Saturday, September 30, 2006


I was talking to my Dad the other day, and he was frittering away some time for some inexplicable reason. I don't ask. On this particular occasion of time frittering he had two questions for me . . . well, one question really, and one that may've truly been more of a statement, if we are to be authentic. His question was simple, really. He wondered if a destitute prostitute was the same thing as a po' ho'. On that point I could see no bit of difference so I simply answered in the positive and we moved on. Number two question, as I said, more of a - well, you can decide. He had come across a billboard driving down the road which read "Prior Fitz for Commissioner" and he wondered if there would likely be a billboard constructed in the near future which would read "Subsequent Seizures for Senator".

Now you know why I'm not quite right.


Thursday, September 28, 2006


My sister is having shoulder surgery on Friday. The surgery is similiar to the surgery I had - she's younger and the damage is not quite as far along, but on the other hand her arthritis is worse than mine. I can't be there. She and I used to be there for all of each others' life events, but no longer can we do that, for we have reached a place in our current lifestyle where our responsibilities prevent us from picking up and going. Kids in school for the most part, but other things as well keep us from being at each others' side when we're having surgeries, babies, emergencies, crises, or other "sister is the one" times. It sucks.

That's about all I have to say about that. And if that sounds like Forrest Gump, well that's who I feel like on the subject. Life's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. And on Friday I'm not gonna get to be with my sweet sister, who is a grown woman and can do perfectly fine without me, but I don't want her to do without me, I want to be there for her. But instead I want to be here more for my two children and my husband because I'm grown up too. Yes sir. If I keep telling myself that until Friday mebbe it'll sink in. Dammit.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I was cleaning out my file cabinet this morning and I ran across a letter my Dad wrote to his uncles, who were both like his brothers, in age and relationship, and who both served in WWII and at least one of them went back for more in Korea - maybe both of them, I'm not sure. He wrote it on May 30, 1999. Thought I'd share it.

Dear Paul and Ralph,

I guess I would not have started this letter had not some things come together. Mainly the publication of the book THE GREATEST GENERATION by Tom Brokaw, the observance of Memorial Day by the nation, and the need I have to tell you both that you have always been my heroes. I'm sure I culd not say that face to face without making a fool of myself. My son and I have frequently talked of the selfless, noble self-sacrifice of your generation during World War II, and have lamented the passing of that great large-hearted outlook in defense of your country. It has probably not been said as it should be said yet, but Tom Brokaw does a credible job while we are waiting for perfection.

Both my son and I are in awe of your generation. That something horrible has happened to the American heart and spirit between then and now we both know, but we do not know how to say it. The wonder for both of us is that the people of your generation are not affected by the current one. There remains the same spirit of manners, helpful cooperation, humility and the total lack of pretension as were present when you served.

Among the several blessings I realize regarding my children is that they all three got somehow the gene for analysis and the ability to see, quickly, to the core of a matter, and as a result we talk of the two of you more than you realize. I know you have seen the "media" coverage of Memorial Day and all the hype attendant on such an occasion. I doubt that all that meant much to either of you. Well, this letter is a poor attempt at bringing the hyperbole right down to the most elementary level, in an effort to persuade you, fifty four years after the fact, that, if you both had not risked getting you ass shot off a hundred, a thousand times, we would all likely be speaking Japanese or German now.

So never doubt that, in the extended family, everyone in my age range and younger, whether they say it or not, realize that we all owe you, both of you, a debt that we can never pay by simple thank yous. And it is not strange that the attempt to express what we feel chokes us up so that we feel like fools trying to get out what we feel.

We all know that you are heroes, and you will always be.

Monday, September 25, 2006


Don't ever do them both on the same day. Ask me how I know. Now it's not as stupid as you are most likely thinking. After all, Allegra-D is time release, and a Doubleshot is only about four good gulps worth. I had the Allegra at 6:30 this morning, and didn't have the Doubleshot until about 1:30pm. Howsomever my body still protested. And I knew better, it was up there in my head, I guess I just didn't find it at the moment that I grabbed the doubleshot. Clearly. Lesson learned. The flutterly, flittery have to lie down and breathe BIG and SLOW way.

