Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Recipe for Romance

When you're a new wife, you analyze everything that your husband says and does and rate it on the Romantic Scale also known as the This Determines Where You Sleep Later Meter.

Some days he scores an 8 and some days he sleeps on the sofa. The trouble for the new husband, is that it takes him a while to figure out exactly what he is supposed to say and do, or not say and do in order to earn the required points and get a good night's sleep.

There are also some very critical moments and holidays which may weigh a little heavier in the scoring process, thereby providing the opportunity to either negatively or positively affect the romantic points total.

For example- The Birthday. First, let's assume that he remembers the birthday. (I have to say that mine always has.) If your husband gives you a gift that is not related to domestic duties (i.e., blender, vacuum cleaner, iron), he will score well. If the birthday gift comes in a small box and has a description involving carats, he will score even better.

On the other hand, if your husband completely forgets your birthday, deduct 100 points. He is in the negative and must work feverishly over the next 3-4 birthdays to make up for it. (Most likely this will involve a small box and carats.)

Then there is Valentine's Day, a holiday invented by a deranged hermit who may or may not be working for the greeting card companies. The hermit delights in the thought of newlywed couples fighting over the Romantic Scale and the fact that households across the country are forced into bankruptcy over the price of red roses.

Valentine's Day can tip the Romantic Scale. If your new husband is in the hole, he can score (or dig) his way out in just one day. The number of flowers correlates to the number of points. The mushiness of the card also directly correlates to the number of points, though it does not weigh as heavily as flowers.

Months and years go by. Anniversaries come and go. Sometimes you each score well on the Romantic Scale and sometimes you end up sleeping outside with the dog. Or you sleep outside and the dog gets the bed. Eventually, all of the points just don't matter anymore.

One day, you both wake up and look at each other and say,"Honey, you've got a little drool dried around your lips and you snored last night. Happy Birthday. Would you like to go out to dinner tonight or how about some pizza?"

I'm not saying the romance dies. It doesn't. At least, it doesn't have to. You just learn that romance means different things to different people. Romance wasn't invented by Hollywood and it doesn't come as a plush, red puppy holding a heart in its mouth and sold by Hallmark (with the purchase of three greeting cards.)

Romance is the little things.

Romance is respect for each other. It's the "thank you's" for doing the dishes or the laundry. It's taking care of each other when you're sick. Some days a frozen pizza for dinner is romantic. Some days you like roses. Others, you'll take a potted plant.

When your marriage matures and you grow in love with each other, romance can be in the everyday, ordinary tasks of life.

Like making a meal for the one you love.

Last night I made meatloaf, mashed potatoes, and green beans. It wasn't gourmet and it isn't necessarily my husband's favorite meal, but it was the kind of stick-to-your-ribs food that just fit the cold weather we're having. We ate dinner as a family. I helped our daughter start her bath and my husband did the dishes. It was an ordinary night.

Then, today I received one of the most romantic emails he has ever sent. He had taken some of the leftovers with him for his lunch at work. I guess he enjoyed it, because this was the email he sent-

"These are the best green beans I ever tasted."

That's it. No "I Love You, Sweetheart" or "You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen." Nope. None of that. Just green beans.

I love roses. I love cards. But, an email about my cooking? Now that's romantic.

I give him a 10.


Works For Me- Unstopping the sink

Here's a tip some of you may already know. I learned it from a school maintenance person.

You can unstop the sink with an ordinary plunger. This won't work for grease clogs. You will still have to use the commercial plumbing solutions. Keep a separate plunger on hand just for the sink. (You don't want to use the one designated for the commode. Yuck!)

I have used a plunger to unstop my kitchen sink when I put too much in the garbage disposal, or when there is some item clogging the drain.

Works for Me!

Toothless grins at our house.

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Tooth is out!

I was going to post some really cheesy quotes like, "You can't handle the tooth!" and "The tooth shall set you free!"

Then, I decided not to, but I guess I just did, didn't I?
My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Lady Melanie the Discombobulated of Leighton in the Bucket
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title

Now I just need to work on that parade wave.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Feelin' The Love

Y'all know how to make a girl feel special! Where were you in junior high school?


Thank you, thank you, thank you for nominating this blog for the Share The Love Blog Awards over at One Woman's World.

I was browsing the nominees and saw you kindly nominated me for Best Humor, Happiest Blog, and Blog You'll Never Stop Reading. I am honored to be nominated along with some really great writers out there!

Picture me. Thanking you. Dainty tears falling. Fanning my face with my hands and saying, "Oh, you guys are just too much. I said I wasn't going to my mascara running?"

Monday, January 29, 2007

100% Pure

If you looked up "sweetness" in the dictionary, you would find a picture of a child.

And, if you looked up "rotten and mischievous", you would find a picture of a child.

Kids are like that. Whatever they say or do, what you see is what you get. They are all or nothing. It's what makes them so special.

I've been feeling a little under the weather the past few days and my daughter has picked up on it. As I type, she is cleaning the house with a wet paper towel. Mind you, most of what she is cleaning isn't really dirty but I am bragging on her nonetheless. The curio cabinet and windows are a lot shinier, smudges and all.

It's just sweet. Sweet, sweet, sweet. I don't mind sayin' it. It's my blog and I'll brag if I want to.


Sunday, January 28, 2007

The friendship is still alive, which is more than I can say for the Sea Monkeys.

Tonight a really close friend called. I was in bed with a cold and I heard my husband on the phone. It only took me a few minutes to figure out who was on the other end of the line. My husband was laughing and joking, just like old times.

It was David (name changed to protect the innocent- me), our best man. We've known him since college. David and my husband were good friends when I first met my husband. Whenever you saw one of them, the other was there, too. If they were sorority sisters they would have been seen giggling a lot, but since they were, well, guys, they were usually seen just looking at the sorority sisters.

