Monday, November 26, 2007


Been sitting at my dining room table this morning designing a playset to connect to the boys' fort. They call it a fort but actually it began its life in my mind as a playhouse. They poo-poo that designation. Sounds too girlie but you look at it and tell me just which name sounds more accurate. Its the picture directly above this post, dead center of the collage. At any rate, handsome husband and I were out to eat last week and he says to me over his poached salmon What are we going to get each other for Christmas? and I said Oh we're doing that this year? and he said Yeah, you know, collectively, for the house and I said Well I don't want to get anything that requires the initiation of any ongoing projects and so here's how that goes. I say how bout this and he says nahhhh, and I say how bout that and he says mmmmm nahhhhh, and I say well ok how bout the other thang and he says well uhhhh hmm nahhhhhh don't think sewwwww, and I say ok then Mr. Man what are your ideas and he says I du-nno I just thought maybe we could go sort of big ticket and get ourselves something we both want and also knock out something we've sort of been needing, but if you don't like the ideeeer. . . .

Kiss my tiara, big foot.

Y'know, they just like to turn up the volume and watch you dance. Then if you don't do the steps they like, they take away the music. But they don't ever join you on the dance floor. It ain't fair, it just ain't fair. Ain't fair.

So. I smiled sweetly, sorta like Melanie did to Ashley, and I said Welll, you know there IS one thing I have really been wanting to knock out for several years but it would - nah, it costs too much.


Nothing. And actually, we - the boys - can just wait and you can do it. It's one of those things you can do better anyway. You said you wanted to do it and we've been waiting, its on your list. Never mind.


It'd be a lot cheaper for you to do it and . . .


And that's how I got the playset for Christmas. It's been on "the list" of "things to do" for three years. The boys are going to be in high school by the time you can get to it I've been saying, as he rolls his eyes. Guess I just caught him at a weak moment. It's a gift that will pay us both back all year long. Kids come over to play with my boys all the time. I have a backyard full a couple of afternoons a week. This is an investment. What better place to invest than your children and their creative play? Besides. I'm hanging my airchair from the breezeway that's gonna connect the playset to the fort. Playhouse. Everwhat.

So as I sit here and play with designs, which elements to put on the thing, I think about the words to this song I love.

A family on my mind
I'm 45 for a moment
The sea is high
And I'm heading into a crisis
Chasing the years of my life

I don't think I'm heading into a crisis but 50 isn't a party I was begging to be invited to exactly. Not complaining, just reporting,

15 there's still time for you
Time to buy, Time to lose yourself
Within a morning star
15 I'm all right with you
15, there's never a wish better than this
When you only got 100 years to live

and I'm so looking forward to my childrens' lives, all every single minute and week and month and year of them....playgrounds and teen years. Everyone says I'll change my mind about the latter. I'd rather be here for it than not, that's my statement.

Half time goes by
Suddenly you’re wise
Another blink of an eye

Sure don't think I'm wise now but when I look backwards I was such a dummy then. Another blink and they'll be grown and then I'm looking forward to being two again. We were a couple before and we'll be a couple again but richer because. Wow so many becauses - years together, children, families, friendship, crises, memories, all that sappy stuff.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


We went to visit my Mom and Dad this past weekend. During the course of the visit my sister and I made the executive decision to go shopping. I know you're shocked. Handsome husband, brother in law, and Daddy were attached by the posterior to the couch, by the eyeballs to the football game.

I'm leaving our children with you honey.


Seester and I are going shopping.


Our kids. They're here. Sister and I are leaving. In the car. Watch them.

Watch hu . . . who?

Y'know here are a couple of facts you may not be aware of. When a game is on, the volume on the TV is permanently set on BLAST YOUR EARDRUMS and the remote does not function.


OK, I git it. AHHHHHHHH, TOUCHDOWN!!!! Y'don't have t'yell, for cry'n ayut layoud. Young. Ayr yung. Hunh. Fpmpt. Pass it pass it pass it paaaaaaass iiiiiitt.......... I'll put'em on m'back and hobble around and pertend I'm dayid if sumbuddy points a bagel dubba barrl at me. WHOA, DIDJU SEE DAT????? Ho, me. Thatuz a goodun......


On the way home that night, we had a conversation about a new vehicle for handsome hubby. Went something like this.

Weeeeehoo, ju see thet?

What, what?

That pea cup thet just passed us?

Oh. No, I missed that. Durnit.

Well here, lemme ketch up.

Oh no no no neeeeeeewwww, that's OK!

Oh you gotta see it - it's a bagel thang. Be turble if you mist it. It's what I wonna replace this ol' peesa sh - err, this older Volvo with. (Insert nice, smarmy smile here)

But baybee. That thang's a deezel. Eeewwwwww sheeewwweeee. Ba the way, haintchu bedr git outa the lay-uft lane?

Ahsposo. Leesn. Deezel doan smayal so bad eeny mo-ahr. An I kin git a great deeel downtown 'Lanna. Listen, see? It's not even thet loud? Juhere?

Mmmmm. Good grief, I bet that thang's goin' 90 maul anar. Here. Jauntsamore a these cashoos? I'm done. Well you find out whut the innerst rate is, we'll go from thar if you find one you like, I reckon.

So we got home. Kids were asleep. Carried them upstairs, put them to bed. Next morning, they're sitting at the breakfast table eating their waffles and Dad is reading the Sunday paper. "Ewww, thur's a fly!" says Jr. Mint. "Git the floss water!"


Friday, November 09, 2007


And thank you is just something we say so often it hardly means anything anymore.

I guess by now we could call this shameless laziness, copying a previous post, but my preference is calling it a deep, important connection. A couple of years ago on Veterans Day I posted this letter. It's a letter from my Dad to his Uncles on Memorial Day. Pretty self explanatory. He copied my siblings and myself and sent it to me in a plain white #1o envelope with a little note attached in his (usual) henscratch that said something simple like that he thought I might like a copy, that this was something he felt strongly about, needed to get out, something, I don't remember now. I have it in the "treasures" box.

My Dad has a way of writing that goes right to the core, right to my core. This is one of his most powerful pieces and I only read it once a year, but on that one occasion I read it over and over and over. And over. Then I have to go wash my face, thank God for my Uncle Paul and Uncle Ralph, my Dad. Wash my face again.


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.


It's a common myth that in order to be called a veteran you have to've served in a war, but actually you just have to've served in the military. Clearly there are distinctions, particularly to a mother, a family, a friend, but I believe I want to say thank you to anyone who served. In the miliary. Who signed up. Wore a uniform. Learned how to be a soldier. Took the chance that while they were "in", they could be sent somewhere or called up somewhere dangerous or far away, and, well, bad things could happen. So thank you from me. Thank you. If you were here I would hug, bake, have you sit at my kitchen table and pour you a cup of coffee, offer you a beer and some nachos..... but cyberly speaking I am just so grateful for you. It's about all I can do from here.

