Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Reasons Why I Love Grandmama Ruth

My mom's mom is one of my favorite people in the world. She grew up in Eastern North Carolina with 5 brothers on a farm. Then she raised 4 girls in a house the size of a small chicken coop with only one bathroom. Now that is an accomplishment. Needless to say, there are many reasons why I love Grandmama Ruth, but here are a few:
1. I love her dinner table rules. When we were young we would go to visit Grandmama for a few days every summer. When we would sit down to dinner she only had 2 rules. The first one was that if you left the table you were done eating. That meant that no matter what was happening on TV in the living room you had to stay at the table. If you left and came back your plate would be gone. The second rule was my favorite. You could eat as much as you wanted as long as you stayed at the table. This included dessert. She would refill my ice cream bowl three times if I stayed long enough. I think in some small way grandmas contribute to childhood obesity.
2. She is flirty. I can think of several instances where we would go into town or to a restaurant and she would use her womanly wiles on men. Grandmama Ruth was married twice in her life but they both died before I was born. She is best friends with all the patrol men in town though and they will do anything for her. She knows the right friends to make. She also used her flirtiness for sweets. There was a man named Reed that drove the Little Debbie truck in New Bern, NC. All I know is that every time I visited her house her pantry was busting with Oatmeal Cream Pies that she did not have to pay for. My mom swears they were never involved though.
3.She is crafty. Grandmama Ruth is my inspiration for crafting. She taught me how to crochet when I was very young and still sends me patterns in the mail all the time. Every year her church has a bizaar and she works all year to make things for it. Whenever I talk to her on the phone she updates me on exactly who in church is making what and how far along in the project they are. She likes to stay informed on people's progress and then tell me that she has done more. She does make some beautiful things though.
4. Her friends sound like they are from a TV show. Her best friends names are Kitty, Tilly, Helen, and Hazel. Then you add her name, Ruth, and it is just perfect. I can see it now "The Real Golden Girls of New Bern" coming to Lifetime next season.
5. Pretty much everything that comes out of her mouth is hilarious. Growing up in the country means that she says the best phrases. Here are a few
- Whenever she starts coughing she says," 'scuse me, I got a scrapplebug in my throat!"
-"She was as nervous as a cat in a room full of rocking chairs!"
- "Eat green peas and pass the breeze"
- "I haven't seen you in a coon's age!" That means a long time apparently. I looked it up, racoons live about 12 years in the wild. I guess that is a long time.
- "It doesn't have to do with the size of man's parts but it all has to do with the motion of the ocean!" That one made my brother-in-law especially uncomfortable.
6. Her dentures. Grandmama wear dentures, and has for years, but she thinks that none of us know. When my mom asked her why she sleeps in then she said, "They are my teeth. Don't you sleep with your teeth in?" One time she was in the hospital and mom's only job was to make sure no one came in her room unless her teeth were in. The problem is, I don't think her dentures fit very well. They are always coming loose and she has to click them back into place. It ruins her scheme of making us believe they are her real teeth. We all pay along though.
7. She has emphysema but she swears it has nothing to do with the fact that she smoked for 50 years.
8. None of her siblings, including her, go by their real name. They all have nicknames. We refer to her brothers as Uncle Pug, Uncle Pete, Uncle Shade, Uncle Wes, and she is Tink. A few people around town still call her Tink.
Basically Ruth Taylor is the sweetest and funniest lady I know. One of my favorite things about the holidays is getting to spend time with her and talking to her. You never know what is going to come out of her mouth. I hope I am like Ruth in a lot of ways when I am an old lady. We both have bad hips, so I guess I am already on my way to becoming Ruth.

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Never Want to be a Chubby Bunny Again

When I was in youth group we would always start with the Pointless Game of the Night. We played all kinds of weird little games to break the ice and have a little fun. Every year it seems like someone would suggest that we play the classic game Chubby Bunny. My youth pastor would never let us play Chubby Bunny. He said it was dangerous. I would always roll my eyes at that comment. How could stuffing marshmallows in your mouth be dangerous? Marshmallows are like sugary little pillows, not deadly weapons. I went all the way through middle school and high school youth group and never played Chubby Bunny.

