Journaling Prompt-best practical joke or prank

I recently read a journaling prompt that asked me to write about my best practical joke or prank. This was a hard one to narrow down. I have so many.

When I was a teenager, I went barefooted a lot in the summer.  I lived in a mobile home community. Notice I said community, not trailer park The place I lived in was about 3 miles long and 2.5 wide.  We had streets and blocks and there was a neighborhood where only elderly retired people lived. We had to walk through it to go to the store and buy pop or candy, etc.  The blacktop got pretty hot and we would walk on the curbs to avoid it. If we lost our balance, we would step on peoples grass.  Some of these retired people were pretty hateful about it, and would yell and cuss us out for stepping momentarily on their grass.

So, we figured out how to turn off the electricity in their houses. We would turn it off and then hide in the dark and listen  to them stomp around and curse while they were trying to figure out why their electric went off.  In retrospect, I realize they might have broke a hip or something, but hey, they started it.

We had a barbecue one evening and after we finished eating, my friends and my younger brother’s friends were roasting marshmallows on those big 2 prong forks and some sticks.  There was a Vietnamese family that had moved in on the street over from us.  Someone got the bright idea to throw those flaming marshmallows at their house.  Everybody was laughing because the people were running around yelling in Vietnamese inside.  I went to see what everyone was doing and I still had one of those 2 prong forks in my hand. Someone tripped me and the thing went through the side of their mobile home up to the handle.  It was an awful noise going in and even worse when we pulled it out.  I have absolutely no idea why, but those people moved within the week.

There was another trick we used to do where we would hide and shine flash lights into people’s houses and watch them trying to figure out where they were coming from. Ordinarily, this was annoying but harmless.  We did it to our friend’s house one night and her dad kept going out the front door trying to catch us and then out the back door trying to catch us.  After awhile he quit.  We figured he had given up.  The next day, my friend told me that her dad had hurt his back real bad. We asked her how and she proceeded to tell us that he had ran out the back door trying to catch someone shining a flash light into their living room.  The dew had settled on the porch and he slid across the porch and down the steps.  We felt really bad about it. When you are pranking someone, it never occurs to you that something might go wrong.

Have you ever lived in a place where running electrical appliances interfered with phone or television reception? Well we randomly picked a number out of the phone book and called a lady and told her we were the phone company and that we would have men working on the lines in her area, and would she please not answer the phone for the next while, because it would be dangerous for our linemen.

Then as soon as she hung up, we got all set up in one room with an electric mixer. Then one of the guys went in the other room on the extension. We dialed her number again and let it ring for a half hour non stop.

The lady couldn’t stand it any more and answered the phone. When she did we turned on the mixer and caused the awful static noise on the line and the guy in the other room screamed and made noises like he was falling. Then we yelled at the woman and told her that we had asked her not to answer the phone and told her that she had just caused Bob to be electrocuted.  She got real upset and was appologizing and stammering saying that she had just listened to the phone ring for so long and she couldn’t stand it any more and she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.

The longest lasting prank I was ever involved with involved my hair and a bald man.  A friend and neighbor was very bald. His nick name was Baldy, seriously.  That’s what his kids called him.  I had really long hair and wanted some bangs.  After I cut my hair, we were joking that I should give it to Baldy. Then it just kept building from there.  We typed up an official letter from the Bald Men of America association. It said that he had been nominated as a candidate and had won an award for being the best looking bald man in his state.

Then we took my hair and braided it and put a ribbon on the end and said it was the award.  We put it in a box and addressed it to him and put it in his mail box.  He blamed at one time or another over the next few months, almost everyone he knew.  He never did blame it on me, and apparently never noticed that the box had no postage, i.e., was never mailed and he never noticed that my hair had been cut.  As far as I know, he never did figure it out. It went on months.

I know I was a mean kid, but I bet you have some pranks of your own.  Besides, the Karma for bad kids, is having kids of their own who inherit their parents sense of humor.

I came by mine honestly.  My maternal Grandpa and his brothers used to stay in bed too long after their dad told them to get up. They were teenagers. Apparently one night he told them that if they didn’t get up when he called the next morning, he was going to take a belt to them.  The next morning, they put logs under their blankets and stood outside the second story window on a ladder and watched their dad beat the devil out of those logs.

