Thursday, January 25, 2007


Ohhhhhh Hilary honey. Are flowers the way you want ta go?

The couch tells me a lot. I'm shakin' my head watchin' ol' Hillary try to use a flowery sofa cushion to persuade us (during a campaign commercial, no less) that she's not - well, who she is. Gimme breakage. Fleurs???? I can't watch her anyway for long lest I become nauseous, but cabbage roses behind her back and her smiling at me too? Blech.

My handsome husband looked at me the other night in the kitchen when I was watching TV cooking dinner overseeing homework and ignoring a temper tantrum (not husband's or Hilary the Democrat's - the four-year old's) I may've been paying bills too can't recall, anyway - Cokie's reporting on Hil's plea, well, first he stopped in his tracks which might've been a giveaway that whatever question he was ready to fire was immense, to him. Unusual for the limbs that are attached to the man to come to a halt. At ANY TIME. So he stops. Turns his handsome head, wicked sparkle in his eye maybe because my head is shaking without my knowing.

He says, "Do you want her to run?"


"Hillary. DO you WANT her to RUN?"

"I don't care if she runs."

I care loads in twelve directions but I had too much going on already. He knew it. Swhy he asked.

"Yes you do. And by the way. When did you start watching this hooey? You're becoming your Grandmother."

It's not hooey. Cokie is FAR from hooey. Sam Donaldson? Hooey. MASTER of hooey. Hooeyhead, he is.

"Thank you."

"So. Do you want her to win?"

"Are you MAD?"

"Ha. I KNEW you cared if she ran."

Alright. Here's the thing. We have a woman and an African American man as the two front runners in the Democratic primary. Thennnnn, we have a hispanic man thrown in the mix to complicate matters even more. God bless the U.S. that that can happen. Peeps are acting as if this is the first time it's happened. Have we forgotten Geraldine? Shirley? Jesse? Yyyyyes, they walked quietly into the night, but they RAN. I digress. But. (You know there's always a big but.) Narrow minded humans will go for the one that's NOT THAT, not all that, no matter who or what that person is. It's a stalemate. Our female, our black male, our hispanic male, whatever and whoever they are and whatever abilities they may possess or lack I'm 'fraid they won't get the chance, for what their collective hat-throwing into the ring has accomplished is to diffuse the vote. Who's left on the ticket that's whitest and has the most testosterone (after Hilary that is....) may become "our man", regardless. That's a dangerous regardless, isn't it. His greatest accomplishment may be that he invented the internet!

I hope I'm wrong. I hope that three minorities on the ticket making the minority the majority of the ticket might mean we have turned the corner. So far in our country it's only taken one white man to take down three (or ______ more, choose your number) of a minority. Let's see. My children's future will change if it's so. My future will change if it's so. Even my husband's, maybe, even if only as a result of the fact that he lives with three minorities.

Think he could've stood still for that?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


. . . .when this is the kind of email you get from your Daddy:

Hey Honey,

Just a couple of notes. First, this chair you and
Ron brought me is just perfect. I have always liked
to be higher than the keyboard with a back that would
keep me sitting up straight and, together with just
about every adjustment imaginable, this chair fills
the bill. Mom is using the one you gave me some years
ago. But this chair figures into a kind of dumb ass
epiphany I seem to have had a few days after the first
of the year. I didn't get a burst of bright light or
anything of the sort. But somehow I have recognized
that, no matter how much I vent frustrations and
mutter imprecations against folks who would have trouble
driving nails into snowbanks, nothing, and I mean
absolutely nothing, is going to change. Too bad,
you might mutter, that it came when you are within
spitting distance of your seventy fifth year, and I
couldn't agree more. But there it is. So I no longer
invent new descriptions for drivers who don't pay
attention to what they're doing nor for cashiers in
stores who talk to one customer for fifteen minutes
about her aunt's operation while the line waits.
But where the chair comes in is that, along with
the realization that my stewing and fuming won't
change anything, also came a very mysterious settlement
in my mind about how to write the novel "______________
_________" that I started in the utility room of the
house on Wyoming Avenue in Fort Pierce. Same thoughts
occur: why did it take so long? Damned if I know. But
it did happen, and one of the cardinal rules of
practicality in the writin' game is that you have to
apply your rear end to a chair in front of a keyboard
for large chunks of time. So that's what I've started
to do, and the chair fit right into the sequence of
events. I have told the other two chillen about this
in a much abbreviated form. Also, I have determined
that, when I finish with the manuscript, whenever that
is, I'm going to go the Print-On-Demand route to
publication, largely because about 99% of book
publishers will not look at a manuscript unless it
comes from an agent. Think what I might have
been able to do if I had been creative.