I don't know if David and hubby became friends because of common interests or because they were both always broke and decided to pool their money to buy Ramen noodles and generic mac and cheese. Sometimes they would help each other cook for dates and they would argue about how much garlic should go in the sauce or whether or not this date was worthy of Kool Aid. To hear my husband tell it, he was helping David cook most of the time and letting David use his pots and pans. Sometimes they worked on college papers in the wee hours of the morning, the night before the paper was due, of course. For whatever reason, they bonded, and they've been friends ever since.

Sometimes months will go by without them talking. That's OK. It only takes a minute on the phone and they are back to their old antics, making fun of each other, calling each other names, the stuff all male friends do to lay the foundation for a lifelong friendship.

David has been there for us on many occasions. One time while we were dating, hubby and I took a road trip to look at cars. Hubby was determined to buy a Saturn and we had to travel several hours to the nearest dealer. On the way back, my little Honda broke down on the interstate. After crying (me, not hubby) and calling a tow truck, we ended up at a nearby Hardee's. It was David who drove the hour trip to rescue us in the middle of the night.

I don't even think I gave him any money for gas. In case you're reading this, Dave, I'll be sure to send that to you ASAP.

David was there for us when we got married- decorating my car with some lovely phrases and jokes, along with some other very close friends in the wedding party. He calls and asks about our daughter, too. This says a lot about him, because he isn't married and doesn't have kids of his own (yet.) Most single guys aren't interested in children's poetry contests or whether a kid has lost her first tooth.

When David called us tonight, he was on a real live stake-out. Yes, ma'am. He is tough like that.

I can't say what he does because he might hurt me, but he is one of those people you either fear or respect. One of those guys with a badge and dark glasses.

When I overheard that he was on a stake-out, I thought he was kidding. About 95% of the time the stuff he and my husband say to each other is pure nonsense. They convinced me in college that they knew how to speak Vietnamese and that David was born in Vietnam. I was so naive then.

David is the friend who is always sending my daughter really cool presents that require food and water, like sea monkeys.

I would like to announce that I am putting my foot down. No more gifts labeled "Department of Agriculture."

One summer he sent an ant farm. The ants came separately in a brown paper envelope, the kind that Sydney Bristow would leave at a drop-off site. I carefully opened the package and found ants in a little vial. The instructions read to "Place ants in the refrigerator for a few minutes to cool them, making them less aggressive." I told our daughter that the ants were hot from the trip and they needed to cool off.

When I took the ants out of the frig., they were all clumped together, a mass of tiny legs and bodies, huddling with each other for warmth. It looked almost sad.

But then I remembered they were ants and I had to put them in their new home without being stung or squishing any of them. My daughter is the bug whisperer, remember?

And here's a tip. The ant house people and the ant supply people need to do lunch. The opening to the ant vial is much larger than the opening to the ant house, making it difficult to pour the slightly cooled ants into their new home without spilling them all over the table.

Insert pleas and cries for help from the Bug Whisperer.

I managed to keep the ants alive much longer than the sea monkeys. In addition, we have raised butterflies and have a frog house ready for tadpoles this spring.

Stop the madness, Dave. Send Barbies, will you?

I have to say that I do feel a little safer at night knowing David is out there, looking for the truth, protecting families while talking on his cell phone about college hi jinx.

No, really. I do. And if I didn't, I couldn't tell you. David packs some heat. And, if I remember correctly from a college party, he makes a mean pan of Rice Krispies treats.


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Fine Writing Indeed

Linda at 2nd Cup of Coffee is one of my favorite writers- notice I said writer and not blogger. That's what she is, a real bona fide, gen-u-INE writer in our midst.

She makes me laugh out loud. She knows how to arrange words on a page like a good florist can put gerber daisies and orchids together in the same vase.

Just go now and read this post and you'll understand why she's in my blogroll!

New Blogger

Blogger finally made me switch to the new blogger, so if you had left a comment it may now show you as "anonymous." Not sure why. New comments after the switch will show your name.

Getting used to the switch...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Our Neighbors The Rock Stars

We live in an Edward Scissorhands neighborhood where most of the houses look alike and everyone knows when you cut your grass. We even have sidewalks where you can stroll along with your dog (and pick up the necessary deposits when made, Mr./Mrs. Whomever Neighbor Whose Dog Has Left Stuff In Our Yard.) You can say "hi"to your neighbors and if you are retired and have nothing do to all day, you can even nose around and get into everyone's business.


Our neighbors on one side are not friendly, but in a good way, and we have a polite sort of um, relationship, which means that they mind their business and we mind ours. I don't mean to sound rude, but it really comes to survival. These houses are so close together that they are literally a stone's throw away. Like I could lean out of my window, throw a stone and break their window.

When you live this close to people, I think you have to live in some kind of anonymity or you would go nuts. Since you have no literal space between you, it becomes necessary to create personal space.

I imagine that people in prisons live like this:

"Yeah. I don't know the guy in the cell next door. I think his name is Ed, but I can't really say. All I know is that he gets a lot of mail and he goes to the bathroom in the middle of the night."

That's pretty much it. If you knew much more, well, you would be Mrs. Kravitz. Or stark raving mad.

These particular neighbors are in their mid-forties, I guess. One of them drives a Corvette. (I would notice this.) They keep to themselves and they are no trouble at all. On the surface, you would think they are normal. They keep their yard neat, they don't have any cars on blocks, and, as far as I know, none of them have done any hard time. My only complaint is their choice of music.

Their music.

They have a band. Now, before you picture in your mind the She Might Be A Redneck neighborhood we reside in, let me remind you of the kind of place we live in. It is the average, middle income, let your kids ride their bikes without fear of a drive-by kind of community. I mean, this is the same neighborhood where I let my child collect old blankets for the animal shelter while pulling her little red wagon.

Back to Van Halen.

They practice on Friday nights when the rest of us are blogging or watching game shows, or reading Little House on The Praire to our kids. Even though I don't actually enjoy their attempt at a VH1 Where Are They Now? production, I am thankful that they only play for a little while on Friday evenings and they stop at a decent hour of the night. One could say they are trying to be neighborly, or they are, you know, just old.

