Saturday, April 28, 2007


What a bunch a crackers and a salad bowl mix to boot. We're the mesclun of famblies.

The party was held at my sister in law's house. Now her house is a 50's rancher with a one car carport on the end, which she has converted into a porch. Not many people could pull that off but there we sit every time as weather permits, at trash-art cafe tables and wrought iron patio sets. A breeze blows through from front to back and trinkles wind chimes that have been purchased with delight, packed with care and brought home from some kitchsy art village. Half a dozen thriving orchids in as many colors sit on an antique table with chipping paint and just behind those, off the porch in the grass, is a turkey tail fern hanging on a shepherd hook plant hanger. There are beverage buckets around the perimeter here and there and a off the back side of the porch is a small patio vegetable and herb garden with a bluebird feeder and a finch feeder taking center stage. The kitchen door opens from the porch into the house and has cafe curtains hanging on the window that swing & the breeze sorta brushes past your nose & smells like fresh cotton when you open the door to go in. There's metal yard art shaped like a goony bird, toys for the grandkids (and my kids) in one corner, but for the most part, there are people laughing, smiling, eating, drinking, embroiled in conversation, kids running through, and never do you feel you are sitting in a carport.

So. SIL has writer's block and she feels like if she reads us a chapter maybe she'll get unblocked. One character didn't like her name, another didn't want to do what SIL wanted her to. They were not cooperating.

"UNBLOCKED!" says BIL - her own brother, we're speaking of now. "I doan wanna be read tooooo, dayuhm!"

"DAVID, SHIT! QUIT CUSSING, my KIDS are around SOMEwhere!" This is the OTHER brother we're speaking of NOW, who, unfortunately, happens to belong to ME. Well, not unfortunately, but I'm not quite proud to be sharing this particular convo. although it is purty dang funny......

And the worst part is BOTH of these men are in their FORTIES. Jiminy crickets. Meanwhile, sister in law, who has cooked corned beef, mashed potatoes, turnip greens, a ham, a turkey, carrot salad, broccoli slaw, and rolls, and FED these two ungrateful heathens, sits patiently waiting for them to zip up so that she may continue. . . . to unblock. It's like the writer's form of Milk of Magnesia or something.

And sooooo the reading begins. She gets out three sentences and BIL - this is SIL the writer's huuuuusband I'm speaking of this time walks in, "Huneeeeeee, where's the club soda???? I can't find it and - oh gaaad - we need another round of vaadka racks- oy, I can't find nuttin."
So perhaps you've guessed he's not from around heah.

So Donna begins her story about a southern woman (shocker) who is from a long line of women that die before their 65th birthday. This woman is 64 and 10 months. She's planning her funeral. In this particular chapter she's at the beauty parlor having her hair and makeup done exactly like it will be done when she's dead so she can make sure it's gonna be done exactly right. When that's finished she's gonna march over to the funeral home and choose her casket. Just as she's choosing her casket, brother David jumps in-

"So so so how are you gonna market this book, anyhow... it's definately not a romance like that LAST one, whut IS it?"

Clearly it was an attempt to deflect, to redirect, to MAKE HER STOP READING. Didn't work.

SIL is a talented and entertaining southern writer and storyteller. The reading of the chapter ends, containers of tapanade and dip have been polished off, bottles clink into the garbage can, BIL has found his club soda and refreshed the vaadka drinkers. Everyone is still chuckling except brother David who has long since left the scene with a brew in each hand, mumbling some nonsense about audible reading being for kids at bedtime.

By the time we ate dinner it was after 8:00pm. No one noticed. The kids were covered in grass and sweat and I took one look at them and smiled because I knew when we left they'd be asleep before we ever got onto the main road. My sweet, lovin', stinky, sweaty babies.

So SIL and I are the clean-up matriarchs by now it's 10:30pm and I'm loading the dishwasher and SIL hands her son (who is 28) a pot with the turkey and ham grease and says, "Here. Go throw this out at the back corner of the yard. But not in our yard. In the neighbor's yard. But not the nice one. The one we don't like." Van Morrison's singing to us in the background and I can see my SIL's shoulders shaking as she sends her son on his chore. Hehe, I hear.

Minutes go by, we're singing and doing the bump even as we clean up. Mustang SALLY!!


"WHAT!! What's wrong????? Son? WHAT??????"

"I had to run . . . *gasp* back *wheez* ! That big muscle Harley dude came out from that house and hollered Who's there? Who's there - what're you dumpin' in my damn yard??? Then he came after me with a frickin' SHOVEL!!! I had to throw the pot at him - I think it hit him in the head cuz he fell and hollered and now he's not movin - oh what do I DO, WHAT SHOULD WE DO???????"

