Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HOME MAKING -or- what makes a home, anyway?

Sometimes when I think about the decade that I was a kid in - a single digit kid that is, I think about trying to describe some of the differences to my kids. Sometimes I give it a whirl, sometimes I sigh and decide it just makes me seem like such a relic.

I mean. Houses were ranch style. Sprawling. They were nice but they were efficient. We l-i-v-e-d in them. Things the family used sat out in plain view. Phones. TVs. Radios. Blenders. Why, it was even common to see a napkin holder on a table. OUT. Y'know. Such as that. Yards were y-a-r-d-s. The grass was green and we had flower gardens, foundation plantings and so on, but as I recall nobody was rabid about landscaping. The kitchen was the center of the house and pots and pans were well used and bunged up, sometimes enamel was even chipped and that's because it was U-S-E-D every day, every day, e-v-e-r-y day. The bacon drippings crock was a large part of the kitchen decor.

The writing or telephone desk was a fundamental piece of furniture. That was back when the telephone stayed in its place securely connected to the wall and we were the boss of it instead of . . . . . well, you know.

I was looking at the volume of my kids' toys -which is moderate compared to their friends-, and I was just thinking that when I was a kid I would have thought I was rich beyond my wildest dreams if I had as many toys as my children. We had some books and one toybox of toys. To be fair, my toybox was a hardsided laundry hamper with a hinged lid that my Mom covered with colorful fabric and edged with trim. I didn't appreciate it a whole lot then but now looking back on it I think a couple of my buddies had round laundry hampers to chunk their toys in. I should thank her for that toybox. I could go on forever about my toys but for the sake of your eyes and having a topic for another post, I will not tell you about my homemade Barbie clothes, homemade stilts and so on WHICH, by the way, were all better and OH so very sought out by all my friends. The Tiedye house was always where all the kids were and it wattn because of bossy Tie for that you can be sure.

It seems like the bathroom was pretty spartan. It never smelled of luxurious bath salts or candles, but rather the smell of Comet always hit your nostrils the moment you walked in, lingered a moment and then was replaced by the strong but pleasant scent of Camay soap, which had a cameo embossed on the front; again, a large part of the bathroom decor, second to the Kleenex box. I can't find that soap now or that stuff would be in my bathrooms as I type. Another example of things you needed sitting out in plain view? Toothbrushes. Manual ones were hung right there on the wall off the ceramic tile toothbrush hanger thingie that had the cup indention in the middle, and electric ones had one base and each family member had their own toothbrush head with a different colored dot. It sat on the countertop. (Eww. What we didn't know then....)

The house never smelled luxurious either. It either smelled like Mama had just vacuumed or dusted, or it smelled like the floor furnace or (when we finally got one), the window air conditioning unit. Twice a week it smelled like Mama had just set and dried her hair with the home Sunbeam hair dryer with the bonnet. All definitive smells. Home smells.

But you know what? Who's to say those aren't luxurious smells? I enjoy them. My kids friends however are not familiar. They come home from school with my kids, walk in the door, crinkle their nose and say, Oooh Mrs. Tiedye what do I sah-mell? Yee-ikes! Well honey bear, that's Comet. Oooh Mrs. Tiedye it's HOT in heah. Well honey the windows are open. Ooooh Mrs. Tiedye what're you doin? You been in here awhile! I'm c-o-o-k-i-n-g, babydoll. Go on back outside, dinner'll be ready in about fifteen minutes.

I'm so thankful for living in today. I'm thankful for the advantages of technology I enjoy them regularly. I'm also thankful for having grown up when I did and knowing I don't have to live by today's standards if I like my own better.

Life's good.

Monday, August 04, 2008

THE LAST HURRAH or, BOONE, neener neener : - '

The boys and I are in Boone. We came to visit my brother and his wife for a few days, the last trip before school starts back. Whenever they know I'm coming to Boone, my friends stick their noses in the air, roll their eyes in their head and poke their lower lips out. Jealous, they are. Grown women. I've aaaaaalways wanted to gaaaawwwwwww thaaaayur.....

Well, I'll bring you something. Whaddyu want?

Oh, anything. . . something kitschy, antique-ish, mountain-ey, North Carolina-like, and OH! it should smell good.

