Saturday, July 29, 2006
Well, I spent my Friday afternoon trying to beg, plea, borrow, and steal with blogger and a four letter "word"- html. :>) Thanks to help from Nancy, I was able to upload the pictures I wanted for the Grand Poo-Bah of all Bloggy Tours- BooMama's First Tour of Homes. And, it was a lot of fun. Even George was happy with the results.
Friday night I sat in front of the TV, flipping between O-Reilly and HGTV and enjoying some real home tours. It was nice to travel from my humble abode here with Georgie to the Pacific Northwest, then clear across the ocean to the place down under! No lines at the airport, no luggage, and no jet lag.
I was thinking that only a woman would understand why a group of complete strangers would spend hours cleaning their homes, hours more taking pictures, posting, and then nosing around other homes of people they have never met! Men just wouldn't get it. But, we do. And that's why we are all bloggin' "friends," so to speak.
So, from one friend to another- consider this my o-fficial thank you note for your wonderfully hospitality! And you are always welcome here at our house- if you can get through the secret service...
Friday, July 28, 2006
Our Real Front Door
Those are my toes, ya'll.
This our our living room. I decided to leave it the way it usually is-full of fun stuff! We are in a rental right now, and that green wall was not my creation. Not my shade of green. May have to paint that, after seeing it clash with our rug.
This is me bloggin'
Sometimes I sit at the computer in the office, but at night my husband likes to get on there. So, I use the laptop and watch tv with my feet propped up. Those are not my toes, ya'll. Those are my funky feet slippers that I ordered from JCPenney outlet online. I love them! One day, I am going to be brave and walk in the salon with them on and ask for a pedicure. And, in case you're wondering, that's The Antiques Roadshow on tv.
This is our Master Bedroom. I am so thankful to have a place to lay my head at night. Really, I am. And, as for the kitchen, just use your imagination. We are stripping wallpaper right now. Can't you just smell the homemade cookies baking in the oven? Me neither.
I am so thankful to have a place to lay my head at night.
Really, I am.
And, as for the kitchen, just use your imagination. We are stripping wallpaper right now. Can't you just smell the homemade cookies baking in the oven? Me neither.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Thirteen Things you will never see on my "Tour of Homes"
1. An exercise room complete with nordic track (Remember those? I could never master the nordic track. I can't get my arms and legs going at the same time. Call me "Gracie.")
2. Diet Pepsi
3. Green plants. Unless they are fake.
4. A huge portrait of General Sherman. Haha
5. All flat surfaces free of dust, toys, and clutter. You will, however see at least one 20 oz. bottle cap that has gotten lost from its 20 oz Diet Coke or Diet Mt. Dew Mommy. These drive my husband crazy!
6. A picture of me, just after waking up, no coffee, no make-up, a bath robe and my funky feet slippers (save those for tomorrow!). And the picture is super-sized and close-up. NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
7. Sushi in the frig., unless you count frozen fish sticks...
8. Incense. Yankee candles and PartyLite you will see.
9. Me standing in high heels and wearing pearls with the most delightful smile on my face, scrubbing the toilet.
10. The "look what Hildi did" finished room after being on Trading Spaces. Scary.
11. Speaking of scary- white carpet. I have a kid and a black cat.
12. Our family sitting around the kitchen table playing chess. (But I can play a mean game of Cooties!)
13. Size 2 Ralph Lauren jeans. If only I could swing my arms and legs at the same time...
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Seven General Household Tips!
1. Garlic or onion smell on your hands after chopping? Rub a small amount of salt on hands, rinse away. (just check for boo-boo's first! Ouch.)
2. Out of brillo pads? Ball up a piece of aluminum foil to scrub pots.
3. Soups or stews too salty? Put in a piece of peeled, raw potato. Potato will absorb the extra salt. Throw potato away.
4. Spilled juice on carpet. Immediately pour salt on the spill. Salt will absorb most of the liquid. Clean up salt,then shampoo any remaining stain. Works great for Kool-Aid or juice.
5. Sand sticking to you at the beach- Sprinkle baby powder on. Sand will brush right off!
6. Toothpaste makes a great acne treatment ( Just don't walk around in public with Colgate stuck to your face.)
7. Keep sunscreen in the cooler while you are out. Feels nice and cool when you have to reapply.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Cheryl (www.lifeismadeof.blogspot.com) left the most beautiful tribute to her home of Arkansas while commenting on my "Priceless" post. She shared how it felt to cross the state line and come home. It does just make you feel good.
As I read her comment, I thought about the many times I have crossed the line into Georgia after living away for so long. I knew exactly how Cheryl felt. I remember many moments crossing the state line. I can see it in my mind- crossing a bridge across the Chattahoochee River, looking down at the river, I think about how the water may be a little low because there hasn't been much rain, or maybe the water is high because of flooding. I can hear the rhythmic sound of the car crossing the bridge beneath, and then the smooth asphalt. There's the sign, "Welcome to Georgia!" I lean forward to be the first one in Georgia and I smile.
There is a really sweet feeling that comes over me when I am home, not just home where I grew up, but "home home"- anywhere in Georgia. I have some of the best memories of Southeast Georgia near the Okefenokee Swamp visiting with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who all still live in that area. Many childhood memories are surrounded by tall, thin pine trees, saw palmettos, moss covered Live Oaks, and dark, murky swamp water.
I grew up in Southwest Georgia playing in red clay. It is so cliche' for a Southern girl to quote Gone With The Wind, but there is a scene when Scarlett picks up that red clay and throws it into the face of a former employee. She tells him, "That is the only part of Tara you will evah have!" There is something special about land, the actual dirt of the earth that makes you feel like you are home. After all, roots plant firmly in good earth.
My home is truly where my own family is now. But, one day I want my daughter to know what it means to own a piece of land, real land, not a patio home, or 1/4 of an acre with a privacy fence surrounding it. Real land with real dirt and real trees. You know, the trees you can climb on or hang a tire swing from. The trees that don't budge in the strongest wind. Trees that have seen generations of freckled faced kids. That is what I wish for her.
