Thursday, August 31, 2006


My niece is moving back to Amsterdam next Tuesday. I say moving, but that doesn't seem to be the right word when the thing you do is to hop on an airplane to go back to where you lived for a year. Moving is when you pack boxes and haul boxes and unpack boxes and well, that's not what Beanie's doing, but she's definately moving. Most definately moving.

Amanda goes by several names. She's the first niece my husband gave me. My sister in law's first child. She has an IQ that's off the charts, a heart the size of all of Europe and doesn't know it but she's not Ok in her own body. Not sure she's Ok in her own world but she seems to be more Ok in Amsterdam than here. Thriving, actually. Scares me that she walks around by herself sometimes, because I'm not entirely sure that although she can speak to anyone about just nearly anything and is empathetic on any level with every kind of human, that she knows or cares which direction her bicycle is pointed. Beanie has such bigger fish to paint.

About her names. Her brother, who came (entirely by surprise) eighteen months after she did, could not say Amanda, and so she became Ma. Sort of pronounced Maw. Thus she was until she protested. At the age of seventeen. Along comes my youngest son four years ago and when he spoke took one look at her and dubbed her Beanie. No one knows why but that is her current name and she is now old enough not to mind it, being nearly thirty years of age and enjoying a four year old cousin's endearing nicky-sweetie-names.

So Beanie came home from Amsterdam in the spring and has been here for the summer, and is now going back for what seems to be EVER. Permanently. The signs are there. The huge yard sale at which she sold everything, including all things most meaningful. When Beanie sells her hats, ohhhhhhh. Furniture, clothes, sold it all. Well you can't drive a moving truck to Amsterdam.

The hats, I can't tell you wow maybe 75% of Amanda's life I have seen her in hats and the theory is that because she was a preemie and back then they kept them in toboggans pulled tightly down over their heads and ears whenever Amanda in her life has felt insecure, or sick, she puts on a toboggan. And just likes vintage, retro hats besides that. She is the original bohemian.

She was in my wedding. She was three. Well, she wasn't in the wedding really. She was all geared up to be, and then at the last minute she chickened out. But she WANTED to be . . . .There oughta be a law that anyone that's in your wedding can't leave the United States. That'd do it. Well, that'd fix it for me, and for her Mama, and her Granny, her brother and best friend. But if I had to guess I would say Amsterdam is where Beanie is most comfortable. Dammit. Tuesday's gonna be a bitch for some Mamas.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I had one of those trips home this morning from the church preschool that you don't remember. My general statement about those is that I'm guessing I'm a better driver at those times than when I pay attention to what I'm doing. Who knows. It's an educated guess because when I look back upon those trips I've never wreacked havoc, and I've always taken the proper steps in my line of fire. All I know is that suddenly I found myself in the garage. (In proof of my point, the garage door was closed, the sideview mirrors were tucked in, and the headlights were turned off). Back to sitting in the garage . . . tapping my fingers on the steering wheel to Pat Benitar.

So there's too much going through me pea brain. When the car stops and my brain doesn't, rhythms are clearly askew. Same as the old joke what's the last thing that goes through a fly's mind when he hits the windshield? His butt. Well. There's a parallel there but I will not draw it.

Good thing I'm doing small repetitive tasks this morning. It'll give me time to clear out the discombobulation.

Funny thing is the overwhelm-ination usually stems from not too many big things on my to-do list, but on the contrary, too many ticky-leetle-beety things to do. They pile up like little crumbled up receipts in your handbag, crumbs in the floorboard, or hot wheels on the carpet. I can handle large tasks, because they're nice and clean and clear. Do one. Ha. DONE. Vvvvvvvp. Mark it offffah the list..... But these little $*^)#@$*% buggers, maaaaaan. They're MESSSSSSYYYYYYYYY. I do not WANT to call the insurance guy. I do not WANT to file that. Don't wanna go to the bank. Noooooooo, I do not WANT to bend over and pick up this. . whut the heck izzzz zat. . . . . now whut did I come upstairs for, anywayzzzzz?