Good grief. It reminded me of a scene from a Diane Keaton movie called Baby Boom, where she was a big money man-eater advertising rep in New York, had quit, moved upstate to the country with her baby and started making baby food in mass quantities with apples from her orchard. In the middle of a frigid winter, frazzled, frustrated and nearly broke she's standing in the general store trying to talk the owner into selling her baby food when two yuppie couples from the city come in. (I think one of the wives was Rita Wilson, by the way, but I can't be sure.....I need to watch this movie again - it's so great - but I digress.)
Anyway, they're going on and on about how cutesy this place is, and oh LOOOOOOK at theeeeees and oh how kaYUUUUUUUUT is thAAAAAAAAT and we need to take six of these flannel shirts back to the city for the wintertime, they're so, oh I don't know, Eddie Baaaa-wer, but here they're only seven dollars (shhhhh). . . . blah blah blah, when they spy a jar of Diane Keaton's homemade baby food with the sweet little country baby label and all that jazz, and one of them, Rita Wilson I think, holds it up and says, OH. MY. GOSH. MARY JANE LOOK AT THIS!!! Cute little small town homemade baby food! We have to have four jars of this and the other one says oh how great! homemade? no how many are there lets take them all and turns to Diane Keaton and says how much are these and back to her buddy and says out of the corner of her mouth lets get 'em all and back to Diane Keaton how much did you say? and she says $2.00 each I mean $2.50 no $3.00 ....$4.00 a jar yeah uh $4.00 a jar.

Now I don't remember why I started this story but I gotta go watch that movie. Which I can go do because I'm takin' it easy for three days in cool, breezy North Carolina. My gosh it's so nice here. It's almost 10am and no air conditioner needed. We slept with the windows thrown wide open. Heaven. Ate dinner last night on the deck. Grilled out. Can't do that at home. It's still brutal at 9:00pm! Ronny called this morning in fact at 8:00am from work in crunchy brown Georgia and I told him how cool it was and he was sooooo jealous. I'm frying already, says he. Don't even tell me says he. I can't stand it.

Yep, I'm looking forward to fall. But right now, lemme tell ya. I'm looking out my brothah's front picture window at the rhododendrons that line his driveway and the hostas that grow the size of shrubs. He has an amazing amount of shade, which is one of the things that comes with the hilly terrain here. It's a give and take I suppose. Last night when I was bragging on the temperature in his house (sans air conditioner) and his lush landscaping, he said I'll trade you that for a flat piece of land.

I guess it's all relative.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Most folks paint the ceilings of their porchs blue, but since it was my floor what needed the paint, that's what got it. Don't fix it if'n it ain' broke. Anyhow haint blue works anyolwhere. I ba-leeeeeeeeev.

Not that we have haints. What we haaaaave, is skeeters, bugs, no see 'ems, bitin' flies, yaller jackits, and any manner of buzzin', bitin', stingin', aggravatin', annoyin', infeeyuriatin' pests that skeet in every time the door's open for a milleesekent. And theeyin, once-chu close the door? Well, they're all yer guestiz; rahht thur on the screen powitch. But cept'n nowwwww, well. The haint blue'll skeer 'em off. *grin giggle snicker snort*

So. It's a few less fer iced tea 'n rockin' t'night, Tater Bug!


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


This week we're three. My eldest, my first, my biggest baby - well the truth about that is my first child is my second biggest baby but anybody with a husband knows the honesty swimmin' in THET pool but I digress my baby's at camp for a week and I'm having to keep really busy else I might think too much and well we aaaaaaall know how dangerous THET kin be ohhhhhhhhh NO nobody wants that to hapn.

Plus'n. There's the lil detail of King Jr. Mint. Ohhhhh yes sir. This happens only once a year does he get to be the only child so it has to be pomp and circumstance all the wayyy Mr Jr. Man. Surprises hidden every morning when he wakes up, playdates every day, lunch out, snuggle time in Mommy and Daddy's bed before bedtime, Skittles and chewing gum E-V-E-R-Y day, snuggle up in the loveseat recliner and watch a movie munching popcorn while dinner's cooking and we're waiting for Daddy to get home, activities with Daddy in the evenings. Next week he'll be rotten but oh well.