I hope that she will appreciate what it means to own the dirt beneath you, to respect the earth God made, and to cherish it deeply. To know the feeling of crossing the bridge into a place she will call home, then to lean into it, and smile.
Monday, July 24, 2006
6 pack of Diet Mountain Dew- $2.50
Welcome mat for the patio- $8.00
New tire that I probably didn't need after waiting for 4 hours for them to check the one I had that was flat, but not really, but it was raining and I didn't want to be stranded, so I went to Wal-mart and asked them to check it, and they did, after 4 hours, so I shopped just like any normal woman would, and then we waited and sat on those ugly mechanic blue benches and watched other desperate people wait in line, and then we got up, pushed our cart around the store a second time, and put more stuff in said cart, and returned to find that our car had not even made it to the rack... so we stared out the window to the garage like puppies at the pound, and we even whined a little, but no one adopted us, so we waited some more; we waited some more; we waited some more; we waited a total of 4 hours, did I mention it was 4 hours? and we whined at the window until finally they put our car on the rack and a really dirty man came and told me that I needed a new tire, and so I waited a total of 4 hours, and my daughter was soooo patient, much more than me, and I pressed my cold wet nose to the window and whined at the mechanic while he put the tire on that I didn't need (according to my husband who says they probably could have fixed it but, Wal-mart likes to sell tires...) and this lasted 4 hours.
And I finally paid the lady- $70.00
Half of the box of Spongebob Cheez-its and the My Little Pony velvet art that kept my daughter entertained for 4 hours and me from jumping over the counter and choking someone in one of those little blue vests- Priceless
Sunday, July 23, 2006
The truth is that it could. We always think of these possibilities when we hear a story about someone else's loss. It reminds us that there are no guarantees, that only God is in control, and that only He knows the future. So, for a moment or maybe a few days we ponder on the possibilities. We hug our kids a little tighter and kiss our husbands more often.
But, then a week passes. And we forget again.
How sad for us. How sad that we are able to remember lines from Seinfeld or Gone With The Wind, but we forget to truly appreciate what and who we have in our lives.
We forget to savor. I looked up savor in my big, black dictionary. When used as a verb, savor means to "to appreciate fully; enjoy or relish." And that is exactly what I want to do. To truly relish the people around me. To love them with all that I am and all that Christ is in me. I just hope that I don't forget. That my fickle humanness won't fail me this time, and that I won't fail my loved ones.
So, I will choose today, this day, because that is really all I have now, to savor- to love, to cherish, until death do us part.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
1. My Bible
2. Bug spray
3. Diet Coke (I know I should want water, but hey-I am the one makin' the list here.)
4. An endless supply of really good smellin' soap, like the stuff at Bath And Body that smells like coconuts or mango. That would be appropriate.
5. That being said- an endless supply of deodorant.
6. Cookie dough (the tube of Pillsbury Chocolate Chip)
7. A frig.- gotta keep the dough cold! I don't need an oven, 'cause I don't plan on cooking it.
8. I think you could guess this one- a house. Have to have somewhere for the frig! That's soooo obvious, ladies.
9. Ok, I need a TV that runs off some kind of desert island NASA satellite system that receives HGTV, Fox News, Headline News so I can see my picture on Nancy Grace, and NBC (Law and Order!!)
10. This should be understood- a potty. That goes in the house, but just making sure we are clear.
11. Also comes with the house- a really cushy soft bed.
12. A laptop so I can blog the whole experience.
13. Last, but certainly not least- a boat. This isn't Gilligan's Island. I am not going to grow huge nuclear reactive veggies and depend on the professor or my little buddy to get me off the island.
What would you take with you, Little Buddy?
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Product Safety For Our Families:
Here is an easy way to stay informed about product recalls. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issues product recalls. Most of us see them posted in Wal-mart or other stores. You can go to the CPSC website and subcribe to their emailing list. The best part is that you can be specific about what type of products you are interested in (baby, child, household, all products, etc.). You can also unsubscribe at any time very easily.
This service is really helpful to moms with babies and small children.
To sign up, go to www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.asp
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
And then there is everything that is happening in the Middle East right now. Some days it all just overwhelms me. I try to listen to the latest news, but turn the radio station when they talk about mass bombings and death. We can't protect our children from everything. But, I really don't see the need of my little one knowing all the wrongs of the world- not yet.
I was cooking dinner and Twila Paris' great voice was singing on the radio "God Is In Control." I love that song. No matter what kind of day I am having, that song always lifts my spirits. And, truly, He is in control. I don't always understand what is happening or why he allows tragedy. But, I do know He is sovereign. and I take comfort in that.
And I really think that God has a sense of humor. Because when we came home, I promised my daughter that we would fry eggs on the sidewalk. She thought I was joking. But, I was serious. The egg didn't sizzle, but it did cook. So, we had a little entertainment and a science lesson all in one. And, I think God probably smiled down at us. He may have been pleased that we were taking the heat in stride, just being silly together.
I know that drought and high gas prices are little problems in the grand scheme of things. After all, there are wars going on as I type this post. What an insignificant activity, blogging, while soldiers die for my freedom. It is quiet outside my house, free of the horrible sounds of bombs, because of the courage of people I'll never know.
And I am thankful. And tomorrow I don't think I'll complain about the heat, or lack of rain, or even the price of gas. We'll still take some time to be silly. But, I'll strive a little harder to remember the really important problems in the world.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I was going to take a picture of Maggie after her bath to post on here, but she hid from me. She always does. I'll spare you a picture of the silver. :>)
Maggie is really good during a bath. She literally can't scratch me and she doesn't even try to bite. She just whines and cries like she is in pain. Sometimes she'll go limp as if she has given up and is going to cooperate. Then she suddenly tries to make a break for it. I no longer fall for this.
When the torture is over, she flicks the water off of her back feet, waddles away, and hides for a long pout. Once she realizes she looks good, she comes out of hiding either to show off or just to get attention. Probably the latter.