Well I came to college and never really gave any thought to the game Chubby Bunny. I was way too busy thinking about other, more scholarly and sophisticated things of course. Until last year, my junior year when the game popped back into my life. Someone had had a bonfire and there were leftover marshmallows on my hall. I was in my friend, Hillary's, room and the two of us were just hanging out, not doing much of anything. We grabbed a bag of marshmallows and decided to have a little snack. I was suddenly feeling curious about Chubby Bunny. My youth pastor was not there to tell me I wasn't allowed to play. I felt so free to throw caution to wind and take a crack at this "dangerous" game. Hillary agreed that it would be fun, so we started stuffing the marshmallows in our mouths. We both had gotten 5 in and could still utter the words "chubby bunny," we were feeling good. I shoved one more in and started laughing hysterically. So, picture two 20 years olds alone in a dorm room laughing with mouths full of marshmallows. It was not our finest moment. We thought it was funny enough to go next door and show Sarah and Aimee. They laughed at us too. At this point I was laughing so hard with marshmallows in my mouth and suddenly one went right down my throat! I didn't want to make a big deal about it, so I just went into my room to take care of the problem.

My youth pastor was right. This is a terrible game to play. The sugary pillows that seemed so happy before suddenly turned into monsters in my mouth. I spit out the other 5 that I had in my mouth still. The one in my throat was already dissolving and turning into a thick, stickiness that was coating my throat. I could not breathe! Hillary came in my room and saw my dilemma. She started patting me on the back and freaking out. I appreciated her support, but it was not helping me breathe. Finally, she yelled into the hall, "Help! Caroline is choking!" Sarah came running in from next door. She was so calm and she said, "I took a baby sitting class when I was 12, do you want me to do the heimlich?" I had not been able to breathe for about a minute and a half at this point and panic was setting in so I nodded my head vigorously. Well she did the heimlich, and it worked! The marshmallow came right up. I guess I owe Sarah my life.

I don't know why these sorts of things happen to me. I should just listen to my youth pastor I suppose. I will never play Chubby Bunny again. It was definitely tons of fun while I could still breathe though. When Hillary told her mom what happened she said, "Why don't you girls just braid each other's hair instead?" I wish we had asked her for suggestions before.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Happy Birthday

This is a special shout out post to my friend Amy Genders. Today is her 19th birthday.
These are things I like about Amy:
1. She thinks every person is a gem. "Awww you are such a gem!"
I never get tired of hearing that
2. She always has a herd of boys following her around. She thinks it's because she's a bro, I think it's because she's irresistible.
3. She always has a beautiful smile on her face.
4. Her ideal guy is Saul from the Bible because he is described as tall, dark, and handsome. (Yes, I remember when you said this during pledge.)
5. I mean this list could go on forever. She is such a gem!

Happy Birthday Amy!!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

"You want a McWhat?!"

When I first heard that I would be spending the summer in Charleston, SC I began applying for awesome jobs at little bookstores, marinas, and even a bike rental shop. I could just picture myself wearing white shorts, a polo shirt, and some Sperry's while hanging out on a dock and directing people to their yachts. Well it turns out that I am working at McDonalds. I spend everday under those golden arches serving Big Macs and french fries to the masses in Goose Creek, SC.
Over the past month I have made a few obervations about McDonald's and its lovely customers.
1. People think that if you put "Mc" in front of something we will automatically sell it. "No, we do not have a McHot Dog sir. You made that up." "I'm sorry, we do not have McWhoppers." These things are not uncommon to say.
2. People are very passionate about their food at McDonalds. If you get something wrong it is not enough to say you will fix it right away and get them a McDouble without pickles. They will still hate you for tainting their precious burger.
3. There is only $0.19 difference between a McDouble and a Double Cheeseburger. People tend to order the Double Cheeseburger thinking it is a $1 instead of $1.19 and of course it is your fault that they got confused.
4. People never complete their order. It is not enough to tell me that you want a number 10 but people do it all the time. Then, when I ask them if they would like Coke with that they give me attitude. As if I should just know what kind of drink they wanted with their nuggets.
5. The most common order is a McDouble and a Mickey D Sweet Tea which comes to $2.16. People who order this usually don't have all their teeth. At least this is the case in Goose Creek, SC.