So last Friday night we have friends over for dinner, the parents of #1 son's best buddy. The one he's at camp with. . . . just to sort of kick off the coming week at camp. Well, that and they're just good friends and it was our turn to have them over anyway. So I roasted two hens, one in the oven and one on the Green Egg, cooked fresh green beans, roasted Vidalias, steamed brown rice, and made homemade whole grain bacon bread. Then at the last minute I decided to whisk up some chicken gravy out of the yummy crunchies in the bottom of the pan to drizzle over the rice and chicken for anyone who wanted it.

We had a good time. Sat out on the patio and ate, drank, and ate some more. I had done a few dips for appetizers - pimiento cheese, fresh salsa (yes I guess we took our lives in our hands....) and a white bean dip that was out of this WORLD). Can't remember where I got the recipe but I've made it a few times, soooooo easy. Here's what I did:

1 can cannellini beans, drained
2-3 cloves fresh garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
zest of 2 lemons

I poured the beans in the food processor, smashed the garlic with my knife and threw those in too. Then I put the top on the processor and turned it on, adding the olive oil through the chute kinda slowly. Let it go until it was all smooth. Then when I turned it out into a bowl I added the zest and a lot of black pepper, little salt. That's IT. It's to die for. If you have any leftover you can put it on a sandwich with stuff like lettuce and tomatoes or grilled veggies. That's delish too.

Got to go. The King is rumbling in his royal bed. I need to hide his surprise before he graces me with his presence.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Yup I'm here. Here I am. Contrary to popular belief I am raahhhhhhht heahr, it's just my head that's in the clouds. Har.

Ok seriously. I am S-U-C-H a creature of habit and I got out of the habit. But lets not make this about me.

SO. Have y'misst me?

On the positive side, I have been seriously productive. TreMENdously productive. Yyyyew jess woudn't believe it if I tol ya. So anyhowz, here's what I been about, cuuuuuuz there've been a few changes around here. First off, my handsome hubby's company has been bought out and his work future is uncertain. Not a good thing. Well it could be not a bad thing in the long run but in the meantime? Not so much.

Maybe that wasn't the first thing chronologically but in order of import, certainly.

OK. Thennnnnnn, a big ol' honkin' tree fell on my deck.

Yippie skippie. Really. No really! No one was hurt, and yesssss, it was an inconvenience, and yesssss, it cost us money (boy howdy. . . . .) but ultimately the result, after the insurance claim offset some of the expenditure blahdee blah blah blahhhhh, and much gnashing of teeth and dealing with contractors later, we have a beautiful new stone patio.
Needed to happn. Sometimes y'just need that push, know what uh mean? In this case, our push was a 30 ft tall pine tree that broke off at the middle during a wind storm at 5:00am and landed on our 20 year old deck. I hate pine trees generally, but this one was mah fren, and it gave its life for the cause. Go in peace, friend.

Been a lot more going on around here but I have to save SOMEthing for the next blog entry..... that way I'll motivate myself to actually get back here and DO one, huh. Plus I need to get outside and actually plant something around that new patio. Trim my hedges. Weed. And all before 9:00am when it gets too hot to do anything outside but walk to the mailbox.

Good to talk to ya. More later. Tah.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Guess which is which. (Hint: the pronoun the clue..........)

Hellooooo there! I misstcha. Spring Break with the captl S and B is over and now we're grindin on reg-uuu-laaar life again, headed toward Summer Vacation with the captl S and V so I am here here I am to allow what I found in my head during the time I sat on the beach contemplatively last week. Don't hold your breath for anything grand. Really. Remember. I am blonde. Har.

I read a few books while we were gone and even more magazines - gosh seems like I can speed read while on vacation does that happen to you? anyway once I stick my nose in one (book that is) I can't extract it until I lay my eyes on the last word, to the great pleasure and prolly also the immense annoyance of my handsome husband if he dares get hungry . . . but cest la vie he does know where the kitchen is and how to feed his own and our children's pieholes. Oopsie did I digress?

