Thursday, October 20, 2011


Recently, while Caren was in town we had a small meeting of the “sistah”hood. We had made special plans to gather for an initiate, and the initiate had the audacity to not show. Well, at that moment I decided there had to be some rules.


1.    Always attend a meeting of The “Sistah”hood, unless you have a doctor appointment, dentist appointment, gynecologist appointment, neurologist appointment, any other appointment or a date with a child, husband, mom, dad, aunt, uncle, or someone you like a whole lot better than the “sistahs”.
2.     Always be prepared to gather when a “sistah” calls, unless you live out of country, out of state, out of city , out of block or you are out of your mind.
3.    Don’t bring a non”sistah” to a “sistah”hood function, unless she has treats, bottles of our favorite wines, and she is prepared to dress like Snookie, sing the official “sistah”hood song and dance on the table. 
4.    Always be prepared to help a “sistah” on and off the table of any drinking establishment and never walk away from a “sistah” dancing on a table, unless her antics are just too embarrassing.
5.    Always be prepared to pick up the tab, unless you have devised a plan to sneak out or to run to the bathroom when the check comes.
6.    Always be kind to a “sistah’s” family, unless it consists of asinine jerks or you just don’t like they way they look.
7.    Always be prepared to speak in some kind of an accent, unless you don’t know how to do accents, and then be prepared to not speak at all.
8.    Always make a “sistah” aware of a wardrobe malfunction, unless it is just too darn funny watching her walk around in public with her dress stuck in her pantyhose and toilet paper stuck to her shoe.
9.    Always lavish your “sistahs” with expensive gifts, unless you have no money then lavish them with compliments, and please do it without giggling.
10. Always wear your “sistah”hood pin and memorize the words to the official song (frontwards and backwards). Oh wait, there is no “sistah”hood pin or song.

After reading the above, forementioned rules, and you would still like to become a “sistah” fill out the application below:

Legal Name:


The name you would like to be called:

Address: (don’t put a real address, unless you want everyone’s junk mail sent to you)

Dream address:

Sex:                                             How often?
If you could who?

Favorite book: (fill in only if you read)

Favorite song:

Favorite movie:

Secret crush:

Who would you like to be deserted on an island with? (Warning, trick question!)

Have you ever been convicted of a crime?
Are you willing to be?

Religious preference: (just in case)

References: (Really important people you know, don’t list your mama!)

After filling in the above application and you still want to be a “sistah”, all right, already, you can be “sistah”, unless you are a male and that could probably be overlooked (“sistahs” love pocket gays). If you get an outfit, you can be a “sistah”too.

Paco’s Perspective

I have lots of outfits. Which one should I wear? I have a pig, devil, spider, elf, reindeer and funny nose and glasses. I would be willing to share with the “sistahs”!

The Flip Side

Am I a sistah? What is one called after “the operation”?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Home is Where the Heart Is

As I have stated in the past I am a big fan of the Wizard of Oz and I don’t know why. Dorothy spends most of her time whining about how she wants to go home. Home to a dusty farm. Home to an elderly aunt and uncle which means someone didn’t want her in the first place. Home to three inept farm hands which happen to be with her in Oz.

I have been pondering on the idea of home. What is home? Where does one feel at home? Home can’t be just where you live.  Home is that feeling in one’s heart; that feeling of peace, love and safety. There is an old cliché, “home is where the heart is” that I believe to this day. I feel at “home” in many places.

When I am with family and friends I am at home. I don’t have to worry about anything with family and friends. I can let my guard down with family and friends. I don’t know why we separate family and friends. Many cling to the word “family”. I have heard people say, “We are a family. Families must stick together.” What if some people in your “family” are asses? Does one always have to stick by jerks? I believe that one should pick the best part of one’s family and put them together with one’s real friends and create a “framily”. I love my framliy. I happen to live with a framliy. Whenever I am with framliy I am at home.

I am at home in Montana. I have spent the past twelve or thirteen summers in Montana. At first, I only went for a week or two, so it was like a vacation. But then I started spending the entire summer with Caren in Montana. I have had some of my greatest adventures in Montana. I have had some of my greatest laughs in Montana. I have definitely partaken in some of the greatest picturesque views in Montana. I have many framily members in Montana. I call Montana home.

I am at home at my church. When I lived in Estrella Mountain Ranch I started attending Estrella Mountain Church. When I first attended it there were only about fifty people in the pews on Sunday and now there are about two hundred eighty-five people in the pews on any given Sunday. Since I moved away from Estella Mountain, I very seldom attend church, but when I do I always feel like I am at home. It is filled with framily. It is a place where everybody remembers my name, even though it has a huge membership. It is a place where I feel loved. If you don’t have a church or a temple, find one. If you don’t believe in God, go anyway it’s worth it. Find a church or a temple or a commune and you will find a home.