My galpal said yesterday, "You need an easy button." The remark came because I'm planning an upcoming annual birthday bash for my son, my brother, and my mother in law that grows in attendees every year. It has already grown out of bounds for my home, but continues to grow at not an alarming rate, but at a steady pace, with the addition of two or three people each year. Last year we were forty something I think. I should cut the invitation list off somewhere, but I can't. Maybe I should say no when someone asks "Can I bring great aunt Mary?" But why would I? Whasss the point? So what if we bump into each other? So the kids sit on the floor to eat. No one's complained yet. In fact there's an abundance of laughter. Soooooo much laughter. Everyone always wants to come back, and clearly some want to bring more. It's not because I give a good party. I don't do anything but cook and set the food out. It's our families. My family and my husband's family together make a dynamic duo that is something to be witnessed. It is a combination that was planned by God (no kiddin'). It's a party waiting to happen. Somebody has to get the two groups together, it'd be a sin not to. If you don't think you marry your spouse's fambly, we are the poster children by crackey. Last week my neighbor asked when the big birthday bash would be. He wanted to make sure he wasn't going to be out of town.

Last year we had water balloon fights. It was my 8 year old son's idea, and mostly the children participated, but. . . . my 50 year old sister in law turned to my 3o year old brother afterwards and said "Well - should we have the wet t-shirt contest now?"

The year before it was pie throwing contests. The children play baseball or monkey-in-the-middle in the yard, their parents sit on the deck, their parents sit in the kitchen, and their parents sit in the family room or the dining room.

Why would I need an easy button for that? Besides. That's just more clutter. Where would I put it??!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


"What are we gonna do for the Labor Day weekend????" Both sons and my husband have asked me the question more than once. Everybody asks ME the question. Why? Because I'm the only one in this fambly that plans anything. DH is taking Friday off as a comp day for going to Canada last week, so we have an extra day, making it a four day weekend instead of a three day weekend. Gosh that sounds sooooo much better. But. You know there's always a big but. The day before school started, my three male humanoids came at me with a leetle Aveda card worth an aqua/stone massage and a facial that was a gift "for all the hard work this summer". I scheduled it for Thursday night. That's how MY Labor Day weekend will kick off. I dunno 'bout dem.

Friday the shortest two males are in school and I'm spending the day with the tallest one. ;-)

Friday night we're camping out in the back yard. There were rumblings about taking a camping trip over this long weekend. I heard 'em. They didn't think I heard 'em, but I did. I heard 'em. So I'm nipping it in the bud. NIP IT. Ya gotta NIP IT in the buuud.

Saturday we're going to see a movie, then I'm putting hubbers to work. The honey-do list is lonnnnnnnnng.

Sunday is church. Sunday afternoon we try not to plan.

And Monday? My plan for Monday is to let them plan it.

That's the extent of my planning. I'm calling it a lock-in, because the entire four days is gonna be spent at home. We're not going out of town, we're not planning a trip, we're not inviting anyone to spend the weekend with us, no big party, no entertaining, nuttin'. Just us'ns. What a novel idea.


Monday, August 28, 2006


My Jr. Mint started school today. He was ready. Reeeeeeally ready. Nine o'clock couldn't come fast enough for him. He got out of the bed unassisted ~~~ this, a feat on its own merit. I was ready for a little hesitation to hit him from out of nowhere on the way to school, but newwwwwp. He was anxious. The dropoff line was moving at a snail's pace, the kids being dropped off in front of us were moving in slomo, the Mamas were taking their own sweet time driving away. Finally, finally it was Jr. Mint's turn to leap out of the magic bus and onto the concrete that would set him free for three glorious hours of school, and since today's Monday, two more of Lunch Bunch. Five hours total. His chest swelled up like Superman's and he swiveled around on his heel and hollered "BYE MOM - gotta run!" Gotta run. Gotta run? What is he, a corporate exec? HE'S FOUR!!

