Archive for the ‘Mom’ Category

You win! Can we go now?!?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

By Tiber

Mom, the triplets’ grandmother, took the three to some Halloween party across town and only then did she realize that she’d left their spooky costumes at home.

So she dropped the kids off anyway and came back home to retrieve their outfits.

By the time Mom returned to the party and went up to the house to ask for help in bringing the costumes inside, the other kids had already awarded the street-clothes-dressed triplets the prize for “The Scariest Children at The Party!”

Anyone who knows the triplets will hear this with a complete lack of surprise.

Mom, of course, was horrified and yet Mom, as you know, is the most polite person on the planet. So she left the costumes in the car, smiled warmly at her grandchildren and went on and on about how clever they were. “Wow! Well done! Winning a contest using only your imagination!”

Actually, I think it was a lot more the other kids’ imaginations that had given the prize to the triplets. That and reality.

Rock & Dough

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

By Tiber

Mother Shipton was a seer or a psychic who was born back in the late 1400’s in England.

She evidently lived in a cave and I just read where her cave is still a big tourist attraction to this day.

This is partly due to what’s called the “Petrifying Water Well,” which, because of the excessive amounts of minerals in the water, can, over time, make things turn to stone.

I need to check this out as a money-making venture because we’ve got three family members in this house alone who can turn whole people into stone just by glaring at them!

Mom can do it, when someone is rude. Iris Nell can do it,  if anyone’s unkind. And Vanessa can do it if anyone’s an idiot.

And they can all do it instantly! No waiting!

So line up, pony up and get your tickets right here!

Of course, the minute I suggest this, all three of them will ice me like a cube.

I’m going to have to think of a way to market them without looking.


Wednesday, April 6th, 2011


By Tiber 

My brother, Duncan, was so excited. He said he grabbed all of his ghost-hunting equipment in the middle of the night because he thought he heard one of our ghosts tap-dancing.

I would have had doubts right there. If ghosts do dance, and I sincerely hope that ours do, wouldn’t they still be stuck having to do something slower, like a waltz or at best, maybe a tango through the wall?

I was right, of course. The sound Duncan heard was just Dad, drinking beer and making popcorn in the upstairs kitchen at 3AM so Mom wouldn’t catch him.

Ever since Dad mistook Mom’s fashion designer friend for the race-car driver and then forced him to speed around the property, causing the poor guy to crash into the greenhouse, Dad has been hiding in his room.

Sorry, I mean, “recovering” in his room, quietly and bravely, all on his own.

Duncan said Dad clearly was fine, even after the accident.

Of course, if Mom’s fashion designer friend now becomes too agitated to sketch clothing, Duncan may get his ghost after all. It will be Dad!

Courteous and gentle though she may usually be, we all know that occasionally there are other sounds in the night and those are the ones of Mom expertly and efficiently plotting away on how to kill her husband.

The cheese stands alone

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

By Tiber

It’s probably better not to know everything that goes on over in the staff wing here at my parents’ house. What we do hear about is weird enough.

We’ve wondered before if maybe the Universe just doesn’t like Taffy, the maid. Remember when she got the hiccups last year and then they wouldn’t stop? Remember when she was out driving and a fish fell out of the sky and shattered her windshield?

Now Taffy has broken her toe. Of course, this one happens to lots of people but not like this.

The reason given was that she had been “chasing some cheese and she fell and skidded into a streamer trunk.”

First of all, “chasing some cheese?!?” Knowing Cook’s temper, nobody would have questioned it at all if Taffy had been “fleeing from some cheese.” But “chasing” it?

Second of all, who has a steamer trunk anymore? Did Taffy also skid through a time warp where she momentarily ended up in 1910 on the deck of the Lusitania? If the Universe doesn’t like you, I guess anything is possible.

The Universe being out to get her does keep her employed, however. She has Mom’s sympathy and Mom not only will never fire her, but she was the one who drove Taffy, through a heavy rainstorm, over to see the doctor in town.