My paternal Grandpa and some of his cousins used to get sprayed by skunks on purpose and then sit next to the pot belly stove in his one room school, so the teacher would have to send them home.  In his defense, he said some of the teachers they had were very abusive and mean to the younger kids, and he and some of the older boys decided they were going to stop one such man.  They hung him up by his pants off of the side of the school house. I’m pretty sure he was upside down.




My dog is getting pretty old, so I have been looking for inspiration for scrapping her photos.

A dog’s best friend is his human.
Please Mom, Can we Keep him? This one was pretty funny to me. When my brother and I were kids, we found a stray beagle pup that someone had dropped off. We went “here doggy, here doggy” all the way home and then told our mom that it followed us home, and asked to keep him. He was a member of our family for about ten years.
Acquiring a dog may be the only opportunity a human ever has to choose a relative. (Mordecai Siegal)
Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole. (Roger Caras)


If you are serious about genealogy, you will inevitable find a census record that is almost illegible. I have squinted at many of them. So, when I found this little poem I thought, “So true.”

Ocupsyshun – sencus taker

“I am a cencus takers for the city of Bufflow. Our City has groan very fast in resent years and now in 1865, it has become a hart and time consuming job to count all the peephill. There are not many that can do this werk, as it is nesessarie to have an ejucashun, wich a lot of pursons still do not have. Anuther atribeart needed for this job is good speling, for many of the pepill to be counted can hardle speek inglish, let alon spel there names!”


We are people to whom the past is forever speaking. We listen to it because we cannot help ourselves, for the past speaks to us with many voices.

Far out of that dark nowhere which is the time before we were born, men and women who were flesh of our flesh and bone of our bone went through fire and storm to break a path to the future.

We are part of the future they died for; they are part of the past that brought the future. What they did – the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made, the stories they told, the songs they sang, and, finally, the deaths they died – make up a part of our own experience.

We cannot cut ourselves off from it. It is as real to us as something that happened last week. It is a basic part of our heritage as human beings.

2 parents
4 grandparents
8 gr grandparents
16 gg grandparents
32 ggg grandparents
64 gggg grandparents
128 ggggg grandparents
256 gggggg grandparents
512 ggggggg grandparents
1,024 gggggggg grandparents
2,048 ggggggggg grandparents
4,096 gggggggggg grandparents
8,192 ggggggggggg grandparents
16,384 ggggggggggg grandparents
32,768 ggggggggggggg grandparents
65,536 gggggggggggggg grandparents
131,072 ggggggggggggggg grandparents
262,144 gggggggggggggggg grandparents
524,288 ggggggggggggggggg grandparents
1,048,576 gggggggggggggggggg grandparents
2,097,152 ggggggggggggggggggg grandparents
4,194,304 gggggggggggggggggggg grandparents
You have a lot of work to do.
* The genealogist, not wanting to lie about his ancestor but not wanting anyone to know the person was hanged, wrote, “Grandfather died during a public ceremony when the platform on which he was standing collapsed beneath him”.
* “In our family,” the little girl told her teacher, “everybody married relatives. My father married my mother, my uncle married my aunt, and just the other day I found out that my grandfather married my grandmother.”
* A modern mother is explaining to her little girl about pictures in the family photo album. “This is the geneticist with your surrogate mother and here’s your sperm donor and your father’s clone. This is me holding you when you were just a frozen embryo. The lady with the very troubled look on her face is your aunt, a genealogist.”
* Some men’s names appear in the paper only 3 times:
The first time they’re too young to read it,
The second time they’re too dazed to read it,
The last time they’re too dead to read it.

Tell your children of it, and let your children tell their children, and their children another generation. (Joel 1:3)

They say you should give a child roots and wings. Here are your roots. Be proud that a tiny bit of each of these people has gone into making you the young woman you are today, and the woman you will become. Now spread your wings and soar.

Pictures are worth a thousand words – but only if you know the words.
(Don’t forget to journal)

Remember your history. To forget is to not belong. (Charlotte A. Black Elk)

Sooner or later a person learns to write thing down.
It’s the best way to capture things we are apt to forget.
The strongest memory is weaker than the palest ink.

What is not written and recorded is soon forgotten. Just as our photographs need an acid-free environment to protect them, our words need a place to be stored. Our stories need a place to rest, to be treasured and safely contained. Our albums become our treasure chests that keep our pictures and words from the ravages of time, dust and decay. Words allow us to gather the pictures and meanings together and give them as gifts to those we love. (UM Jenifer P.)