Over all McDonald's has been a good experience so far. I have been able to interact with all different kinds of people. Apparently the majority of CEO's in North America worked at McDonald's at one point in their lives. I have nothing to back up that statistic, I am just hoping it is true and that this job will rocket launch my life as a successful entrepreneur. It seems like my only other option is continuing to work at McDonald's for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Couch to 5k

I am not a runner. I think it is a miserable sport. At different times throughout my life I have decided that I would take up running. I used to run around my neighborhood in Buffalo Junction. It was only about a mile, but it was a mile of struggle for me. One day 2 dogs chased me the whole mile back home. After that I decided to hang up my running shoes for good. I figured, why force it? I do not need to be a runner.

Last summer I had hip surgery (yes, I was only 20 years old. And no, I did not fall off a horse). It was quite a long recovery and is still not quite over. During the whole process my doctor told me that I would probably never be able to run again. He said I would not be able to just go for a jog on the pavement because it would be too painful and my hip would not be able to take it. My first reaction to this was "I don't care. I hate running." However, the more I thought about the news my doctor had given me the more stubborn I got. Who was he to tell me that I could never run again. I would run if I wanted to and my hip would just have to take it.
So this semester my roommate, Meggie, and I challenged ourselves to Couch to 5k. We really wanted to run a 5k, but neither of us are runners and 3.1 miles seemed very daunting. Also, over the past three years of living together Meggie and I have undertaken many projects, but not ever completed them. We struggle with follow through. I don't think either of us truly believed we would actually run a 5k by the end of the semester.

We started the first week of training. All we had to do was alternate 60 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for 20 minutes. We passed with flying colors. By week three we were jogging for 3 minutes at a time. Honestly, I thought I was going to die. 3 minutes has never seemed so long. Meggie and I were slightly embarrassed as we drug our feet around the indoor track. It didn't help that all these other students were up there zooming by us not even breaking a sweat.
You should never tell someone that you are training for a 5k. Most people will say, "You are training for that? Maybe I will run it with you, but I don't need to train." or, "I can't believe you need to train for that! It's only like 3 miles." and my personal favorite, "Do you mean half-marathon?" I would respond, "O yes, I did mean half-marathon. Minus 10 miles though. So, like a 5k." These reactions are not encouraging.

Against all odds, Meggie and I made it through the 9 weeks of rigorous training. After about week 5 we considered quitting at each new additional minute of the training. But we didn't! So we signed up for the Sunset Sprint 5k in Grove City. We were very excited about this particular 5k for two reasons. 1- we wouldn't have to travel to it and 2- we would get cute t-shirts. After all that hard work, the t-shirt part was very important to us.
About an hour before the 5k, the panic set in. We were both very nervous, and then we were embarrassed that we were so nervous for a 5k. It was a very vicious cycle and a miserable hour. We ate carbs for dinner, and drank a lot of water and we figured we were as ready as we would ever be. Our only goals were to finish and to not stop and walk at all. Once we got to the starting line we added a goal: we had to beat the old man wearing jeans, or "Jeansy" as we affectionately called him.

Mile 1 went fairly well. It was mostly up hill, but we did it in under 10 minutes and we were feeling good. Mile 2 was a bigger challenge. I thought it would never end. Meggie wouldn't let me walk at all. It seemed like we had been running on that road for hours and hours not a mere 20 minutes. By about 2.5 miles I was sure we would die. I had no idea where we were and it seemed like we were light years away from school. But we were still in front of Jeansy. Then I suddenly recognized my surroundings and I got a second wind. We raced down hill to the finish line. Orange slices have never tasted to delicious. We sat on the curb eating our oranges and feeling so accomplished. Jeansy slowly came down the hill about 10 minutes later. He didn't look so good.
So, we did it! Take that hip doctor. Now I never have to run again.