Tonight they started to play some unknown heavy metal ballad. Just as one of them broke off into a guitar solo, the neighborhood cats started wailing. And wailing, and wailing.

It was quite comical.

Even Maggie raised her lazy head from the chair to listen. Within a few bars, the band stopped playing and the wailing stopped. The cats were quiet and our little cul de sac returned to its suburban dulldrum.

And I thought I would have nothing to post tonight...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I'll be stepping up to my soap box now.

Make it Tide with Febreeze, please.

When I started blogging, I decided to stay away, far, far away from religion and politics. I just didn't want to dive into the ugly comments, snide remarks, judgmental chatter and opinionated discussions.

I'll leave that to the women on The View.

Up to this point, I think I've done a fairly good job of keeping things opinion neutral, but not so benign that you wonder where I stand.

Now on to the post, the meat of my beef. Pardon the pun.

A few evenings ago a very important person had something to say. He wanted to tell Americans about the economy and domestic policies. He wished to share the current situation in The Iraq War and new plans for its future. He requested permission to use the major networks to broadcast his speech, in a effort to reach the majority of the people in our land. All of his cabinet, minus one, were present. Congress surrounded him as he updated the people on a vitally important subject.

The State of The Union.

Whether you voted for him or not, whether you voted at all, the point is mute. When The President of The United States speaks, people should listen.

Some say, "These politicians all say the same thing over and over. They say what will make them popular. I just can't trust any of them."

Point well taken.

A few evenings ago "politics as usual" was not the issue. The main complaint was that people were going to miss Simon Cowell degrade and berate complete strangers as they were trying to catch a break in show business. America missed part of American Idol.

I agree that a Presidential speech isn't very entertaining. Sometimes they are boring, but we take these types of broadcasts for granted.

Years ago, our grandparents would have been seated around their radio listening to FDR reporting the current situation of another war, encouraging our countrymen to unite. Our parents were children then. They were seated on the floor around the family radio. They may not have understood the message being broadcast, but they certainly were taught the importance of the messenger. A certain amount of respect was given to a President, deserved or not, and people cared that their brothers and husbands were fighting for freedom.

Here we are today, 2007, the age of MP3 players and DVR. We go to work or school, then to soccer practice or ballet, rushing home to finish homework and grab a bite of dinner. Some of us are lucky if we are able to have a meal together at the family table. When it's time to sit down, to talk to each other, or to listen to the most powerful leader in the world, we would rather watch Randy and Paula or blog.

In fact, men and women are dying right now so that I can have the freedom to type this post. I'll think of them now as I write it, but I am not sure I'll remember them later when I read something funny on a friend's blog or when I sit down to watch HGTV.

Sounds pretty petty, doesn't it?

How did we get here? Can we go back? Someone please show me the way if you can. I don't like it here. I would give up the internet and TiVo if it meant I could sit on an old rug, in a damp, drafty house, listening to my President, understanding what it really means to be an American.

Technology and Hollywood haven't taken away our patriotism. We gave it away freely, dear friends. We've tossed it aside with our empty latte cups and our People magazines. It's time to pick it back up again, dust it off, polish it, set it back on the mantle- a keepsake to treasure and protect.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dear Loose Tooth,

Hi. It's me. Her mom. I need to talk to you.

You've been good to us over the years. You helped her with her very first ear of corn, her apples, her popsicles. We are thankful for that. We are.

But frankly, it's time for you to go.

This may sound a little harsh, but we don't need you anymore. She's got bigger, stronger teeth in her future. Sure, you're cute. You're little. You're familiar. But, lately? Well, you've been kind of a pain.

You just keep holding on, no matter how hard she tries to pull you free. She keeps wiggling and wiggling, twisting and tugging and still you won't budge. And that dangle thing you've been doing lately is borderline disgusting.

Your friends have all left without any trouble at all. When it came their turn, sure they held on a little while, but eventually they just let go.

I feel a little uncomfortable talking to you, but I figure you must have some issues or you would have left a long time ago. Is it insecurity? Detachment disorder? Are you afraid of fairies? Come on. Talk to me. I'm here. I won't judge you.

I have to be honest with you. You don't have much more time. My patience is wearing thin. If you don't let go soon, well, fairies will be the least of your worries, Mister.

So. Let. It. Go.

Be free. I've got a roll of quarters just waiting.

Her Mom

Prayer Request

Kelli needs our prayers.

Her health is declining and she is about to begin a new type of dialysis. Please leave her a word of encouragement on her blog.

The awesome response of the fundraiser last week was a blessing. But life? Life is priceless. Without a kidney, Kelli will die. We need to pray, folks for The Lord to lay His Hand on Kelli and her life. Pray for her husband as he cares for her and their children. Pray for her kids as they see their mom go through what no mother should endure.

Pray for The Lord to do a mighty work. He can. He will.

Monday, January 22, 2007

An Open Email

Would Lissette, Stewart, Ricardo, and Almondo please stop sending me spam regarding weight loss, acne, and bad credit?

You are beginning to give me a complex.

And, just so you know, my credit is excellent.

Because ponytails are cool

When I was in the fourth grade, my life revolved around Encyclopedia Brown, my two best friends Sherry and Janet, and a boy named Paul. I can remember a lot about that year. It was the year I secretly starting working for Charlie under the alias Kelly Garrett and it was the year I had a very special teacher, Mrs. Bradshaw.

Mrs. Bradshaw started the year as Miss Denard. She wasn't an Angel; she got married during the school year. We were all very excited for her. Every girl in the 70's dreamt of being a bride, finding her prince, and riding off into the sunset on a white horse or in a Gremlin. It took us a while to remember our teacher's new name, but after a while it just came naturally.