Anyway when I read that many books in a short period of time, there are words, phrases, concepts that always "stick" to me when I read, in my head, ones I love, ones that make me go hmmmm, ones that just sit on my head stick to me so hard I can't shake them off ones that sink right down through to my bones sit in my core because they're so striking or so "OH!" or so "ME" as in MEaningful or so plagiaristic, that is to say ones that are so terrific I WISH they were mine or they SHOULD be mine ding dang it..... but sadly..... not so much. Or maybe it's because I'm supposed to do something with them? *scratch . . . head . . .blink . . . eyes . . . tweak . . . ear*

It's the ones that stick so much I can't shake them off that are such PESky lil boogers. I read somewhere in my voluminous vacation readings about two people who were very different, one who pressed sharply against life and was hurt by it fairly hard sometimes in return. The other one was the favorite one, favorite of family and destiny and found life and the world to be a comfortable and welcoming place. The minute I read it I felt every nerve ending in my body, every single one. I knew I'd remember every single word of both those sentences but I scrambled for pencil and paper just in case.

All the rest of the week those words stayed with me. Like a haunting they stayed. They kept coming up, like when you throw up in your MOUTH they kept coming up and yet at the same time I knew I had stumbled upon something I needed. Oddly that was comforting or it was going to be comforting sometime in the future, no, it already was. But whyyyyyyy. . . . .
Hmmm this is a good mystery. Mary Higgins Clark would approve. Meanwhile I read one of her mindless mysteries, which I (egotistically and from my amateur throne) declare to be worthless drivel and a total waste of money, badly written and abhorrently predictable.

Dinnertime comes and having just come in from the beach I tossed Ms. H. Clark onto the hydrangea wicker sofa. DH and brother look at me. Ruh roh. Here comes su-thin. They been drinkin beer at the beach.

DH: Can Jr Mint sit in your lap in the Expedition to the restaurant so we can all ride in one vehicle?


WHAT I SAY: I don't think that would be safe, do you?

DH: It's only eight or ten blocks and we're on a beach that's not really that busy. We don't even have to get out on a main road.


WHAT I SAY: So you think that would be safe? I'd really rather not...I'll drive our car with the kids if y'all all just want to ride together and let SIL drive you.

So now DH and my brother both walk away annoyed and fairly scowling. And truly it is only a few blocks away from the beachhouse to the restaurant, and apparently the point was the two of them wanted to have a couple of drinks together while at the restaurant and The One Pressing Sharply fouled or foiled the plans of the One Who glides gently and is Comforted and Welcomed, (and his Cohort).

So but and (spoken like a true Pressing Sharply gnarl of the-what-for), why can't both sides live in tandem is what I wonder, now that I have the epiphany. I mean it's the A personality issue, clearly, and it's the same argument as Sales verses Administration, art department verses accounting department, teachers verses board of ed., parents verses kids, the list goes on forblippinever but the ol story is the same and the older you get well you'd just think you could solve it, live with it, get Ohhhhhhhhhver it. Mahhhhhhhh-an.

Malaise maybe? Living life uncomfortably - or having to work harder to be comfortable, control issues, perfectionism, or just feeling responsibility? Depends who you ask. Decisions, life in general, much smoother for my handsome husband and I envy him that at times with every fiber that makes up my Sharp Pointy Pressy Self.

Everything's relative, perhaps it comes down to picking your battles. My children? Their safety? THE battle to pick every time. Prolly still was a little over the top, considering I watched other folks haul their kids in Jeeps with no roll bars down the same beachy streets all week long, but it just has no bearing so why do I wake up in the middle of the night whimpering all piteeful Why Am I The Bad Guy When I'm Doing The RIGHT Thing????? The Unselfish Thing? It's So Not FAIRRRRR! Waaaaaaah!!!!

Pressy sharp pointy person I am, I got a million examples just like that one. Doesn't matter. Budget, kids, schedule, homework, bedtime well that's schedule isn't it anyway Why Am I The Bad Guy When I'm Doing The RIGHT Thing????? The Unselfish Thing? It's So Not FAIRRRRR! Waaaaaaah!!!!