Locally there was a Veterans Day breakfast at my childrens' school, where I had the honor of serving veterans coffee. I've never waitressed, but every year I am honored to don an apron and refresh coffee cups. It's MOST difficult to do it dry eyed because rather than seeing a cafeteria full of humans sitting at tables talking and eating, what I see is a room full of senior relatives of the children in our school, the 'people' of our kids, (that's what we call 'em in The South - yer 'people') a sea of folks who've every single one served our Country. Every. Single. One. And I get to serve them. Just coffee, but I get to serve them. It's powerful, it's humbling, and I couldn't dare say it out loud because it would sound EVER so melodramatic, and I know it must be so because every year I look around and no one else is fighting away tears but me. Well hell. Screw 'em. These folks deserve a wrenched tear or two.

Friday, November 02, 2007


This morning as I was helping the kids get their breakfast, I made the mistake of lamenting how old I felt, due largely to an untimely cortisone shot in my derriere. posterior. hipbone. my butt. Yup, my ass is grass but that's another story for another post. So Jr. Mint says Ohhhh Mom, 60 is young! Now he thinks he's bestowing a compliment because he's five and learning numbers and number relationships, so the look on his face is one of pure joy until he sees the demon in my eyes which has come out quite by accident and immediately, I might add, upon the number 60's entrance into the room. It would have come out had the number 50 joined us as well, but the point is, how come? Why did that lil demon pop right out there I mean I look like I look. I feel like I feel OOPS! BINGO! There it is.

Sometimes when my handsome husband and I have spent time discussing a subject and suddenly the answer bonks him on the head from outa nowhere and flows from his lips as if given to him on a plate, his famous statement is And there it is. Arrright maybe not famous but I always know its coming. But this time I didn't know this was coming. This birthday has been a lesson, a struggle. I didn't look forward to it, I was on the verge of tears during most of it, and now that I'm on the other side of it, I'm glad it's over. I feel pretty alone about the way I want to celebrate my birthday, fairly misunderstood. I guess that happens when you live with boys. Don't care much about material gifts of financial import, there's nothing I really want of much meaning in that respect. My body wasn't keeping up with me. I limped with my hip, a limp that of a person twice my age, someone who has had a hip replacement or a broken hip. I limped like Gramma Nell, the one who used to squeeze our cheeks and wear too much bright pink cakey powdered blush. As she walked, her head would bobble back and forth like a metronome, from high center to low left, high center, low left. It was her left hip too, just like mine. She was ninety if she was a day.

So it's just a birthday. That's the thing. There are wildfires in the west. Droughts in the south. A war in Iraq. I have friends who need prayers for family members who have real problems, my friends have real problems. My handsome husband comes home every day saying if he has to work one more millisecond he'll explode and he has too much to do and too little time to do it in and he's forty million hours behind and so stressed out and his cell phone rings every two seconds and he's a Crackberry, checking his phone email every twenty three seconds.....

I'm so lucky I'm alive on my forty eighth birthday, well, luck has nothing to do with it. God is good. But it is what it is. And a blog is where you do this. Say what you want. And so I did. Say what I wanted that is. Now what I wanna say is this: This ain't my first rodeo, an' akshully, come to think about it, if things got any better I'd have ta hire sumbuddy ta hayulp me enjoy it. So.

Time to swap spit and hit the road. I'm gone!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


One of our yearly Halloween traditions is trick or treating at a local open aire mall. The mall hosts a lovely event on a Saturday afternoon, and not only does each shoppe give out candy to trick or treaters, but the mall provides jugglers, scarecrows, complimentary pictures, goodie bags, apple cider, balloons, and well, you get the picture. It's very festive, gives you warm fuzzies just to be there. We usually run into several friends, as do the kids. Good times.

Each shoppe has an employee or two that stands outside the door with a large cauldron of candy - and generally a coupon and a brochure for Mom can't beat that - so the kids walk up, grin and say TRICK OR TREAT! get their candy, say thank you and then between that stop and the next one which is only twenty to thirty feet down, become distracted by seven critically interestingly things they find absolutely necessary to pay attention to. Now then. We have just finished with Swoozie's and are headed to Aveda, where two young (you know they always make the freshmen employees do this Halloween duty) employees are standing out front eagerly (yeah, right) awaiting the next precious trick or treaters. These two gals are dressed in black and white, because Aveda employees always are. They both have very dark hair, short, uber trendy, severely geometric hair cuts, one of them fairly spikey-ish. Both girls have smoky grey/black eye makeup and a fairly lot of it. One is wearing pointy toed black boots with her long black skirt. Anyone see where this is going yet? So. Handsome Hubby cranes his head around in the other direction and hollers Hey kids! Come back over here they had wandered over out of the direct trail from one storefront to the next in order to, Idunno, step on a bug er sumpin and get some candy from these weetches!

Ohhhhhh nnnnnnnnnewwww. Oh no oh no oh NO he didn't just DO that. Bless his heart did he. . . . he DID . . . I can't look at him I can't look at him is that him HIDING BEHIND ME???? From behind me I hear a small weak voice. They aren't dressed up, are they. *Giggle giggle*

We moved on swiftly and for the rest of the trip Mommy was the mouthpiece. OK it wasn't a stretch. No comments from the peanut gallery. Daddy sipped on his Starbucks Triple Skinny Short Soy and smiled at the kind employees giving out candy, waving and nodding thanks as they plunked candy in his childrens' pumpkin basket.

We've laughed about his poo-faux this week. It's destined to become a family classic in some measure, some phrase, some meaning. It hasn't found its niche yet, but it will. Sorta like the burnin' squirrel. ;- )


Sunday, October 21, 2007


There's a madly popular - cultish, really - show on, hmm the Discovery Channel I think, maybe Nat Geo, but no matter - name of the show's Survivor Man. Well. My brother introduced my children and my handsome husband to the show (along with another, similar one which I'll laugh with you about another time). Now the premise of the show is this. This Australian guy who used to be a, I dunno, Green Beret or Silent Operations Ninja or sunthin for the military, gets dumped from a helicopter with only a knife, a bottle of water and the clothes on his back, or suuuumthin like that (and his cameras to film the whole thing) in the middle of the wild, six days from NO-frackin-where. The object is for him to - drumroll please - SURVIVE - until he makes it back to civilization. My three (four, when brother's here) fellas could sit and watch this man eat bugs, McGyver stuff in the cruelest of natural environments, sleep under rock formations and kill wickedly weird and gross animals to cook over a fire and eat - (or just eat raw if he can't make a fire) for DAYS (because there are be still my heart Survivor Man marathons) and only get out of their chairs upon necessary callings.

Now then. At one point during a Survivor Man marathon weekend - and if it's not a true Survivor Man marathon weekend, the three/four of them are not past boasting a faux Survivor Man marathon weekend. Record back to back episodes and watch the DVD.... yep. Alright so now I decided at one point that if I was to spend any time at all with the dudes I'd have to ratchet myself right into the middle of 'em. So I took my book or my whatever I was doing and plopped myself down in the family room between a couple of them, and I might've even made some popcorn or some sammies or wraps, chips 'n dip, whatev, and brought it in so I'd be sure to be noticed upon my entrance. Otherwise, if I don't come bearing some kinda gifts I surely can't compete with an Aussie wearing all kinds of cool outfitters' clothing and shoes, who can hold a dead squirrel by the neck, give it a good fling and send all it's innards out it's ass end.