Turns out, we were pretty special to Mrs. Bradshaw, too. We were her very first class right out of college. Couple that with the fact that she married the same year, our class was quite memorable. Living in Albany for nearly twenty years, I often ran into Mrs. Bradshaw at the mall. She sort of saw me grow up, entering junior high, high school, and eventually college. Every time she saw me, she remembered my name. That is pretty amazing. I always remembered her too. Now I often wonder where she is these days.

So, it comes to no surprise that my own little girl is quite impressed by her teacher. Mrs. J is young, sweet, and very pretty. She also dresses way cool, so I am told. (I'm a mom. I don't know cool.) Because of Mrs. J, my daughter insists on pants that "come over the shoe" aka flare. She also has started sporting a ponytail.

This is a girl who refused to wear bows, even as a baby. She removed them immediately and if they were in really tight, she would pull herself baldheaded to get them out. I finally just gave up.

Even later, after seeing her friends in ponytails and barrettes, she refused. She liked to "be free." Her hair had to be au natural. No ponytail for her, even if it meant she could be at least ten degrees cooler.

Until now.

Mrs. J has influenced my daughter's sense of style so much that my little girl wanted to spend the money B-Pop gave her on ponytail holders.

Last Friday, Mrs. J came to school dressed in a cute tee with an illustration of children on it. She wore her hair in two ponytails to match. As usual, she looked darling. Since then, my daughter has styled her hair in two ponytails, including today at school. I think it is really sweet and I am glad Mrs. J is a good, Christian influence on my daughter.

And I wish we could have met her oh, about 4 years ago when I was struggling to put my little girl's hair up in the middle of a scorching, Southern summer. We could have saved a lot on our electric bill; we both would have been at least ten degrees cooler.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Goofy Golf, Ammo, and Religion 101

Now that I have your attention.

Yesterday was a girls' day out. My husband had some errands and chores to do, so the little girl and I decided to have some fun. The weather was pretty nice (sorry all you ice storm survivors out there), and we were in need of some overpriced entertainment.

Miniature golf and ski ball.

Why is it that making the right choices is so crucial to a good game of goofy golf? We end up standing there for what seems like the span of an epic film to select the correct themed course. Mountain is too hilly, yet Island isn't quite up to par (pardon the pun) for our particular level of expertise. Should we go with the oversized giraffe or the big scary gorilla that is missing a tooth? Red, blue, green, or yellow ball? Which putter?

There are just too many choices! The good thing is that they give you no options regarding the writing tool in which you must record the significant golf score.

The little Barbie pencil sans eraser.

The pressure of no eraser just mounts. Don't they know I am going to make a mistake? I have to add numbers horizontally! No form of recreation should involve math.

After all of the crucial, life-altering decisions, my daughter and I had a good game, complete with the mildewed outdoor carpet and stagnant waterfall. Winter is an off season for miniature golf. I even scored under par. I don't know which is more pathetic, the fact that I remember my miniature golf score or that I blogged about it.


Sometimes there are days in a girl's life that remind her of her special talents and skills, moments when she realizes she is capable of things she never knew.

I'm talking about virtual clown annihilation. Yes, I am the Mac Mommy of Knock Down, the game where fluffy, stuffed clown dolls meet their doom at the hands of a gamer with 50 cents, a ball and a puff of air. I scored so well that my daughter had to hold the tickets as they cranked out in a steady, red paper chain.

It's all about the tickets, man.

We scored so well at ski ball, stomp the spider, and clown death that we were able to trade our huge stack of tickets for a string of beads and a bubble charm necklace. Woo Hoo. Score!

All for only five bucks in quarters.

The day ended with a promised "slumber party" which really just translates to "Let's watch a movie, eat snacks, then sleep on the living room floor with every blanket, pillow, and stuffed animal in the house."

It took some time for the giggling to stop. I lay there sleepily, surrounded by pink, fluffy blankets and plush animals. The night became quiet until I heard the following questions in the dark:

"Mommy, can you tell me about Hanukkah?"

"Mommy, what are the blue dots in blue cheese?"

All very pertinent to a good night's sleep after a long day of decision-making, slurpee drinking, and close-range shooting. I've always hated clowns...

Update- Now go see this at Big Mama's, but be sure to visit the little girl's room first.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Random Facts and Follies About My Grandmother

1. Before Alzheimer's and dementia took their toll, Granny always made sure she was "put together." She wore face powder and rouge- the cream kind. She wore pantyhose and heels. Most of the time she would wear her faux pearl necklace I had given her. The most important part of the ensemble- her hair.

2. Granny loved chocolate, especially Reese's peanut butter cups.

3. When Granny was a little girl, she had to protect her little sister Ruby from a bully. On their way to school, the bully picked on Ruby. Ruby would cry, but Granny would just push the bully in the ditch. I have a feeling she may have given him a few shiners, too.

4. When Papa and Granny married, Granny ran away from the courthouse after the ceremony. Papa had to chase her for the wedding kiss.

5. Granny's advice-

Never trust anyone with beady eyes.
What's in the blood stays in the blood. (a person behaves like their family)
If you lie down with dogs, you'll get up with fleas.
Don't ever do anything that would shame the family.
Stay out of other people's business.

6. Everyone called her "Miss Pearl" or "Aunt Pearl." (Yep. Sisters named Pearl and Ruby.)

7. Granny loved, loved, loved fried catfish and shrimp. She wouldn't eat any kind of chicken because chicken made her sick when she was expecting Mama. She would eat KFC. Totally logical.

8. Granny kept her porches swept and scrubbed, and I mean scrubbed with soap. She swept her front walk several times a day because of the pecan tree that just got on her nerves. She hated when it bloomed and all of those blossoms fell on her clean walk, but she sure loved to pick up the pecans.

9. Every night before Granny went to bed she wrapped her hair with toilet tissue. She pinned it in place with bobby pins, put a round, silky scarf on top, then pinned it in place. This kept her hair in place until the next Friday morning hair appointment. All she had to do each morning was tease it a bit. I thought all grandmothers did this. She looked a lot like Mama Harper did on the TV show Mama's Family:

10. Before Papa died, Granny made 2 pans of biscuits for him every. single. day. One at dinner (lunch) and one at supper (dinner.) It didn't matter how hot it was, she still baked biscuits. Papa and Granny didn't have air conditioning, except for the one window unit they ran only when my mama visited.