Family Heirloom

(Jeannine Richardson)

For every picture you take a moment in time is remembered
A family’s heritage is its personal journey through history
Memories will fade making the written word priceless
In every family someone must take time to preserve its past
Looking at the past can strengthen who you are today
Yesterday is gone, but the memories are cherished through photos and journals.

Hours of enjoyment are held within the pages of the family scrapbook,
Everyone has pictures…everyone has a story to tell…
It’s not the jewels or china we would risk our lives for in a fire
Rich is the family who knows who they are…and where they came from
Learning to properly preserve photographs is not difficult
Old photographs lack the joy they could have when not preserved and labeled
Ordinary moments become special when captured on film
May we not put off any longer the task of preserving our heritage.

Good Grief

I found an article about journaling when you are grieving; whether it be loss of a human or loss of a pet.(anyone who has a pet knows they are missed as much as people when they pass on)  Here is the article and the url where I found it. The questions are personal, so I doubt that I post my answers here, as they would be meaningless to others.  But I have started answering them.

Give sorrow words. The grief that does not speak, whispers the o’erfraught heart and bids it break. (Shakespeare)
How to Write and Share Your Story of the Loss of a Loved One

(by Harley King)

The Power of Writing to Heal the Pain

“One of the best salves for healing the pain and grief that you feel is that of writing. The process of putting your feelings, thoughts, and experiences down on paper will give you the opportunity to work through the pain and the sorrow.”

Unfortunately, many people in our society don’t feel they can write. Many feel that writing is something for professionals with creative talents. It is not something that the common person can aspire to. Yet the writing process is one of the most powerful techniques you have for clarifying your feelings and working through your emotions. By opening yourself up and expressing your pain and grief on paper, you will release the emotions that are suffocating and depressing you. Giving vent to our anger and pain through writing sets us free.

14 Guidelines for Grief Support Writing

I want to share with you a process that if you follow it will begin to heal your wounds and help you to recover from your grief.

1. Write for fifteen minutes every day. Discipline yourself to write even on those days you don’t feel like writing.
2. Write longhand with a pen or pencil. Do not use a computer. (**See my note at the bottom)
3. Begin either with the phrase, “I remember,” or “I feel.”
4. Write about the good times you had together with your loved one. Write about the bad times. Write about the death.
5. Write without stopping for the full fifteen minutes. Keep your hand moving at all times.
6. Whenever you run out of things to say, begin again with the phrase, “I remember,” and keep writing.
7. Write without thinking. Give free rein to your emotions and feelings.
8. Feel free to say whatever you want. Don’t worry about what others will think.
9. Be as specific as possible in your writing. Put in descriptive detail.
10. Don’t try to be creative or cute.
11. Don’t worry about spelling, or grammar or what your English teacher taught you. You are not writing for a grade.
12. It is okay to cry while you are writing. Keep writing through the tears. Don’t stop.
13. Keep writing as long as you need. If you wish, you can expand your writing time to 30 minutes or an hour.
14. Do not share your initial writing with others. They may not understand you expression of your pain or may be hurt by the things you say.

Writing and Sharing Your Story

Once you have begun to heal your grief through Grief Support Writing, you may want to turn your experience into a story that will help others heal their pain and give them the needed support.

Using the techniques of Grief Support Writing, write out a response to each of the following questions. Be sure to be specific and concrete with the details of your story. Put in details that will help others to picture the story.

After you have written a response to each question, edit your material into a chronological story. Put the story away for three or four days, then rewrite the story as many times as needed to make it read well. Reading the story aloud will help you determine if it sounds good.

Once you are satisfied that you have written it to the best of your ability, submit it for publication or publish it yourself and give to family and friends.