Speaking of Allegra my friend Risa the pharmacist tells of a coworker who filled Viagra instead of Allegra on a call-in and the (male) patient called from his car not understanding what was going on....he had taken (what he thought was) his decongestant on the way to work in the morning, and so now he's driving around the block and has been for two hours waiting for . . . er, things to calm down . . . finally it dawns on him that the pill he took was not the same color as usual so he calls his pharmacist wanting to know what the heck's going on, and when he's going to be able to get out from behind the steering wheel, so to speak, and go to work. Pharmacist suggested he call in sick, drive home and take advantage of the situation but oh this just keeps on getting better and better he has a wreck on the way home. Hard times. AAAAAAAAA HA HA HA. No one harmed in the wreck but it seriously did make the problem go away.

On Friday if Risa comes by my house before going home she can't bend her hands. She says she fills so many Viagra prescriptions her hands stay stiff until Saturday morning. Hee hee hee hee hee hee.

Gotta go put Jr. Mint in the bath. TTFN.

Thursday, September 21, 2006


Last week my oldest son had ITBS standardized testing all week. It was administered in the mornings, beginning at about 9:00am. Tuesday morning as #1 son's getting ready for school I say to him, "Where are your glasses, huneee bunches?"


"Where, poocheekins? Finish your banana and peanut butter and drink some orange juice."


"Well, I dunno where they are either boo boo. Go brush your teeth. Where'd you leave them last night? Are you only wearing that one sock today?"

"Daddy made me take them off on the way home from karate and he took them I can't find my other sock BROTHER COME BACK HERE WITH MY OTHER SOCK - MOMMMMMY!

So I call handsome hubby at work. It's 7:00am. He's getting ready to leave work with a bunch of co-workers for a golf tournament. "Know where your #1 son's glasses are by chance?"

"No. I gotta go. The guys are getting ready to leave and we're all riding together. Have a great day honey."

"Uh, yeah, you too. But your son thinks he remembers you taking his glasses last night and they don't seem to be in the house. Mind takin' a quick peek in your car?"

"Whut? Oh. Ohhhhhhhhh. and there is a long, pregnant pause. Well, he'll just have to do without 'em today. I've got to go play golf!" Now there's another lonnnnnnng pause cuz I'm just not believing I have just heard these words come out of this man's yap hole, BUT. You know there's always a big ol' but. A man's perspective is always quite a large chunk different than a woman's, and he just thought it was no big whoop for #1 son to hippity hop through one day without his specs. So I said, just as if I thought he had made a perfectly normal, acceptable decision, "Okay, well here, here he is, I'm gonna put him on the phone so you can tell him."

Just let me tell you this. I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth but what he yelled "Nooooooooooooooooooooooo!"

"Whaaaaaaaat?" I purred. "What's wrong, baybee?" I had a powerful visual image of him standing on the other side of the phone receiver, looking down with his right hand in his pocket and scruffing his heel with remorse. Or some such emotion.

"I'll just drive down to the country club by mySELF, and I'll drop his glasses off at school on the way."

"Oh! Alright, if that's what you think you should do. I guess you're right, 'specially since he has testing today and everything. You're so smart honey, to think of that. What a thoughtful Daddy you are."

That day when handsome hubby got home, both boys ran and greeted him with hugs and kisses as usual, but then #1 son said "Daddy close your eyes and hold your hand out!" Daddy did. #1 son place a Dove special dark bar in his hand and closed his Daddy's fingers around it and said, "Okay, open your eyes!" Daddy opened his eyes and #1 son said, "Thank you for putting me ahead of your golf game."

The idea of a treat for his Dad was his. The words were mine. It was a collaborative effort. So sue me. ;-) It was verrrrry effective.........

Saturday, September 16, 2006


I'm giving a birthday party tomorrow for my #1 son, who's just turned nine, my mother in law, who's just turned seventy four, and my baby brother, who's just turned thirty three. I say I. I should say my husband and I. He's giving the yard a haircut and policing around the outside of the house. He'll be the grill meister during the event. He'll be doing heavy duty party clean-up afterwards too. These are his contributions. The M-A-N stuff.