11. Granny never learned to drive. She tried, but could never get reverse figured out. The sheriff's wife offered to teach her, but Granny declined.

12. Granny worked hard her entire life. First as a child helping her mother at home and helping on the farm. (Granny picked cotton.) Then, as a wife and mother and surrogate mother to her sister's children. She never worked outside of the home, but worked very hard at home. And, she could always find work for those around her. While doing one chore, she would assign me another one, and so on. The next thing I knew, I had been working for hours.

I sure miss those days. And her.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My best post yet!

Here is the prize-winning poem my daughter wrote, without any corrections for spelling. :>)

Silliness is light blue
It tastes like tropa co co ladda
It smells like flowers
And reminds me of giggling
It sounds like laughter
Silliness makes me feel happy

In case you are wondering what I have been giving our daughter to drink, "tropical colada" is her favorite V-8 Splash flavor!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

God is Good

Something exciting is happening over at BooMama's- more than we could ever imagine or ask...

I have a feeling the miracles for Kelli have just begun.

Clogging up the internet, one hug at a time.

Be sure to visit BooMama today.

Leave Kelli some words of encouragement.

Make a donation, if you feel led.

Let's burn up the internet highway with lots of love!

Monday, January 15, 2007

A Chance To Give God The Glory

Kelli needs us right now. She needs our prayers, our support and she needs to know there are women out there who care about her and her family.

She also needs a kidney.

Please visit BooMama and become part of something amazing.

And, if you need a new blog design and want to help Kelli all at the same time, visit Susie. She is giving part of her proceeds to Kelli for a short time. Visit her blog for details.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Bringing in the Heaves

It appears that I post a lot about nausea and vomiting. I am sorry that I cannot come up with better material.

I am happy to report that, to my knowledge, no one currently lodging in my household threw up today or felt the urge to purge. Not even Maggie. And she can toss some serious cat cookies.

I think I'd better log off now. I can hardly stand the excitement.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Hospitality at its best.

If you are wondering, or maybe you haven't noticed and I am only kidding myself, why I haven't posted in a few days, it is because my in-laws are visiting. Which is better than out-laws...

But I digress.

My mother-in-law, father-in-law and sister-in-law are all here. They arrived yesterday. My sister-in-law, T, is the one who is having that sweet little girl that I shall spoil rotten. T is a few months along and has just begun to show.

Remember that, moms? Remember when you just started to show and people you had not seen in a while would smile and say, "Awww. Look at you. How cute. I see a tummy."

If they knew you really well, or if they were related to you, as in they gave birth to you, they would pat your tummy like some kind of puppy or stray cat. Suddenly, when you become pregnant, people want to pat you. Who started this? I need to write them a letter.

I caught myself patting T on the tummy when I first saw her, then thought to myself, "Oh. I have become one of those people. Those weird people." I hope T didn't mind, and if she reads this, please accept my apology for mistaking your pregnant tummy for a Springer Spaniel.

When T was going through her first trimester, she had the typical morning sickness, or all day sickness as it were. She craved fresh and canned fruits, which is much better than the Sonic tater tots I craved when I was expecting. T survived the first trimester and now she only gets sick on occasion.

Like riding in the car on the way to our house.

She was in the front seat tasting her Burger King boca burger for a, ahem, second time and my mother-in-law was on the cell phone with her mother. Just then, between the heaves, Grandmom asked my mother-in-law how T was doing on the trip...

"She is doing fine."


This is what happens when you go to Burger King and they don't let you have it your way.

Today was a normal, no nausea day. We had a day of shopping and lunch that stayed down. It was a fun girl's day out. (No huge bargains of 90% off cute, pink baby things. But, hey, there is always tomorrow.)

We had dinner at home tonight and all of us were gathered around the table talking and laughing. T quietly slipped away and excused herself to the bathroom.

I looked down the table at my husband who was making an awful face. We both heard it at the same time. Bless her heart. T was sick. Then, my father-in-law and finally my mother-in-law and daughter heard it. We just sat there feeling sorry for T and hoping she would be alright.

She came back to the table, sat back down in her chair, turned to me and calmly said, "Dinner was very good."

We all just burst out laughing.

I said,"In some countries, the people just belch to compliment the cook. Next time, T, a thank you note will suffice."

She was really trying to tell me she was ok, that it wasn't my cooking that made her, you know vomit, and she was sorry that she, you know, threw up, just after eating my cooking, and that it was not, in fact, my cooking that made her pewk and all. You know. After she ate my cooking.

Thanks, T. I love you, too. Glad you, um, enjoyed it?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Thirteen of My Most Memorable Scents

First, thanks for all of your comments about yesterday's post. I was trying to be an encourager and ended up being encouraged. God is Good like that.

So, on to today's superficial, silly post.

I am writing about smells. You have to understand that my nose was supposed to be on a bloodhound, not a person. They say that the sense of smell has the ability to elicit the most memories, even more than sight of sound. I must smell something awfully strong while watching Seinfeld.

If only I could have smelled the textbooks in school...

Anyhoo. Here goes for my most memorable scents and smells-

1. Play dough. Reminds me of childhood. The homemade kind with the salty smell reminds me of Sunday School and helping my mom clean up after her class. Mama always made homemade play dough.

2. My Granny smelled like Aqua Net hair spray and moth balls. But in a good way.

3. I remember coming home from the hospital after having my daughter. So many wonderful ladies brought meals to our home for an entire week! I didn't have any family around at that time and my husband was busy helping with the baby. A lady from Texas brought dinner over to us. It had been an especially long and tiring day for me. I hugged her and she smelled just like fried chicken (that she had made for us!) It was the most comforting smell and the most delicious meal.

