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YES! My Dad Really Made Us Eat Our Pet Turkey (origin. posted Nov, 2010)

Thanksgiving is a great holiday for most, but my holiday is a little marred by an tragic event that took place years past.  Before I tell my tale, let me introduce the Antagonist- Mike, my Dad, AKA Coach.  The good, the bad, the ugly.

One of the top perks to relocating back to my hometown has been the presence of Coach.  The help of a grandfather is not necessarily unique in many families, but you must understand who Coach is- the man, the myth, the legend…before we witnessed the delightful evolution from barely Neanderthal to bona fide “Bumpa” 5 years ago.

Who is Coach?  He has lived in WC his entire life.  He was the director of a summer camp, now serves on the township board, is active in the local fish hatchery, retired Biology teacher who was inducted in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame as he served as a Wrestling and Lacrosse coach at the local high school.   He is somewhat Clint Eastwoodish- broodish, mumbly, usually heavily armed, scary to small children… riding around in his truck with spare bullets in one cupholder and a crusty dip cup in another.  Coach is not who you would label as “sensitive”. For example, when we were young he used to tickle my sister and I until we peed our pants and cried.  At least twice a week. Really.

Typically, you will find Coach in his uniform.  He mostly looks like a robber posing as a hunter…with ladies reading glasses dangling around his neck.  He is often sporting the University of Colorado Crocs and light denim faded Wranglers from the late eighties.  In the summer, he likes to wear one of his tribal Indian shirts handed down from me circa 1994 (I was in a Native American phase) or a wrestling t-shirt from a team he did not coach. He only shaves for holidays or when my Mom can’t stand his scruffle anymore, and likes to wear knit skull caps.

Although I am sure once he reads this, I may be looking for a new assistant, Coach really is a useful little engine.  He has changed diapers, mashed up homemade baby food, helped me with preschool pickup, fixed the boys breakfast at 6am, and even cut the cord when Evan was born.

Forward to The demise of Tom the Turkey…

Around the time I was 9, my little sister Kara and I acquired a turkey from our Aunt Brenda and Uncle Scott.  I don’t recall why they gave us a turkey, perhaps they won it in a contest?  Having said that, it was not unusual for us to acquire livestock pets.  We lived on a camp, and my Dad was a Biology teacher…so there were baby ducks, pigs, goats, cats, bunnies, hermit crabs, hamsters, dogs, snakes, mice, turtles…and a turkey.  We named him Tom (super creative, huh?) and for a few Fall months he lived in the old rabbit hutch in our yard.

The weekend before Thanksgiving, two of my Dad’s wrestlers were at our house working in the yard.  (note – he would often employ his athletes to mow the campgrounds where we lived.  I am sure it brought him comfort to surround himself with testosterone as he was subjected to only highly dramatic and emotional females in his house.)

I remember the wrestlers and my Dad in the yard while Kara and I were on the swingset.  With a sly look in his eyes, Dad called us over to the turkey hutch where from his back pocket he pulled out a Beretta and shot our pet Tom the Turkey (in the neck) at close range as we looked on.  Kara let out a blood curling scream, while I think I maintained some sort of decorum and internalized.  He explained to us then that the turkey would be consumed for Thanksgiving next week…after he found the bullet.  Hope your Turkey Day was just a bit less scarring – anyone got a good story from the weekend?

To Eat Greasy Fried Chicken On A Biscuit, Or To Not…

Years ago, in my hometown, I saw a boy skateboarding down Market Street wearing a t-shirt that proclaimed, “If You Don’t Stand For Something, You Will Fall For Anything”.  It clearly left a mark, because years later it was the first thought that popped into my head when I was faced with a serious conundrum.  Dan Cathy, the President of Chick-Fil-A, my beloved go-to fast food restaurant, made a statement of opinion in direct conflict with my own.  I was going to have to choose, To Eat Greasy Fried Chicken On A Biscuit, Or To Not…or so I thought.

On the 2nd shelf of the left interior door of our refrigerator, there are about a dozen packets of Chick-fil-A sauce.  Kyle, the cashier at my local Chick-fil-A, is always so kind to replenish my supply at no charge, and as many I ask for.  I slather everything from celery to Quorn chicken cutlets in this BBQ mayonnaise honey mustardy type concoction.  It is, quite possibly, the nectar of the Gods.

So, this summer when Dan Cathy decided to get political, my packets sat in the fridge collecting dust (or in my case, a sticky residue of spilt orange juice).  I had a dilemma on my hands.  A deep fried, greasy moral dilemma.

