Go Ask Daddy About Ancestry, Zoology and What to do if Some !@$%! Rear-ends You

photo credit: Quirky via photopin (license)

I can’t tell a Chrysanthemum from a carnation, guys.

GAD GRAPHICBut my friend Emily at Nerd in the Brain tossed up this Cool Weather Blooms challenge, and I took it – petal, stem and pistil. It’s part of her Go Play, Go Learn Challenge. I could be named Nerd of the Week (my kids will tell you I’m the all-time champion at that – and more).

I picked the three coolest flowers that bloom in the Carolina during winter. I found out they bloom in winter for many reasons, but it seems that mild Carolina winter sun and moist soil make for ideal conditions for some flowers.

SWEETBOX | Not to be confused with the obscure 1990s pop group, this shrub produces miniature yet fragrant flowers. It’s a perfect fit for dry shade gardens, if ya got ‘em.

SNOWDROPS | Late November’s time for this one to bloom, and they’ll stick around until after Christmas. Have I blown your mind with my flower knowledge yet?

CAMELLIA | It’s an evergreen, and grows as tall as 6 feet. It’s a hardy shrub with pink flowers. Also, the flowers can be orange, red or white.

Check out Emily’s challenge. If you take it and beat me out for the Nerd award, I’ll be pissed.

How’s about some kids’ questions?

1. Aren’t we all related?

photo credit: Zoo mystery via photopin (license)

There’s 11 liters of philosophy in this post. Adam and Eve aside, science traces a common ancestor for us to a select group that lived no longer than 2,000 years ago.

That makes for some twisted up family trees. For every 25 years back into your lineage, your ancestor number doubles.

Thus, a family tree that spans 1,000 years would include more than 500 billion ancestors for one generation. Simple math tells you that 500 billion distinct ancestors couldn’t possibly fit.

January Jones? She might as well be my sister. And Jennifer Lawrence? My daughter. Holy hell. (She’s pretty much Elise’s age anyway. Bollocks.)

2. How much do you spend on us for Christmas?

photo credit: Zoo mystery via photopin (license)

Waaaay more than other parents do. Way more.

Which isn’t at all true. It’s a meager amount, yet probably way above the suggested figure for someone of my meager income. (A sentence that deserves two meagers.) Between your mom’s Goodwill Hunting and my opportunistic purchasing from lids.com clearance, you guys easily surpass the triple-figure mark.

Wait, that includes numbers after the decimal, right?

I mean, you won’t confuse your holiday pull for Oprah’s Favorite Things. It’s also way more than a lump of coal in your stocking. The dollar amounts don’t matter, really.

My favorite present is one I know you’ve wanted, and you were able to receive. Know something, though, girls?

This happens every Christmas, every birthday. In my mind, it’s a worthy collection, what you’re getting.

I can’t shake that feeling of shame when you’re finished with presents that you somehow got less than you deserve. That somehow, dad couldn’t deliver.

I know, it’s silly, but it’s there. I’ve never wanted to spoil you. But, I do wish what you could get would be more. That there’d be surprises in there, a few things you really wanted, and a smile in the end.

Thank you for smiling all the same.

3. Do they put animals in groups that won’t kill each other at Discovery Place?

photo credit: Changeable hawk-eagle/Crested hawk-eagle via photopin (license)

Despite the argument for compelling theater, I imagine they do.

What interest would a cobra vs. mongoose exhibit draw? What about a python and alligator in the same space? It’s nature, as seen on Wild Wild World of Animals and the like, but a captivity pairing of mortal enemies (or two close links of the food chain) seems like a bad idea.

Wildlife Florida, a path of elevated boardwalks at the Tallahassee Museum, featured predator and lunch menu items living in close proximity. I remember wolves pacing the perimeter of their fenced-in quarters, within sniffing distance of likewise caged deer. It’s how I feel waiting for the first pizzas to come out of the oven at 11:30 at work.

4. Would you get thrown out of a stadium if you mess with a celebrity?

mess with
photo credit: Armed Response Private Security Service in Cape Town, South Africa via photopin (license)

You’d get the heave-ho for messing with a non-celebrity, probably.