It's one of those family events. I've described them before here, in other posts. Several generations, mixing of my family and husband's, the very young to the very senior. Lots and lots of laughter, too many conversations to even hear, lot of hugging, holding of hands, sitting shoulder to shoulder, knee to knee, criss-cross applesauce, start-up baseball, tag, jump rope, romper stompers, sidewalk chalk, photo albums, medical advice, catching up, blah blah just you name it. I hear, just so no one thinks (that I believe) we are a family per-fect-o, that there have been a disagreement or two between family members at these parties. I don't doubt it. I hope so. When you get this many of us together I pray we all are close enough that at least two of us have something to disagree about.

This year, for the first time my Grandmother won't be making the trip to my house for the party. It's an hour and forty five minute trip, and she's ninety nine years old. She rides with Mama and Daddy. She made the trip back in May when I had a party for her birthday/Mothers' day. It was too much for her. Not the party - the car trip. It hurt her back. She was sore. Her tummy is not good anymore and she's afraid . . . just afraid. Afraid she won't be comfortable, afraid she'll be sore, afraid her tummy won't be happy to make the trip, just too tired and afraid. At ninety nine, who can blame her?

Ran into my cousin the other day and his kids were afraid they weren't gonna get to come. Don't worry, their Dad reassured them. We're going.

My uncle, Grandmother's son, who has esophageal cancer, is seventy seven (I think). Maybe seventy eight. Going through chemo. Picture of energy. He's coming to the party.

It's going to be a different party this year in more ways than one. Age, and time, does strange things to the dynamic of a party. And a family.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Fall is my second absolutely very favoritest time of the year. It fails to make #1 through no fault of its own, but by default (git it?? huh? huh? the fault?) of its neighbor, ol' man winter. Spring is in the top slot because while I enjoy the beautiful breezy coolish warm weather and the flowers and leaves budding out, I also am blissfully aware that hot weather is coming. Not so with fall. All during the terrizmoterrifico breezish warmy cool time, while I enjoy the most gorgeous leaf-turnings in the United States (we have those here in North Georgia. . . .), even though my family can take hikes, ride bikes, go on picnics, sit in the yard, eat on the deck, or run in the yard and enjoy the lower humidity and temperatures instead of turning into one large ball of sweat as we have all summer, in the back of my mind, I still know what's coming. . . . WINTERTIME. Blech. My least favorite season.

But here's the thing about Fall of the year. For the past few years, I dunno how many because I have just reached this epiphany and lemme tell ya it's not liberating as epiphanies are posa be. Well it is and it isn't. So maybe epiphany izza wrong woid. Annnnnnnyhoodipo, Fall just, it has come to me, not been right. Just not . . . right. Not deeply, spiritually wrong, not disturbingly wrong, wrong's not even the right word, seems I'm having vocab probs today, just not . . . . arranged properly. Yeah, that's it. Not arranged properly. Things are outa whack. But I hadn't put my finger on it. Hadn't wrapped my head around it. Hadn't even recognized that there was something out of whack, just that I was not right with my Fall of the years anymore.


Here's whut it is. When Fall comes, several things are posedta happen in one fluid stream. It's a tall order. After all, this is whut makes it Fall. Apparently. To me. Which is whyyyyyyy I ent been right the past I dunno how many years - at this time of the year.

Labor Day comes, the new Fall TV shows begin, school starts, and it is cool enough to begin wearing Fall clothing.

And that's the way it's supposed to go.

But. You know there's always a big but. Life in the Fall of the year doesn't follow that track NO MO. School starts the first week in August. Fall TV shows don't begin until darn near October. And who just ever KNOWS when you're gonna wear Fall clothing, from one day to the next. Ozone ~ who knew?

So I'm such a sharp tack it only took me oh, how many years? to figure out that's why I'm so discombobulated and undone during the Fall.

Or during "Back to School" season I'm going to call it now. Cuz it ain't Fall. Perhaps if I can separate it into two distinct times, I'll enjoy both. Back to School time, and a new Fall of the year. Yeah. That'll do it.

Boy it's hell growing up.