Questions To You Help Write Your Story

1. Identify your loved one’s name (if a pet: type of animal, breed, male or female)
2. If a pet: Describe the how you acquired your pet. Was your pet a gift? Adopted? Purchased? Found? What were your thoughts and feelings? Why did you pick his/her name?
3. Describe 4 – 6 special moments that you and your loved one experienced together?
4. Describe the kind of relationship you and your loved one had. Was he/she a friend, a soul mate, a member of the family or just a pet?
5. Identify the lessons your loved one taught you about life.
6. Describe how your loved one died. When did your loved one die? Month/Year? How old was your loved one when he or she died?
7. If a pet: If you had him/her euthanized, describe the experience. How did you make the decision? Did you stay with him/her when he was put to sleep? How do you feel about euthanasia? Did you feel guilty?
8. Describe your emotions or feelings when you lost your loved one. Did you find yourself in shock and unable to believe that your loved one was gone? Did you ever feel like withdrawing and hiding from everybody? Did you experience any anger at yourself? Your loved one? Your family and friends? How did you express this anger? Did you try to strike a bargain with God or others to allow your loved one to live? Did you feel guilty? Has the sadness ever been overwhelming or paralyzing? Have you ever felt that you have accepted the death of your loved one?
9. Describe funeral or burial arrangements. Any prayers? Any rituals? Ceremonies? Burial or Cremation? Why?
10. If a pet: Describe what you did with your pet’s special toys, dishes and leashes. Did you keep them? Give them away? Bury them with your pet? What have you done with the photographs of your pet?
11. If a pet: If you had other animals around your house when your pet died, describe how they reacted? Did they seem to notice that the pet was gone? What expressions of grief did they display?
12. Describe how you coped with your grief and pain? What helped you to work through the pain and grief? What type of support did you receive from your family and friends? Did you join a support group? Did you grieve by yourself? Did you share your grief with others? Did you seek grief counseling? What has helped you overcome the pain?
13. Describe other experiences that you have had with a loved one’s loss. How have you coped with the losses? What have you learned from the different losses? What do you remember about the first loss of a loved one that you experienced?
14. If you ever experienced the death of a relative or close friend, describe the loss. What is the differences between the experience of grieving for a human being and grieving for a pet? What are the similarities?
15. Identify what you learned from the experience of a loved one’s loss. Did you learn something about yourself? Did you discover that you were stronger than you thought? Did you discover that you were not as strong as you thought?
16. If a pet: What advice would you give to someone who was grieving for his or her pet? (For pet loss stories by other people, read the book, It’s Okay to Cry, by Maria Quintana, Shari Veleba, and Harley King. Available through or by calling 1-800-247-6553.)

**Note about writing in longhand versus the computer: Some people, including me, write much better on the computer. I can sit and stare at a piece of paper and not think of anything. At other times I think of things way to fast to write them down – losing the thread of what I was thinking and getting it all jumbled up and not being able to read it later. Because I can type much faster than I can write I don’t have those problems when I write on the computer. Also I find that I can think much better without the distraction of the pencil and paper. Also when I type I can write about more personal things. I have written things I didn’t even know I was thinking until they appeared on the page.
Nothing works for everyone and I think you should try it both ways to see which feels more natural to you.

The Disadvantages of Being Right

Now playing: Aerosmith – Same Old Song and Dance
via FoxyTunes I am usually right. It’s not arrogance that makes me say that. I make it a point not to open my mouth to voice an opinion unless I know what I am talking about. I am a firm believer in reason and logic. I have known a lot of people that think that they are right and will hold out to the very end before admitting they might not be. My husband comes from a family of people who believe whoever yells the loudest and says the meanest things to win the argument is right. Boy do they hate it, when you refuse to be ruffled by all of the bluster and stand your ground.

One of the disadvantages of always being right is that people get angry about it and resent it, even if you are not an “I told you so” person. I’m not. No sense in kicking someone in the teeth. I found a quote today that suits this subject marvelously.

Men are apt to mistake the strength of their feeling for the strength of their argument. The heated mind resents the chill touch and relentless scrutiny of logic.–William Ewart Gladstone, 1809 – 1898

When not in an argument, people do tend to respect my opinion though. I guess being well informed on the things I do know about has some perks. I am also a fount of useless knowledge. Some of the things I know are bizarre. Once when my kids were eating peanut butter sandwiches with honey on them, they wondered how bees made honey. I told them it was bee vomit. For a half an hour I tried to convince them, I wasn’t teasing them. I eventually had to get out an encyclopedia and read to them that the final product of honey was regurgitated(and then explain that it means vomit).

That calls to mind another disadvantage to being right. People think you are really weird if you know weird things.

Two thoughts come to mind:

Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to.

Keep your mouth shut and look dumb, or open it and remove all doubt.

That’s why when I do open my mouth, I want to be correct.

Music Soothes The Savage Beast

Now playing: Depeche Mode – Pleasure, Little Treasure (Join Mix)
via FoxyTunes I found an interesting quote today, and it made me think.

It’s no good pretending that any relationship has a future if your record collections

Now playing: Depeche Mode – Pleasure, Little Treasure (Join Mix)
via FoxyTunes disagree violently or if your favorite films wouldn’t even speak to each other if they met at a party.
Nick Hornby

If you have been to my blog before, you know that much of my interest in journaling is related to genealogy and family history. Leaving behind something of myself in a tangible written or printed form.