I call Maggie my "uncat." She loves attention and cries when she thinks she is alone. At night, after it is quiet and everyone is in bed, she hunts. For socks mostly. Once she has captured her 100% cotton "prey" she moans and groans for someone to come see.
You can tell how exciting my day was. I am blogging about giving a cat a bath. Tomorrow I may post about watching grass grow...
Sunday, July 16, 2006
For some unknown reason there is this "thing", for lack of a better Thesaurus word, between the Baptists and the Methodists. Maybe it goes back to the whole "sprinkle vs. dunk" controversy. I can't speak for the Methodists, but we Baptists leave church to eat faster than Scarlett fled Atlanta.
Why is this Best Seat in the House competition only between these two groups? Don't the Catholics and the Episcopalians eat lunch?
I have actually been part of a Sunday School discussion when the subject was new worship times. (How exciting to add a new worship time in order to seat everyone!) The Sunday School class was deciding which worship hour they would attend. One very Southern Baptist man stood up and said that he would just stick to the early worship hour because he "had to beat the Methodists to the restaurants." He wasn't kidding.
I am also privy to some information about a certain Methodist church in Alabama that actually changed their Sunday worship time so that they could beat the Baptists to the restaurants. Oh, yes they did!
Before you get discouraged about going to church because of this silly Sunday lunch seating issue, please be aware that most of us Baptists and Methodists do still attend church for the right reasons. We just like to eat after it is all over.
One Sunday, we went to an early worship with my in-laws who are Methodist. After church we went to Sunday brunch. As we finished our meal and left the table, a large group of people came in. My mother-in-law said, "Here come the Baptists."
See, the First Baptist Church and The First United Methodist Church are across the street from one another. This can be seen in many small towns across the South. I joked with my Methodist friend Nancy once that I had never seen a Baptist and a Methodist church share the same side of the street. She shared that, in her town they actually shared the same block and even shared parking lots!
In most small towns, there are only a few restaurants. You have the southern homecooking buffet place called "Mama's Kitchen" or "Billy Bob's Family Restaurant." Or you may even have a fancy place with the word "Magnolia" in the name. Then, there is usually a good BBQ place, a fried seafood restaurant if you live near the coast, and maybe a steak place, if you're lucky. That's it. Unless you eat at Hardee's or Dairy Queen. So, really the Baptist/Methodist restaurant relay is a result of supply and demand.
I may never know why this Olympic level of competition remains between these two denominations. But, I am certain that it will continue in small towns for centuries to come.
So, to all of you Methodists out there I say, "See ya next Sunday! Let the games begin!"
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Ahhh... the good ole days.
Before I had my daughter, I was a little anxious, but I was fairly confident that her room would stay neat and her clothes pressed and adorable. I also was pretty confident that I was going to return to my pre-baby weight. Denial ain't just a river in Egypt, girls.
I could just picture my baby's room in sherbet lime and buttery yellow, bunnies dancing above her head, the scent of Baby Magic filled the room, and Pottery Barn baskets organized it all. HA!
Then, reality kicks in and you find out that the only time everything is perfect is either on TV or in Parent magazine, or in Pottery Barn catalogue.
Once you find out that it is perfectly ok not to be perfect, you can just enjoy being a mom. You can make it through the sleepless nights of ear infections, coughs, teething, and whatever that thing was wrong that night that you couldn't figure out!
Spit up comes out of clothes. And carpet. And car seats. And out of your hair. And maybe even out of the cat's hair. Boo-boo's heal and teeth do finally come in. A toy- or two- or three in the floor is ok. Dishes in the sink can wait while you play. Life is living.
I just wish someone would have given me this at my baby shower- a big box of reality, and a card attached that read...
Congratulations on having a precious baby! I am here to tell you that there will be days when you question your mothering choices and have no clue of the choice to make. It is ok. It is going to be ok. No mom is perfect. That is why you have The Lord to comfort you and His Book to guide you. Don't buy into what the world has to offer you as a mom. Only God knows best. He gave you your precious child. Surely He will help you care for her.
Love, A Mom Who Has Been There
PS- The diaper genie is the most wonderful invention evah!"
Then again, for new moms, the "clueless" time is so short. Maybe we should just let them enjoy it while they can.
Friday, July 14, 2006
First of all, let me say that Batman has always been my favorite. I think it had something to do with Michael Keaton's voice saying, "I'm Batman." Even so, he was my favorite as a kid. I also liked Spiderman because he could climb anything. (I was a tree climber, so I could just picture myself scaling the side of a skyscraper.)
And of course, deep breath, Wonder Woman. Well, she is just in a category all by herself.
Superman has never impressed me a whole lot. Sure, he can fly. He's really strong. So, he has x-ray vision. But, something about that tacky outfit, well, he isn't all that super to me.
That leads us to my question- What kind of a super hero would I be?
It seems that there are a few key components to being a super hero-
1) Super powers 2)Enemies, and the most important one of all 3) the Outfit!
1) My Super Powers- Once we get passed the "Miss America I would wipe out world hunger and teach everyone in the whole wide world to read campaign", my first order of business would be to install carnival mirrors (the one that makes you skinny!) in all dressing rooms and homes. I would then instantly change all of the women's clothing labels to 3 sizes- "fits most", "fits all", and "dahhling, you look mahvelous!"
This one is for BooMama- Diet Coke will bubble up in the front yard of every woman's home in the form of a sparkling, sugar free spring. Those who drink from the free flowing fountain, will add years to their life, and lose inches and wrinkles instantly.
I would have the ability to discipline children with my super hero "mommy look". Wait, I already have that.
Although I do not fly myself, I will have another super hero fly me around in my very visible Wonder Woman spin-off airplane. The only difference is that you can see the plane, not me, and it is quite fabulous.
In an I Dream of Jeannie blink of an eye, all dust, laundry, and cellulite will disappear. I make house calls, too.
Two blinks of an eye- everything at Wal-Mart, Target and Big Lots is BOGO!