It’s more than she would have done for any of us. Duncan used to be convinced that Mom was part Native American shape-shifter – because every time one of her kids would do something stupid, she had this amazing ability, just like mist, to suddenly disappear.

Knock yourself out on Boxing Day

Monday, December 27th, 2010


By Tiber

The day after Christmas is Boxing Day, where one of the Victorian customs was to give all of the servants a day off.  This year, everybody who works for my parents made use of it and took off.  At least, we hoped they had. This house is so big, you know we’ve already found one unknown person up in the attic. Over in the massive staff wing, there could be an unknown settlement of villagers, for all we’d know.

It’s very rare when we go over there at all but being pretty sure that everyone, including Dad, was gone for the day, the rest of us decided to go over to the big kitchen and make something to eat.

Mom offered to do it but instantly, everyone else leaped in, saying it was our treat, etc., anything to keep the world’s worst cook away from the food.

I remember when I was about 7 and all of the moms were bringing food to a holiday party at school. Mom gamely attempted some fudge but it ended up, no lie, looking partially green. She said maybe if she put a red ribbon on it, it would just look “Christmasy.” I said I really didn’t think so. So she stopped at a restaurant in town and had them make up some salmon roll-ups, I think it was, for me to take to school instead. Of course, the other 7 year-olds took one look at those and I knew right then, they would have preferred the green fudge.

Anyway, we kept Mom, the chef, out of the kitchen and then, of course, quickly realized that the rest of us weren’t that much better. Cook didn’t have anything you could just heat up. She only had ingredients you would have to assemble. This would be as bad as making food from IKEA.

In the mop closet, we did find some of the cans of Spam Dad keeps trying to foist on us but we left those there.

Somebody suggested we make S’mores but, thankfully, Iris Nell knew that they wouldn’t work with baking chocolate, which was all that Cook had.

Frustration set in and I’m not proud to admit this but all we ended up with was a food fight (which we did clean up afterwards). Still, it was wasteful, pointless, incredibly juvenile and more fun than anyone had had all day.

Afterwards, we went into town and just bought Mom some flowers. She barely eats anyway and I think the flowers pleased her more.

The Bicycle Thief – The Sequel

Thursday, December 16th, 2010


By Tiber

You may recall when Mom decided to bring in some extra cash too and she got a job in the office of the soup kitchen where she normally volunteers.

Of course, as she pointed out at the time, since she was then working there and not just volunteering, she couldn’t very well ignore that the food and the table settings weren’t that good.

So Dad started getting new bills for catering, linens and the dreaded “Trevor’s Floral Fantasies.“ When Mom ordered 25 ergonomic chairs for the job training room, though, Dad’s head exploded and it was decided that Mom, while a wonderful rich person to have around, did not do “budgeting” well at all and her career at the Mission was quickly over.

Now, she’s done it again.

A friend of hers, who volunteers at a charity thrift shop in one of the nearby towns asked Mom to help out since, sadly, there are a lot more customers these days. Mom would again just be volunteering and taking customers’ money, so that seemed safe enough on the expenditure front.


Mom, to her credit, really got into moving the merchandise and she got more than she had expected from selling an old bicycle.

The problem was, the bicycle had not been for sale. It had belonged to a little boy who was across the room, picking out some small, used Christmas gifts for his only family member, his poor, invalid grandmother who raised him.

Charles Dickens came by the shop and said, “Dear God, no, this is too sad for even me to write about.”

You can imagine how bad Mom felt. That bicycle was the family’s sole form of transportation so, obviously, she had to buy the boy a new one. Plus, a helmet. And some new sneakers. And socks. And a plasma flat-screen TV because poor Grandma had always dreamed of one, so that even though she couldn’t afford to buy anything on the Shopping Networks, at least she could finally see all of the beautiful things people kept talking about.

Therefore, Mom’s day of volunteering at the Thrift Shop cost Dad a little over $2000.