Speaking of that. It is that now innardless squirrel that makes me bring up this Survivor Man in the first of places. Be patient. There IS a point. So Survivor Man puts gutless squirrel on a stick spit and begins to roast him over a fire, and while he's doing that he's talking to us into his lil camera. Close up and personal, and he looks like who-dun-it. Course he does, bless his heart. His hair's greasy, nappy, his face is ruddy and he has bags under his eyes that even Princess Marchella Borghese concealer, good lighting and mebbe airbrushing wouldn't eliminate . He's telling us what his next move will be and why he won't drink the water in this lil pond over here, and why, in the morning he's going this direction instead of that, blah de blah blah BLAAAAHHH AHHAAAA AHHAAAAA, and suddenly, his eyes got HUGE, his head WHIPS around - those two things that happen instanTANeously when you remember something y'know?, and he says "WUUUP! M' SQUIRREL'S BURNIN!" and for suuuuuum reason, I dun know why, but I just LOST IT. It. was. just. the funniest thing I had heard come from a human's lips. That's all. And all four of the guys looked at me like I was dissin' a holy man or sumthin'. . . . . . and then slowly . . . . . one by one. . . . . . they started chuckling too, and in a minute. . . . . all of us were guffawing. Chortling. Shoulder-shakin'-tears-running-down-your-face laughing.

So ever since that night it is a family phrase. WUUUP! M' SQUIRREL'S BURNIN'! Can be used for a multitude of things, but it has a certain meaning. Just like any family phrase.

Wellllll, we went camping for several days last week, returned yesterday. It was a lovely trip . . . camping always is with handsome husband. It's second nature for him. He and I have been camping together for over twenty five years. My brother and his wife joined us after we'd been at the campsite for a day. It rained, ohhhhh it rained, and you can say oh it's just so great to be out here in nature it just doesn't maaaaaaadderrr and we had a tent city (that's another family phrase) set up, tarps over the campsite so we were dry, played games, cards, etc., but it's still miserable I mean come on. But after almost a full day and a half of solid rain, it stopped. Stopped. Sun came out, weather was beautiful. For another full day. Guys trout fished, we hiked, walked, enjoyed nature, sat around the fire, did all the stuff you do. Enjoyed each other instead of electronic things, interruptions..... But there'll be no pictures, cuzzzz I look worse when I camp than Survivor Man looks.

My guys were in their glory. They were in their element. They were in their "kitchen". Their "decorated house". Their "garden". YOU know the place. You know that place where you know where everything is, and you know how everything works, and you're comfortable with everything around you, and you enJOY everything that you can see, everything within your visual scope, love how it looks, how it's situated. They belonged. It belonged to them.

And I got a glimpse, or I had a sudden epiphany, understanding - ohhhhh ohhhhhkaaaayah maybe a reminder is a more accurate term, if I'm to be honest, darn it - why it's the other way around at home. I'm resisting the urge here to say they don't have to clean the tree if somebody pees all over it instead of just at the base. Pretend you din't read it.

Anyhow, I thought back to Survivor Man and the look of sheer joy on his ruddy, dirty, puffy face when he, in surprised shock yelled, "WUUUP! M' SQUIRREL'S BURNIN!" Now where would you EVER get a chance to say something like that, as my brother says..... but say it he did, and with sheer joy on his puffy lil red face even though his only dinner was charred beyond rodent recognition, and he ate it too, humming happily. He was in his element.

Now as much as I adore camping, the outdoors, nature, and this particular trip as a matter of fact, still I'm not able to place four days of primitive camping with no bath in the category of my element. On the way home from camping however, we stopped at

The Tomato House

I stood right in front of those baskets of potatoes and walked slowly down the aisle to the end where the cider and molasses are lined up like soldiers, turned on my heel and did it again, up and down that aisle. It's better than yoga, better than breathin' into a bag, better than classical music and a cup of tea.

On the left wall past that column on the top shelf, almost to the end, is Paula Deen's new line of marinades:

They were so proud to have them, of the first, they said. You won't see 'em nowhurs ayulse. We's one a th' furstuns. Yew better grayub a cuuple, thayza flyin awfan the shevvs.

And they were, too.
You know they sell a lot of boiled peanuts when this much space and organization is dedicated to the effort. Can't recall at the moment how many pounds or gallons or whatever the measurement would be they sell per day, but it made handsome husband's jaw drop. Not much does that.

Out the back door of The Tomato House. Just makes me smile, even looking at the picture. It's sweet, the setting, the location, the place, the people. Feels good. And here's the thing. They didn't try, it's not DONE. It's not set up, there aren't vignettes (I'm beginning to not like that word). These folks are folks, the old faded country chairs that are full of pumpkins and scarecrows and aluminum pans and mums are that way because well they're that way, they're short on space so someone shoved stuff in there and maybe they have an eye for how to shove stuff in, but that's about the extent of it. It's rural Georgia. The extent of how "fixed" they get is they front the shelves and keep stacks neat and straight, and check inventory often cauz the place was jam packed. It's the old timey farm/country ethic. It allows me to breathe big, deep breaths from waaaaaay down.

Now you know the boys couldn't hack being there for long, so we took them to

The Fish Hatchery
They were thrilled. This place is an incredible resource, and there are childrens' ponds for fishing, all kinds of educational material for parents to teach their kids all about Georgia and our natural resources. Do you see a single soul there besides us? Nnnnnnnewp.

My favorite stop on the way home. Just look at this place. No words needed.

Upon our return home we were all fulfilled, mostly with having spent time with each other but also satisfied by filling whatever needed filled with nature and natural things, country and the countryside. Most satisfying to me was that of all the places we visited, we only brought home memories, we didn't purchase anything with the exception of a couple of teacher gifts the boys picked out - from The Tomato House. ;- )

Monday, October 15, 2007

TODAY'S THE DAY.! IT'S BLOG ACTION DAY, FOLKS. Well, it's a commitment....

Sorta like leaving only your footsteps when you walk in the woods. Unless that is, you find a bunch of garbage. Then you bring that out with you, along with the joy of the walk, and the memories.

My handsome husband loves to go metal detecting. It's a hobby he's been enjoying ever since he was a kid. He and his Dad would go to the land around Kennesaw Mountain, Lost Mountain, and listen for that beep beep that would let them know they had a find, something from the war they just KNEW - a piece of a soldier's belt, gun, hunk off a cannon, a mini ball. More often than not however, it was a nail. A coke top. Something someone had carelessly thrown down. Know what my father in law did? He put it in his pocket. My handsome husband does it to this day, and he's taught our children to do the same. Saving the environment isn't new. It isn't trendy. It's whatever you want it to be, whatever part you can play.

Here are two pictures of a male and a female ruby throated hummingbird. I like to think they're in love. ;- ) They've been coming back to my sister-in-law's home every year for several years now, because she and her husband (the artist) take care of them.

This is St. Thomas right at dusk. You won't find a more peaceful place. The animal life is allowed to roam the streets and sidewalks, the lush plant life is taken care of before the streets (gotta have your priorities). . .