There's no answer is there, except life's not fair, but at the least I want to have the courage of my convictions but not be the bad guy, maybe can I at least be a nice guy while I'm being a bad guy? Or can I be the prettiest guy or at least wearing pretty clothes with a good haircut and fabulous shoes when I force my children to bed on time even though their father would've let them stay up? And as I do this may I close my eyes and repeat the sage mantra of every lone Mom with no support on bedtime issues: *someday they'll understand, someday they'll understand, someday they'll understand*

Monday, February 25, 2008

A Man and His Dad, or Just What Was the Prize, Anyway

I don't know how I missed this in 1992. I wasn't much into sports. Maybe that was it. Maybe you saw it, but regardless, watch it now:

Watch it again.

I've only recently discovered it, and now I watch it about once every couple of days. Our childrens' minister used it as a tool to illlustrate a point at the halftime devotional during soccer games last Saturday. Now I have it bookmarked on both computers.

That video is remarkable in so many ways beside the obvious one that Derek Redmond GOT UP. That his father broke past the security guy (You better git outta my way, that's my boy out there!) I made up words for that part. Just seemed like that's what he was saying. That's what I'd be saying. That his Dad put his arm around his son and helped him to the finish line. That he got him back in lane 5 and walked with him, patting him every step of the way. That his Daddy's right hand did not stop patting, comforting, holding. Pat pat pat. That even though Derek Redmond's biceps qualified for big guns in my book, probably twice the size of his Dad's, Dad had the power of comfort and strength and his hand moved from his son's waist to his shoulder to his arm back to his waist as they walked, patting, squeezing, hugging, giving his son comfort. I doubt he even knew he was doing it.

So they finished the race. Walked across the finish line. Heartbreaking, the whole video clip, but the part that made me sob and snort almost out loud (which would've embarrassed handsome husband except he was too busy trying to look all macho and as though he wasn't teary himself) was when they finished the race and Derek Redmond put his face in his hands and his head in the crook of his Daddy's neck. UNbearable.

The silly thing is, that was 1992. It's sort of but not like crying over a commercial I s'pose. Still cry every time I watch it. But Derek Redmond (I didn't know it thennnnn, the first time I watched) has since parlayed that horrible experience into a great career complete with books, speaking engagements, the works! Good for him. When life gives you. . . . . . . . y'know.

The sermon yesterday at church was wrapped up in the same scripture (which is Hebrews 12 by the way in case anyone's interested). I have to stop here and say that my lil ol brain is so simple that things like this impress the snot out of it. The church coordinates the messages in all areas of the church for the week so that when you get home as a family, here's what happens. You're able to talk about the same message in a googlezillion different ways. Simple? Yes. Do all churches do it? Why yes, of course well prolly maybe but I only go to mine and I'm still impressed. 'K? It doesn't take much.

So anyhootietoo, the preacher calls all the chirren to the front for the kids' message and he (he's so brave) he says sunthin like Has anyone fallen down ever? I mean besides when your big brother or sister helps you fall down? Cuzzz, y'know they do that. And the message went on and on and I listened and cute kids were saying funny stuff like yeah and YEAH and I fell right on my BUTT and I got a bruise you wanna SEE it? and the preacher laaaaughs and the congregations laaaaaughs and all the meanwhile I was still back on that cuzzzzzz, y'know big brothers help you fall down.

Sometimes childrens' sermons aren't just for the children, but the message there is for - well - whoever needs to hear it. And yesterday that was me. Lighten up on your oldest boy, gal. It's normal for him to do that to the lil one. Developmental even. Let it happen, they'll work it out.


Powerful. Suddenly that was me being steered back into Lane 5 and a limp I didn't even know I had was easing.

And I was impressed that my church coordinated messages.

Friday, February 22, 2008


It's a game I've played for years. Who would play you in the movie? (The movie of your life of course!) There isn't a single rule, you just cast yourself. That's all. You can cast based on looks, personality, character, mannerisms, whatevah. You're the casting director. It's your call. No judgments either. Okay so there IS one rule.

I cast my family long ago and nothing's changed. Well, rather, the constants have remained......we've removed a few here and there, added more. Here we go:

My Handsome Husband ...................... Bruce Willis or John Travolta
I'm wishy washy on that one.