Stay loose.



That last statement about being creative is a little
joke between my Daddy and my siblings and at the same
time, a tribute to my Mama. Yeah, yeah, it's a
paradox. We're a weird fambly.

Okay here's the sitchyeeashun. My Mama and my Daddy
were sitting in their great room discussing their
three (most wonderful) children -
you can vomit here
if you wish - and my Mama says to my Daddy, who is an
accomplished published writer, mind you, "Honey, I just
marvel at our children and all they can do. I can't
figure out where they GOT all this creativity. THEY

Friday, January 19, 2007

ITBS - (Irritible Bowel Syndrome??) Bubble Testing

Could you pass it?...and just exactly what wouldja pass, do ya think? Ewwwwww. Alright. It's not irritable bowel syndrome, it's the Iowa Test of Basic Skills. But I can't even tell you how similar . . . .

OK here's the thing. Not a year has yet passed in my #1 son's educational career that he has not had the indistinct pleasure of taking at LEAST one standardized test. He's in the third grade. It's that time of year. Spring - when we look for dogwood blooms, chirping birds, tulips and jonquils popping out of the ground, white patent shoes, and - standardized testing.

Here's the way this will go. Initially chapping my derriere will be the hunk of hooey we'll be handed about the testing being given (at great sacrifice of time, money, etc.) for the benefit of the students. However, shortly behind THAT memo will come another one, which will follow through and serve as secondary rumpus chapping and communicate (for our convenience) an online website where we can study - and, get this - practice test - our children, so that we can improve - IMPROVE??!! their scores.

WHOSE scores - the children's - or GASP- the school's???????

There I said it.

It's p-o-l-i-t-i-c-a-l, friends. Sure, I can use the results to give me indications of where my son is in his Lexile framework, particularly since AR star testing is such a joke. It gives me a good basis for how much extra stimulation he needs at home and in what areas, and I appreciate having that information, but lets be honest about the purpose of this testing. It is not given for my child's benefit. It is our SCHOOLs that are being tested, and the students are just the pawns.

Now then. Having said that and registered how burnt my butt is, (isn't THAT ladylike!!) I'll report that no more than I like it, what lights me up so dang much is that they (the classic THEY) think I'm such a dumb crackah. I don't MIND that my son has to TAKE these tests - I mean it IS good test taking practice - if his school is going to continue to be as incredibly stupendously superb as it is. Just come on out and say, (ok I know this'll never happen because not only am I not a DUMB crackah, but I'm not a naive one either) "We're doing standardized testing this week so that we can determine how well the school is doing percentage wise within the state. Please study your kids like CRAZY so that we get good scores, we rate great, and this school continues to be able to get good funding, good teachers, a nice extra county stipend for their paycheck, blah blah blah." I would appreciate that honesty.

On the subject of school, today I am wearing, for the first time, my amythyst teardrop pendant that I got for Christmas. Well. I got it set for Christmas. The amythyst was a gift from #1 son last year. Second grade year. He won it for me. In a contest. A writing contest. Essay. They were given a title to write about. Here's the title:


Here's the way it went. The whole thing went down without my knowledge. Several weeks before Mother's day, a local jewelry store sponsored this contest. It was many elementary schools wide but by grade so that only same age children were competing with each other. Anyway, when #1 son won second place, his teacher called handsome husband to come pick up the certificate and essay so it could be my mother's day gift. Handsome husband goes to school, picks up packet, brings it home, and #1 son gives it to me for my mother's day gift. I read the essay, then handsome husband explains what has transpired during the past few weeks, and tells me that #1 son has won the second place in this essay contest of 1200 students. When I told my Mama that story, she said that was HER mother's day gift.

So now #1 son and I go to the jewelry store to pick out our stone. I wanted him to choose it since he won it for me. We knew since he won second prize it would be something other than a diamond and I felt as though there would be several choices. There were - the owner of the jewelry store brought out a tray of beautiful loose stones and told us to choose whichever one we wanted. There were many stones, and many shapes and sizes, and my son chose the most lusciously divine oval amythyst for me.

It sat in the jewelry box until the beginning of December, when handsome husband asked what I wanted for Christmas from the boys.

"I would luuuuuve to have my mother's day amythyst set into a pendant. I'll even show you some pictures of ones I like. How's that?"

So he and our jeweler designed one just for me. There's not another amythyst pendant just like this. First the stone was won for me, then the pendant was designed for me. I feel so very special today with it on. I guess it's couture jewelry - better than Harry Winston!!!