More St. Thomas. The picture of the stairway is one of my favorites, and I can't really say why. We went up and down that set of stairs countless times while we were there and I never was able to get a good count of the different types of plants along the way.
Heck I dunno whether it was because of the incredible variety of plant life or because that stairway was the way to the partyboat. *hiccup*

My garden. May not look like much, but that's because I employ the "plant everything I can all scooched up" method, for several reasons.

  1. Leaves more room for the kids to play, thus they don't trample my garden.
  2. Leaves less room for weeds to grow, so I don't have to pluck - or spray or use ACK chemmies.
  3. If I plant the runner beans at the base of the corn, I don't have to stake the beans. (laziness is the mother of . . . you get the jist.)
  4. Less square footage for handsome hubby to plow at the beginning of the season and less to mow down at the end.
  5. Less compost and fertilizer to have to deal with.
I could go on and on, but everyone knows the advantages of doing this kind of stuff. Here's the thing. I hate it. I hate it because I like beautiful, straight, airy, open rows and I LOVVVVVVVE Round Up oh my gosh it's my favorite stuff in the WORLD. So it's a struggle for me to do this, it's a - it's not a sacrifice that sounds like I'm well you know - but anyway I hate it. Big whuup. Not easy for anyone that's not the point. Not easy to remember to turn off the water when you brush the first seven times, but the eighth time you do it without thinking. Not easy to bend over and pick up the piece of trash yeah you could walk by it but don't. Costs more to buy environmentally sound, green cleaners and other products and you can't just do it all at once and you can't throw away all your stuff wouldn't be environmentally a great idea to do it anyhootiepo you just do what your heart and your head tells you to, not what anybody else tells you. It's your planet.

Enjoy this beautiful day on it.

Sunday, October 14, 2007


I took the plunge. Bought another appliance but I did clean out my appliance cabinet today and got rid of a few I haven't used in three years. Came out to the good, square inch wise. That's my story and I'm stickin..........ehh you know the rest.

I had consulted friends, cyber and real life about whether it was the thing to do, buying one of these things that is. I had a heavy feeling in my stomach and I got sweaty palms every time I looked at one of them. Big, heavy bubbly appliances with a footprint. Can't like 'em. I don't like leaving them on my countertop, and I don't like to have to get them out every time I want to use them. And I don't like conundrums either. And I don't have an appliance garage, so that's the only solution to that, right?

Here's the pic from the website. The front of mine doesn't look exactly like this, mine has a couple more buttons, but it's made like this one. Not bad, huh?

But as I read the box and all the features, and I thought about our lifestyle, our diet, and the amount of time I have to prepare dinner and - here's the straw that broke the camel's back - how both my steamer and cooking rice sputters all over my cooktop and makes a huge mess - I blinked my eyes and that rice cooker just jumped right in my buggy!

Here's what the box says:
  • Cooks a variety of white, brown, or wild rice to perfection
  • Steams a variety of food while cooking rice
  • Non-stick cooking pot
  • Prepares up to 12 cups of cooked rice
  • Easy 1 touch operation
But there are a couple of additional neat things it does too which might've been deal clinchers. It has a delay timer. Delay timers are in my top five favorite things. They make me twice as efficient. They sort of allow me to be in two places at once, which is almost a turn on, maaaaan I love efficiency . . . and at the very least a necessity around here. At any rate it's what I do.
The other thing is that it keeps the food warm, which is also a pretty cool feature. Supposedly it does so without drying it out, and since it's a steamer, I'm assuming so. We shall see.

My idea is going to be to cook the largest portion - or perhaps all - of our meal in this contraption. Throw it all in there, hit the delay button, then go. I guess I'll have to put rice, broccoli, and fish in at three different times but that's OK. That'll take three different trips into the kitchen but only a few seconds each time. I can run in from a yard soccer game with the kids, cleaning out the garage, or planting fall flowers and gardens. Can you tell I'm thinking about the coming week?

So I'm off to look for great recipes for steamed stuff.....


Saturday, October 13, 2007


We're rednecks. Crackahs. From the cy-oth. Where the women swarr annna menr . . . well, mostly named Bubba.

We do all have guns. Yes. In fact, there's a quaint little burb very closeby that reQUIRES you to do so. Not a prollem, Mayor. I never did understand why they made such a big honkin' ta-do about it. Everbody around there had a piece anyhow. Duh. But the media got aholt of it, and there it went. Well there's dumber thangs. Remember Ross Perot?

Ok so anyhow when your life is The South and you were born in it raised in it live it and breathe it and thrive on it, and it's rich beyond your wildest dreams, then you get to make fun of it. Just like when you vote you can complain.

This is my brother and my son in my brother's basement. I may've described my brother's basement before in a previous post. It's a 1970's home and what they're doing is working on a computer but more importantly what they're leaning on is a black leather bar. Note the print in the background. It's my brother's favorite,and one of mine.

I'll resist the urge to use the "You may be a redneck if...." schtick. I think sumbunny with the initials Jeff Foxworthy already thunk up that one but nevertheless my brother and I have always joked about loving that print so much. Clearly there's an appropriate environment for it and his basement is the perfect one. It's absolutely in it's spot right there behind that black leather bar and really there's not another print that would look any better, one that I'd rather look up there and see. . . . . still. You have to have the redneck in ya.

And you know what? Redneck has nothin' to do with intelligence either. This is a common misnomer with folks who aren't familiar with the club. The redneck club that is. Mebbe is cause rednecks sound so goofy or some of the behaviors or slang appear or sound a little less than intelligent but just lemme tell you whut's the truuuuth. (See now that's a perfect example right there.) I know a VP of Corporate Communications with a large cable network and a research scientist at the CDC that both use that expression regularly actually truth be known I know beaucoup folks that use it iss just that those are the two with the best titles to make my point at this particular juncture.

This young man is going to be a doctor. Dontcha just hope he's YOURS? Har. This is my nephew, the seventeen year old son of my husband's brother. He really was just clowning around at a party at my house (he's wearing a used up, empty car pinata on his head) but it illustrates another of my points, which is that us'n rednecks have NO SHAME. We don't care. We just don't! This kid - who by the way made something like a 180,000,000 on his SAT's and is the most pleasant, most respectful, most responsible kid EVVVer, (just had to get that in) - picked up the pinata after the candy-frenzy pile-up was over to help his Uncle clean up - that would be my handsome husband - and took a look at it and up it went! onto his head! without a thought! what a personality....but there it is. Now to his right that half face you see is his Aunt Donna, my handsome husband and this child's daddy's sister. See that smile on her face? She's proud of that baby walkin' around like at. Rednecks. All-un-us.

You gotta be proud of your kids. All of your kids, I mean, not just your own, see? Down here we boss each other's kids around and brag on 'em like we raised 'em our very own selves, which actually we sorta do. It's not uncommon at a family gathering for a Mama to bark at a child that doesn't belong to her, but my gosh if we tried to stop long enough to figure out what kid it was that was doing wrong before we barked the dang biscuits'd burn or the mimosas wouldn't get mixed right and priorites do have to be established, deah.

