calamity cowgirl

i have been called calamity jane all my life. i first remember hearin' this nickname back when queenie passed on her cowgirl outfit to me after ditchin' it for a faux velvet cape and septor (an old baton with a tennis ball attached to the top). she had worn the cowgirl garb since watchin' a bedazzled crown bestowed upon a bareback ridin' beauty while attendin' one of our father's bronco bustin' rodeo performances.

the crownin' of the rodeo queen was her introduction to royalty and from that point on she wanted to be the queen of everything and immediately demanded the cowgirl outfit. she reigned the world around her in cowgirl couture until she discovered there was a queen of england. being queen of a country was much more appealing than rulin' a monarchy o' men, sometimes manly lookin' women and manure so she ditched the cowgirl costume for attire more fittin' her new exhalted position and i was able to move up from nurse to a hand-me-down cowgirl.

i was so delighted that queenie allowed me to wear the rejected cowgirl outfit that i didn't mind the occasional bop on the head with her faux septor.  jo had'a cowgirl outfit and had changed her name to 'fannie oakley' and as we traveled between the trailers she got much more respect than i did, followin' in my nurse's get-up, totin' that black plastic medical bag that made my hand so sweaty.

jo and i wore our cowgirl clothin' unless it was really hot outside and then we'd become beauty contestants or movie stars 'cause they could wear swimsuits. bein' a five year old with a lisp - among other speech impediments - wearin' blue rhinestone eyeglasses, special shoes for pigeon toes and the need for at least three band-aids stuck to me someplace at all times, it's a miracle i had any self-esteem. i guess knowin' i could be a courageous cowgirl or runner-up in a beauty contest whenever i wanted kept it from disappearing altogether. the only thing was...even if i appeared in water wear on one o' the beauty contestant days, everyone still called me calamity jane. queenie told me calamity jane was a very famous, altho not royal, cowgirl, and that i shouldn't complain and to remember to take my cowgirl hat off in her presence. 

it wasn't until jo and i were attemptin' to entertain queenie with a royal horse show and i broke my arm while tryin' to perform tricks bareback on our horse dixie that i realized why i was called calamity jane. two weeks later when i was finally taken to the doctor i overheard my mom tell the doctor that i was 'accident prone' and that they had become used to 'one calamity after another'.

i don't think i earned this nickname by bein' careless...it's just that i find myself attemptin' to do more things that can lead to calamatous adventures than maybe the typical person. these adventures have led to a number o' broken bones, lots o' stitches and often bein' able to tell anyone, if they should ask, what doctor was on call at the nearest emergency room.

i haven't done much to keep my title since becomin' a mother to mini....until the last coupla' months. suddenly i seem to be makin' up for lost time.  maybe it's 'cause mini is older and i have more non-mother time....or it could be cause jo's been around more and she brings it out in me.....whatever the reason, it appears calamatizin' is like ridin' a bike....it comes right back to you.

the year o' 2008 has given me about one calamity a week so far. though most fall into the comical area on the calamity scale, there's two or three that have created panic or work or pain on my part. the first and most time consumin' to fix was the collapse of a wall of books and fabric here in the doo dad den. i had just finished puttin' the finishin' touches on this year's crop o' easters eggs and heard a creekin' noise right above me. before i had time to ponder it's source, the very top shelf, full o' carefully alphabetized by title books, came crashin' down'...as it traveled it brought along with it the five shelves below, full of fabric - mostly those pesky fat quarters. the eggs did not survive the avalanche although the macs, me and the fluffy dogs did. it took me almost a month to put everything back in place. if you look closely i am sure you can tell which shelf got filled last...i spent the first coupla weeks carefully foldin' each piece o' fabric...but toward the end i was so sick of it and my hands were so crispy dry i just started hurlin' the pieces into any open space.

after i placed the last book and hurled the final patterned piece into place, i decided i deserved a lil sewin' time. shortly after i started i sewed right through my mousin'/typin' finger.....in the tip and out the side...with the zig zag stitch. in no time my whole arm was bruised and swollen - i guess from tryin' to jerk it outta the way once i saw what was happenin'. it has finally stopped hurtin' quite so bad this week altho jo swears there's a piece o' needle still tucked inside.

my most recent calamity was my dumbest to date. i had worked up a real thirst somehow and grabbed the closest water bottle. unfortunately i forgot i had poured bleach into it the night before to clean up a lil mess tink and coco made with one o' the snacks they insist on bringin' into the doo dad den so they can be close to me. i completely freaked out....i couldn't remember if doin' such a thing would kill me right away or if i had some time to put on a bit o' lipstick and mascara so when i was found i would be a more attractive. i could've looked it up on the internet but really didn't wanna know. i decided i'd wait until mini and her daddy got home and, if i was still alive, ask mini's daddy if i should go to the emergency room. i knew the answer would depend on what was on t.v. that night. apparently it was somethin' good as he told me i should drink lots of water and i'd be fine. i was a bit nervous waitin' to see what happened as the bleach traveled through my system but he was right - i am fine though maybe cleaner and paler..

i'm sure the rest o' 2008 will provide me with less calamity and much more calm. it appears i'm gonna need it 'cause while i was busy cleanin' up and healin' mini has decided she should start datin' and she isn't talkin'about the kind where your mother drives you to the chosen locale. luckily i was given a short reprieve when her report card arrived and showed a need for improvement. the next will arrive the middle o' june so i don't have much time to come up with the next delay. in the meantime i'm no longer naggin' her about gettin' her homework done every night and for the first time ever i'm hopin' she doesn't get straight As.

i hope 2008 has seen fewer calamities for you and if not, that yours are as easily fixed as mine....and if any o' you have suggestions for dealin' with datin' daughters i'd love to hear from you!