4. Coty face powder reminds me of Mama.

5. Grease and vinyl combined. Sounds odd and not very pleasant, but this reminds of my Papa and his blue Ford truck. He worked at a saw mill and drove the truck to work. It had an 8 track player and lots of Little Debbie snack cakes.

6. Honeysuckle makes me think of summers fighting the bees for the sweet nectar.

7. Calydryl lotion reminds me of the chicken pox, mosquito bites and just being itchy in general!

8. I think Target, Wal-mart and K-mart all have unique smells to their stores. I have no idea why and I don't know what these smells remind me of, since I only smell them while in the stores...

9. Tempura paint- Childhood, creativity, being free and playing. Good stuff.

10. Swimming pool smells- summer in elementary school spent with friends, drinking coke over crushed ice and eating Hot Fries with wet hands.

11. Celery and onion cooking on the stove- Thanksgiving.

12. Juicy Fruit gum- Out shopping with Mama and running errands.

13. Baby Magic baby wash, a clean diaper, Pampers baby wipes, fresh clothes- my daughter as a baby, just after her bath.

Any smells remind you of something? Leave a comment.

This One's For The Girls

I just finished reading one of my favorite bloggers out there, Big Mama. If you haven't read her blog, you don't know what you are missing. She mentioned that lately she is in a funk. It seems BooMama was having a bad day on Sunday, too. The thing I like most about these two writers, other than the fact that they are hysterically funny to the point that I nearly split my pants in guffaw fits, is that they are honest about the sometimes just plain rotten days of their lives.

And I am all about Keepin' It Real.

Let me give you a peek inside my world. Before I had a child, I had a much cleaner house. I ate right, at least on occasion, and I sometimes even went for a walk and broke a sweat. Now, most of my sweating is a side effect of the anti-depressant I take or the pre-menopause that I am convinced I have begun. Yes, and I am only 36 years old. Since having a child, I have much more fatigue, anxiety, brain fogs, and cellulite and much less fashion sense.

Ain't life just grand?

I would never, ever, in a 100 million years, ever go back to those former days if it meant that I would not be a mother. I absolutely adore my daughter and I am thankful for motherhood. Every night, when I tip toe in her room and look at her sweet face there nestled on her pillow and snuggled against her bunny, I say thank you to God above that He allowed me, undeserving me, to be her mama. I kiss my little girl's forehead and smell her sweet breath, thinking on the scent of her baby's breath, and the image of her resting peacefully in her crib. I pause and consider that these moments are fleeting, like a train leaving the station right there before my eyes.

I just wish I could be perfect.

Everyone has room for improvement, but I have room for an extreme makeover. From my organization skills to my culinary choices, the networks could do an entire mini-series on me.

I used to really beat myself up, ok not really, but figuratively speaking. Some days, I still do, but for the most part, I have decided that God made me the way I am. He certainly wants me to strive to be my best, but He wants me to be my best for Him, not for everyone else, and definitely not for am image that is plastered on TV, magazines and movies.

I've also decided that I do have gifts and abilities that are worth sharing. I can remove stains that would make most people run away screaming. I have the insane ability to memorize phone numbers. In spite of the brain fogs, my mind is a steel trap when it comes to mothering memories and entire episodes of Seinfeld. Go ahead. Quiz me.

I can make a chicken salad that my husband loves, an awesome pan of biscuits without measuring and I can create just about any casserole your heart desires with a vegetable, grated cheese, Hellman's mayonnaise, a can of cream of something soup and a pack of Ritz crackers. Look out, Rachael Ray.

In spite of all of these incredible, somebody call Guiness talents, I still feel a little down some days. Perhaps it is because I eat peanut butter from the jar or I forget to keep my eyebrows tweezed, or it's because my laundry appears to reproduce overnight. (Maybe this is a reason we are supposed to keep things separate.)

Oh, and did I mention I spend a lot of time blogging?

Yes, I am an average, underdressed, overweight, mother of one. I have a lot of room for improvement, but I am learning to be more comfortable in my own skin, as saggy and acne-ridden that it is. Acne at 36. Who woulda guessed?

When I am dead and gone and my husband has buried me after following the written instructions for my funeral that I have left for him in a special file in the filing cabinet, including songs and what-to-wear (for me and for him, yes, I'll still be picking out his tie), I hope my epitaph may read:

"Here lies Melanie. She never climbed Mt. Everest or took part in extreme sports. She never fit into her size 4 jeans again. She had no desire to travel exotic parts of the world or launch into outer space. Her house was clean, but lived in. Her hair was combed, but her roots were visible. Her waist, well we don't know where it went.

But, her husband remembers her kisses and the smell of her perfume. As a wife, she tried her best to honor him, to support and share his dreams, and to always treat him like the man that he is. She made him lunch, not everyday, but now and then. When she did, she included a note on a napkin or a lipstick kiss. She may not have kept her college figure, but she always dressed and acted like a lady.

Her daughter remembers her hugs and the smell of Noxema on her face when she tip toed in her room to kiss her forehead. She pretended to be asleep sometimes, snuggling her bunny and feeling her mama's loving eyes watching over her. As a mother, Melanie told her daughter about Jesus and manners. She told her and showed her how to give to others. Her daughter can remember the murals on her bedroom walls, the times her mama sent cupcakes to school, went on field trips, and made crafts with the class. She remembers her Mama staying up late at night with her when she was sick, giving her yucky-tasting medicine and singing to her in the darkness.

Here lies, Melanie. She wasn't anything out of the ordinary. She was just a mom, just a wife, but she was special to those who loved her and to those she loved."

I hope you feel special today. You are special to many people around you. Have an incredible, ordinary day.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

What A Find!

Look what I found at K-Mart today!

It is a Cupcake Carrier by Martha Stewart. I was browsing around, looking for some storage containers for Christmas decorations and just happened upon this little treasure.