Here's one of handsome husband at one of our kids' birthday party. The deal was our kid wanted to have water battles in the back yard, and Daddy was supposed to manage the event. Do you see who has on the largest water weapon?
Weapons and southern men. Well. We've already had that conversation.

This is the future of the South. Right here before you. Now we're done with redneckville and just onto silly boys I think. I dunno. I guess boys all over the world do stuff like this. But as I uploaded this picture, and as I was waving bye to my boys this morning when the three of them left to go on their Cub Scout camping trip, they looked so grown up with all their gear and their Daddy The Den Leader was discussing with them how much fun they were going to have with the hiking and the campfire and the woodchopping and the BB gun
and archery practice and the marshmallows and I thought what if they're NOT the future of The South? What if they grow up and move away? Settle in California? Idaho? New York?

How do I enjoy The South then? How do you get joy how are you joyful in your heart when your heart leaves you? Goes to another state? Another part of the country? Oh! What if they go TO another country? The two right there with the buckets on their head. Yeah those two. So I - in my first minutes of Mommy freedom which I'd been looking forward to for weeks - sat with tears in my eyes and my heart feeling as though rubber bands were squeezing it, and grieved over my children leaving me on airplanes and boats and taking all their possessions and making a wonderful life in parts thousands of miles away.

Then a couple of the rubber bands broke and I heard in my head the one word I was neglecting to comprehend. Wonderful. Yeah, I guess you can make a wonderful life somewhere besides The South. Was that why I couldn't hear it in my head, because it wasn't in The South, or because it was just far from me. Three guesses. South shmouth. And their leaving is about them, not me, and besides that, it's not happening this weekend. Or this year. Or this decade you numnuts. So I won't think about it today. I can't. I'll think about that tomorrow.

Right now I'm going to buy some new shoooooooes!!! Then I'm goin' for an RC and a moon pie.


Friday, October 12, 2007


Yes, tis fineeee. That word collage just makes me feel so verrrrry Fraiinch. And no my dear handsome husband if you read this I am NOT wearing the french maid costume. Anyway thank you friends for the comments, compliments, words of encouragement. My children and I worked on this together and it turned into the most enjoyable of projects. I guess you never know what's gonna work itself into a memory builder and somehow the header of my cyber journal ended in a tousel in the kitchen floor between an old broad and her two sweet boys well that's not true, that's just what happened when we needed a break. After that, we brushed ourselves off (boy did I realize just how much I needed to mop!) and got back after it. At the next break time I fixed graham crackers and peanut butter and hot chocolate with mini marshmallows floating on top just the way they like it.

The thing about letting someone else work with you on a project is that you lose some ownership of the end product, although the positives of my oops our lil group project far outweighed what I missed in having a collage that represented exactly what I saw in my initial vision, in this case. The pics scattered throughout this post are ones that ended up on the cyber cutting room floor. I couldn't let them go, so here they are. There are more yet, ones I love but didn't belong in the collage, ones I ran into while looking, so they'll go in the next post or the next. Thank goodness for this outlet to show off the pics I love. Blogs, huh. What'd we do without 'em.
The thing about letting your children work with you on a project is that hmmm they have their own brains and well, while most of the time you nurture that and celebrate that, give them their heads when you can and go to bed happy they've developed grey matter of their own, sometimes this being one of them you just wanna
QUASH IT. Like when they take the mouse left instead of right, click before asking why, keep clicking, click click click CLICK clicky clickidy double click click some more...... get the idea? My kids. Buffalo clickers. Click then ask. POOF! Where'd the pikshur go? wOopsie. Then click on the eraser, What's THAT? THAT's coowull Mom. Hey let's slash that thing across the whole collage we've worked on for a half hour and haven't saved. K? What'r these colors down at the bottom? Hey y'know what? If you click on this spray can and then the blue you can WHOAAAAAA lookie! Granny's face.......... brother looooook, it looks like Granny's smuutherin, man! Blue, she's baaaluuuuuue!

HEY MOM???? Mom, mom mom mom MoMOmOMomom caaaaaaan you make me a big ol blow up of this picture of Granny, please? Liiiiiiiiike, how big can you make it? hhhhheeeeeee hheeeeeeeee bruuuther cmmmeere.

And so. The upshot is this. The collage, after the collaberative effort of my two random clickers and myself, turned out to be something ever so much more representative of our family and the message this blog was created to convey. So as usual I was taught a lesson in letting go.

Just wait'll Weezie sees herself in Smurf.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

GET FUNKY WITH IT! Hands on your kneeeees . . . .

Don't tell me you won't enjoy it. Ahhhh, come on. Let loose. Give it a chance. Look around, make sure nobody's lookin' and go WILD. Oh before you know it you will just be laughing out LOUD. This is contagious.

STOMP! Left foot. Four stomps.

Here's how this came about. We have the coolest coaches in the WORLD at our elementary school, and a few years ago I walked into (actually I just walked BY) the gym on the way to the front door and I heard this - the Cha Cha Slide (it's in the music playlist at the top of my blog) - bbbbblaring such that the gym was sort of orbing, pulsing, bubbling with the beat. It stopped me in my tracks and I looked at the gym and thought ok that HAS to be the coolest thing that I've come across today, that my kid is in there doing suuuuumfink to THAT, and not doing sit ups. To a whistle.

So I walked in I couldn't help it it drew me in like chocolate strawberries draw me I was helpless to stay away. Surely the rhythm gods would be on my side and my child would not be amongst the little people moving and bopping to the beat but alas no there he was stomping three times to the left. Maybe I can scooch in behind him but hmmm priorities . . . *sigh*

Well, the upshot - I asked Coach to burn me a CD. At the time, nobody knew who this artist was and the Cha Cha Slide wasn't really popular, but the Assistant Coach had been on a cruise with her daughter and they had done this as a line dance, so she came back with the idea to do it with the kids as an exercise. It has clean lyrics but also it's 'hip' and updated and something the kids go wild WILD I say when they're allowed to have Cha Cha time in PE.

So. Get Funky With It! My kids requested that I change up the music and add some that they like, which reminds me of skating rink music. Well actually that's prolly zakkly what it is, so here it is. They've also requested that I spice up the format. I've no clue how to do that, and I s'pose they think I'm made of time (ha, you thought I was gonna say money - well that's usually what comes out of Moms' mouths, ittn it.....) but I'll be making the effort in the near future. I reckon. Gads.


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

....AND HEEEEEERE'S WHY THEY NEED US......among other reasons

I met handsome husband at Sweet Tomatoes for lunch. Outlook calls it a "recurring event". I call it my every Wednesday lunch date with my very own hunk meister. So we're talking about Cub Scouts - ain't THAT a kick in the head. I have him to myself and whadda we talk about? Crrrrrimany.

I talked to Mark last night, says he. Mark's his Assistant Den Leader. Our den is in charge of bringing the Halloween lollipop tree for the Pack Meeting Friday night. So Mark's got a two by four and he's-

Wait. A two by whuuuu?

A two by four. Youuuu know, lumber. So he's gonna make a cross-base for it and then use a drill to drill holes for the loll-

Hold up there Bubba. How's that gonna look like a tree? In fact how's that gonna look like anything but a 2x4 with lollees stuck in it?