My Sweet Mama.....................Shirley Maclaine

My Wondermous Daddy...................................Dennis Weaver

Best Seester Ever .......................................Demi Moore

Seester's Handsome Husband......................................Tom Cruise
although with his behavior of late (Tom Cruise's, not my brother-in-law's), I may have to re-cast to the guy from that TV show where all the kids were raising themselves - Scott somebuddy.....???

My Baby Brother..............................................Branden Frasier

Brother's Lovely Wife........................................Sonia Braga

My Sweetiepie Grandmother........................................Olympia Dukakis

I don't usually cast the kids but my gosh my sister's oldest girlie is a dead ringer for Dakota Fanning so there that's a no brainer.

Now then. Let's us delve into the in-laws, shall we? Hee hee eeeeheeeeeeee hehe ha ahem.

Loving Mother-in-law.......................... Elizabeth Taylor.

Hubby's Brainy Brother....................................Ralph Fiennes.
Well he's handsome too, of COURSE, cuz he looks just like my hubby ; ^ )

His Wife, My Wise Sister-in-law ................................... Sigourney Weaver
I have known this since the day I met her. They look nothing alike but she channels her I just know it

Hubby's Wonderful Sister..........................................Delta Burke

Her Hubby, My Talented Brother-in-Law........................... Paul Reiser

What a cast, huh. Some were cast for appearance similarities, some for similarities otherwise. Over the years I've cast others in my life just because the resemblance to some celebrity is in some way so immediately striking.

Because I couldn't cast myself, and because my sister kept on until I just said Well then YOU do it, she cast me as Helen Hunt. A few years later, a good friend recast me as BONNIE Hunt. Ironic, huh. A Hunting I shall be. Har.

In the next few days I hope to have a pic beside each name, so you can see casting for yourself.

Recently I was reminded that there are families that become divided over material things, immediate family members who turn their backs on each other in favor of stuff. Things. People who love each other, have been raised together, lived together, have history together, who have had harsh words and betrayed each other over things that will not last, stuff you can't take with you, material things that you can't tuck into your heart, you can't count on like you can your family......if that is, you haven't put STUFF before them.

I have the most awesome family and things like the family travesty above continue to remind me of it. Well I mean, gosh. How can you lose with Ralph Fiennes, Demi Moore, and Branden Frasier in your sib repertoire? Liz and Shirley for Mamas?

Monday, February 04, 2008


See the picture of the feetsies over to the left there, all posed for a picture? The ones that are vacationing in St. Thomas and cruising on a sailboat? Well. The middle three sets of tootsies belong to a set of sustahs in-laws if you must but you can see the previous post for how I feel on that subject and we three had a day on Saturday last. Yes we did.

We spent a lil bit of time at the spa having some stress removed in various ways. Handsome husband's sister had a lil more than stress removed but we won't go there. It was her birthday by the way, double nickels, and after the spa we skipped on down to the bar and celebrated some more. Our intention was to have one lil cocktail and go home, where our husbands awaited. I had cooked dinner earlier in the day and had everything on timers or in the fridge so we could have sister's birthday dinner upon our return but a funny thing happened on the way to the bottom of the glass and the giggles. We ordered the second one (oops) and about that time summmmbunny's cell phone rang. It was handsome husband's brother calling his loverly wife, who was on last sip of first glass of wine. WHERE ARE YOU?

We're here.


Having a drink.

Wull hurry.

Why? What's going on?

Nuthin, we're just here, that's all. Just hangin' out. Y'know. Watchin' the dogs chase each other, playing Wii and stuff. Hurry.

No. In fact, we may be a lil later than initially planned. Buh bye. . . .

Now, these are guys that collectively manage oh. maybe. I dunno. billllllions of dollars? hunnnnndreds of people? meet with EVPs, CEOs, in fact both of them tell THOSE folks what to DO on a fairly regular basis. They were raised together, two of the three of 'em anyway.

Hurry. *sheesh*

Second round comes, the sustahs need food. The beef tenderloin bruschetta begins to look like something we need. But so do the onion rings. Get themmmmm botthhhhhhhh after all there are three of us. Sunbudie's phone dingalings and guess whut. Eeeeet's MINE this time. Hey honey, I just wanted to remind you that you guys need to stop by the package store on the way home - uh, whenEVER that might be. . . you know, no rush or anything. We're low on vodka.