This is his last year at preschool. He loves the school, he's confident, it's his turf. He's a big fish in a small pond. Next year he'll go to kindergarten at his big brother's school. He thinks he can't wait. He thinks it'll be great. He thinks he'll be a biiiig boy. He'll think he's drowning in an ocean. I can't think about it today. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Right now I have a whole house to meseff for the first time since May 26th.

Friday, August 25, 2006


"Y'all know I'm not a shopper." This is what comes out of my yap when a girlfriend invites me on a girl shopping day. "I'll meet you for lunch." And it's true. I don't shop often, I don't shop socially, I don't enjoy shopping, for the most part I don't shop mainstream spots, I surely don't shop more than necessary and actually, the accurate term for what I do is not shopping, it's gathering. Plucking even. arrrrrighttah. . . . unless it's shoes. . . .

But. You know there's always a big but. I am direly, dearly, deliciously head over 4" heels in LOVE with consignment sales. They are the absolute PERFECT form of shopping for childrens' things. PERFECT. perfect. Let me say it again. PERFECT. Their attributes are too many to name. It's the perfect set-up for all. It gives me chills.

I buy clothes, shoes, toys, books, videos, DVDs, games, costumes, coats, and sporting goods for the boys. Occasionally I find clothes for myself on the junior's rack. A good washing in hot water with the extra addition of a capful of Lysol and a triple rinse takes care of everything including my peace of mind.

They're twice a year. Spring and Fall. Well. Tis the season, tis the season. Happy shopping.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Getting dirt this morning. Four square cubic yards of it. Just learned that term. I was so proud that I had accomplished the purchase and arrangement of delivery of it. Wasn't even gonna tell handsome hubby 'til the deed was done. He struggles with the old southern "I have to do everything, it isn't right to hire anything out" mentality. "Iss jess not raaahhhhht." You know the one. Have pickup will travel. Never mind there aren't but fourteen spare minutes in each weekday. For someone so busy he can't remember to take out the kitchen garbage or lock the doors at night but four nights out of seven it's odd baggage to carry. Old habits die hard.

So for weeks - no, months - I've been saying, "You know honey, this sinkhole is gonna make the walkway crack if we don't get some topsoil in here."

"I know," he replies. "I saw a construction site that has some at a good price if you haul it. I'll go by there on the way home from work."

"How you plan on hauling it?"

He wrecked his truck in March. Well. He got it wrecked for him by an idiot driving like a banshee - a banshee with no insurance and- oh, that's just another story for another day. So now he drives a Volvo. Can't haul dirt in a Volvo.

"Well when I weld a bottom and sides onto the trailer. . ."


So last night kids are asleep, we're getting ready to prop up in the bed and watch "Monster-in-Law" and handsome husband, remote in hand says, "so what's on the agenda for you and Jr. Mint tomorrow?"


"Welllllllll, weeeeeeee're gonna do some yardwork. What about you?"

"Meetings. What kind of yardwork?"

Nuts. "We're having some dirt delivered to fill that big ol' hole. "

"Oh good. Thanks for doin' that. Is it screened topsoil? What size dump truck is he comin' in? Is it safe for the driveway? Are you gonna have him move around in the yard and dump it in all the places in the yard, not just that one spot? It is dark topsoil or that light stuff? Screened to what size chunks?"

Did I mention my handsome husband is a tad passive aggresive?

"You're welcome sweetie. Yes it's screened. No, it's not safe for the driveway I remember you teaching me that so he's driving up the yard and he has a light enough truck that it won't get stuck. No he's not gonna drive around in the yard and drop little blops of dirt here there and everywhere I'm focusing on that one HUNORMOUS hole. It's the goooooood rich soil, and here's his phone number if you wanna talk chunks with him."

Did you know that passive aggressive only works if you notice it?

"You gonna turn that movie on or what?"