The 3 trays stack inside the container and the container snaps closed. The trays look a little fragile, but how much strength do you need to carry cupcakes? The best part is that it was only $9.99.

I just had to share it with y'all.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Reality TV: The Southern Version

So, the big Grease: You're the One That I Want came on and I missed it. I have a feeling that one of you out there will fill me in and I look forward to catching up next week. I was watching the previews and noticed the judges.

What's the deal with British guys?

Nearly every reality TV show which involves talent has the following judges:

1. A very rude British guy (or at least he has a British accent) that usually tells it like it is, but everyone hates him anyway.
2. An average Joe, the guy next door type who is usually polite and nice. Sometimes he shocks us by his negative comments, but he usually sides with the third judge.
3. A cute, young, attractive woman who is almost always nice. She spars with the British judge on occasion and dresses like a contestant.

I understand the attractive woman (for the men in the audience), the average Joe (for the ladies and the family friendly appearance), but I am totally baffled by the judge with the British accent.

Can someone please explain this to me? I do not think it is very fair to the British. How does the Queen feel about this?

It is just weird, people. Just. Weird.

This whole judge issue got me to thinking. What if there was a Southern woman up there judging American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, or the new Grease show? Sweet mercy.

For one, a Southern woman would never really tell a singer that she can't sing. She would say something like,"Bless your heart, honey. You can't carry a tune in a bucket, but that outfit you've got on is just darlin'!"

She would tell a dancer, "Does your Mama know you're on TV movin' your hips like that?"

And heaven forbid what a Southern judge would say about someone trying out for Grease. It may go something like this, "Honey, I don't care what Olivia Newton-John did, no one on my stage is wearing pants that tight. It just isn't healthy."

When it came time to tell a poor, untalented star wannabe that she had to go home, the rejection speech would not be nearly as clear as Donald's "You're Fired!" No. It would go something like this...

"I can tell this means a lot to you. Your Mama and Daddy must be just bustin' at the seams with pride with you on stage and all. It's almost as excitin' as The Grand Ole Opry. I remember the time I was a dancer on the drill team and I was just so nervous, with us being at the play-offs, and it was raining, and we were playing Valdosta, and oh-my-goodness I was so nervous that I dropped my baton right there on the field next to the drum major, and he was cute too, but I was dating someone else, the quarterback for our team, Tank Williams, well his name was Tommy but he was so big that most people called him Tank, and it was funny, you know with Hank Williams and all. But, anyway I remember being on that field and I dropped my baton and I just could've died right there next to the drum major... You have the most precious smile and I love your hair, is that a perm or natural? Anyway, you are just precious and sweet as can be and I can tell you are tryin' real hard and you probably practiced a lot, too, didn't you? Do you use Breck or Suave? And oh my goodness, those shoes are the cutest thing, but I just didn't care for your little routine, honey. Bless your heart."

Now, doesn't that sound much better than anything Simon Cowell has ever said?

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Pork Products and Fitness

That's what I came home to this afternoon.

My daughter was eating bacon. Husband had made about 5 pieces. She did manage to eat a slice of bread, at my request. I feared a tummy upset from all of that grease. After her "snack," she started doing jumping jacks. (The snack and exercise were totally unrelated in her mind, but very coincidental to me.)

I looked up from blogging and said,"Why are you doing jumping jacks?"

"Cause," she said, still hopping.

"Cause why?" I asked again.

"Just cause. Cause IS the reason," and she continued hopping.

At this point, she has completed a round of knee bends, push-ups, and a series of stretches. In her bathing suit. For NO REASON WHATSOVER. Oh, except just CAUSE.

Now I feel really lame about missing my walks this week. I think I'll just go polish my Reeboks now.

Friday, January 05, 2007

It's All About Commitment, Really

Men have their deer, their elk, their fish stories. Women have their shopping stories. Get ready for a whopper, ladies, and the big one didn't get away.

While talking to my sister-in-law last night, I received a hot tip about Target's 90% off sale. That's right. T is a bargain hunter like me. We love us a bargain. We do have some standards. I mean, the item has to be really a deal, not just a pitiful 20 or even 25% off, and the said item has to be of use to some person somewhere in the universe. We may or may not use the item ourselves, but we are sure to pass it on to some lucky soul who will.

When T told me that today was probably the first day of the BIG 9o, as I like to call it in the circle 'o shoppers, I began to make serious plans.

Y'all know I hate lists, but this was a mental one:

1. Take daughter to school.
2. Purchase liquid doughnut at Starbucks.
3. Burn rubber to Target.

This morning, items one and two went off without a glitch, except for the massive, blinding tornado- spawning rain pounding my vehicle. Still, I pressed on. When I got close to Target, I noticed the traffic lights were out. Not a good sign.

Like any normal person, I drove on to Target in lieu of heading home to a safe place, like the hallway. Target's lights were out, but the doors were still open. They were running on emergency generator and allowing people to actually roam the aisles. Either no one on the premises was concerned about shoplifters lurking in the twilight or the store security is sporting night vision goggles.

I worked in retail years ago, so I know that most store clerks hate it when the lights go out. Only thieves shop in the dark, or weird people.


I also know that the retail powers that be will do anything to restore lighting and the lights usually come back on rather quickly. I was right.

After a very necessary browse of the baby section, I perused the Big 90. It is just insane the good stuff I found. I called Mama on my cell phone (she is in another state) and the conversation went something like this:

"Hey, Mama. I'm in Target. They've got their Christmas stuff at 90% off!"
"You have become one of those people who call folks on their cell phone while they're in the store."
"I know. But this is important!"

After ridiculing me for my lack of cell phone etiquette, Mama told me what she wanted and I proceeded on my quest. I had really hit my stride until the unthinkable happened to a fellow shopper. Her baby spit up all over her. All. Over. Her. She managed to sort of catch it between herself and her baby, but most of it was hanging in space, waiting for gravity to do its thing.

Now, if you haven't been in a Target because you have lived under a rock or something, you wouldn't know that the Christmas section is at one end of the football field length store and the ladies' restroom is at the other.