Watched two movies this weekend. #1 son, DH and I watched Akeelah and the Bee. I would absolutely recommend that movie to ANY parent to watch with their child over 9 or 10 or so. It's such a valuable movie, and even though it has more than one 'hell' and 'ass' in it, believe it or not, I would watch it with him again, and MAY, before we send it back. What he learned from that movie. . . . indescribable.

Also saw The Family Stone. Great movie. Super great.

Friday, September 08, 2006


I had electricians today. Alllll day. I'm beginning to know them rather well, for this is not the first time they've been with me here at-da-hoose. They arrived at 8:00am and left shortly after my handsome husband got home from work this afternoon. I had a fleeting thought when I started preparing dinner that maybe I oughter throw a couple extra kielbasa stuffed chicken breasts on the grill. Yeeeeeeeeeikes! But then when I paid them I decided maybe they oughter take us out fer vittles.

But. You know there's always a big but. This house has lighting issues. As of this evening it has fewer lighting issues, yet still there are some to be dealt with. Soooooo I will have electricians again in the near future. Well. When the pocketbook recovers. Perhaps in the fairly near future. Two electricians. Eight hours, eighty dollars per hour, ouchee oochee, but I have LIGHTS, baby!!!!!! And my electricians are precision measurers. They don't bark my walls. They don't track in dirt or mud. They aren't satisfied until it looks just right. They don't waste time. They'e kind to my children. Wished my #1 son happy birthday . . . thank you Doo, I told him so did you. :-) They pick up after themselves. I love them. One of 'em ent too hard on the eyeballs needer.

The nicest thing is that I can leave the house to drop the kids off at school, run errands, pick Jr. Mint up from preschool, just whatever, and leave them here. They contract electrical work for handsome husband at his work. He knows them well, trusts them. It's the perfect situation.

Here's my theory. This perfect situation that I have the pleasure of enjoying with my hot wire dudes makes up for aaaaaaaall the other VILE, ROTTEN, UNETHICAL, MESSY, UNACCEPTABLY NEGLIGENT, SMARMY, DON'T-GIVE-A-RIP, SHMOE contractors in the past and yet to come in my life. There. Want me to tell you how I really feel? ;o)

Thursday, September 07, 2006


It's not what you think. At least probably not. I have an uncle with cancer. The C word is what my Dad calls it. Cancer, I mean. When he first started calling it that I thought it was a little too, I dunno, rough, not gentle enough, sumthin. It felt a tiny bit like a sniff of ammonia from too close. Jussssssss made me wince a little smidgey. But now I think it's better than hearing the word itself nineteen times when you're having a conversation about it. It's bad enough knowing it's there, in his body. My uncle's. Started in his esophagus. They chemo-d and radiated it out of there. Drip, drip, drip. Zzzzzzzzzzz. Gone. It was eight weeks during which the world stopped but yet kept moving. Maybe it didn't go away. Maybe it just picked up house and moved. Showed up in his lungs and liver. So now he's having treatments a-g-a-i-n.

Meanwhile, a dear friend of mine whom I have never met, is mourning because her dear friend passed away of leukemia today. I guess that's The "L" word. I didn't know the lady that passed away but I have mourned and cried this morning for my friend's loss and for the loss of a life from a disease like The "L" word or The "C" word that does what it does to a person and their family and friends for sometimes lonnnnnng periods of time.

For the eight weeks that my uncle went through his first round of treatment, knowing what I went through, I was effectively at the bottom of the barrel. Above me there's my Mama (his sister), my Grandmother (his mother), my cousins (his children), and my Aunt (his wife). What were they going through? Then there's HIM. What was he dealing with? I can't wrap my head around it. I don't know how he sat still. I don't know how he thought a complete thought. Spoke a complete sentence. Kept from screaming. How did he sleep?

When my handsome husband's Daddy died seven years ago, I know how much I grieved. He was my Daddy for nineteen years. What in the world was he dealing with? How could he possibly think? Work? Smile? Laugh? He didn't laugh much. It took a long time. How do you read to your kids when you miss your father with every single cell in your body?

My dear friend (whom I've never met) is trying to take care of her elderly parents, far away from her own home, while she's mourning the death of her dear dear friend. How can she concentrate?