Anonymous said...

Oh Mo... I love your blog and your stories, and while I knew of the shelf disaster and the needle through the finger trick, I had no idea that you were trying to clean your insides out.. I am so very glad my dear friend that you are okay and hopefully since things happen in threes, that you got them done early in the year and will have the remainder of the year to just skate through and be in tip top shape. I loved the story of Queenie, you, and Jo... I really have a complete picture in my mind from your wonderful discription. How cute you all musta looked!! I am so glad you are doing better, that your finger hurts less and do hope the rest of 2008 is accident free. Now re Mini and her dating issues.. I love the rationalization re progress report and putting the brakes on re dating, and now how you are not after her re homework and pulling straight A's so that you have some leverage on putting a halt to the dating thing. I believe that Lori has some tips for you in that dept. after having gone through that this past year with her daughter, and Rosemary showed the shotgun pic of her hubby posing with her daughter before a date... perhaps these ladies will give you some ideas.. You just make me smile with your writing style and can make something that was extremely painful (needle & collapsing shelves) into an adventure and comical story.. I would love to read a book written by you Mo.. it would keep me glued to the pages and in stitches at all times!! XO Christa

Maija said...

Silly girl - be careful!
I'm needing some dating advice for my son!!

Gail said...

I'm so sorry that you're accident prone. I know what it's like. DH says that I could trip over a rug PAINTED on the floor. I think that my best accident (the only one that I don't remember) happened when I was 2. My dad owned an auto body shop and I was there with him. He used to keep bits of gasoline in Coke bottles. I thought that it was pop and drank some. I was rushed to emergency where they pumped my stomach. The doctors were really, really concerned because there seemed to be a lot of red stuff coming out. They weren't after dad told them that I had borscht for lunch! That's not the end of this one. By the time we got home my mom, who was pregnant, went into labour. Guess that I did that. My dad was trying to hurry her to the hospital and while backing the car out of the driveway he bounced it off the walls of 2 houses. We lived in an old neighbourhood and shared one driveway which was between the houses. In the end all turned out fine. Always does. You kinda get used to stuff happening to ya, huh?

Jan, aka Milly and someday I'll be either Daisy or Nana Sugar said...

Holy Schomly, Mo. I was about to say that post menopausal you will very likely turn into Ditzy Dora, as well as being Calamity Jane.

Then I read the rest of your post, and girl, I do believe you are earning the Ditzy Dora title a few years early. Can't wait to see what you're like when you're on the wrong side of 50, ummmm, 55. *tehehehe*

robin bird said...

yes you do seem to have the luck of a 2 leaf clover when it comes to misadventures in your own home. you know they say that 95% of emergency room admits for injuries happen within 2 feet of your house... so don't feel like you are the only klutz in the neighborhood. i bet that rose thievin' woman has had her share of fallin' in your flower beds.
as far as dating...honestly i think it is better she is getting dating practice now. rachel was so shy and unwilling to date in HS that when she went away to college she felt a need to make up for it and practiced without the much needed experience to be a good selector of datable boys. it really was painful to watch and i think came close to bein' an emotional disaster for her. so try to look on the bright side! she is doin' it right in front of you and if she brings home a bum you can cheat on her homework and ground her as needed.
xoxoxo r

Anonymous said...

I am so relieved that your bleach episode has not ruined your singing career! You need to doo dad up yourself some sticky labels with the skull and crossbones on them. They say that everything happens in threes, so hopefully your calamitys are used up for '08.

LOVE the fabric laden shelves -- looks like heaven to me. Good luck with the date monitoring. Just be thankful Mini doesn't have a 16 year old cousin Jo on hand to lead her astray!!


dogfaeriex5 said...

i am so prone to falling off my shoes and i wear flats most of time!! if i walking on a sidewalk, i am going fall, i just expect it!! i have twisted my ankle so many times i should walk backwards!!

Anonymous said...

Dear Mo, I laughed and laughed at this blog, despite feeling terribly guilty (since it was a blog about your calamities, after all). I'm so glad you survived all your adventures--hope you will also survive Mini's dating phase.


Saucy said...

I suppose, as my dear mother pointed out to me once, when I wasn't being a very dear daughter... that I was sent to test her only as much as she tested my dear granny... and so it goes.

So, you only need to worry about mini's datin' as much as you ever made your mama worry about yours!

wings said...

I am laughing my butt off as quietly as possible so as not to wake up the kids... I swear to God (you can't make this stuff up), my college room mate, who was also maid (well, matron) of honor at my wedding was Miss Rodeo Michigan. She had a REAL cowgirl outfit!

I hope you remain calamity free for the remainder of the year!