Thursday, January 18, 2007


It seems that robbers in Kennesaw, a suburb of Atlanta, have thought up a brilliant new way to break into houses with security systems. I was listening to the news tonight while cooking dinner. As I'm putting chicken into the oven I hear Monica Pearson telling me that two men broke into a home by literally tearing the vinyl siding off of the home and going through the wall!!! WHAT??? Come on. I heard it wrong. I'll listen again when it comes on at six. By then I'll be finished cooking dinner, the kids will be finished eating and everything will be quiet because the two of them, along with their Daddy, will be in the basement. working on Pinewood Derby cars, just in case you wondered. :-) At six o'clock Monica smiles at me, rolls her eyes and tells me that two men broke into a home by literally tearing THE VINYL SIDING OFF A HOME AND GOING THROUGH THE WALL. I heard the woman right. :-O

It works because the sensors are usually on doors and windows. There's nothing to keep someone from going in THE WALL. People don't usually use their motion detectors, particularly if they have pets.

You gotta want to steal somebody's stuff pretty doggone badly to want to go to that much trouble. They did it in bright daylight too. . . in a subdivision!! What's next, I ask ya.......

On the other hand and not too far away, Ty Pennington and his crowd is with us. Today they unveiled the house they just built for a family in Cherokee County, just north of Kennesaw. Tragic story. Take a look:

Walls comin' down, walls goin' up.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


It's the time of year for my three guys to be holed up down in their wood shop, sawing and sanding and filing and gluing and painting on what they hope will be a first place winner in the annual Cub Scout Pinewood Derby race, which will be held January 20th.

The past week or so my handsome husband and our two yummy sons have hit Hobbytown hard. They love the trip. It's a tradition and I, I'll just tell you, stay far far away from it. I let them have their car part buying trip just like I would want them to let me have a shoe shopping trip. No pressure, no hurry up I'm ready to go. It's their trip.

Now, I'm two floors away, not just one. They're in the basement, and I'm on the second floor. Okay? So. In order for me to get to them I would have to descend TWO flights of stairs. Got it? The dishwasher is on. The washing machine is going. The dryer is going. The TV downstairs is on, and the TV up here is on. #1 son has his tower fan going in his room. Ceiling fans on all over the house. Over all that, not only occasionally can I hear the music that my handsome husband has crankin' in the basement, but I can feel it through the floor in my feet!

If I walked down there and peeped around the corner, the two larger of them would be concentrating on their Pinewood Derby cars with their heads hunkered over their work. They might be tapping their toe, and #1 son will be irritated at the volume, that's my guess, but I can just about guarantee that my little Jr. Mint would be doin' the salsa while he's sanding his.

During the work session I bet they listen to approximately 100 songs at a minimum. He turns it down to background volume at times, changes it up, but always there's music. My children won't know it but they'll hear music from many genres and I don't even know if my hunky hubby will know that he's teaching them. When there is a really great part that he wants them to hear for some reason he turns it up loud. When he turns it back down sometimes I hear him talking to them about instruments, musical artists, names of musical groups, bands, and so on. When children learn and don't know they're learning it's a great thing but when parents teach great things and they don't even know they're doing it THAT's serendipity.

I guess I should either teach them sign language or mention to him at some point that he might want to think about lowering the volume. Well no one's perfect.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Shock Story: Nancy Pelosi Is A Woman!
Ben Shapiro