His quote sparked a media firestorm and drew a line in the sand…from a Chicago politician banning a franchise to click on “I support Chik-fil-A Day”  all over Facebook.  Chik-Fil-A’s Vice President of Public Relations died of a sudden heart attack and thousands, maybe millions of people were left in sweet potato fry purgatory.

Dan Cathy’s view on traditional marriage was no surprise to me.  I lived in Atlanta and extensively travelled the state for work in the early 2000’s.  Anyone familiar with Chik-Fil-A knows that it is family run business…a very religious, traditional family run business.  Although I have never subscribed to Mr. Cathy’s opinions (all you need is love, people), I long ago had decided that just because I bought waffle fries deep fried in peanut oil, didn’t mean I was somehow funding legislation on stopping same sex marriages.  Also, I was comforted by knowing for a fact that not all of his employees believed or lived in “traditional biblical unions”.

But, after the media blew up the story, I had to go on peach shake hiatus.  What if I didn’t stand up to Mr. Cathy?  What if eating a deep fried, breaded chicken breast on a lard infused biscuit meant I supported his beliefs?

Interestingly, but not surprisingly enough, about a month later, Mr. Cathy made it easy for me to restock my 2nd shelf.

On Sept 19 ABC News posted an article on it’s website quoting;

The Chik-Fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect -regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender,” Chick-fil-A spokeswoman Tracey Micit said in the statement. “Going forward, our intent is to leave the Chick-fil-A policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.”

Translation:  3rd quarter sales were down, too much negative media attention, time to smooth ruffled feathers and get those profits arising.  P.S. Don’t forget lawsuits, lawsuits, lawsuits….

Thank you, Dan Cathy, for falling for anything.  Now I can eat my Chicken Caesar Wrap and not worry about you funding any hate groups that could hurt my friends who aren’t “traditional”. It’s just not good for the profit margin…



Kinder Scam

We have some very interesting characters in our lives- you’ve met a few of them as guest bloggers.  Therefore, it has come to light that I need to actually blog about my guest bloggers.  From this day forward, Guest Bloggers, you shall receive your intro blog…

My post requires the formal introduction of my guest blogger, “Mama” (the general public knows her as Kelly Magill). Many moons ago, in Tallahassee, she first arrived in my life as my neighbor.  We were an unlikely friendship- She, a proper Southern Belle native Tallahassean and Me, a snarky Southern fried Yankee hybrid.  We quickly bonded after her twins and my Oldest were born- enjoying Champagne and gossip infused happy hours while our children beat each other with whatever we purchased that day from the Target Dollar Bins.   Soon, when she deemed me acceptable enough (it was a tough call- I refused to dress my boys’ in smocked clothes or wear flip flops with my monogram),  and introduced me to her other Mommy friends.   It was Sara and Monica who joined us to venture down the new path that is motherhood…with one most notable pitstops- KINDERMUSIK!

Our children were just a few months old when we enrolled them in Kindermusik, christened Kinderscam once my husband received the bill. Once a week for 45 minutes our children would get their Mensa training through listening to Hickory Dickory Dock and licking egg shakers.  Miss Christine was their teacher and begin each class with her sweet tea water bottle in hand- after the first class, I was fairly certain there was crushed up ampthetamine particles floating about.   My friends and I were usually nursing down grande triple tall non fat lattes as this was our first rodeo of sleepless nights.   Miss Christine, “bless her heart”, as she was, was very hard to follow in her boundless enthusiasm.  I mean, can you imagine keeping a straight face while this woman sang “Ride the Cock-horse” or “Baaaalls away! Time to put your dirty balls away!”  “Don’t put dirty balls in your mouth”?  It was especially fun to see our modest friend Sara turn crimson with all the dirty ball talk.

Today- my morning was filled with nostalgia…I took The Nosy Meap to her 1st “Makin’ Music” class.  (Please note she is 1 years old, whereas her brother’s were veterans of music class by this age.)  The instructor of Makin Music was not who caught my attention, she was fairly cool, singing the “Freebird of Makin Music”… but it the ANM (Annoying New Mom) to my right had me over the edge.  Now that I have my 3rd, and almost all of my friends have at least 1 child (or 1 in utero), I have not been aware of the ANM for sometime.  I have forgotten what ANM are like as I am not surrounded by any.    I am just too busy trying not to get blacklisted by my Oldests’ PTO’s for not volunteering enough.  For 45 minutes, I had to endure ANM point out how much her 16 month old was signing.  UGH. How she understood how to give her Mommy just 1 music stick…double UGH.  Everytime her daughter did something she perceived as brilliant, we all had to hear, (use your philly/chesco county accent ears)  “Em-ma.  That was ver-ry good! Love-you!”  Rule of thumb- if your baby is still using a diaper, don’t fill out your Harvard app just yet.