Yeah honey?

Where are you standing?

At the kitchen table.

Turn around.

OH. I didn't see it there. Ok then. . . uh, I guess I'll see you uh, whenever, then. . . . just . . . . when . . . you get home then . . .

And there's more in the freezer. Bye baby.

Wull bye . . .

We owed these men a debt of gratitude simply for providing us material for laughter if nothing else. We giggled, gossiped and scratched our heads over the helplessness and keystone cop frantic antics of our brainiac husbands who are brothers. We clinked glasses, shook heads, and made toasts while we wiped away tears we laughed so hard.

When the checks came, Susan grabbed the checks quickly and over protests began to pay the bill. When we continued to protest, she said LISTEN. There aren't many people I love as much as you.
Now I ask ya. Can the day keep gettin' better?

The answer's yes. When we arrived back home, I got dinner ready, dished everything up so everyone could eat and then the three of us proceeded - we planned it on the way home cuz we weren't reeeeeeally finished with girls day - to go upstairs to my office and work on paint colors for Donna's house. May I share with you that if we thought the earlier outing had discombobulated the men, this sent them spinning into another orbit.

Wull . . . where're you goin? What're y'all doin' up there?

All in all we got about twenty minutes of good girl time before we were just badgered enough that we gave up the ghost and went downstairs and joined. The men almost visually, physically relaxed when we came downstairs and sat down. It became a traditional family get-together and they were happy. We just enjoy your company, they said. We missed you, they said.

I know the solution to this, we said. More girls' days so they get used to it.

Thursday, January 10, 2008


When you've been married twenty seven years there isn't a lot of difference between your relatives and your spouse's anymore. The lines are blurred, the words in-law don't mean what they once did and in fact, we drop that designation many times, for it is seemingly unnecessary, almost offensive at this point. My mother in law many times calls me her daughter, my brother has for years and years called my husband his brother. It goes on and on. The words are useful still; "in-law", but alas only to explain to a freshman to the fold which one belongs to which and then, how the association came about.

Earlier in the week my handsome husband's step-Grandmother passed away. "Step" is sort of the same as in-law. I never got to meet handsome husband's Grandmother. She passed away a year or so before we met, and his Grandaddy remarried shortly after. He was married about eleven years to Nell before he passed away but Nell remained Nell or Grandma Nell to Grandaddy's nine grown children, their kids and their kids for the balance of her life. She was kind and generous and she was a loving Southern gal. She was a hoot and a half. She was a story for another post.

A relative of Nell's was responsible for the arrangements of her funeral, and apparently there were either misques that resulted in Nell's wishes not being carried out or Mr. Relative was not particularly sensitive toward said wishes. At any rate the end result was a fairly egregious error of callousness in my humble opinion; not on the level of the Rock Springs Crematorium debacle clearly, but a heavy load to carry nonetheless. It isn't a correctable error should Mr. Relative develop a conscience.

I came home with a heavy heart. Besides the kind of heavy heart you normally leave a funeral with I mean. The kind Mr. Relative will feel should he develop said conscience. Everyone is entitled to a perspecific beautilicious send off, and if they have requested something by golly that means its important to them. If a human person of the humankind goes to the real trouble of writing something down, something they want specifically done after they die, at their funeral, when they don't even truly know it, you better believe it's a MUST. Come onnnnnnnnnn.

There weren't but two things she wanted, and one was a blanket of roses on top of her casket. She didn't get that and in fact she didn't get any flowers or anything on top of her casket and it looked so bare and so spare and I thought about that blank, bare casket all evening and every time I woke up in the night. Nell's first name was Rosie. Y'know I didn't know that, all the years I knew her I feel so bad about that it's so funny the things you don't know about someone. I did know how she loved roses, had them everywhere EVERYWHERE except the top of her casket like she wanted them.

So I was talking to a few friends about it. . . . and here's what one friend said back to me in an email:

I feel bad for her that she didn't get her roses like she wanted. I just sent a big ol' bouquet of imaginary pale pink sweetheart roses to the cemetary and had them put right where she would know they were there. And the thing is, they will always be there and she can always see them.