Part of me thinks it depends on the celeb. Probably the people would assist in your ouster if you gave, say, Justin Timberlake the business at a San Diego Chargers game. Pink would bust your nose if you looked at her crosswords at a Memphis Grizzlies game.

You might get a standing O if you poured a Moulson Dry on Justin Bieber’s head at a Maple Leafs match.

Actor Michael Keaton came to the defense of his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates from hecklers this summer.

5. Isn’t it illegal to hit another car with yours and drive away?

photo credit: New NNN Episode debuts Jan 26! via photopin (license)

Unless you’re David Gilliland, then yes. (Gilliland holds the distinction of wrecking once every nine NASCAR races from roughly 2007 to 2012.)

On the civilian road, it’s called hit and run. It happened to me once. A kid raced up behind me on Highway 521 on a rainy night. I thought he’d stop at the red light. He didn’t. He bumped me pretty good. I got out of the car and suggested we pull into the grocery store.

“I don’t think I even tapped you, dude,” he said, avoiding eye contact.

“That was more than a tap,” I said. “Look at my bumper.”

When I turned around, he made off like the General Lee.

Dumb kid. Little did he know the kind of automotive beast Gabi can be – even with a busted up butt.

We caught up with him at the next light – he was turned sideways trying to make a getaway on a side street, but stuck in traffic. Made getting his tag number easy as sneaking KitKats out of your Halloween stash.

The cops showed up, and then the insurance agents. Reports were filed, measurements taken, and, yadda yadda yadda, the kid’s insurance issued me a debit card with enough jack to fix up Gabi’s money maker.

Or, to blow at Aldi and Target.

Gabi’s bumper still sits funny, but she’s still a beaut. Probably she’s third cousin, twice removed, from a GTO.



36 thoughts on “Go Ask Daddy About Ancestry, Zoology and What to do if Some !@$%! Rear-ends You

  1. You sound like me for Christmas and birthdays here for my girls, too as I always feel like I am not doing enough and could do more. So I spend even more on gifts then I always plan for, as well. So get this in spades myself.

  2. I have a similar present buying problem this weekend. I need to buy for my five year old grandson and my four year old granddaughter (they’re cousins). Then next week, it’s my fourteen year old granddaughter. I always want to buy more than I can, but, as my Dad used to say, “You have to cut your garment according to your cloth.” Buying presents is the only form of shopping I enjoy 🙂

      1. I’m going to Target this morning. But I think our Target is different to your Target. Ours is a department store..clothes, furniture, household goods and, of course, your candy and soda at the checkouts just for the convenience of tired kids and frustrated parents 🙂

      2. That sounds like our Target, too, but I’d describe it as men’s clearance, toys clearance, some food and other stuff I don’t need, effectively marketed to me.

  3. the main thing they want and remember in the the end, is that you shared these holidays, (and ordinary days) with them, and that you were always there. as for gabi and her bumper…i think we all have a few dings and dents and we just keep going –

  4. With 9 kids shopping is, well, just an adventure. It gets expensive at this time of year no matter how you look at it. Birthdays and Christmas I want to get them what they really want, but there has to be a limit. Generally, I can hold pretty close to it….
    Poor Gabi… Glad to hear she is such a strong character!

    1. I can imagine – so we try to shop year-round. Clearance is our friend. Plus, we have two November birthdays backing up into Christmas …

      Gabi’s girl strong, for sure.

  5. Question: do the girls actually give you extravagant or long present lists, or just say “anything”? Because that is the problem I run into now. Mine won’t tell me what he wants and the answer is always “I don’t need anything, I’m happy with whatever I get.”

    I mean, I appreciate his attitude, but it makes me feel like Lousy Mom to not give more because I don’t always know what “more” he wants. Usually I can get that one gift that is awesome, whether it is expensive or cheap, but that’s getting harder to find now that he’s older.

    Guess I have three weeks to figure it all out…

    1. The lists they give are basic – they even ask for things like school clothes. But there’s always that one big thing they want. It helps if they tell us, doesn’t it?

      Three weeks? Damn … it took so long for Christmas to get here when we were kids, Holly. And now it flies up on us.