Apparently, Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) is a woman. Coming on the heels of other shocking revelations, such as John Kerry's service in Vietnam and Barack Obama's racial background, Pelosi's womanhood is a true stunner. Next we'll be hearing that Hillary Clinton has a famous husband. On January 4, Pelosi took the gavel as speaker of the House of Representatives. She was escorted to the podium by her six grandchildren, including a sleeping baby she carried with her. After thanking her family for helping her move from the "kitchen to the Congress," Pelosi humbly chortled over her own achievement. "For our daughters and granddaughters, today we have broken the marble ceiling," she crowed. "For our daughters and our granddaughters, today the sky is the limit." The media would hammer any Republican congresswoman who dragged her grandchildren with her to work; it would rightly be considered a political ploy with children as props. Nancy Pelosi, however, could breastfeed on the speaker's podium and receive the plaudits of the mainstream media. "It seemed the ultimate in multitasking: taking care of the children and the country," fawned Charlie Gibson of ABC News. The paternalism of the left has reached new lows -- taking care of children and taking care of Americans are now two sides of the same coin. No woman in the history of politics has used her womb like Nancy Pelosi. According to Pelosi, the power of childbearing gives her extra-special abilities when it comes to recognizing national security threats. When asked on CBS's "60 Minutes" what qualified her for leadership on national security, she answered: "I, as a mother and a grandmother, 14 years on the intelligence committee. Don't tell me I have any underestimation of what the threat is to our country." Obviously, cleaning up spit-up prepared Pelosi to clean up terrorism. In defending herself from charges of San Francisco liberalism, Pelosi relies once again on her ovaries. On September 21, 2006, Jim Lehrer interviewed Pelosi. "Finally, as you know -- I'm sure you know -- the Republicans running in these congressional races in November, you're a target of a lot of this -- speaking of focus -- and they say, 'Do you really want to turn the House of Representatives over to a liberal Democrat from San Francisco?' How do you respond to that sort of thing?" he asked. "An Italian Catholic mother of five, grandmother of five, going on six," Pelosi quickly responded. Pelosi is ardently pro-abortion, pro-homosexuality, soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on illegal immigration, anti-gun rights, anti-religion and anti-welfare reform. She wants to dramatically escalate taxes and doesn't believe that we're currently engaged in a war on Islamism. But she used the Lamaze method, so don't you dare call her a San Francisco liberal! How will Pelosi control the House? With her "mother-of-five voice." How will she bully others into doing her will? The same way she clubbed Republicans over the head about the Mark Foley scandal -- by invoking her super-duper authority as "a mother and grandmother and the leader of the House Democrats." This is absurd. There are literally billions of mothers in the world. I love motherhood as much as the next fellow, but it has absolutely nothing to do with running the House of Representatives. Lady Macbeth had a child (Act I, Scene 7), but she wouldn't be my first choice to run a country. It is no less offensive for Pelosi to run based on her uterus than it would be for a man to campaign based on his working prostate. When Nancy Pelosi uses her womanhood and motherhood as a gimmick, it insults both women and men. It insults women by stating that their special qualification for inclusion in politics springs from their genitalia. It insults men by stating that estrogen makes for superior political know-how. It insults children by making them pawns to be used for Nancy Pelosi's political machinations. And it insults voters: only babbling idiots would buy such claptrap. Politics is politics.It is not changing diapers, burping the baby or driving to soccer practice.


On the subject in the last paragraph of using her grandchildren as pawns (I guess that's what Ben meant) when Nanshe hauled all her offspring up with her to be sworn in I heartily disagree. Any Grandmother worth her salt would do the same. Most mothers would as well, but that your career would go clockwise down the toilet unless you were south of the equator. Then it would go down the toilet still, just in a counter clockwise direction. At any rate it's the only thing Nanshe has done so far that has made points with me until today when she banned smoking on the legislation floor. Another point or two. Go Nance. We don't even smoke in public places down here in cracker land.

OK now. Nanshe's proud of her status as the first woman speaker. I get it. I feeeeeeeel it. The priiiide of womanhood abounds, and all that hoo hoo. Get OVER it Nance, let's just get to work honey. Don't em
barrass the whole sector of people you're representing sooooooo proudly. You'll tarnish the frickin' tiara.


Friday, January 05, 2007


I tell my kids most frequently about multiple mothers. I have many, you have many, everyone has a multiplicity of mothers. The conversation usually comes up because at the age of my children presently they stay confused with regard to the dynamic of who belongs to which. For example, Jr. Mint on a regular basis says from the back seat of the car,

"Mommy, who is your mommy?"

Now he knew it last week but since that time we have visited or been visited four times, told seven various old family stories, and looked at a photo album or three. I look in the rearview and he's scratching his head as he asks. He's flummoxed, bless his heart. #1 son is dissolved in laughter.

"Mama. Mama is my mother, hootie poo."

"But. But. Ohhhh. But. . . . but WE call her Mama!"

"Yes you do. That's because your older brother heard ME calling her that when he was tee tiny and before Mama could decide what name she wished to be called by her grandson, he decided for her by out-of-the-blue one day hollering "MAAAAAAMA where aaaaaare youuuuuuu?". Then once you came along and heard your brudder calling her Mama you called her the same thing, naturally. Understand?"

"Mmm hmm."

We got three miles.



"Who is Daddy's Mommy?"

I thought #1 son might wet his pants. I hadn't seen him laugh so hard since his Dad got inline skates. That's not exactly true. Since his Dad stood UP on his new. inline. skates.