Believe it or not I am at home at work. I am a hermit, so it is the only place I make friends. I love my job! I love the students! (Okay, maybe not the kinders!) I love working with the teachers! I love the stress! I love the hard, sometimes impossible work. I have been doing this for thirty-four years and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Recently, I was asked if I was ever going to retire and my answer was why would I want to do that.  

Home is the place, people and things you would miss. I would miss going to work. I miss my framily (that includes DaBoyz) daily. I miss Montana. I miss going to my church. Dorothy was right all along. She missed her home in Kansas and when she got to Kansas she probably missed her home in OZ.

Paco’s Perspective
Hey, I got an idea! Let’s take Flip somewhere and see if I miss him.

The Flip Side
How come I always just miss catching lizards?

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Thank God, We Forget

Over ten years ago I was involved in a car accident that impacted my life forever. To this day I still don’t know what really happened. I was driving. I wasn’t feeling well. I came to a stoplight . . . . . .the next thing I remember is being crumpled up under the dash and some woman very calmly saying to me, “Don’t worry, Honey, I am a nurse and you won’t remember any of this.” She was right I didn’t. I only have little snips of memory over the course of the two weeks I was in the hospital. Thank God, He has us forget.

Thanking God for forgetfulness permeates my school teaching career, also. The reader must know I do not like kindergarteners. I think they are mean, unruly crybabies. The reader must also know that 60% of the kindergarteners at Tomahawk don’t speak a word of English, and by state law teachers are not allowed to communicate with them in Spanish. I stay as far away from the kinder building as possible. At the beginning of this school year, I was rolling across campus a little too close to the kinder building, and I spied a kindergarten teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She was trying to explain bathroom and drink procedure to a bunch of those Kinder Kreatures, and to top it off they were the English Language Learners. Now, HollyJane is a go-with-the-flow kind of gal. She is not a wave maker. She won’t even splash in the kiddie pool. She looked at me and started stuttering, “I . . . I . . . . I just need a break.”

“Okaaay, I’ll take care of them for a few minutes,” I replied with a look of fear in my eyes and hesitancy in my voice.

“No, no, no that’s okay. I can handle this. I’m just . . . I’m just . . . . I’m just . . . .,” she started stuttering again.

“Go to the bathroom, get a drink (of water), and take a few deep breathes. I don’t think I’ll kill them in that small of amount of time,” I said with a fake smile and look of confidence. The reader needs to know that in all my years of teaching I only taught a primary class one year. I make all primary kids cry. It might be because I talk to them the same way I talk to fifth and sixth graders.

When HollyJane returned twenty years later, okay it just seemed like an eternity, they were all shaking in their boots and one was crying that was I. HollyJane and I took them inside and I taught for a little bit and only one more started crying that was her. As I edged closer and closer towards the exit and I was planning my escape from Alcatraz in my head, HollyJane gave me that look: the puppy-dog-eyes-with-the-pouty-lip-please-don’t-leave-me look. I shrugged my shoulders, mouthed the word, “Sorry”, and ran like a schoolgirl from a haunted house.

A few days later HollyJane caught me as I was tiptoeing passed the kinder building hoping not to wake the lions and she laughed and said, “I don’t know why I always forget what it is like the first weeks of school. I have been doing this for a long time, and I only remember the good stuff at the end of the year.”

“Yep, seven weeks,” I quickly responded as I dashed away.

“Seven weeks what?” she queried.

It takes forty-five days to build a habit. The many years that I taught with Colleen I would get so frustrated at the beginning of the year. I would be in a crazy-ready-to-jump-over-the-edge-mumbling snit and Colleen would smile at me and say very calmly, “Seven weeks, Cathy, seven weeks. Just give it seven weeks.”

“If they aren’t doing what they are suppose to do after seven weeks, then we can knock them off and bury them in the playground, right?” I would ask excitedly.

“Mounds of dirt on the playground might be a little too obvious,” she replied.

“Cement shoes,” I giggled.

“This is Arizona, no water. In seven weeks you won’t want to dig a single hole or buy a single bag of cement anyway,” she laughed.

She was right. Colleen was always right, even though, I would never let her know that. After seven weeks, the class was always wonderful and the ones that weren’t so wonderful I loved too much to plan a hit.

Thank God, we forget the bad stuff. Women forget the pain of childbirth; soldiers forget the anguish of war; teachers forget the first weeks of school. Women have more children; soldiers re-up; teachers continue to do what they do.

Paco’s Perspective

I wish I wouldn’t forget what it feels like to get zapped by the bark collar. One would think I would learn!

The Flip Side

What are we talking about? I forgot! It pains me to think, sometimes, okay, all the time.