"Oh my oh my oh my oh GAWD I was jesssss, I mean, ohhhh Caren lawww whadda I .....I.....I.... I should never have I can't believe I just yooooouuuuu nasty little puke you had better run fast cuz if I catch up to you on these arthritic feet yoooooouuuuu I can not beLIEVE I gave birth to such an ungrateful heathern you come back here like a good son and let me beat you senseless you just WAIT until I get my sore ol' hands on you oh if I laugh any harder I'm gonna need a damn Depends YOU - oh where did that boy go? Wah shit.

That twenty eight year old in hiding is my nephew, has a nine year old that's my #1's best bud and his first cousin once removed.

Twenty eight year old nephew's son's Mom's fiance is helping clean up the kitchen. Drops turnip greens on his shoe. MAN DOWN!!! he says. Har. "Wha, who, who's down!!" Brother in law is turning sixty five. Donna's husband. Couldn't be farther from Southern. Jewish. . . from Detroit. What a pair.

Neice turned fourteen. Sister in law (David's wife) turned eighteen with twenty two years of experience.

It was a wild ride, a peaceful slide, and a good time was had by all.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Got to go birthday gift shopping tomorrow. BIL is easy, a great single malt scotch will be welcomed with open arms. SIL and neice are easy too I'll just head over to TJ Maxx and get candles and deliciously fab-o toiletries for SIL and cutesy handbags and teen jewelry for neice OOPS! TJ Maxx did I say???? Well well well well, while I'm there guess what. They're having their dress sale.....hmmmmmm. What a coinkidinkie. $19.99 I blieve I kin handle it. Bought a pair of shoes last week just because. . . well just because. No more. Anyshoesies, have not one stitch in my closet to wear with them. Now I ask you does that make the sense God gave a goat?

I think not.

But then I ent a goat. And thank goodness to because I'd hate to have to store the shoes.

Well, the birthday party IS tomorrow night. Gotta look great, that's the main thing. Oh oops I mean the second main thing. Hope I don't forget the gifts.


Friday, April 20, 2007


WSB's the Atlanta ABC affiliate, or just channel 3 I call it affectionately cawz I quit using Welcome South Brother when Lewis Grizzard (the President of the South, to you) passed away. This morning Monica Kaufman Pearson announced that they would not be showing video of the ramblings of the shooter that was aired over and OVER yesterday. I suspect it was due in great part to Dr. Michael Wellner's lil visit to Good Morning America yesterday, and his statement and ensuing explanation that the airing and re-airing of the shooter's video was a "social catastrophe".

Check him out

Dr. Michael Wellner's my new best friend. I'm so happy to watch and listen to someone who feels the strength of his convictions and speaks strongly and without reservation and even though he has the unpopular opinion, he states it. He explains it. He's passionate regarding it, he knows what he's talkin' about folks. He's got a fire in his belly 'bout it . He comes back on the following day and defends it. People listened, as they should've.

Thanks, Dr. Wellner. We needed you this week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


You know what I mean. It's all anyone's thought about since yesterday morning. It's all any parent or grandparent or sister or brother, aunt, uncle, friend, teen, pre teen, college student and particularly - just - survivor - has been able to fit in the thinking feeling parts of their body so we'll move on until another day that's farther away, and we'll talk about it then.

Now then. Howzabout a $400 haircut, whatcha think about that??? Sort of pales, doesn't it. Not really a big deal now. In fact, when #1 is Va. Tech and #1 is the fact that his wife has cancer, who cares.

Alright, . . . let's see. Imus . . . oh I'm so sick of that I could YAK. The last time I was this sick of publicity was Rosie and Donald and look how THAT turned out good grief what a publicity stunt and now the hip hop dudes are excusing themsel...... oh crud I just don't care. Taken away the purity of the win GIVE me breakage. When #1 is Va. Tech, #2 is that Elizabeth Edwards has cancer and people focus on her husband's haircut, who cares.

Hmmm. Welll ell ell ell, we could talk about umm the fact that there appears to be no OTHER news today. Ever noticed how the news stations forget that other things happen in this world when there's a crisis of such proportions that they can milk it for their ENTIRE broadcast because if they don't the OTHER newscasts will grind them into the dirt in the ratings? The news anchors run out of legitimate questions to ask, so they start asking redundant questions, filabustering, lowering their voices and quietly asking fluff. Almost as if they're embarrased. Well. I would be. It all reminds me of Connie Chung's famous interview before her fall. Come on. You can tell me. It's just you and me. The camera crew runs out of new and interesting images so they rerun the same same images over and over and OVER again. ENOUGH! Run it once on the morning news. Run it once on the noon news. Run it as the lead story on the evening news. THEN DONE! Stream it on the website for anyone who wants to watch it over and over and over and over, good grief. But we can't do that, can we, noooooooo. So go ahead, Robin Roberts, ask the Professor if she feels responsible in any way for the shooter. Responsible? COME ONNNNNNNN. Gimme some REAL NEWS. Then let's make sure someone asks YOU if YOU and your network feels responsible as well. I've lost interest. When #1 is Va. Tech, #2 is that Elizabeth Edwards has cancer and people are focusing on her husband's haircut, and #3 is the prostitution of our newscasts, who cares.

