The Idiom (NOT Idiot) Challenge

Where in tarnation have winter, spring, and summer gone, maybe more to the point is, where has the “diaryofanut” gone? Truth be told, I have been attempting to write a new diaryofanut post since January.  I have started, stopped, started, stopped, started, stopped, etc. always closing the laptop wondering if my blogging had simply run its course.  Before I proceed, let me ask….have you ever heard the word “tarnation” used in a sentence?  The term “tarnation” just flew into my head as I began to type.  Of course, I then stopped and asked myself….who under the age of sixty would even know of that word.  Actually, I wasn’t even positive of its actual meaning, and so I did what I always, always, always do……I Googled it!! I discovered that in the 18th century when certain curse words, such as damnation, were taboo they substituted another word, in this case “darnation”.  If you are really curious as to how the word became “tarnation” simply follow the hyperlink.  FYI, as I was “googling” I happened upon another link that highlighted some twenty old English idioms and I challenged myself to see how many I could incorporate into this post.

Now, why would I tax my very limited imagination by attempting this formidable task? Could it be that I clearly have my head in the clouds?, I think that was where Crick’s head always was which was why his optimistic/glass half-full/pie in the sky persona literally would drive me up a wall   Why, I do believe I am getting the hang of this challenge, and you all were probably reading this thinking to yourselves that I was obviously mad as a hatter and undoubtedly barking up the wrong tree  OMGosh……I can’t stop myself.  I know, maybe I should just switch gears  (I am definitely on a roll)!! Sheesh, who knew I was such a clever genius….not that I want to blow my own trumpet   I really am going to go back to the drawing board and get this blog back on track.  Let’s see if the idioms follow me!! ba, ha, ha, ha, ha ha, ha!!

I am actually armed to the teeth with pictures from this winter.  I suppose cell phone cameras do serve a myriad of purposes, for without mine, I would be at a loss to explain what it is that I do all day, and why it is that my comings and goings often seem to occur on the wrong day or at the wrong time (e.g. ending up at my 20 hour/month job on the 2nd Tuesday instead of the 3rd Tuesday, but not the 5th Tuesday)!!

I suppose I really should continue this post by first asking a question.  Is anybody still out there??!!  I ask because maybe Elvis has left the building, and I am the sole follower now of this diaryofanut blog.  Whatever the case may be, I am ready to go back to square one and “pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again” (sometimes lyrics to old songs just pop into my head…..if you don’t know the song… are a couple of generations apart from me…..count your blessings!!).

I am thinking that as I have been told that I simply can not tell a short story short, and since I do, however, want to document for my family’s posterity certain “hystorical” (combination of historical and hysterical!!) events that have occurred since the last blog post, I will resort to an early “year in review” video montage of a few selected photos from Christmas right up until the start of school/end of summer.  “Trigger warning”…..the very first photos were taken at our adult family gag-gift Christmas party and as political emotions have been quite strained since the election, the Clark family is here to prove to one and all that you can not only remain friendly, but also have some fun while being on completely opposite sides of the political aisle.  Case in point is the picture of cousin Jan’s husband, Ralph, who had to make a trade and give up a much more desired gag-gift in return for a “make America great again” hat.  You would have to be a FB friend of Ralph’s to know how far he was willing to go to extend the olive branch by posing for a photo with the MAGA hat on his very liberal head!  LOL.

Other pictures show myself…..armed with a selfie-stick….and a few willing participants posing for a photo-op as the Clark families gathered Christmas Day at the old homestead. Not to be outdone were the 100 (give or take a handful – we stopped counting years ago!!!) Schultheis siblings and offspring who celebrated Christmas at the Whetstone Rec Center (still waiting for someone to win the lottery and buy a mansion large enough to accommodate us) complete with the annual gift-bearing visitor from the North Pole whose red suit, white beard, black boots and jingling bells signal to all the younger set that the time has come to stop their play and gather at Santa’s feet to learn what is in his big black bag.

Additional pictures in the video include:

  • Tom Brown’s detective murder mystery game night the title of which was “The Player Game” that Tom adapted for our little group.  Word on the street is that he is diligently working on personally writing his own whoodunit to host another game night this winter.  Hopefully, my obsession with the Investigation Discovery TV channel and Dateline on OWN will sharpen my Sherlock Holmes detective skills.
  • cheering Nate on in the Special Olympics basketball state semi-finals’ game
  • Grandparent’s Day at Watterson with Olivia and Sam
  • Mayce and Josh dressed as 100 yr. olds for their kindergarten class’ celebration of the 100th day of school
  • the Clark crowd gathered once again for Easter which also happened to be a NHL play-off date and so everyone gravitated toward the TV to watch the Blue Jackets’ lose in overtime to the Penguins (don’t get me started on sports and Sundays!!)
  • Ryan….finally at age 3 1/2….posing for his 1st ever professional pictures (4th child – ho-hum!!!!!)
  • Luke and Natalie after the junior high play production of “When in Rome”
  • a “fascinating” (ha, ha, ha) x-ray of my foot which lead to bunion surgery in April and hobbling around afterward for 4 weeks in a shoe boot
  • a “burning” ritual, of sorts, held after dinner one night in an attempt to dispel an array of childhood anxieties which seemed to plague a few of the grandkids. Everyone (adults included) was instructed to write down their negative or worry thoughts on note paper and then toss them into the fire pit (I am thinking we will probably need to do it again soon what with all of the political craziness going on in the country!) Shhhhh……the “political” word was mentioned.
  • speaking of anxiety…take a look at the snapshot of the end of the school year talent show in which Mayce was “forced” to participate in singing a song with her entire kindergarten class.  It is very, very, very, very difficult to force Mayce into doing anything (I tell Stephanie often, that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree….trust me, I am proof….. the original apple being my Dad, then me, then Stephanie!) you can see from the picture, that she found her own way to rebel by turning away from the audience for the entire length of the performance!!!!)
  • the launching of lighted Chinese lanterns on which were written notes from the grandkids in memory of Crick for Father’s Day (FYI…the Clintonville Crime Watch FB page was all the buzz wondering what in “tarnation” was lighting up the sky !!)
  • a touching Shamrock Club Flag Day ceremony, not only honoring my brother, Jimmy’s sacrifice and service in Viet Nam, but also the courage, heart, tenacity and kindness that embodied his determined spirit
  • My favorite photo of Katie and students from the Ark children’s home in Thika, Kenya just outside of Nairobi where Katie spent 2 months volunteering this spring, And also, there is a photo of Maddie (sporting a stupid Detroit Tigers’ hat) and her traveling companion, Annie, in just one of their amazing pictures from their month-long tour of Europe
  • vacation in Duck in the OBX, in our favorite community, Sea Pines
  • celebrating Olivia’s 18th birthday…..what???? I have an 18 year-old granddaughter??
  • Josh and Ryan collecting pine cones and killing weeds (the natural way, of course!) or, in other words….how to have fun at Nana’s!!!
  • Ryan who had suddenly disappeared from sight while I was babysitting, (could I have been on my laptop, do you think?) and was discovered attempting to sneak a forbidden oreo by “hiding” under the glass top table (if he is going to become a successful crook…he has a long, long way to go!) LOL
  • The grandkids enjoying one last summer fling together at the park followed by a visit to Whit’s Frozen Custard shop
  • And……back to school again for the grandkids……8 of them now at IC – from Ryan in pre-school through Natalie and Luke in the 8th grade.  Olivia and Sam…..senior and junior respectively at Watterson.  Only God knows how the next nine months will play out.  Fingers crossed!

I feel as though I have just scratched the surface of events, but hopefully there are sufficient memories documented in order to compensate for the diary’s long-term absence.

Interestingly, I am already thinking of a few topics for my next post….one of them has to do with keys!!!!! (Stephanie, Joe, Luke, Tommy, Christopher??), the other topic has to do with letters from the past.  One is quite a long, convoluted story….and I am sure to make it even longer.  Stay tuned.

As I always, always, always like to leave the reader (that is, if there are any!) with something that I have found to be worthy of reflection; I decided that whichever of my devotional books I picked up, and whatever page I opened to, that would be the message I would zero in on.  Here is the result:

I call you to lead the life that I have assigned to you, and to be content. Beware of comparing your situation with that of someone else-and feeling dissatisfied because of the comparison.  Is is also harmful to compare your circumstances with what they used to be or with fantasies that bear little resemblance to reality.  Instead, make every effort to accept as your calling the life I have assigned to you.  This perspective helps take the sting out of even the hashest circumstances.  If I have called you to a situation, I will give you everything you need to endure it-and even to find Joy in the midst of it.

Learning to be content is both a discipline and an art:  You train your mind to trust My Sovereign ways with you-bowing before My mysterious, infinite intelligence.  You search for Me in the details of your day, all the while looking for good to emerge from trouble and confusion.  You accept the way things are without losing hope for a better future.  And you rejoice in the hope of heaven, knowing that indescribably joyful Life is your ultimate calling!                    from Jesus Today

I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance.  In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need.  I have the strength for everything through Him who empowers me.    Philippians 4:12-13

One more thought…….over the weekend I had the pleasure to be with some very special people.  It was a gathering of about 40 of us who went to grade school and high school together.  When I came home, my thoughts turned to Crick (as they usually do at the end of the day), and I was wishing so much that my life with him could have turned out differently in that he could, perhaps, have avoided his early death, if only certain situations had been able to be changed.  It is not a thought I turn to often anymore, but being with others the other night who shared some of our history together, caused it to briefly resurface. And so, I would like to think that my decision to spontaneously choose to share whatever message the page contained, was in fact a sign from heaven; for its message seemed to be tailored perfectly for me today :).



P.S.  Did I deliver the goods by choosing to see how many idioms I could incorporate in this blog post?  In retrospect, it did seem to be a good jumping off point.  Now, maybe the next time I return to post on diaryofanut, I will be able to hit the road running and sail through to the end without blinking an eye!  Okay, okay, I am done now with the idioms……knowing when to keep my mouth shut has always been my achilles heel ba, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

2 thoughts on “The Idiom (NOT Idiot) Challenge

    1. Hi Maureen!
      How sweet it is to know that you are still out there. I have a very dear friend, a former co-worker, whose children attend Glacier Ridge. Her name is Kirsten Downey and her children are Brooke who is 5 and Ethan who is 7. Great family and as Kirsten is often posting events from Glacier Ridge, I still feel connected. Hope all is well with you and yours. Thanks for letting me know you are still reading, it make my heart smile :)


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