He tried explaining the term ”thrift” to Mom. “It’s even written on the front of the store, Gwen!!!”

But, finally, he just gave up.

What was he going to do? He didn’t want the kid to be without transportation either.

Of course, Mom may or may not know that her own transportation options are now going to be much more limited. Dad has been trying to con all the rest of us into playing, “this really fun Christmas game I heard about! It’s called ‘Who Can Be The Most Successful In Permanently Hiding Mom’s Car?'”

Mom’s on a Mission

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

By Tiber

Now Mom has been fired from her new job. Well, to be honest, she wasn’t fired, as much as removed.

With Dad’s need for more money, when Mom heard about a part-time job in the office of the local soup kitchen where she volunteers, she applied for it and got it.

This weekend, though, my father noticed some new bills coming in and he asked my mother about them.

“Didn’t we stop ordering food from ‘Carousel Catering?’”

My mother explained with her usual calm logic that when she’d only volunteered at the soup kitchen, she didn’t feel that it was her place to criticize, well, the soup. Or any of the other food, for that matter. But now that she worked there and represented the establishment itself, she couldn’t very well ignore the fact that the food wasn’t that good. So she’d called in some help.


My father kept on reading the credit card bill.

“There’s also a charge here for ‘Lux Linens.’”

“Well, once you have better food, you have to have a better looking table.”

“Which would also explain the dreaded return of  ‘Trevor’s Floral Fantasies.’”

“Centerpieces, Jack! What else are the people going to look at across the table?”

“Each other, Gwen!” Dad roared. “They can look at each other!!! Nobody on this planet can have too many friends!!!”

Of course, Dad was yelling because he was still losing the argument. But Mom had truly overstepped which Dad saw when he finally got to the bill for modern furniture.

“And it says you also placed an order for 25 ergonomic chairs.”

“That’s right. They’re for the job training room. And don‘t forget. Some of these people have been outside standing on their feet all day.”

Dad was starting to turn the color of an eggplant so Mom played what, to her, was her ace.

“You seem to be forgetting, Jack, but I’m now pulling down my own salary!”

“Which you will have to keep pulling down for the next 97 years to pay for the damned chairs!”

That may have been a slight exaggeration. But probably not by much.

So that was the end of Mom at the Mission.

The chairs probably would have been nice. But they were not to be. My mother is exactly the kind of rich person you want around, gracious, thoughtful and unfailingly generous. Poor? She doesn’t do poor very well.

And a beanie for your bunny

Saturday, May 29th, 2010


By Tiber

As I wrote about in my April 2010 post, “So Tell Us, Who Is Your Rat Wearing?“ my sister, Iris Nell, has been putting together a website to sell her own custom-made all-weather gear for pets other than cats and dogs.

And to my amazement, anyway, she’s actually gotten some orders. Mom, who to everyone’s amazement, is helping her sew, and Iris Nell keep going on and on about how cute all of this tiny attire is.  But frankly, it’s just creeping me out.

Besides the “mice macs and bunny breeches” she said she was making, Iris Nell has also made these little head scarves for iguanas. She tied one on her stuffed iguana mannequin to get a feel for it and when she whipped that babushka-sporting thing around for me to look at, all I could think was, “Contest winner for ‘World’s Ugliest Grandma!’”

Next up were her hamster capes. I actually dreamed about those and it was not pleasant. Suddenly, the caped hamsters were the Spartans in “300” if the Spartans were four inches tall and considerably more furry. And they were kicking my butt!

Now granted, I’ve never claimed to live a Spartan existence but still, these were Spartan hamsters! With pickle-jar lids for shields! Of course, they did have abs- even if those abs were about the size of M & M’s. And yes, okay, even candy-sized, they were still more rock-hard than mine.

I woke up sweating and trying to hide my stomach. I’ve heard of people having phobias about a lot of things. But no therapist in the country is going to treat me if I start getting panic attacks over tiny clothing.