Tuesday, October 30, 2007
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
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, too....one 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
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.
- Leaves more room for the kids to play, thus they don't trample my garden.
- Leaves less room for weeds to grow, so I don't have to pluck - or spray or use ACK chemmies.
- 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.)
- Less square footage for handsome hubby to plow at the beginning of the season and less to mow down at the end.
- Less compost and fertilizer to have to deal with.
Enjoy this beautiful day on it.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
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 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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
HANDS ON YOUR KNEES!!! ;- )
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
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?
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.
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?
UNICEF 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
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.