I know the real answer to any of these questions. It's the same answer I would give if anyone asked me. "Well, you do what you have to do." "Well, you just do it." "When you have responsibilities you just get it done. Sometimes you don't even remember doing it, but you do." "Oh, people heal." "Oh, time heals all wounds."

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think sometimes you ought to get a free "Crumble In a Lumpy Heap" card. . . . or a "Can't Function Today" card . . . Why can't we go away and mourn? Shut down for a little while? People used to do that. A year. Longer in some cultures, shorter in some, but a block of TIME, nonetheless, carved out for mourning. The "M" word.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Today is the anniversary of my #1 son's birthday. He is nine years old. He woke up with a smile on his face, like a kid with the knowing that gifts were forthcoming tonight. Gifts, fettucini alfredo, kielbasa, garlic toast, pound cake, and ice cream. Oh and plums. He added plums to his birthday meal request. Okay, I said. And plums. You get whatabsolutelyever you want for your birthday meal as always. You will notice the total absence of vegetables. During the meal and the opening of gifts the procession of telephone calls will begin. The entire evening will be dotted, spotted, and interrupted with them. Generally we don't answer the phone during a family meal but for birthdays we make the traditional exception. These interruptions are terrific ones. Then we sing Happy Birthday to him, but his four year old brother will end the song "HAPY BUFFDAY BRUDDA, CHA CHA CHA!". By the time #1 gets tucked into bed the smile'll be so broad and so infectious I'll be teary. Probably only a mother would understand that.

My brother's birthday is the 12th. The big family birthday party is the following weekend, and he will not get to attend, due to an emergency in his wife's family. She's out of the country tending to that emergency, and my brother, my baby brother, will spend the anniversary of his birth by himself. He is now thirty three years of age, fully grown, fully mature, and totally able, I am certain, to handle this unfortunate circumstance, but I'm not sure I am. I don't want to visualize the image of my baby brother sitting in his home alone watching TV on his birthday. I was thirteen years old when he was born and even though he's a married man with his own business, it breaks my heart that he won't have loved ones around him making him smile from ear to ear on the anniversary of his birthday. Happy buffday brudda indeed. Cha cha cha.

Monday, September 04, 2006


I can't breathe through my nose. Nor can my sons . . . . we seem to have picked up a devastating summer cold from handsome husband who caught it, brought it home, coughed three times, sniveled once, shared it with his family, and then sloughed it off. The rest of us haven't fared as well.

Jr. Mint developed croup. From thence nosebleeds arrived in profusion. A wallopin' case of the ornerys followed. #1 son joined in the form of laryngitis, coughing spasms and a stuffy, runny nose. #1 doesn't do the ornerys as a rule. Pitiful puppy dog is his gig. I have a mix of symptoms too lengthy to list. Suffice to say we's all oooooookey. But cep' handsome husband, who caught it, brought it home, coughed three times, sniveled once, shared it with his family, and then SLOUGHED IT OFF.

He is not a caregiver. He tries, so he says. But if that's tryin', I'm Cindy Crawford. Or maaaaayyyyybe, he's just not tryin' like a woman would. Yeah, that's it. He does insist we lay around all day and watch movies. Hmm. Not bad. Even brought home a couple of good ones to watch. With a pint of Ben & Jerrys. And a couple of magazines. (the ones I like. . . .) Mm hmmmm. But then he turns around and asks me what's for dinner. Grrrr. As I lie there in a thick-headed Nyquil induced stupor, with a snivveling child on each side of me, a humidifier blowing lovely plumes of Vicks enhanced steam over our germ riddled heads, it occurs to me perhaps it's not because he wants me to prepare it, but because he doesn't know what there is to prepare. The thought of looking through the pantry, the freezer, and the fridge and then putting all that information together in his haid to come up with a meal to prepare makes his extremities begin to quiver. Aaaaaaaand, to have to grab a COOKBOOK and look something UP????? Aaaaaarghhhh!!!! He wants some direction. Yeaaaahhhh, that's it!!! Men. Can't live with 'em and you can't shoot 'em.

In closing, I would like to say we're praying without ceasing for the wife and small child of The Crocodile Hunter. My three guys are big fans.