Monster In Law was a very funny movie. Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez. Good pair. I dunno who the guy was, I've seen him in sumfink. Cute but clueless. Wonder if he'd care if Jennifer Lopez ordered four cubic yards of dirt to fill a big hole. Hell. She'd prolly push her mother in law in there first, then fill it up. Why does Jennifer Lopez always play a sweet Cinderelly victim that gets stomped on???

So movie's over, lights out, minutes go by. Hubby says, in such a sheepish, disconnected voice that I'm (still) not sure if he was even awake, or just embarrassed, "Thank you for ordering up that dirt. I don't have time to haul dirt, do I."

Duh. Let goooooooo of the pasttttttt, Mr. Man................

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


Last night handsome hubby got home from Canada. Yay. Both boys were in bed, asleep. Yay again. He was exhausted. By the time he hauled all his schtuff in from the car, just about all he could do was shove the leftover dinner I'd saved for him down his piehole, brush his teeth and fall into the bed, yakking the whole time about customs forms, airport security, and Montreal's weather. So after getting eyesful of his two sleeping boys he crawls into the bed, props up and says "What'd I miss?".

"Thought you were sleepy," I returned. "You've been gone two days and we have two boys. This could take hours." He knew I was kidding.

I threw him a bone. In his heart he didn't want to hear mundane goings on from the days he was gone. He wanted to hear comfort, he wanted a couple of warm fuzzies to fill up his ears before he went to sleep and he wanted me to know he cared what happened while he was gone. For someone who can't hear well, he hears better than most.

I have a dear friend in Texas whom I've never met. She's the same way. Can't hear with her ears but my my my she listens better than most of us whose ears work just fine.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006


aka Mary Ann Cracker :-}

I don't like it. That's all I wanted to report. Well it IS roomier, quieter (no 10.9 decibel snorage) and there's no cover stealing going on. . . . the house isn't a meat locker. . . .got to watch whatever I wanted on TV. Still. Can't like it. Roomier isn't always good. No snoring IS always good but I'll take the noise. Did I say that??? The trade-off on TV is he watches what he wants and tickles my hair. It's a gooooooood thing. Unfortunately it's usually the History Channel. Blech. He needs TV at night more than I do anyway. I remember working.

I imagine Barbara Mandrell would approve.

I have to say I'm liking this bloggie thing. Enjoying the creative outlet, and thanks Diva for the kind words. Visit anytime, comment often ;-) not just with compliments but anything that comes to mind.

Speaking of Barbara Mandrell (well this is how my mind works anywaysssss be very charitable with your thoughts) I was listening to Dixie Chicks on the way home yesterday and a thought plunks itself right smack center stage in my little brain. My sister-in-law and I are Mary Ann and Wanda. Well arrright let me clarify we have NOT murdered Earl uh or anyone else I should hastily blurt. And we didn't go to high school together. We weren't members of 4H or the FFA but I was Mary Ann and she was Wanda and although let me just right now pause this story to assure you her toxic ex-husband is still kickin', my sister in law didn't shed her Earl as quickly as did Wanda, God love 'er. Life ain't a 4:18 minute hit song, needer.

Sometime if you're cruisin' through Georgia and you see two ol' broads sellin' Tennessee ham and strawberry jam on a roadside stand stop and say hey.

Monday, August 21, 2006


Handsome Hubby and his brother (and brother's daughter)

This morning at 8:01am I watched my handsome husband finish packing for a flight for which he's meeting his travelling companion at the airport at 9:30am. I became acutely aware that I was shaking my head and tsking softly to myself, clenching and unclenching my fists and tapping my toe. HE on the other hand was totally calm, humming even. "What time does your flight leave?" I asked him, knowing full well to the minute what time his flight leaves. I have his itinerary loaded in Outlook and synched to my handheld. "Can't remember," he singsongs. "Soon." I had to leave the room.