2) My enemies- My true nemesis is Spandex Girl. She wears a very tight fitting leotard and goes around contaminating the Diet Coke Springs, replacing the DC with high fructose corn syrup. Then, she paints the side of my very fabulous plane in a hideous shade of lime green. Her most deviant plot involves the replacement of the skinny carnival mirrors with the fat carnival mirrors. EEEEK!
3) My costume- An old t-shirt, some comfy sweats, and socks.
Up! Up! And away!!! Did I mention I can leap piles of toys in a single bound...
Nancy at http://theultimatecreator.blogspot.com found a really fun super hero quiz that you can take too- http://www.seabreezecomputers.com/superhero/
Take the test and go to Nancy's blog to see her results! (I played and it said I was The Hulk- not cool.)
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Thirteen Of The Sweetest, Funniest
Things My Daughter Has Ever Said!
1. After seeing the cat scratching her ear- "Mommy! Maggie's kicking herself!!"
2. Watching me paint a mirror for her room- "Mommy, when you grow up, I think you should be an artist."
3. She was about 2 yrs. old, very sick, and would not take her antibiotic. I had to hold her down to give it to her. I prayed and asked God to please help me, please help her take the medicine so we wouldn't have to struggle.
The next time I told her it was time for medicine, she opened her mouth like a little bird, and swallowed it without any hissy fit.
I hugged her and said, "Thank you, God."
She said, "I'm not God."
4. It was Fire Safety Week at school. Coincidently, she had also been asking me questions about hell. (We don't exactly dwell on this topic, but she knows there is another place other than Heaven. I promise we are not terrorizing our child with fire and brimstone...)
This conversation nearly made me wreck the car-
"Mommy, what happens to the people when they get to hell? Do they die?"
"No, they live there forever just like the people in Heaven."
"Does the fire go out?"
"No, honey. It will burn forever. That's why it so important to tell people about Jesus."
"How do you know?"
"The Bible says so. It says that the fire will never go out."
"Boy! I bet those people want to stop, drop, and roll!"
5. While we're on that subject-
We passed a cemetery, and there was a house right next door.
She said," Those people are lucky!"
"Lucky? Why are they lucky?"
"Because whenever they think of a loved one who died, and they miss them, all they have to do is walk outside to remember them... and I bet their backyard is decorated soooo pretty!"
6. She had just given me a toy stuffed possum for my birthday. (Hubby prepared me for opening that gift!) She "adopted" him and he went with us everywhere. While riding in the car, we smelled a skunk somewhere in the woods.
She said, "Posse! Have you been eatin' garbage again! I told you not to eat garbage! Mommy, Posse's mouth smells like garbage! And last night I caught him up chasing Maggie, you know, because he's nocturnal. He got in trouble with his mommy for being up chasing the cat. He tried to pretend he was asleep."
"Oh, He was playing possum."
"No, he wasn't playing possum. He is a possum."
7. During one of her picky food days-
"I don't like this. This food is too tasty."
8. "Why don't some mommies go on field trips?"
"Because some mommies have to work. They would go if they could. One day, I may have to go to work too."
"I hope that day isn't today."
9. After going out and running errands all over town-
"Mommy, how many people told me I look nice today?"
"I don't know, honey. I wasn't counting."
10. (Age 4)
EVERY SINGLE TIME we passed a neighbor's house with Halloween decorations still up, long after Halloween-
"Why don't those people take down their decorations?! Don't they know Halloween is over?"
11. "I want to wear my tacky pants."
"Khaki pants, khaki honey. Not tacky."
12. (Age 2)
Comment after seeing my mama get up and stiffly walk with her arthritic knees:
"Grandmama does the poopy walk."
13. Written on a homemade Mother's Day card with a drawing of a mommy monkey and a baby monkey-
"I hope you get all the fleas off you."
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
This is my very first "Works for Me Wednesday" and I feel a little special. Thanks, Shannon!
One of my passions in life is removing stains! I get a little giddy just thinking about it, so I thought I would share some tips I have learned.
1. Crayon on the wall- You know, the kind that isn't washable. Take some Crisco shortening, yes, Crisco, and smear a little over the crayon. Rub it off with a dry paper towel. Remove as much as possible with the paper towel. Clean off the Crisco residue with warm water and dishwashing liquid. This really works. The oils in the Crisco bond with the oils in the crayon and it comes off! Make sure you use the shortening, not just cooking oil. Something about the shortening works best.
2. Carpet stains- Soak a light colored towel with water. Lay the towel over the entire stain. Then, on a the hottest setting (no steam), iron over the towel. The heat and water will steam the stain onto the towel. Be sure to test a hidden area of your carpet first. Some carpet colors will actually come off onto the towel. (This is why you use a light colored towel. You can see what is coming up off of the carpet.) Keep rinsing the towel and ironing. Just make sure you don't iron directly onto the carpet!!
3. Favorite products- Mr. Clean Eraser (careful, takes finish off furniture), Bleach, Swiffer wet jet, dishwashing liquid. Dishwashing liquid will get nearly any food stain out of clothes. Learned this from a lot of practice with a child that refused to wear a bib!
Those are just a few tips that have worked for me!
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Aunt Barbara and Uncle Jimmy have always had cats. Needy, homeless, "about to have kittens" cats just show up at their doorstep. They take them in and care for them. Most of the time, the mama cat and kittens end up living with them permanently. OK- I am getting a mental picture here- must clarify- Aunt Barbara is not a cat lady. All these mama cats don't show up all at one time, just in shifts, sort of.
My aunt also has been known to give her cats some rather odd names, like a girl cat named "Jack" and a cat they now own named "Monkey." If you could hear about the visit to the vet's office, you would understand why he is named Monkey. Let's just say, Uncle Jimmy nearly paid for a rather expensive microscope.
The past few weeks, their cats have been taunted, tortured rather, by a mama mockingbird. Monkey was just minding his own business, lounging on the truck and playing with the windshield wipers, when a mama mockingbird swooped down in an F-15 combat maneuver, bombed Monkey with his birdie beak, and flew back up into the trees.