Just Visiting

“I am not in charge, I am just visiting.”  This is how my husband answered E’s Angry Bird’s inquiry this morning.


That’s what it feels like over here in the ‘burbs of the frozen tundra.  Supposedly, I am in charge.  Yet, 95% of the time, it doesn’t feel that way. You see- I am not a former Army Sargeant who can silence our children with a look.  I am a slightly hysterical overreactor.  The perfect entertainment for mischevious little boys.  I also waiver in my disciplining and am easily distracted by bright lights.  Gregg is all business and can be quite scary when angered.  I actually thought that was the main reason our boys never misbehave for him.  But new information has come to light to make me think contrarily.


Last weekend, The Nosy Meap and I took a trip to visit my in-laws.  (I know, I know. nominate me now for daughter-in-law of the year).  I know she’s reading this, so I will mention “The General” made me my favorite macaroni salad and babysat so I could have dinner with friends.  And she ironed my baby’s clothes.  AND I got to go to Florida in the winter…I know, I know…..but on to my story –  You see,  as I was giving my departing kisses, all three males looked like they swallowed canaries.   I reminded them to not overload on electronics and eat their snow peas.  Right.


Upon my return on Sunday, two exuberant boys slathered me with kisses and were on their best behavior  as they enthusiastically greeted me… telling me how much they missed me – very suspicious.  The house was spotless upon my return- no surprise, really. I wasn’t home to make the messes.  The rest of the evening was flawless- no fighting, a second helping of salad was requested, and no one was begging to play Wii.  Suspicious, very suspicious.


I credit myself with being smart enough to wait until Gregg left for work on Monday to ask the boys what they did during the weekend.  The Oldest is a babbler and get’s so spasmatic when he’s center stage, the flood gates opened:   “We played 1500 hours of Wii.  We went to Hooters, Pizza Peddler and Market Street Grille. We went to the Franklin Institute, Camden Aquarium and West Chester University Basketball game. Dad let us watch Kick Buttowski.  And other shows on Cartoon Network we aren’t supposed to know about.  We did NOT eat vegetables or do our homework.


All in 72 hours…

Time 4 a change?

I truly intended to keep politics off my blog. Way too dicey with my audience.  Me, I am a true and tested Demliblican, but I share bloodlines and friendships with Reds and Blues alike.   After further review, I must make an exception as I do enjoy controversy and I believe the 2012 election cycle has provided just too much!  Sadly, starting this late I have missed the boat on Bachmann-Perry-Paul- Cain (I miss you so much already, Herman) but thankfully Newt Gingrich is the gift that just keeps on giving….

In a recent ABC interview, candidate Gingrich’s ex-wife (aka woman he told “this is forever” –  #2) claimed he asked her to adopt an open marriage policy.   I had to stop and pause.  Open marriage…what an interesting concept.  If I am to understand this correctly, the wife in the marriage is to tolerate her husband’s affairs, and maybe enjoy some of her own.   Hmph.  Insert dream sequence about me here….

As the fake fog clears to reveal a usual morning – Gregg coming to me, maybe while we are enjoying a nice breakfast of turkey sausage patties, eggs over easy and crispy hash browns. (One of Gregg’s past professions was as a Perkins breakfast cook.  We reap the benefits daily.)

Gregg:   “I’ve been thinking- um, maybe we should shake things up around here….”

Gina:  “You thinking eggbeaters?  I’d rather go egg whites than eggbeaters. They have a cardboard-y aftertaste.  Either way, Jamie would be so proud.”

Gregg: “The thing is, you want me all to yourself, and I want to date other women…there’s a moral-less blonde who I met in Houston Phoenix Nashville Hartford Knoxville Tampa who doesn’t seem to care….

CUE IN:  Baby screaming, Oldest asking for 2nd helping of pancakes and E making snowballs outside in his pajamas.

THE REALITY SHATTERED.  Who exactly has time for ANOTHER RELATIONSHIP in their life??   Especially someone who not only has children, a wife, but has a big boy job- at the time- he couldn’t really “slack” at Speaker of the House.  What man needs twice the dramatic phone calls while he’s trying to get things done, and more importantly, WHAT WOMAN NEEDS A SECOND ONE OF THESE SMELLY MEN?

Seriously, I need another guy running around here naked singing “naked booty, naked booty” and peeing on my toilet seat like I need a sharp stick in the eye.  Oh, wait, more talk about the Phillies?  Super.

By damn, if I am involved in an “open marriage” I better have sister wives who help clean my house and care for my kids – I can be down with the Big Love style fun…..someone who can find/work the vacuum cleaner?  Sign me up!

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