Blank stare.

And another thing. Before you tell me you're gonna use duct tape for any portion of this lollipop tree, can you tell me if there's any particular reeeeeezun you're a-doin it this-a way? Is this the Cub Scout method or sunthin?

Nnnneeeewwwww, you got a better idea?

Smatter a fact, I dewwwww.

OH MY GAWSH, IT'S A READY MADE LOLLIPOP TREE! AND IT'S NOT EVEN WOOD! Well that's entirely too easy. Who knew? Mark won't even get to use a saw or wood glue or nuthin.

No, but on the upside, it'll look like a lollipop tree. Well. When you stick lollees in it. Tell Mark he can get one at Walmart. Tell him to get a green one.

Why green?

You're kidding. Right?

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Here's an excerpt from the website 5000 orphans. Please go there and sign the petition.

You could sign it for my cyber nephew Mario Patrick, who hasn't gotten to come home yet with his Mom Jill, or you could sign it for the 4999 others who are waiting patiently for their parents. Doesn't matter. . . . just sign.

There is currently political unrest within Guatemala. The outgoing Guatemalan administration intends to shut down Intercountry adoptions.

There are approximately 5000 pending American adoptions in Guatemala right now. The Department of State (DOS) has announced that these cases may not go through. Why?

is dangling several millions of $$ in front of outgoing Guatemalan President Berger. He gets the money, if Guatemala gets "Hague compliant", which will effectively shut down adoptions. Berger announced on 09/26/07 that ALL CASES, including the pipeline (5000 cases) would NOT be grandfathered in after January 1st 2008.

The Media has not been helping this cause. Many media outlets have been ignorant and slanted regarding this issue. Most recently NPR aired a clueless piece with false and biased information provided by an under informed Unicef representative. Many media outlets are producing articles and television pieces without clarifying the FACTS.

Update: On 10/3/2007, it has been reported that Guatemala has passed the Ortega bill (#3217). This is disappointing news to families that support intercountry adoptions through Guatemala. More news to follow over the next week.

This is a crisis waiting to happen.

Guatemala has NO WELFARE SYSTEM, NO INFRASTRUCTURE and a weak economy. So what is going to happen to the 5000 children? We don't have an answer to that.

Seems that the children are the losers in all of this.

What are our government, the media, UNICEF and other child welfare agencies doing to help these children and us as citizens, taxpayers, consumers and waiting families?

We don't know. But we need to find out. Today. Now.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

AND HEEEEEEERE THEY shining lights

This is last year's cub scout caving trip. My three lovelies. Now they're getting ready to go on a camping trip. . . . oooooOOoOoOOoooh right around Halloween. BOO! The big boo is that Mommy gets to spend the weekend alone. Is that booooo-tilicious, or WHAT???!!! Oh, I can't even just wait to PLAN it. Wow.

Aoooouuuuu, focus woman. The guys. Camping. Anyhooptie, they're doing their gathering thing. Every time I go somewhere it's a personal victory for their trip. "Can you git me a can of corn or two? Has to be Green Giant'cha know. Niblets. NIBLETS, k? N-I-B-L-E-T-S!!!"

Got it, babe. Niblets. *sigh*

Screwed up and mentioned I was going to Walmart. "Oh! Scream through the sporting goods department for me, wouldja? See what's on sale in the camping aisle. We need some light sticks, coleman fuel, mantles, and our air mattress has a hole in it somewhere. OH! And pick up a couple roles of duck tape. Uuuuuh you know the camo kinduud be guud but jes any ol' ell do."


And yes. I know how to spell duct tape. Ask me if my hunky husband knows how to SAY it. ;- \

Saying duct tape the proper way in The South if you're a man would be tantamount to admitting you're a real wuss or a Yankee schmoe* or something pwiiiiiiiity howwible. Whyyyyyy, I have seen Southern men in custom made suits wearing $1000 Italian shoes with two personal assistants use duct tape to fix something and act like it was exactly the thing to do. Right out in the open!! Only in The South.

So then the weekend after they return from their Cub Scout camping trip, the family is taking a camping trip to the mountains to camp by a North Georgia stream in a location that we have called "our" camping spot for over ohhhhhhh twelve or fifteen years I guess. Other family members are meeting us there. We'll have a camping COMPOUND. It's a sight to behold. Ropes strung from one tent to another with wet clothes flung over them, firewood stacked up ready for the evening campfires and overnight fire for warmth, coolers full of food, big water bladders hanging from trees, canteens hanging from limbs here and there, fishing rods stored in tree limb V's, but the best part of the whole campsite ALWAYS is my lawn chair sitting by the mountain stream with the fleece blanket in it. When we first started camping hunky husband complained a little that lawn chairs didn't belong on camping trips. They don't look right he said. Well he's either given up, realized it's part of my camping experience, or he's decided he likes to look over and see it. I hope it's the latter. I think so because for the past twenty years every time we go camping he's packed the sucker for me before I have a chance to ask.


*Nothing wrong with being a Yankee you understand, but a Yankee schmoe is a Yankee who has not learned the Southern colloquialisms. Now THAT is a prollem because it either means said Yank a. doan ketch on too fast, er 2. doan keer. Needer's guud.

Friday, September 28, 2007


The North Georgia Fair is in town. Our Friday night is booked baby. I got ta hunt up the sh*t kickers. Haven't worn 'em yet this season. Traditionally the fair is the first time to pull out the cowboy boots. The boys, all three of them - one big and two littles - will have to wear camo on some part of their body, else people on the midway'll thank we're uppity. Cain't have nunn uv it.

Naayow the exhibits'll be first, eeeeein aaaaaawl the fleurs'll be hunkered over dayedd beeins its the third day of the competishun. The leaves'll be crispy and brown, an all the first and second place ribbons will-a been yanked off the winnin' displays by the monster no-count yung-uns what their monster no-count parents is off drinkin' at the nickel-suds ring toss. Where'dja winnat ribbon, Chesterjunior? At the whuuuut? The PETTIN zoo?!!! They give 'em for whuuut? They do not. Do not. Do NOT! Ches Ter Ju UHhhh They do NOT. Give ribbons. For ridin'. A dayum GOAT backers now go git me another Buuuuuuuuuud gooseneckkkk.

Fortunately for us our kids have taken field trips in school earlier in the week to see the exhibit hall and the petting zoo. We can skip that side of the fair tonight and go STRAIGHT for the animal shows, the funnel cakes, corn dogs, cotton candy, and various and sundry other delights known only at the fall county fair. We'll come home coated with a film of fair dirt, sticky midway ashphalt, overstimulated, smelling of beer, overfilled garbage cans, and totally thrilled with the whole experience. It's a once a year experience. That's a good thing. ;- )

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Great icebreaker when there's a looming, imminent or critical problem and no one knows what to say, do, think. I say it in my Marilyn Monroe voice. Used to use the Anna Nicole voice but now, as you may imagine. . . . not humorous.

That trick requires the physical comedy that would accompany such a Marilyn comment in order to make it funny. To make it work. Something like, ohhhhh, maybe a little back foot kick - just from the knee, simultaneously with a 'throw your hands up, palms open' gesture, elbows tight to your bod, as if you were surprised or something. The cherry on top is to roll your eyes up and to the left while cocking your head the same direction and fairly sing the last word (shooooooooooes!) about an octave higher than you spoke the rest of the trick icebreaking sentence.