I don’t necessarily agree with this quote. I did not listen to Country music before I started dating my husband. I listened to it in order to better appreciate his interest in it. I did however, like the old classic stuff like Johnny Cash and George Jones, which my parents listened to. I learned to like some of the newer country, by listening to it.

My husband likes some of the Rock I am into, but not all of it. I don’t believe he likes the Alternative stuff I’m into, but he likes some AC/DC and some Kid Rock and some GNR, but he’ll never be a head banger. Me, I used to religiously stay up for MTVs HeadBangers Ball. I won’t ever outgrow it. I do expand my areas of interest though. I like groups like The White Stripes and Greenday(before they got so anti war and anti American). I prefer harder stuff like GodSmack. There’s nothing that makes you feel less like screaming than listening to someone else do it.

My daughter likes mostly what’s on the pop charts, which my son disdains. He tends to like my old 80’s stuff and harder rock too.

The point is, we have all influenced each others tastes, by being open minded to a certain degree. That is what makes any relationship between 2 people work, not agreeing on everything. Agreeing to disagree is more important, if you can’t come to a compromise.

In reference to family history. I come from a long line of music loving people. My paternal Grandpa was a very good musician. He played on the radio, back when they still had live shows in the 40’s. He may have been able to make a living at it, but my Grandma didn’t believe in him being in the bars and places you have to go in order to do that, since he had a wife and 2 kids. So, he chose his family.

All of his brothers and sisters had beautiful singing voices, and I have some recordings of them together. My Grandpa could play several instruments and his siblings could too. I sang with them when I was a small girl. Thad made me be the 3rd generation. I have a great love for music, but not the work that goes with it.

My maternal grandparents could both sing very well too. My grandmother used to be invited to churches to sing.

I was in my junior high band, but did not stick with it and when I was in high school, I taught myself to play a little guitar. I didn’t stick with that either. I love to sing though.

My kids inherited music from me. Before they were born, they would both respond very actively to music in utero. My daughter used to play piano and my son saxaphone, but like me they didn’t stick with it.

My grandson loves music and has a natural sense of rhythm. When he was little, I would play Depeche Mode for him, and he would tap his foot to it in perfect rhythm. He was only 3-4 months old and you wouldn’t think he would be able to tap his foot, but he did. He has a keyboard and seems to be able to make actual music on it, as opposed to just banging the keys. His father plays guitar and given my daughters musical inclinations and his father’s, it would be amazing if he didn’t have some talent.

For those interested in scrapbooking/digitial scrapbooking here is a layout of my grandson enjoying music with my DH.

Heredity is an amazing thing.

Personal Insight

The other day, I suddenly realized just how far back, I had been unable to express anger until it was overwhelming.  My husband and my kids probably have no idea why I am that way.  When you are writing your memoirs, consider writing down what makes you the way you are. Your kids may not love you for it, but they may understand you.
My Mom is a very volatile person. She hits the roof over nothing and everything. She is one of those people who has to be “handled”.  Out in public, she can embarrass me in no time flat.  She knows what is inappropriate, but doesn’t care.

My Dad, on the other hand is a very dignified, mannerly person.  You would never know by his tone of voice or facial expression that anything ruffled him.

I remember my Mom not allowing us to get angry, because when we did, it escalated and prolonged hers.  It was as if she was the only one in our home allowed any drama.

If I got sent to my room for something, usually being a smart ass, if I stomped of closed the door too hard, my Dad would make me go back and return to my room and re-close the door repeatedly until he felt I had walked quietly enough and until my door made no sound whatsoever when I closed it.  He was basically forcing me to show no emotion at all and he was whether purposefully or not, telling me that I had no right to have any feelings concerning how others treated me or what they decided for me.

If I had not been a VERY strong person, imagine what a weak pushover I would be as an adult. I however determined that I WOULD control my destiny and if emotion was a sign of weakness, then I would learn not to show it.  You can stand in my face and tell me to go to hell and I will smile at you and ask you what you will be packing to take on our trip together.

My brother came out with my Mom’s attitude. If he wants to scream, yell, curse and throw things, he will.  He feels entitled to his anger.  The thing is, he’s right.

I have a very interesting family dynamic here, don’t I?

I long to be able to scream and holler and then go on with things. I just can’t shake the need to keep anyone from knowing they made me sweat.