By the way, friends. Here's some real news. #1. My friend Gail's daughter Susan is safe and sound. My God is good. #2. My #1 son is doing GREAT on his CRCTs this week. For a child who becomes apprehensive at the first sign of tests, parTICularly timed tests, he has been calm and peaceful. We're breathing great sighs of relief. #3. My handsome husband got up in front of a huge roomful of people yesterday at work and did NOT panic. This. People. IS. NEWS.


Thursday, April 12, 2007


It can do a number on you. When a frequently read author from your past passes away, it's a surreal experience. Brings back floods of memories about things like paperbacks stuck in bookbags and dirty denim hobo bags that smell like weed and incense. This is an author, I guess you've surmised, from my waaaaaaaaay past. I haven't read any Vonnegut in years. I bet I will now. Right now I'm reading riveting stuff like The Red Tent (which I just can NOT get through, ugh) and Extraordinary Knowing which I talked about and drooled over and that's what I got for Easter. I was thrilled with it, and thrilled that my sweet handsome hubby remembered that I wanted it. It's a killer concept and very exciting, (truly) but Kurt . . . . ohhhh, Kurt. You gotta love an author that looks just like Mark Twain. That's just warm and fuzzy and a sign from above that you MUST read him right there. Then he goes and runs a close second in pessimism with Twain as well, or at least it always seemed so. That's just weird. Maybe he was our Twain for this lifetime. Whoa.

What an imagination this man allowed himself to grow - the Tralfamadorians twarnt no Aunt Polly. But I digress. Anyone who writes about a place - no - a utopia of sorts where everything in the universe fits neatly together. Mm. Mm, mmm, mmmmm. Truthfully that's not a utopia at all, is it, cause where's the fun in that if everything fits just right? But it's soothing to think on it. Peaceful even, especially when nothing has fit together in your day, or your week. And the name of his utopia alludes to what a utopia it's just NOT.... the chrono-synclastic infundibula. INFUNDIBULA? Sounds like one of those things a horse gets when they can't walk anymore, or something you have to go to the podiatrist about, or something the financial analyst needs to fix, or ---zzzzzowie, I dunno, but it's summpin I dun want fer sher.

Anyway prayers for Kurt Vonnegut's family and circle of loved ones. Boy I hope they know how many people he reached with his talent and his skill, what an impact he made on thousands and thousands of people, prolly millions.

Next time you're at Barnes, pick up something by Kurt Vonnegut and read a few pages. He wrote at least a dozen books, maybe more; you have a fairly wide choice, and between the dozen of them the scope is wide. You may learn a new word. May not be a real one, but it'll be a GREAT one. It'll zhuzh up your day.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Pick one.

Doesn't much matter spring lasts about a flickie around here. A flickie is a little longer than a nano-second but shorter than a 'lil bit'.

BUT. You know there's always a big but. Once spring gets here it'd be nice if IT WOULD STAY.

Who cares life's good. Not that big-a-deal ah reckon. Is jes weather. Round here weather puts dinner on our tahbleh so the more there is of it I guess the better off we is'ns.

So. Spring break's over. Mmmmm. What's next?

IMUS! Nappy headed WHUTS? Wow, Imus. Look atcher own head, pal.

Sunday, April 01, 2007


When I was in college we called it AEA. Sometimes it still slips out..... "Where ya goin' for AEA?" Sort of like "Have you taken your ACTs yet?" May as well wear a sandwich sign that says YES I'M FROM ALABAMA.

My kids will be under my feet for a whole week. Seven days. Twenty four hours a day. YEEEEEEEHAAAA!!! Let the games b-e-g-i-n. Doesn't get any better than this. Well maybe summertime.

The board games are ready. The fridge and the freezer are stocked. Books, DVDs, card games, bicycles, scooters, toys, paints, easels, crayons, water guns, nerf guns, sidewalk chalk, and skates are all on the ready.

That'll take care of Monday. ;- )

The gas tank is on full in the Magic Bus. I have our suitcases packed, my laptop, my Outlook synced to my Q, reservation confirmations for the cottage on the lake, a housesitter situated for the house, and two tubs and three coolers full of food and that'll take care of Tuesday through Friday. I ain't no dummy.

I'm taking my male humans to the water. I'm packing the golf clubs, the fishing poles, and the bicycles, and whatever you can do from a rocking chair on a screened porch, and that's IT.

I think what you're supposed to do with spring break is repair any springs you might have that are broken. My repair kit is easy to pack. My Bible goes with me, my family will (naturally) be with me, and of COURSE I'll have toe polish - GOSH. The cottage setting is just extra dressing. Natural valium. Eye candy. Second best thing to . . . to . . . to . . . hmmm, well, OH! a shoe store. Yeah, that's it. :- >