Guaranteed for a huge laugh. Totally relieves the tension of the moment with its inappropriateness. Used to use it when I worked - sometimes I would come back from lunch and immediately get pulled into a meeting (really - pulled) that had reached critical mass in a short period of time, fueled also by the fact that no one in the meeting had eaten, but had meeting-marathoned from 8:00am until ohhhhhhh 1:00pm and still . . . customer(or boss, take your pick)-not-happy. So I get dragged in. More ways than one.

Here's the problem!!!

I still have bags in both hands from shopping at lunch. My LUNCH is actually in one hand. Haven't eaten it yet. Guess whut's in the other hand. Yup.

Ohhhhhh nnnnnnnooooooo. Well. Hmm. I don't care, cuz - LOOKIE, I HAVE NNNNNNEWWWWWWWW SHOOOOOOOOOES!! whereupon I would fling open the top of my new shoe box to reveal the most luscious new pair of Bruno Maglis, which were ALL the rage at the time. Women gasped. Men froze. There was a pregnant pause, then laughter broke out. My job was done.

Remember in psychology class, a hundred or so years ago, when you had to learn about fight or flight and whether we were the type personality that dealt with issues straight on or ran away from them? That's laying it out on the table, but that's about the size of it, ittn it? Guess which one I am.....doh!!
So anywaysidoats, I'm noticing more and more that my kids are learning the careful and cheezy art of diversion. Now whether this means they're flights, in the fight or flight choice, or whether it just means they're trying to dupe their ol' goofy Mom and make life easier on themselves remains to be seen but I have my idears.

Hey Pooh Bear, weren't you s'posed to vacuum the car out before you went outside to play?

"What? I couldn't hear you. Oh hey Mom guess what! The homework from yesterday? Every SINGLE one correct. Hey you helped me with that, 'member? Cool, huh. 'Kay, you're comin' to eat lunch with me tomorrow, right? Cuz the Brother QUIT! other kids were askin'. And OH by the way, I have to STOP IT! I'M GONNA HURT YOU. have $14 for the Performing Arts field trip next week. MmmmmMmMMMMmm, that's GOOD. What is it? Is that dinner? Anyway, ok, I'm goin' outside now."

Uhhhhh, Button, nice try, but go vacuum the car then you can go outside.

Huh? Can't hear you, I'm outside!

This would go on for hours if I let it, presumably. I call it brain drain. Starts the second their feet hit the ground off the school bus in the afternoon and I'm convinced it wouldn't stop until they're asleep at night. And I have to admit that sometimes I get duped! They're soooooo proud when they pull one over on me, but here's the irony. It takes more energy and time on their parts (and more angst all around) for them to go to all this trouble to get out of stuff, then if they'd just go ahead and get the job done.

Now how long have mothers been saying that? Which just goes to show that it's not just the job they're trying to get out of - it's us they're trying to get the better of. So good for them when they win one every now and then.

Ohhhhhhh, well. Some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you. I don't care - cuz I got new SHOOOOOOOOOES!!!!!


Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Cry cauz I need to,
CRY-YY cauz I need to,
You would cry too if this baby grew up on youuuu!!!


He's not a baby anymorrrreee, look at himmmmm oh my gosh he might as well be a MAN but look how happy.

I'm a big bag of whiny mush. He's turning double digits. Ten. Ten years old. He's been practicing how to say it.

I'm ten.

I'm ten years old.


Ten years.

Ummmmm, ten? Yeah.

Hmm? Oh. Ten.

Here's what his heart is saying.


He's one of the oldest kids in his class. Usually THE oldest but this year one kid beat him to the punch. It's one of his big deals, and this year? the kid that beat him out? GIRL. Oh yeah. He's suffering. Well. Mom's coming with Toll House Cookies at lunchtime. That'll kick him up a k-notch-ie or three, so he thinks. Last night at bedtime we're lying in his bed he has the best bed in the house I said Pook how many kids in your class now? and he said twenty, do you think you could make twenty THREE cookies? I said what are you KIDDING me I'm making sixty three. Turned to him and winked and gave him a squeezie. He turned over and we spooned a minute before I kissed him and turned off his lamp and snuck out of his bedroom. He was already snoring.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Well, we're working on spelling words. Ohhhhhhh kaaaaaay, I could give you tons of excuses. We've taken several trips this month, school has started back, we're working on homework. spelling words. baseball. karate. painting the hall. the stairwell. the ceiling. trying to get grass to grow. scratch that one, we're in Georgia where it's over 100* and there's no rain and no watering. Back to reality. Oh heck forget it, everybody's busy, I just have put this at the bottom of the list, that's what. No blog entry since the beginning of August and now it's the end. What HAPPENED to August anyway?

Life. That's what. I have a friend who says (yes, here it comes) Life is what happens when you're making plans. She says it so much I fear my ears slam shut when they hear it coming. It's her mantra I think, or perhaps it's her mantra (message to moi) when she's in my presence I dunno but in the month of August life is what happened instead of writing the blog. I just couldn't get here. She'd be proud. I must remember to tell her. I'll make plans.

So anyhow here we are nearly in September, the month of many special days - #1 son's birthday, my brother's birthday, my mother in law's birthday, and Labor day long weekend. Don't look for me to improve my blogginess soon. ;- ' I'm making birfday pahty plans . . . er, I mean livin large.


Wednesday, August 01, 2007


They just don't move fast enough, dangit. Their butts are too close to the sidewalk, they're too young yet to be in a hurry, and last but not least, the more you hurry them up, the slower they go. My oldest has outgrown sitting in the buggy BUT he has heelies. Heelies are a wise investment for Moms who have legs that rival the length of giraffes'. My youngest can still fit in the large part of the buggy but then that precludes buying a lot because the bin's filled up with hunk of boy and no room is left for merchandise. Well then. Kills two birds with one stone. Money management AND time management. Can't beat it.

I pushed my oldest around in an umbrella stroller until he was four. Would've done it for longer except for two things. The wheels wallowed out, and people started looking at him like something was wrong with him. It was only in places where I could zip around five times as fast and keep him from getting too tired too soon (it's not all about me, no matter what you hear).

They have two jobs when we go anywhere. They must keep up with me and they must stay in front of me. These are their jobs. If one of them drifts beside or slightly behind me and I have to even turn my head a TAD to see them, they know they're in trouble. #1 will say, as his step quickens and he reclaims his space directly in front of me, I'M TRYING, I'M TRYING!!! but you're legs are soooooo darnnnnnnn loooooooong. Jr. Mint just makes a fantastic, gutteral noise that I have never, to my great consternation, been able to reproduce audibly or in writing. It sounds quite like a cross between a dog growling and a croaker frog, but as he's groaking those legs still shift into high gear and move his body back into place.

Now here's an irony. Earlier this week when I took these very same young 'uns to the Jumpy Place, I could not get out of the car fast enough for them. Couldn't keep up, couldn't get to the front door fast enough, couldn't pay for them fast enough. Mom, you're not keeping up! It's your job to keep up - come ONNNNNN!