I have taken a long break from blogging, mostly because I am running out of material. Usually I write about things that have happened in elementary or middle school. I think it is time in my blogging career to transition to more current events. Plenty of things have happened in college that I would love to share. So I am beginning the transition now. I hope that is OK. No worries, I will still share old stories as they come to me.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Biggest Meatiest Tastiest

The best dog in the whole world was Widgeon Wolfpack Craft. Dennis and I liked to say she was Weginald of the Wegiment (it didn't make sense then either). She was not always the best dog in the world though. Like most puppies, she got into all kinds of shenanigans. One in particular made me very mad.
I was in preschool at the time and taking ballet lessons. One night after dance class Mom and I stopped at Subway for dinner and we got the sub that we always shared.
Side note: To this day I still order a BMT with lettuce, olives, pickles, mustard, salt, pepper, and vinegar. I think this is my favorite sub, but I have never tried anything else. I realize now that this is Mom's favorite sandwich and she always ordered a footlong and split it with me to save money and convinced me that this was also my favorite sub. I may never know what my actual favorite is.
So I brought my sandwich home and got my dinner all ready. Mom got me a glass of milk and I had a chocolate dough nut all ready for dessert. This was going to be the best dinner ever and I really needed to replenish my nutrients after a long night of preschool ballet class. The feast was laid out on the table and I was getting ready to sit down, when I suddenly remembered that I had to go to the bathroom. Well that is quite a production when you are in preschool and wearing a leotard. Basically, I was gone from the kitchen for about 10 minutes wrestling with that darn leotard.
When I came back to the kitchen my whole dinner was gone and the glass of milk was turned over!! My delicious sub and doughnut were gone. I looked around and all I saw was Widgeon the puppy sitting in the corner finishing off my BMT. To say I was mad would be an understatement. Not only was I mad, but I was also hungry. This is a bad combination for a preschool ballerina.
I started crying and stomped upstairs to find Mom and Dad. I burst into their room and declared that I wanted to kill Widgeon. I hated her! Dad simply said, "Ok Caroline. Wait here." A few minute later he came back and took me to the kitchen. We went to the knife drawer and handed me a big steak knife. Then we went into the garage where Widgeon was in her pen. She looked so happy there with her belly full of my dinner. Dad looked at me with the knife in my hand and said, "Go ahead, kill her."
I couldn't believe it. He thought I was going to kill our cute little puppy! Suddenly, my Subway sub and chocolate doughnut were not as big of a deal as I had thought 3 seconds before. I handed Dad the knife and ran back inside.
It's a very good thing I did not kill her that day because like I said, she was the best dog ever.
But reader beware. Do not steal my food. I may not have mercy next time.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Fake Nails

There was a time in the late 90's when it was super cool to wear press on fake nails. I don't know why this was ever a good idea. By the time I got all the nails glued on I was already regretting it. First of all, they were way too long. You could not perform every day tasks with them on. How am I supposed to zip my pants or jacket, or tie my shoes with 2 inch daggers extending from my fingers? Also, they were kind of painful. The fake nails were always wider than my real nails so I would end up just gluing them to my skin which was no very comfortable for longer than like 15 minutes. The pain came again at the end when you had to rip them off. Or if one got ripped off before you were ready. Inevitably part of your real nail would get pulled off with the fake nail. That glue was very strong.

One day we were at Wal Mart and I had enough of my allowance left to buy a pack of fake nails. I decided that they were going to be perfect. I was not going to glue them crooked (which I did a lot), I was going to trim them to the perfect size, and not glue them to my skin. I could not wait to show up to school and show all the girls how awesome my nails were. I even imagined my teacher, Mrs. Flores, complementing my grown up nails. I asked Sarah Margaret to help me put them on so that the plan would work. I should have known better.

We got the first hand done and they were spectacular. None of my friends had fake nails as perfect as mine were. I was on top of the world. Sarah Margaret started on the next hand. She was holding my pointer finger and squeezing out the glue. I didn't notice, but the glue dripped off my finger and onto the bathroom counter. Sarah Margaret proceeded to push my finger onto the counter and press the nail down. In the process she had glued my finger to the counter! And like I said, that glue was strong. I pulled and pulled but my finger was stuck. We started calling for Mom and Dad to come rescue me. There was also another little problem with my finger. I had a big cut on it. I knew that all I had to do was pour nail polish remover all over my finger and let it soak, but that would burn like the fires of hell. Dad was quick to find a solution. He whipped out his pocket knife and offered to slide it between my finger and the counter. I started crying. I could just picture pulling up my finger and a whole layer of my skin was left where Dad had sliced it off. There was no way I was letting that happen. We could not think of anything else to try. The only option was nail polish remover.