Speaking of handsome husband humming. Wow, he has a great voice - very peaceful but strong, much like James Taylor's. He doesn't sing much on cue, never in front of anyone else solo, but when he's relaxed sometimes I can convince him to sing for me. Friday night after we left the funeral home Ronny's brother and his wife went with us to eat at the family owned Italian restaurant on the square. Love to go there because they DON'T have grilled-chee-sammys and my kids will eat ee-gondo-nomo plates of authentic spaghetti, also because when I say family owned I mean Italian family right off the boat. Back on track - so I order up the mussels sauteed in marinara over whatever pasta who cares all I want is the mussels. Meanwhile sister-in-law is ordering the reserve wine remember she's the wine expert. Husband and his brother who look soooooo much alike that SIL and I have learned not to put our arms around who we THINK are our husbands from the back side are discussing something that MUST be critical to life forms as we know it because they're kicked back on the back two legs of their chair (I wonder if Italian Mamas get as pissed off about that as I do at home. . .), their arms are crossed, and in front of them sit Corona lights like rockets at the ready. The waitress expressed shock when they didn't want them poured, but preferred the bottle but hey hello they're Southern. My kids are coloring placemats. I'm the DD. Well well well. Somebody's gotta do it. I drew the short straw.
So on the way home I'm driving and handsome hubby's humming and after two Corona lights I take my cue and put in Paul Simon Still Crazy After All These Years. It worked. Got mussels and hubby singing to me all in one night. How lucky can one girl get?

So now he's on an airplane and I have made four lists already. Only one is on paper - the other three are paperless on Outlook and synched to my Q, but lists nonetheless. Upon completion of each list I notice I breathe better. Have more energy. Could this room be lighter? ? ? . . . brighter??

Maybe it's that bodacious goodbye kiss handsome husband planted on me before he hopped in the car to cruise, list-less, to the airport.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


It's 8:00am and my guys are flippin' pancakes and pourin' juice in the woods with twenty other scouts and their dads and brothers. Stan Getz is keeping my ears company and the house is quiet except for the two electricians who are carefully measuring for a ceiling fixture in my son's room.

Life is good.

In three hours the day will explode in a mass of overscheduledness the likes of which would make George Dubya's secretary cry.

And to top it all off. . . . tonight. . . at the party . . . there will be a chocolate fountain, TAH DAHHHHHHHHH which I will enjoy while sipping wine that costs more than I dare want to know because my sister-in-law is so very knowledgeable about her wine and so very lovingly shares her incredible collection with her family. Oh my how could this day get any better.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Friday, August 18, 2006


Dare you to find two more beautiful things than what you may find in this pile of leaves. ;-)

Got whooshed with the loveliest crispness in the air this morning when I hit the garage door opener to take #1 to school. Jr. Mint and I noticed, in fact, on our morning outing, that we both had goose bumps on our legs. Looked darling on an olive skinned four year old, but not sa much on a forty six year old who appears from the departing view as though ankles, calves and thighs may've been used at some point for surface street maps. It's warming up quickly however, and now that Jr. Mint has found two petrified cicada bugs, one lovely shimmering rock (piece a concrete) for his Mommy, and quite successfully gotten the wiggles out, we have made it inside before the humidity beats us to the punch. It's not fall yet.

#1 son is worried about the funeral home visit this evening. He concealed his concern by asking if it would cut into our time together, but considering his second question was what was the last funeral did he go to and who sat beside him and what did he have to do, and the fact that he was holding his own hands --- a clear giveaway of when that baby is stressed --- I made one lighthearted swiping statement that he could take his Nintendo DS Lite and that he, Jr. Mint and I would walk around, visit family, and then go out onto the funeral home lawn and sit and take the other family kids with us. Maybe lie in the grass and look at cloud animal shapes. Suddenly his hands relaxed, letting go of each other. Amazing.