Mama bird's combat headquarters have been located- a small nest of hatchlings in the oak tree. Aunt Barbara hopes the little hatchlings learn to fly very soon so that the mama and babies will move their little mockingbird squadron to someone else's yard, and leave her cats alone.
This all being said, I promised ya'll a story about my Granny. When I wrote yesterday about my own mockingbird moment, I had no idea that my aunt was experiencing hers as well. Ya'll don't understand. I am beginning to get a little paranoid.
One Spring a mockingbird stalked my Granny. Remember the scene from Forget Paris when the pigeon landed in Debra Winger's hair? Well, that didn't happen.
No, every time Granny went outside to water her flowers or just take a stroll in the yard, a mockingbird would complete the same F-15 type combat maneuver and dive for her head. The bird only did this to Granny, not to Papa or anyone else, because Granny had the most beautiful, soft, weekly washed and styled white hair! If Granny wore a bonnet outside, the bird would leave her alone. All we could figure is that the bird was trying to nest in Granny's hair.
SO, you can see why I am starting to get a bit paranoid. It seems mockingbirds are following our family. I am not quite sure why. But I am seriously considering the purchase of a bonnet.
Do you think Wal-mart has them?
Monday, July 10, 2006
Our cat Maggie is an inside cat. We had her de-clawed when our daughter was a toddler- no claws whatsoever. Before you call PETA or the ASPCA on me, know that Maggie stays inside all of the time. The moments she sticks her fat, fluffy body out the door, she quickly sniffs something, turns up her nose, and runs back into the air conditioning. And, I just couldn't see leaving her back claws. I mean, unless she decided to go full Matrix and use some kind of kangaroo kick, the back claws weren't going to help her all that much.
Back to the mockingbird.
The bird was sitting on our patio furniture squawking his little birdie heart out. Maggie was sitting at the patio door. I am not sure which came first- the cat or the bird. I don't know if Maggie was sitting at the door and the bird saw her and decided to tease her. Or if the bird came to the patio first and Maggie ran to the door. But, the exchange of attitude between the two of them was comical.
Now, I don't exactly speak Mockingbird or Cat, but this is pretty much what I interpreted...
Mockingbird- "NA NA NA NA NAAAAA! You can't get me!"
Cat- "Shut up, bird. Don't make me come out there!"
Mockingbird- "I double dog dare you!"
Cat- "Oh now you had to go and use the d-word! You've made me mad!"
Mockingbird- "What are you gonna do? Get your owner to open the door for you, huhhhh?"
Cat- "Yes, I will. All I have to do is sit here and scratch my paws on the door until it gives her a migraine."
Mockingbird- "How can you scratch on the door? You don't even have claws!"
Cat- "I don't need any. I will just flatten you with my massive size."
Mockingbird- "Bring it on."
Cat- "Yawn... This is boring. I think I'll climb in the chair and take a nap."
Mockingbird- "Hey! Where did you go???? Come back!!! My friends put me up to this!!! They are going to make fun of me when I get back!!! I am soooo going to get it."
That was pretty much it. Screech hopped and squawked and Maggie just slept and slept. She was having none of it.
This mockingbird story inspires another post about my Granny... You'll have to check back tomorrow for that one. ;>)))
Sunday, July 09, 2006
WOOOAAAAAA! Quick edit here. BooMama tagged me too. That's pretty creepy. And, speaking of pretty creepy, if you haven't seen Hoodwinked, you have to, you just have to!! It isn't pretty creepy. It's pretty funny, but Red says "pretty creepy" in the movie. See, if you have seen the movie, you would get it. But, I can't really ask you that, since this is like not the real world, but the blog world, and well, you just have to see it!!
So, I will try to dive into this whole meme challenge...
ACCENT: Just think- Suzanne Sugarbaker
BIBLE BOOK THAT I LIKE: I love Proverbs and 2 Timothy
CHORE THAT I DON'T CARE FOR: Putting away clean dishes. I don't mind washing an entire sink full from Thanksgiving dinner. But, please, oh please don't make me put them away!
DOG OR CAT: Cat, for sure. Mine is a huge black cat with issues.
ESSENTIAL ELECTRONICS: Lately, the computer. But, I really get neurotic when I don't have access to a telephone.
FAVORITE MOVIE: Can't pick just one. Love A Christmas Story and Gone With the Wind.
GOLD OR SILVER: Gold, but if you are thinking of a nice blue box from Tiffany's, I'm not picky.
HANDBAG I CARRY MOST OFTEN: Lately a black and white toile fabric bag that I got at a small town craft fair. I also have other purses that I use after Labor Day. My daughter calls them my "labor day purses." She knows that Mommy doesn't use white after labor day. I don't care what those folks on What Not To Wear say. It just isn't done. Mama would die!
JOB TITLES: Wife, Mom. Those are my favorite and most important.
KIDS: Thankful to God for His precious gift!
LIVING ARRANGEMENTS: This one sounds odd to me, like when you have a roommate and the two of you are sharing expenses. Or you choose who gets which bedroom and the times you get the bathroom. But, anyhoo. I have a home. I am just grateful to have a place to lay my head at night.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT: Wedding, child's birth. WOW!
NAUGHTIEST CHILDHOOD BEHAVIOR: I woke up in the middle of the night and crawled under my bed. I guess I fell asleep. My mama woke up to check on me and couldn't find me. She woke my daddy up and they wound up in the yard looking for me! At some point they returned to my room, calling my name. I woke up and answered from under the bed, "Here I am." The really bad stuff started when I was a teenager. Thankfully, that wasn't a question!
OVERNIGHT HOSPITAL STAY: Childbirth and a very,very bad hospital stay at Christmas for very, very bad abdominal pains. Did I say very, very bad?
PHOBIAS: I don 't really have any true phobias, but I do not like flying insects, libraries, the post office and "not being able to see the bottom" of anywhere I am swimming!
