Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

My Brother-in-Law Plays a Trick, and Tells a Joke

I just want to warn you -- this post is a major departure for me. It has nothing to do with gardening. I am in Massachusetts (where I lived for over 50 years, until 3 years ago), on the other side of the USA from the PNW, visiting family. Actually, I am here to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. The party is today, Saturday. I know I seldom post about my family, but my garden is taking a vacation right now, and so am I.

On Friday night I had dinner with my oldest sister and brother-in-law (there is a middle sister, if I haven’t completely lost my audience by writing about family, you’ll get to meet her. We have no brothers. In case you haven’t figured it out, that makes me the baby). My sister and her husband do have a small vegetable garden, but I didn’t take any pictures of it. Maybe I should have taken a picture of the zucchini we had with dinner, it came from their garden.

What I will be showing pictures of is their young dog, Barnabas.

When Barnabas eats, he wears a snood, to keep his floppy ears out of his food.

Isn’t he cute? He’s just a little less than a year old, and already knows some tricks. He can sit, shake paws, lie down, roll over, and stay on command. He’s a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, and he loves people. Well, he seems to like me anyway.

Oldest Sister and Brother-in-Law, many years ago. Teenage Me took this picture

My mother, who lives with them, was of course at dinner too, and she told a funny story about my brother-in-law. He recently got a new suit, but the pants were too long. So my mom, who sews (did I mention she’s turning 90?) offered to hem them. Her first try she just pinned, but she had made them too short, and she hadn’t cut the extra off yet, so she had him take them off. Then she took out the pins (a laborious process when you’re 90) and let them down the amount she figured they would need, and cut off the extra, and sewed the new hem. Then she had him try them on again.

But when he came out with the new pants on, they were way too short! Oh no! She was mortified. How on earth did they end up even shorter?

Then she got a look at my brother-in-law’s face, and realized she had been had. The dirty bugger had hiked his pants up way beyond his waist! Apparently then his wife hit him! So did I when I heard the story.

But my mom just laughed.

Mom, many, many, many years ago

At the end of the night, my brother-in-law told a joke (he’s a funny guy). And now I’m going to tell it to you.

This old man was lying on his deathbed. But he could smell chocolate chip cookies. And he loved chocolate chip cookies! So he dragged himself up to a sitting position, and sniffed. The smell was coming from the kitchen.

He dragged his weary, dying bones out of the bed, and onto the floor, and crawled on his hands and knees into the kitchen.

There was his wife, standing at the stove, making chocolate chip cookies! They smelled delicious! He dragged himself over to her, and slowly reached up to take one.

His wife swatted his hand away with a spatula!

“Stop that!” she said.

“Those are for the funeral.”

Oldest Sister and me. I was almost as cute as Barnabas.

Here’s another picture of their dog.

Stay tuned for more.


  1. Sounds like you are having fun! It's great that your mom is still so active, probably what keeps her young.
    Love the puppy, my friend has that breed and they are just the sweetest. Have fun with your family!

  2. Happy Birthday to your Mom,and have a great time with your family. Barnabas look cute.

  3. Alison, I hope you are having a great time on your vacation and Happy Birthday to your mom who is 'almost' as old as mine, lol. Your mom sounds as active as mine is, too, aren't they something, still sewing and working? And then your naughty BIL hikes his pants up to scare her!

    What a cute little dog, who'd think he'd wear a snood to keep his ears clean? Most dogs aren't so obliging.

    Are you sure you couldn't swing by Wisconsin on your way home?

  4. Waves hello from the south shore!

  5. Oh, Alison! I loved this post!! As far as I am concerned, you may depart from your norm any time you wish. Barnabas is too, too cute and I can tell he's stolen your kitty heart, hasn't he? Maybe you'll get a pup to play with your chickens when you get those chickens. I have so enjoyed seeing and reading about some of your family. So, you were/are the baby! Your sister and BIL have come a long, long way together. He sounds like a great guy! And is good looking too. It's super that your Mum gets on so well with them and that he still teases her. I loved the story of the pants alteration and the joke about the old man was hilarious. You are obviously having a very happy time! Hope you won't be too sad to leave when the time comes! Big hug xoxo


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