We poured it on. I had to let it soak for 10 minutes. And I was right, it did burn like the fires of hell. Sarah Margaret offered to finish my nails. But I said absolutely not. I was done with fake nails. So instead of going to school with perfectly manicured nails, I went to school with one hand perfectly manicured, and one hand with stubby short nails. Sarah Margaret denies it, but I think she did it on purpose.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

That Darn Pole Cat

Before moving to Buffalo Junction, Va we had always lived in neighborhoods with dogs, cats, and children on bikes and scooters; but not wild animals. Suddenly there was a whole new world opened to us. We had deer gallivanting through out front yard, turkeys trotting across the road, and bunnies hippity hopping all over the place. Every day seemed to bring a new wonderment of nature. And then there were the skunks...
The dogs would always run off and come home smelling like skunk, but we had yet to see one in real life. One morning we were getting ready for school and Dennis announced from his room that there was a skunk in the front yard. We all dropped our Toaster Strudels and ran to the window. For some reason this was the most exciting news we had heard all week. Th little guy was so cute. He was just sniffing around the yard, minding his own business. Dennis and Sarah Margaret decided that the best thing to do would be to go into the yard and get a closer look. At this point Mom was in the driveway loading up the van, so she could not be the voice of reason. They went outside and before I knew it they were running back inside screaming. Apparently, in their excitement they startled the little skunk and he sprayed them. Surprise, surprise. So I went out to the van to tell Mom what had happened. When I stepped out of the garage and into the driveway I saw Mom and the skunk in the driveway. Mom and I both took off in the other direction. Unfortunately, the van door was left open and little skunky sprayed right into the van. Once we were all back in the house we realized how stupid we had been. Why was it a good idea to approach a skunk? At this point we had to leave for school. So Dennis and Sarah Margaret (who smelled like skunk) climbed in the van (which smelled like skunk) with Mom and I. By the time we got to school we all smelled like skunks.
I had no choice but to just walk to homeroom class. I was already the new girl, and now I was the smelly new girl. I have had better mornings. The skunk was really cute though.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Writing Songs

I received one of my favorite birthday presents ever on my 6th birthday. Dad got me a tape with songs on it. Normally, this would not be that exciting, but this tape was custom made and the songs had my name inserted in them. It was awesome. One of my favorite of these songs was about how I can do anything I want when I grow up. I wish you could hear it, but I will just tell you the lyrics. They are very inspiring, especially is your name is Caroline.

"You can be the President of the United States,
and Caroline can be an engineer and won't make mistakes.
Fly an airplane, lead the army, be a doctor, or play sports.
'Cause Caroline of course you're number one in all you do."

Sarah Margaret and Dennis were not huge fans of this tape, this song in particular. They decided to change the words and would sing this version of the song to me all the time:

"You can't be the President of the United States,
and Caroline can't be an engineer she will make mistakes.
Crash an airplane, kill the army..."

You get the point. This version of the song always made me very upset. I would always tell on them and when Mom would ask them about it they claimed they were singing about Baby Bop, not about me. This was one of the first times the Craft kids wrote a song.

In 3rd grade I received a Girl Tech Password Diary. This diary was voice recognition password protected. I just had to speak a password into the microphone, and it would recognize the word and my voice and open up. I decided that I was going to be a songwriter and the perfect place to keep all my songs was in the Girl Tech diary. This way, no one could read what I had written without my permission. One day Dennis found out my password. I didn't think that was a huge deal though because he still could not open my diary without my voice...or so I thought. I guess Girl Tech did not use very sophisticated voice recognition technology because Dennis spoke my password and my diary opened right up. Dennis read all the songs I had written. I was mortified! There was one in particular that was super embarrassing. In a moment of temporary insanity, I even sang a few for him. Right after I sang it, Dennis started making fun of it. I realized that I had made a huge mistake. I swore Dennis to secrecy.

He still brings up that song sometimes even though it has been like 10 years. He will randomly start humming it to me and laugh. He has never sung it for anyone though, not even Sarah Margaret. I am still worried it will come up in the future. He always threatens to sing it at my rehearsal dinner in front of everyone. That was the only time I really dabbled in song writing. It ended in sheer embarrassment that still haunts me with every note that Dennis hums. I bet you really want to know what the song that I wrote is and why I don't want anyone to hear it. But you will have to keep wondering because I will never tell, even if my Girl Tech diary will.