And double spacing- just kidding.
QUOTES: My latest fav is off of my Mary Engelbreit calendar. "I don't really care if my glass is 1/2 full or 1/2 empty- I'm just happy to have a glass." -Joe Farrell
RELIGION: I am a born again Christian, saved by grace offered to me through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some say we shouldn't say there is only one way to God. I am just glad He offered me a way. He could've not given me a way at all. I believe most in Southern Baptist doctrine. But, if it ever changes, I may change my mind. For now, that is where I choose to worship and study God's Word.
SIBLINGS: None, but I wish I had. I could have soooo much more material!
TIME I WAKE UP: Whenever my child taps me on the arm. But, I would prefer to wake up much later than that.
UNUSUAL TALENT OR SKILL: When I was in the first grade, I had just learned to snap. I wanted to enter the school talent show with my new talent- snapping to Yankee Doodle. Thankfully, Mama talked me out of it. If you are ever up for it, I can still snap some mean Doodle! I also can turn my eyelids inside out. Oh, yes I can. SEEEEEE!!!???
VEGETABLE I REFUSE TO EAT: rutabagas
WORST HABIT: The newest one is that I blog too much and clean too little...
X-RAYS: hmmm.... Teeth, spine, tail bone, kidneys, appendix. We could almost connect the thigh bone to the hip bone, the hip bone to the....
YUMMY STUFF I COOK: When I cook- chicken salad Paula would die for! I can cook a pretty tasty pot roast and mashed potatoes, corn bread and biscuits, and about 150 casseroles which call for one of the following: cream of chicken, mushroom or celery soup.
ZOO ANIMAL MOST LIKED: Mommy lions-
They take care of everything- mothering, hunting... ironing, shopping for lion cub birthday parties, kissing cub boo-boo's, getting stains out of the den's carpet, keeping the Daddy lion happy so he won't eat the cubs...
SO, that's me. A to Z. Look out! I may tag you next!
Saturday, July 08, 2006
My parents attend every funeral of everyone in our family, everyone who is married to everyone in our family, everyone who used to be married to everyone in our family, and everyone who lived next door or across the street from everyone in our family (not really, but Mama would take them some food, at least!)
So, when she calls to tell me there has been a death, I usually don't panic. I know that it is highly likely that, even though the deceased qualifies to us as family, chances are that I have never met the person in my whole life.
This was the case with her recent phone call. As I suspected, it was one of those relatives that I really did not know at all. Although I had heard of her before. Let me explain how this person qualifies as family. I'll try to type slowly so you can follow along...
She is my Daddy's brother's wife's mother. (Daddy's brother is Uncle Jack. Uncle Jack married Aunt Margaret. So, Aunt Margaret's mother has passed away.)
I do not mean to sound insensitive at all. Please understand. I do sincerely sympathize with the family's pain.
Most of the time when someone calls and tells you there has been a death you ask the typical questions, "Was it an unexpected death?" "How is everyone handling it?" and "When is the funeral?"
But, as soon as Mama told me who had died I asked,"I wonder who is going to drive the hearse."
A few years ago our family had another death. It was Daddy's brother's wife's sister who had passed away. You got it! Aunt Margaret's sister! Daddy has three brothers. But, I'll save the other two for another post...
I hope you are following along ok, because it is about to get complicated.
Aunt Margaret's sister had passed away, so Mama and Daddy went to the funeral. A few days later, Mama received a call from her sister, my Aunt Barbara.
Aunt Barbara said, "Well, you didn't tell me about the funeral!!"
Mama, confused, answered, "What do you mean? You knew about the funeral."
Aunt Barbara answered,"You didn't tell me what happened."
To paint a picture of how small town this small town is, my mama's sister had the inside scoop on my daddy's brother's wife's sister's funeral through my mama's sister's husband's cousin who works at "the" funeral home. And I do mean THE.
The scoop was that my Uncle Jack drove THE hearse from the funeral to THE cemetery.
He asked THE funeral director if he could drive the hearse.
His reason for doing so was, "Well, I drove her everywhere else!"
I still don't know who drove THE hearse this time. But I am sure to find out. When I do, I'll let ya'll know.
Friday, July 07, 2006
There are a few things you should know about hammocks, a sort of underground, unwritten, hammock code, (not to be confused with Hammurabi's code.)
Rule #1- A hammock hung between two trees is far more relaxing and chic than one suspended from an aluminum hammock stand. Something about the nuts and bolts of the frame takes away some of the allure.
Rule #2- The hammock must be a safe distance from the house or it just doesn't feel, you know, like you are truly roughing it. Not that you are, (roughing it), but you are attempting to project that image to the other members of the family. Let's face it. You are lying down, on a moderately cushioned outdoor bed suspended off the ground, away from all biting insects, dirt, and itchy grass. The most dangerous thing that could happen to you while lying in a hammock is a leaf falling on you, or a pine cone, or possibly something worse if your hammock is hung from a tree which doubles as a home to a family of birds.
Rule # 3- DON'T MISS THIS ONE! You can lie in a hammock as long as you wish and no one will accuse you of being lazy. You could spend the exact same amount of time on the couch with the remote in your hand, and your wife will walk by and give you that look. You know the look- The Are you still on the couch?? Aren't you going to get up sometime today? look.
But, go lounge in the hammock, and your wife will peer out the kitchen window and think with a smile, "Oh, look. He is resting in the hammock. I am so glad he is getting some time to himself. How nice. I will just finish the dishes, fold the laundry, and fix the toilet while he lies out there in the sun and sleeps. Isn't life grand!"
You cannot, I repeat, you cannot share this secret with just anyone. You could ruin it for all of us. Just think what we would be lose if this secret got out. Not only would we have to put away our own hammocks, but also we would devastate society's advances in science, math, medicine, and space exploration!
This leads us to our last rule.
Rule #4- While in a hammock, your IQ will increase at least 20...30...oh 100 points! You will use the extra percentage of the brain that is normally wasted by those not in hammocks. Thoughts and ideas will come to you in beautiful visions and you may even cure horrible diseases!