I will have to miss the funeral tomorrow. We have a baseball awards ceremony that conflicts, and #1 son will be receiving an award or of course we'd skip the baseball thing. But things tend to work out the way they're supposed to organically if you leave them alone, and she was Ronny's aunt so he's going to the funeral. I'm taking #1 son to his awards ceremony which leaves him far away from the funeral and in a happy, appropriate environment under a HUUUUUGE oak tree by the ball field. And as for Ronny's aunt - at 12:00noon on Saturday I can look straight up through the trees into the big old beautiful blue sky, and I imagine she'll look down and recognize that I'm celebrating her life from right where I am.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

THE PIRATES LAFFITE and prolly their hands too

Well my two units are in their baths. And here I am AGIN. I should be doing something that has educational merit. Do I NEED another repetitive task? I think not but here it has presented itself in a format irresistible. Besides. So many opinions and comments and no one I want to burden with them, so what a perfect spot. So many blogs have intensely deep and intelligent or political thoughts (notice the OR) and opinions but today is all frivolity in deference to my blondiness (well - it was at one time. May still be but who knows it hasn't been it's rightful color in so many years I wouldn't have a freakin' clue) and celebration of the serendipitous beginning of a BAHLOGGah.

Now. After putting #1 son in my shower I passed by the easy chair in our bathroom where my handsome husband's stack of books teeter precariously on the floor beside the chair. Atop the stack is The Pirates Laffite by William C. Davis and it occurs to me good grief my husband is a pirate. I mean, who else watches the history channel EVERY FREAKIN' NIGHT (blech), builds two story forts for his kids, takes two hours to carve slingshots out of wood (while teaching the boys how to use the lathe) instead of buying plastic ones for ninety nine cents out of the cheapie bin at Target, shaves his head but keeps a goatee, and takes things apart just to tinker with schtuff. Then rolls his eyes when I fitch pits because ropes are hanging dangerously from the second story of the fort. Well they have PAILS attached!!!!!! HOW DO YOU THINK THEY'RE GONNA GET TREASURES UP THERE WOMAN? Oh you modern mom with your safety stuff is the look I get. They'll be FIIIIIIIINE. He works with those hands like they're direct extensions of his brain. He's an old timey tinkerer. Or a pirate hmmmm.

Now then. Today we dealt with family members regarding funeral arrangements for handsome husband's aunt. Frivolity. Remember. Today is all frivolity. Tomorrow we'll deal with the death and bereavement issue. So. How many times today (and the past several weeks with aunt in hospice) would you like to guess have I heard well since you don't work maybe you can do it now normally I just chalk it up to shallow processing skills or self involvement, perhaps bitterness, 'my life is the hardest' syndrome or who knows what, but this week I have heard that phrase over the limit and one of these days, in my loveliest and calmest of voices, when the opportunity presents itself, I am gonna smile and respond to a family member who repeatedly makes these comments ~ when they're collecting for a family contribution effort, "Well since I don't work, we're a one income family. . . we'll be contributing half the amount that the two income families contribute."



Well. This bloggin' stuff could be addictive. #1 son is doing addiction - oopsie! I mean addition worksheets and while that homework is taking place here I sit. Chicken pot pie's in the oven and Jr. Mint is doing his Game Boy time. Timer's on.

I have to figure out how to do links so I can advertise for DH's site . . . . puts food on the table ya know, or electricians in the attic as it were. This ding dang Mozilla ent so user friendly for formatting purposes here but she's a good ol' gal. This is my homework I s'pose.

TTFN. Timer dinged. Bye bye Game Boy.


Well isn't this cool... a new way to get published, and no editors. I like. Alrighty then. Today is another "searching for lighting" day. Had about enough of it, but we're pressing on until the job is done. If I see brushed nickel again I may just shit brushed nickel but that sounds painful so we'll try to avoid that particular metal today. Again.

My handsome husband told me about a yummy dish that his chef at the cafe from work cooked for him yesterday, so I plan to cook it this weekend. Phyllo wrapped salmon steak with mushroom pate. Ummy yummy. Dangerous trying to replicate something that Chef does, but we'll accept the challenge.

On a closing note, I wish Patsy Ramsey were here to enjoy today.


Well this is my first post. Never been a blogger before...sounds kinda bloggish. So now I have to decide what to blog about don't I hmmmmm.