Hope your day is gu-ud today!

Thanks Beezie. I bet she knows they're there, too. Why didn't I think of that? When I read it I was standing up at the island in the kitchen and as soon as I got to the word cemetary the words began to get slightly fuzzy, my arms locked straight by my sides, my hands balled up in fists, and I stomped. By the time I got to the end I could barely read the words at all and I was stomping HARD. Like a spoiled child. That was right before I melted into a big heap. A big blubbering heap. A gu-ud day indeed. That's an understatement. My heart is light today.

Bee and Nell would have been great friends. There's a blog post in there somewhere. : ^ )

Friday, January 04, 2008


MERRY CHRISTMAS TO OUR FAMILY, HUH..... (see the Monday, November 26th post)

I have to wait until Spring to stain it. . . and the top level of the fort. There's a swingset to the left of the pic, but it's not so 'citin'. Jes swings. ;- )

Y'know what a girl I am? I can't wait to see what it looks like when the trees leaf out. *blush*


HELLO in 2008!

Long time no see. Where ya been? Hmmmmmm, kidding. ;- )

Okay so earlier this morning as I was doing the earthshaking but olfactorily and (obviously, duh)sanitarily necessary task of pottie swabbing (and for those who have boys, remind me to tell you about the new pottie seat I got. It's a must. . .) I was perusing the ol' thinker for signs of interest in New Years Resolutions. Late, yes. Normally I don't go for them. Yesterday howsomever I began to twiddle with the idear. Twiddled some more around in the gray matter last night when I awoke at 3:30am to the sound of Jr Mint talking in what I thought was his sleep but it turned out he was wiiiiiide awake.

HELLL-lllo he said when I tiptoed into his room.

I jumped. "Why are you awake?"

Because I'm fweezing. Bwuddah stole all da cuvahs.

They were having a sleepover in #1 son's bed. Their Dad set them up to watch Osmosis Jones on his laptop lying in the bed, then they decided to camp out together for the night. Ahhhhh, Christmas vacation.

So stea- errrr, take some back!

I caaaaaan't, he's lying on them. He won't BUDGE. He's like a BWICK, Mmmmmom.

So you're just lying there, freezing, talking to yourself.

Uh huh.

Ohhhhh-ba kay-ba, well if you decide you want to warm up, let me know how you think you might could solve this big ol' house......with several bedrooms......and lotsa beds...... See ya.

So, back in my (warm) bed, (with lotsa covers pulled up) I flipped the TV on and while I cursed past all the informercials I started thinking about resolutions and why it was that the word and the deed stuck like a hairpin somewhere between my medulla and my oblongata. So I looked it up. Miriam says resolute means to be 1. resolved and 2. bold and steady, then she defines a resolution simply as the act or process of resolving.

VOILA! THERE's my prollem! The New Year's resolution is only the first step. If a resolution is the act of resolving, then that only takes a split second. "I'm going to --BLAH--." Take your pick of vices -quit smoking, lose weight, exercise more, read more, sit less, walk more, clean your car more, spend time with your family more, spend time on the computer less, spend less money, save more money, ever noticed how all or most all end in LESS or MORE? Hmm. A trend.

The biggest part of this exercise isn't the resolution itself. It's being resolute the REST of the year. Hunh. Gooooo figure. Maybe that's why normally I don't go for them. Maaaaaaan I love it when I can figure out little tidbits of my goofy self. Baby steps, woman, baby steps.

Arright. So. Now you're laughing and rolling your eyes, further proof that crackers really are as dumb as you've always thought, because people have known this about resolutions for centons, you say. Well, simple simon here, clearly, no. Takes me awhile to catch on.

So the bottom line is, I have one. I have been thinking about it for awhile, and I'm going to commit to it. I haven't done it in years, this resolute-tion thing, but I'm going to take it seriously. This one doesn't take any giant will power, it's not physical, won't require dietary changes or exertion on my part (although I ought be doin' all that too) but I know myself and one thing at a time is my mantra.

It's gonna take all the gray matter my medulla oblongata can spare. Changing a habit always does.