So we went through this same converstation with everybody's Mama - after mine and Daddy's then it was Mama's mama, Granny's mama, cousins' mamas, yada yada mama yada blah dee mada blama yama.

Fortunately it was only a four mile trip home. By the time we pulled into the garage #1 son had hyperventilated and Jr. Mint was so thoroughly contused that when we got inside I perched him on the kitchen barstool, thrust a smoothie under his nose and said OK let's make a list of Mamas. (At this point I thought one big list might be the best way to go. Diffuse the issue?)

My ONE statement about parenting is that, in the end, it's a learning experience that's list is longer for the parent than the child if the parent lives long enough and this was one exercise that was a testament to that theory. We started out just Jared and myself and after the first thirteen Mamas the gales of laughter and conversation lured Cole to join us. Well. It may've been that or the smoothie then the popsicles, I dunno. Eeeeenyway.

Besides Grandmothers, Godmothers, Great Grandmothers, Birthmothers, Birth Grandmothers, cousins that have Step-mothers, Ex-Step-mothers, we have Room mothers, Party moms, I even have a Weatha Mutha which is particularly appropriate to mention today.

In the end the conversation wasn't at all about Mamas but about responsibility and caring and opening your arms and your heart, and how it had nothing to do with whether you were related to someone or not. I have a dear friend whom I've never met who has the same ethnic background as one of my sons, and her husband has a different ethnic background (same as my other son) and his family does not accept her. Or her children. It's tragic. The reason it's tragic - besides how she grieves and hurts over it, and how hurtful it is or will be at some point to her children - is that her in-laws don't have one fat clue what they're missing. Their lives have a hole in it they aren't even aware of, and that mutha-in-law hasn't yet. become. a. Mama.

Monday, January 01, 2007


Leetle feet . . . appropo of nuttin'. Just like the pic.

We were fortunate enough to have my brother and his wife spend a couple of days with us over the holidays. When my brother describes the way something was back when he was a kid he calls it "back in the day".

My kids wear Heelies. #1 son doesn't walk at all anymore unless the situation presents itself that he isn't able to roll. He pops out his wheels and puts in the plugs for school but the minute he comes in in the afternoons those plugs come out and in go the wheels. Loves going to the grocery with me now. I can send him waaaaaaaay far down to the other end of the aisle for something. He's into it. There's Heelie etiquette, boundaries. It's a big deal.

I've already told you about handsome husband's ipod. Apparently you're supposed to capitalize the i, but i refuse.

I have a Motorola Q which I sync to Outlook and it is email, calendar (the holder of my entire family's schedule when I'm away from the laptop), plus it's my phone, address book, contact list, and I understand it could be the source for my music too but I ent got that far yet. I have an issue with plugs in my ears. See previous post.

Today as I was talking on the Q, watching TV in the kitchen cooking dinner (greens and black-eyed peas etc.) I caught a glance of #1 son outside riding his bike with his Heelies on and he gets off the bike and starts rolling right along. That's sort of like emailing on the laptop while text messaging I think.

I wondered, while I was tearing stems out of turnip green leaves, thirty years from today where we will be in our world that we will say "back in the day we only had smartphones to do that with", and "back in the day, we had these archaic tennis shoes with a wheel in the bottom called Heelies," and "back in the dayyyyy, Apple had these things called ipods that were HUGE and you could only fit 20,000 songs on them." "and you had to stick earbuds in your ears......"

So today is the first day of 2007 and we are in the day. Welcome to the day.

Given that it's the first day of the year and my family has been rolling around in my head all of this day, here's my little list of 2006 angels:

My handsome husband
My children
My Mama & Daddy
My sister and her husband
My three nieces
My brother and his wife
My niece and nephew
My Grandmother
My Mother-in-law and her husband
My brother-in-law and his wife
My sister-in-law and her husband
My two nieces and three nephews

Yes there are more. Of course there are. These are just the ones I have to put my hands on frequently or else life's not good. Have to look at 'em, have to talk to them, have to know about them. Some more often than others, some not as often as I wish, but there it is.

This is an awesome list. For a person to have a list this long is fabulous and to end one year and begin another with THIS M-A-N-Y people in your life on a regular basis and this isn't even a fraction of the folks that I come in contact with on a regular basis and just lemme tell you, the folks ON this list are ALL phenomenal people. The ones that aren't even repreSENted here - aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, cyber friends, PTA committee peers, neighbors. . . . ohh.

There can not be a day in 2007 that would POSSIBLY top 2006 if it does I may possibly exPLODE from the sheer perfection of that day. (as in back in the . . .) Have a good one. Day that is.