Some of the greatest discoveries in history were made in a hammock. All geniuses own hammocks. (This is not actually a rule, but a myth. Just go along with me here, and you will have another reason to climb in your hammock. Just remember to mention that Abraham Lincoln wrote The Gettysburg Address in his hammock.)
So, enjoy your hammock, and follow the rules. You are now officially a member of the hammock society. Congratulations!
Now go and do nothing. Einstein did.
Thursday, July 06, 2006
Most of the time, venti or no venti, I am a night owl. My most creative moments are at 2:00 AM. My most productive house cleaning is after midnight. And, all of the epiphanies of my life have occurred after everyone else is asleep.
I absolutely hate mornings. No, really. I don't want to hold back. I really do hate them. Coffee just doesn't do the trick. Diet Coke won't work either. I realize that if I were sleeping at the wee hours of the morning instead of blogging, hot gluing, or solving world hunger, that I may actually feel rested during the day.
I have been this way since childhood- all but the coffee and the Diet Coke part. Mama always had a hard time waking me up. Even the smell of fried bologna and grits cooking wouldn't work.
So, tonight, during one of my epiphanies, I realized something.
Ya'll, I am a possum.
Think about it. I am tired during the day. And at night, during my most wakeful moments, I am foraging for food in the frig. ( ice cream, leftover potato salad...) At first I thought that I may be a raccoon. But, the circles around my eyes are dark, not white. And, I think having a prehensile tail would be pretty cool.
It could be worse. I could wake up in Kafka's The Metamorphosis and then get stepped on by a big shoe...
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
Mama decided to plan a trip to Savannah. My grandfather (PaPa) had worked as a pulp wood truck driver years back and, according to him, he knew the way to every town in Georgia and the surrounding states. So, Mama trusted PaPa to get us there. It wasn't like we were traveling cross country. Our trip originated in the state of Georgia. And, my mama did know how to read a map. But, PaPa was confident and proud that he could get us there using the pulp wood truck driver top secret route.
Somewhere between the Okefenokee Swamp and Savannah, we entered into a road construction area. This was in the '70's, long before cell phones and high tech gadgets. So, if you approached a one way road with construction, and you were the last car, you were actually given a red flag or cloth to hand to the worker at the other end. This is how the worker knew to open up the one way lane to traffic traveling the other direction. (Are you followin' me, here?) So, we were the last car. My Aunt Barbara was sitting in the back with her window down. When we stopped, the construction worker handed her the red flag. Aunt Barbara, being the well traveled person that she was, asked, "What am I supposed to do with this thing?!" After explaining the workings of a construction zone, and laughing hysterically, Mama drove on, following PaPa's directions.
Just as we approached the outskirts of Savannah, PaPa told Mama to turn left. Mama was sure that Savannah was to the right, but PaPa insisted she turn left. So, she turned left. Now, Granny, Aunt Barbara, and I were in the back seat of the brown Chevrolet Caprice Classic ( I think the Classic really makes it stylish, don't you?) and we were all headed left, or North, as directions go. But, Savannah was to our South. So, Mama just drove and drove. I can remember passing some old run down trailer park out in the woods. Eventually, before we arrived in Charleston, Mama turned around, headed South, which would have been to the right, and right (as in correct), and we finally made it to Savannah.
After we arrived, Mama and Aunt Barbara wanted to tour some of the old historic homes. My grandparents thought this was the silliest thing they had ever heard!
"Well, I never heard of such! I shore ain't payin' $3.00 to see somebody's old house," they protested. So Granny and PaPa sat on a bench in the park while Mama, Aunt Barbara and I paid $6.00 to see somebody's old house (I think kids were free.) When I saw Forrest Gump, I actually recognized that bench. No kidding.
I still don't know why my grandparents went to Savannah. I mean, that's the reason you go to Savannah- to see somebody's old house, or somebody's old stuff, or somebody's old grave. Other than that, there really isn't anything to do. Paula wasn't around back then.
So, when in Savannah, don't turn left. That's the rule in our family. Oh, and you don't have to worry about getting the red flag. They have walkie talkies now.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
Until recently, all fireworks were illegal in Georgia. Growing up, fireworks at home were never part of our 4th of July plans. (unless you lived waaaayyyy out in the country) We weren't even allowed to have sparklers! At least, according to the law...
But, I can guarantee if you asked anyone who lived in one of the border towns (towns along the state line) he could tell you exactly where to go to get any kind of firework your little delinquent heart desired. "Yeah, you just head down 441 'til you get to the Florida line and look for that gas station on the left. You'll see the sign. Can't miss it. And, while you're there, here's a dollar. Buy me a lottery ticket."
The laws have changed. Georgia has a lottery and fireworks; Now we can throw our money away on a chance to get rich, then blow the tips of our fingers off when we get home. Martha, that's not a "good thing."
I've seen what damage my uncles can do with ammo. And, while I sure do enjoy some good venison sausage on occasion, I don't relish the image of Uncle Billy blowing up Aunt Bessie's watermelon patch. The thought of my relatives legally acquiring fireworks of any kind is pretty scary.
Fortunately, the legislature has put limits in place. According to an Augusta TV channel's website, we still can't have anything that "flies in the air." I can hear the Representatives on the House floor chanting, "You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out!"
Awwww. Now that just takes the fun out of it.
So, for now Georgians will continue to be the sissies on the fireworks playground, so to speak. Just give us some sparklers and a welder's hood.
Monday, July 03, 2006
Deep breath. This one shows my real ignorance! Hope you get a chuckle!
My husband and I were still dating and he asked me to Thanksgiving at his parents' house. I had met his parents, but never visited their home. We traveled there the day before and settled in. They were very cordial and I felt quite welcome.
Thanksgiving morning I woke up and smelled nothing cooking. I walked in the kitchen and there was no smell of boiling butterbeans or giblets on the stove. Puzzled, I thought, "maybe she got a head start yesterday."
