for us not bringing a bucket of coal inside the house because the coal bucket was too heavy to carry.

Dad picks up two huge chunks of coal.  One piece of coal in his right hand, and the other in his left hand. He swung his arms up high in the air as if he was attempting to do a jumping jack and then brings in arms back down together at lightning speed to crash the two pieces of coal together.   

I was so in awe of my dad’s display of strength as I watched him crash the two pieces of coal together and it shattering into little pieces!

My ‘in awe’ quickly turned into concern when my dad started cursing a blue streak and yelling to the top of his lungs, “The first one of you that laughs”.  Now I don’t know what else he was going to say because he seemed to have trouble putting words together to make a sentence.

The reason for my father’s sudden outburst is because when he brought the two pieces of coal crashing together he forgot to keep his thumbs out of the way and he crashed the coal on his thumbs!

I must admit that for me and my siblings it was really hard to not laugh when we see our dad hopping from one foot to the other like something out of a cartoon, cursing to the top of his lungs, while clutching his thumbs, and muttering half sentences about kid’s and first one to laugh!  So we did what any loving children would do…we scattered so dad couldn’t see us laughing!

As for me, I learned a very important lesson that day, which is; if you’re going to bust coal always remember to keep your thumbs out of the way!

I don’t ever recall dad ever fussing at us again from not bringing in a bucket of coal.


Donna Faye, CDP

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