And just as I was thinking, Now ain't this a kick in the head - how come they don't move this fast when I need 'em to????, my youngest son plants both fists on his hips, cocks his hip and stands hipshod and says, Say Mommmmmom, how come you can't move that slow when you're at the store draggin' us along at a jog?


Wednesday, July 18, 2007


#1 son is off at camp this week. We're pining away. All three of us!! We're ate up with it actually. It's sorta sappy. He's never been away for an entire week that he wasn't with family. Even his five year old brother, who fights with him like a pit bull or sonthin has cried over brothah this week.

In my head I know this is so very healthy for him. It's what allows him to grow, thrive, get a perspective, understand others' perspectives, understand himself and the world.

*****BLAH BLAH BLAH*****

I can't wait for Saturday. We pick him up at 10:00. I'll be there at 9:45. I want to hear everything. The swimming twice a day, the hiking, the crafts, the games, the campfires, EVVVVVVVerything. I just want to breathe his air.

Meanwhile on the homefront in a turn of events that has quite discombobulated Jr. Mint, he has discovered that he is quite the big boy. In his brother's absence he has enjoyed yes I said enjoyed doing CHORES. Now only the ones he has initiated mind you but who cares? They're chores and it's an eye opener for the young man. YOUNG MAN? ACK!!! With brother out of the way I mean mix it leaves way for him to do the big boy chores and oh myyyyy is he thriving. Let meeeee grind that coffee for you Mommy I mean Mom. - Usually #1's job.
In another discovery that's been a slow one coming since we left brother at camp but when it finally arrived it knocked him on the head like a brickbat, he has discovered that he can go ohhhhh ten minutes without being told how to do just e-v-e-r-y l-i-t-t-l-e t-h-i-n-g by his older brother (aka his second mother).

I wonder how it will all work out when they reunite. Interesting.

So. Mommy and youngest have spent quality time together this week during the day. Yesterday we went to the jumpy place. We both love the jumpy place. A mom opened it I am just SURE. I'm only jealous I didn't do it first. Inflatables around the perimeter walls, the desk at the front door for security, in the center are tables for parents, total viewing ability to all inflatables from tables. Free WIFI, people. Ohhhhhh yeah. Table set up with free coffee. Filtered cold water machine. TELL ME A MOM DIDN'T DESIGN THAT.

So. Got out the computer. Fresh coffee, ahhhh. Jr. Mint's already found two friends. Life's good. I brought 'work' with me, a stack of papers, letters, invitations, stuff I wanted to get through from home. Added some things to Outlook, synched the palm, RSVP'd to a couple of things, then......... glanced up to last week and noticed the entry for Uncle David's funeral on my calendar. Ohhhh, I missed him. Sitting in the eye of a storm of screaming jumping young uns and a half dozen pumped up frogs and palm trees, I missed my dead uncle for the first time. What I had felt until then was the sadness of his death and the deep grief of the loss, but now I missed him. Being here. With me. In front of me. Different. It's a different feeling than the immediate grief surrounding the death and the funeral and even the days after. Suddenly (really suddenly) I realized I missed him. Wow.

BUT. What a great place I was in for that realization to descend, for my youngest at that moment hit me broadside like a linebacker and fairly shrieked in my left ear, MOM, I'm ready to go!

OHHHHHHH no you're not. You just thought you were. I paid eight dollars for you to be here. Jump more. Jump LOTS more. Plus and which, I am spread out here like cheap yellow margarine on a slice of white bread. There's free coffee to be had, it's raining outside, we're in a good spot. GO FORTH AND JUUUUMP!!! Wherezzat cute lil redhead with the twinklie socks, anywayzzzz?

I was NOT moving. My table was covered with magazines, the newspaper, papers, computer accessories & cables, palm pilot, cell phone, coffee cup, water cup - you get the idea. I looked like I had moved in.

Just then, Redhead Twinklie Socks stealthed up behind him and grabbed his shirt, pulling him backwards and singsonging in an angellic little voice, You're not leaving now are you? You're my new friend! Come on!

Ahhhhh, Mommy sinks back down in her chair, for today those words are a good thing. Ten years from now my heart will sink when I hear them coming from a redhead with twinklie socks.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


It was strangely like the day after Christmas. DSW had sent me (only me you understand, not the general public, their Rewards Customers, or their email customer list in toto) a personal email to inform me that there would be a Summer Clearance Sale which would allow me to purchase shoes that were already on sale for 20% of their SALE price. IT WAS AN 80% OFF SALE. Now let me do that math for you. That means that shoes marked down to $100.00 are $20.00. Shoes marked down to $50.00 are $10.00. $40.00 ones are $8.00. $30.00 ones are $6.00. But here's the clincher. One pair of Donald Pliners left. My size. ON SALE for $149.95. Most gorgeous. Classic black. Stretch micro. Pump. Pointed toe. High heel. Sexy cut out on the sides with skinny straps. I walked out of there with them clinched in my arms for $30.00. donald pliners donald pliners donald pliners donald pliners one can hardly get a good pair of flip flops for that people.

Those were the priiiiiiize. There were three other pairs I'll have to admit, but the total STILL was well under $100.00, and in my bag was a pair of Kenneth Cole jesus sandals, a pair of funky BCBG flesh colored rocker sandals with buckles, and a pair of Doc Martin powdered leather flip flops for my handsome honey hubby.

After the shoe shopping whirlwind, the guys, who had gone on their own version of a shoe shopping trip - a trip to the discount tool store and the batting cages - called my SIL and me and requested that we meet them at the Indian restaurant. Now they serve a buffet at lunch and JUST HOW HUNGRY DO YOU THINK WE WERE after shoe shopping????? So after tandoori chicken, naans, butter chicken, basmati rice, fried zucchini, and more, more, and more more MORE, what do you think we did???

We went back to DSW.

Can't get enough of a good thing. I walked away with a sweet pair of Kenzie tooled leather slides with teardrop cutouts the second time......

When we got home we all compared our spoils. The kids (that would be all four of the male humans.....) had purchased new tools, then practiced batting at the batting cages and played arcade games - well, you HAVE to play them if they're THERE.

After I changed clothes, sat down and spent a little time with me baybees, I called my Mom.

"How are you today?"

"I'm fine honey, how 'bout you?"

"Well I'm OK. Did you sleep OK? Sleep up at Grandmother's? Get any sleep?"

"We did. We actually slept well. We were exhausted. I only woke up once, and Mother didn't even know it."

"Mmmm, how is she today?"

"She has too much time to think. . . not that it would be any easier to lose a child if she didn't have time to think, but today she said she was imagining that David was sitting here beside her."

So we talked for awhile, and when I got off the phone with her, I looked at my four pair of new shoes and thought about my little Grandmother squenching her eyes tight and pretending her son was alive and sitting in the rocker beside her.

Took the fireworks right out of my four pair of new thrills. I just would give every pair of shoes I ever had and the pleasure of shoe shopping trips, to give her back her baby, and it would be a small token to pay. The things you'd give up to make your loved ones happy.......