We had our breakfast and my husband (then boyfriend) and I went out for a while. When we returned, it was nearly noon and still- there was no activity in the kitchen other than occasionally checking the turkey in the oven.
Then, my husband really blew my mind. He said,"Well, do you want a sandwich or something for lunch?"
See, I grew up always eating Thanksgiving dinner at dinner time- that's lunch time for most of you. Thanksgiving morning, I would wake up at my Granny's house to the smell of vegetables on the stove. She would take a minute to fry me a piece of bacon and make me some toast, then return to the stove to cook dinner. We ate Thanksgiving dinner at exactly 12:00 Noon every- single- year, no exceptions. My PaPa had to work every Thanksgiving day, so Granny and Mama always had the meal on the table, ready for PaPa to come in and eat.
I knew that other people didn't have to work on Thanksgiving. But I thought that everyone ate their Thanksgiving dinner at dinner time- lunch. I had no idea that people ate their dinner at supper time, or in between dinner and supper time. So, you can imagine my shock when my husband (then boyfriend) offers me a sandwich for dinner!
"When are we gonna eat????" I didn't really say it. (Mama raised me right.) But I was thinking it. Eventually I figured it all out and realized they had their Thanksgiving meal later in the day. And, I have to say, we didn't have butterbeans or peas, but it was very good. It was my first time eating creamed onions and "stuffing" instead of dressing.
And, if I remember correctly, the sandwich I had for dinner was pretty good, too. ;>)
Sunday, July 02, 2006
The town publishes its own weekly newspaper. I did say weekly. Mama called the other day to have something put in the town paper. Mama and Daddy live about a 2 hours' drive away. Mama wanted to print a tribute to a late loved one in our family.
When she phoned, an unfamiliar sounding voice answered on the other end of the line. By unfamiliar, I mean the woman had a foreign accent (she was a Yankee!) Mama explained what she would like to put in the paper. The woman abruptly told her that they "do not accept these things over the phone!" and "can't you email or fax it to me?" Ya'll know this was not an option, as Mama and Daddy don't own a computer. Besides, she had phoned this type of thing in before without a problem. And, the article was only a few lines anyway.
Frustrated with the phone call, Mama said, "Well, maybe my sister could just run it over to you. My sister is Barbara Smith (remember- name change here)"
The woman replied, "I don't know her. I'm not from here."
The saga ended with Mama calling her sister who phoned her friend Sue at the newspaper office and explained the problem. Sue said, "Oh, yeah. That must have been Carol. She's Yankee."
Before I explain in lengthy detail the intricate workings of a true small town, let me just say to you New Yorkers out there: "This woman at the newspaper office is one of those people who give northerners a bad name. Just like rednecks in the South give southerners a bad name. And just like those uppity old ladies who take rules of etiquette way too seriously, and look down their powdered noses at anyone who dares break them. I have dear friends and family who-dare I say it?-were born and raised outside of Dixie! Gasp! And, get this- they actually do have manners!
You see, people from all over the world learn manners. Not just the South! There has just been a stereotype attached to southerners about our hospitality. I think it is really from too many Hollywood movies. And, because of the way we talk.
Now, on to the small town dynamics.
If you do not live in or are not familiar with a small town, listen up. You are in for some schoolin'! Everybody in a small town knows everybody. Period. Unless they just moved there, and the word has not gotten out, which doesn't take long.
Also, in case you are wondering about the newspaper article, there really are no rules about what you can put in a small town paper. When we got married, our wedding announcement took up an entire page. My picture was blown up like 100 times and every single detail of our bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, wedding and honeymoon plans were printed on a full page. And, I wrote it. It was not edited whatsoever. When I say details, I mean details, down to the color of the dresses our mothers wore and the type of flowers we had in our wedding! This was absolutely normal.
This small town subject really deserves its own post, so consider this an introduction.
For our next lesson, we will focus on restaurants, red lights, and the law. By the law, I don't mean the written law of the land. The law refers to the actual people in uniform. And, as the sheriff in Fried Green Tomatoes says, "You can't beat the law."
Stay tuned for more...
Saturday, July 01, 2006
We noticed that the word "lanai" was mentioned over and over. "Oh, we love the lanai!" "Look, honey! A lovely lanai!" "We could have our breakfast on the lanai." It got to be too much.
My husband said, "This is getting on my nerves. They just keep saying 'lanai, lanai, lanai!' What is a lanai anyway?"
"A porch," I said.
My husband was thinking it must be some special porch since it had its own name. I told him I think a porch is just a porch, unless you are trying to sell it. Then it becomes a lanai.
So, being the dictionary geek that I am, I looked it up.
Lanai- "a veranda or roofed patio"
Porch- "A covered platform, usually at the entrance of a building"
Veranda- "a porch"
So, if a lanai is a veranda and a veranda is a porch, then I guess a lanai is a porch? I am sure there are some true architectural distinctions among the three. But to this southern girl, a porch is a porch is a porch. But I will try to come up with my own interpretation...
Lanai- A lovely covered patio where one may enjoy her espresso and Wall Street Journal in the morning. Relax in the tranquil breeze blowing through the palms and onto your lanai. The lanai is the perfect place for an imported wicker seating group or a beautiful bistro set. You may choose to install an ornate fountain and listen peacefully at the soothing sounds of trickling waters. Yes, the lanai is for the person who enjoys the finer things in life, and has the money in her bank account to purchase them.
Porch- A raised or level, concrete or wooden patio where one may enjoy her instant Folger's coffee and National Enquirer. Those with a flair for the finest may sip from their freshly brewed drip Maxwell House while clipping coupons. Relax in the humid, still and sticky air that stagnates and makes your hair go flat. The porch is the perfect place for an old sofa or a card table. You may choose to install a bug zapper and listen each evening at the sizzling sounds of mosquitoes and moths being electrocuted to death. Yes, the porch is for the one who enjoys the simpler things in life, and has the money under her mattress to buy them.
Have a great Saturday evening on your lanai or your porch!