  6. My very first accident was hitting another car in a parking lot. I was a good girl though and left my information on his car. He then called me and my dad took care of it. I drove a ’79 Caprice Classic with a steel bumper. That thing was a tank. Did nothing to my car but put a big dent in his! :-/
    We also have Camellias in Texas and I have 3 in my yard. One is light pink/lavender and the other two are the Red (dark pink) and they are in full bloom! I love having color in my yard when everything else looks dead… although we still have a lot of trees with green leaves. And several that never lose their leaves like Pin Oaks. I love living in Texas! 😉

    1. You could have written a note that said “everyone watching thinks I’m giving my contact information so you can settle with my insurance, but … no.” (That has to be lousy karma.)

      Tanks are best cars for teenagers. I wish they still made ’em like that.

      I’m so uneducated when it comes to flowers and plans, but you know what? I’ll take those winter blooms.

  7. What a dork – trying to get away with hitting your car. Glad he was a moron.
    So there’s this national park in Michigan that has moose and wolves, co-existing very peacefully. I think it’s a natural phenomenon, but who knows, maybe human. I wish your daughters would ask you about Aisle Royale National Park since you do better research than I do!
    That said, in a tight zoo enclosure, I imagine it wouldn’t be the same.

    1. Dumb kid. Hopefully it’s a lesson learned for him.

      Wolves and Moose living in harmony. That might be a sign of the apocalypse, or just a sign of how we all ought to be.

      I’ve been asked about juvie hall, cats being color blind and T-rex teeth, Tamara, so anything’s possible.

      1. Oh, we’re here. It’s amazing how crazy busy life gets during the holidays! Makes me wish I could skip cleaning the house, but that’s a horrible idea.

  8. I can’t believe you would take your kids’ candy 😉

    While Christmas is not supposed to be about material gifts i know what you mean. Still you’re giving your girls more than many other kids can dream of: a good and loving home, values to stick to in life, attention, heck you dedicate them a post every week!

    1. Just exacting a parent tax, that’s all Tamara. And I think we just want to give our kids the best, and often, there are other well-off families that we wrongly (but understandably) compare ourselves to for presents.

      All days I know all my love goes to these girls, but some days I know I get it wrong.

  9. I have Camelias in the flower bed in front of our house. I didn’t put them there & my mom told me wha they were, but they are pretty this time of year. I also got my bumper tapped once and the offender drove away. I was pregnant with our second daughter and had just gotten our minivan back after repairs from another accident. I got her tag, too, and was later informed police found her and charged her with DUI. I don’t remember now the number, but she was way over the legal limit. Made me glad it was just a bumper bump. 🙂 Also, my girls have frequently asked if we are all related to Noah since everyone else on earth would have died in the flood – except for my oldest who is very scientific and evolutionist. sHe is quick to chime in that we are actually all related to monkeys.

    1. Did your mom put them there, Lisa? Good call. There are some crazy drivers out there. One guy spun out in the intersection in front of us on the way to church, and took out a few cars (missed us by thismuch.) Turns out it wasn’t his first offense.

      Noah or monkeys, it would make for one heckuva family reunion, wouldn’t it?

  10. I know my kids get less than other kids, since we don’t celebrate Christmas and they get small gifts for Hanukkah. They don’t want much, they say, but I still have that desire to buy them more. I resist, but it’s tough.

    1. Holiday giving gets tougher the older they get, doesn’t it? I’m impressed when kids don’t ask for the moon, like yours, or ask for the practical, as mine do.

      That struggle to give them it all is real.

  11. It’s hard to roust that parental guilt that screams DO MORE. Buy all the Things!! But inside we know it’s not the meaning of the season, or the way to happiness. I just finished a post about this very thing and how hard it is to not be all wrapped up in Presents. Just Be Present. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. Practical purposes: we follow the Want, Need, Wear, Read mantra in this house for Christmas morning delights. But Stockings are Santa’s business and therein you might just find a surprise, or two. 🙂

    1. I think of getting them the most when it comes to other kids. Kids they know don’t behave as well, but get more.

      It somehow feels unfair.

      We have to trust out kids will see value in more valuable things than things. I love the Want, Need, Wear and Read mantra … it’s not too late to get that in next year, is it?

      Santa can bring the surprises.

Say what you need to say

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s