Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas at Mudgie's

When I was pregnant with Velvet - which is the one and only time I've ever been pregnant and I consider it an accomplishment to have only been pregnant once in my life and that was on purpose (thanks to my being able to function on The Pill which many people cannot) - I gave my mother the Grandmother name of Mudgie. Short for Curmudgeon. My mother is a certifiable curmudgeon whereas I could be called a flibbertigibbet. A flibbertigibbet is probably the exact opposite of a curmudgeon.

The name stuck, and she's known far and wide as Mudgie now even though she's mellowed over time and may not be quite as big a curmudgeon as she used to be - although I'm sure she has some neighbors who would disagree. They suck anyway, though, and we don't give a flying fuck what they have to say.

I'm spending today in my favorite Home at Mother's manner which is snacking and napping. Mother always has a refrigerator full of good food, perfect for snacking - but as a grandmother she reigns superior because she enjoys being a short order cook for her three grand kids who are all here. So there are nibbles galore as well as Blue Bell Ice Cream Sandwiches.

Bluebell is the Official Ice Cream of Texas

My sister will be taking her little family to Christmas Eve church somewhere in the vicinity. Dad will certainly go along. Mudgie and I will drink wine and I'll watch her cook. I may even stir something. Years ago, when I was living with my folks in St. Louis going to grad school for the first time, I made the mistake of monkeying with the salt in a big pot of pinto beans. That action led to the episode wherein my mother made the memorable statement:

We're all trapped in our own personal Hell, Patricia,
and nobody wants to hear about yours.

I was offended at the time, but even then I knew a good line when I heard one. Apparently, Velvet has a talent not only for coming up with good lines but also for delivering them with a innate sense of comic timing. Sadly, I am his favorite target. Even more sadly, last night after a seven hour car trip from New Orleans to Houston, I wasn't as thick skinned as I might have been. Most likely I should have had a glass of wine BEFORE I succumbed to the temptation to spit on him from the balcony of the game room.
The breakfast area in the kitchen has a cathedral ceiling so when you're playing pool you can hang over the railing and chat with those in the kitchen. You don't have to shout for a beer, since there is a well stocked bar upstairs too.
I wasn't playing pool at the time. I was running to lock myself in my room because my child was verbally assaulting me with glee, stopped to make a parting comment, and was compelled to spit. It was childish, but I couldn't help it. It was a clear, straight shot, and I would never have such a perfect opportunity again. Mother was pissed, but when we determined that the spit landed full on Velvet and didn't splash onto the kitchen chairs or floor, she let it go.
I got my comeuppance later when I ate what I believed to be a tiny piece of bell pepper. My sister and her husband had been out for Pho for lunch and brought some back for Mudgie. She had left a bit of pepper on her plate that looked for all the world like the curved top of a bell pepper - but it was fresh jalapeno. I popped it into my mouth and was quickly sputtering over the sink in tears, spitting it into the garbage disposal. The milk Mudgie gave me to cut the sting absorbed the juice and went up my nose. Ten minutes of hilarity ensued at my expense, but if it's one thing I learned early in life, it was to be a good sport. The whole thing was my own damn fault anyway. Clearly I've been away from Texas a while when I can't tell the difference between a bell pepper and a jalapeno.


Kimberly M. Wetherell said...

Bluebell ice cream is second only to Amy's Mexican Vanilla Bean. Damn. You are making me miss Texas, and that's hard to do.

I used to drive to that very Bluebell creamery in the photo, take my bike from the rack and do a 30-mile ride during blue bonnet season, and then end with fresh ice cream.

That's a damn fine day in Texas indeed.

PENolan said...

It is beautiful country up there any season but especially during bluebonnet season. Not to worry, though, a week in Austin every now and then is all the Texas anyone needs. When were you in Texas????

Kimberly M. Wetherell said...

I did an 18-month stint in Houston from 98-00, with the summers off in Santa Fe for good behaviour.

Austin was the best thing about Houston! :-)

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