After the incident, several of us gathered 'round the poor woman. She stood there, helpless, covered in the stuff, while her baby looked like she actually felt much better. The mom's other child, a toddler, was climbing in and out of the cart like most helpful kids do when their sibling has just retched and their mother is covered in the results. I think it is one of Murphy's Laws. The rest of us stood with her, a circle of friends, if you will, and we began shouting out a plan.

"Oh, bless your heart!"
"Let me see if I have a tissue."
"I can't find anything in my purse."
"Me either."
"I'll go to the bathroom for you."

Finally, one of the alpha females, apparently more experienced in this than the rest of us, kneeled down beside her cart and ripped open the package of toilet paper she had planned to purchase. (In bulk, of course.) She gave the poor, vomit-showered mom the whole roll, and we all cheered.

The mom wiped off herself and her baby, told her toddler to get back in the cart, then held her head high and continued to the cash register to purchase everything she had carefully collected.

What did you expect her to do? Leave her loot right there and go freshen up?

As this has become a novella of sorts about bargains, babies, projectiles and phone etiquette (can't wait for the googles on this one), I will end this post.

I scored. Oh, yes I did.

I bought 2 very cute Christmas trees in even cuter pots for Mama's porch at the low, low price of $8.00, and another indoor smaller tree for $6.00. They also have lights, people! I found rolls of wrapping paper for 50 cents, Christmas gift tags practically free and the most darling Magnolia garland for my mantle for the rock bottom price of $3.49. It was a very good day of hunting and gathering. If I could, I would mount the Christmas cards I found on one of those plaques they use at the taxidermist, but that would be showing off. And tacky.

So, head to Target and good luck. Just watch out for all of those weird people.

Update: My sister-in-law emailed me. I am such an amateur. She went to FOUR Targets today and even made money with a coupon. Can I hear applause?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

More Good News

First, let me say a big ole "thank you" for all of the sweet Mama comments about my daughter's exquisite writing abilities. AHEM... LOL

Alrighty then. Mama would be proud. A real bona fide, virtual thank you note via the internet.

I do have other news to share. Just have to get the Miss Manners stuff outta the way.

My sister-in-law just found out that she is having a baby girl. I am so excited for her and her husband. Due to some high-risk issues, she had an amnio. What is really wonderful is that the results show her precious baby girl will be healthy. We are so thankful to God for this sweet miracle.

Most of you know that I am an only child. I will never have any little nieces or nephews to spoil on my side of the family. You can just imagine how tickled I was to find out that I was going to be an aunt. Now, I am literally tickled pink!

Not to mention, hello, the bargains galore that I have had to pass up because they have not been the obligatory, generic yellow or sea foam green. I wrote my sister-in-law recently and told her that she absolutely must find out if this kid is a boy or a girl for the love of all things cheap. She is a bargain hunter like me, so she totally laughed out loud. By cheap, I mean quality goods at nearly give-it-away low prices.

I am glad to know that her doctor did in fact take my request seriously and put a rush order on those lab results. Hey. I've got connections, people.

Seriously, to T and C, a very big WHOOP-DEE-DO, high five, low five, in between five, Congratulations! We are looking forward to meeting our sweet niece.

And I am sooo going shopping tomorrow. :>)

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

And therefore I spontaneously burst into a zillion pieces.

Sometimes a mama is just so full of pride and love for her child that, if it were not so endearing and utterly precious, one could easily get a bit nauseous from the ooey, gooey emotion that gushes forth.

I'm just sayin.'

There was the time my daughter wanted to pick out a locket for her Memama. She was about 3 years old, smack dab in the middle of a Disney Princess phase. We went to McRae's and purchased a lovely locket for Mama. My daughter picked it out after some very deep thought. I thought it was the sweetest thing she had ever wanted to do for someone.

Until we were on our way home.

While on the drive home, she started to reconsider her gift purchase. It turned out that she changed her mind. She didn't want to give this locket to Memama anymore.

She wanted to give it to Jesus.

If you are wondering how I didn't break down in a blubbering cry right then and there and wreck our Camry, well it must have been the Good Lord Himself who literally steered me home. I was so overwhelmed by this innocent, pure display of devotion that I could hardly contain myself.

After a long explanation of how it would be very hard to literally wrap and deliver this locket in person to Jesus, and that He was just touched by her desire to give it to Him, and the fact that Memama would be equally touched, my daughter reconsidered and we did give the locket to her Memama. Whew.

The thing about parenthood is that you aren't only proud for your child. There are also types of pride. Yes, there are. I will attempt to distinguish them all for you in yet another completely scientific study.

There is the pride you feel when they cleaned their room without a request, the "What a lovely picture! What is it?" pride, a pride that lumps up in your throat when your child wants to help others, including homeless cats and dogs, the "I am so glad you did your very best!" report card pride, and the ever popular "My kid is the absolute, most-wonderful child in the universe because I birthed her after nearly 48 hours of labor and an epidural that wore off, but no one believed me" pride. That last one will get you. Look out. You don't want to be TOO obnoxious.

Overall, most normal, relatively stable parents have a healthy pride for their kids. Call it thankfulness. Call it delusion. Call it what you will. Kids need our love and they need to believe we really value their accomplishments.

So, you won't mind if I gloat. Most of you are Mama's, too. You understand.

Today my daughter's teacher met me at car line. It hasn't been officially announced or anything, but since you really don't know where I live or if I am really a southern girl with an attitude about geography and the post office, I'll go ahead and tell the news.

My daughter won a creative writing contest for her grade. Creative writing, people. Not math. Creative writing. (For you new readers, I'm not an analytical, mathematical genius. That would be from my husband's DNA.) OK. I'm not saying that I had anything whatsoever to do with the fact that my offspring won a writing contest. All good and perfect gifts are from above, after all.

I'm just sayin.'


I deserve all caps. I do. I am just so full of pride right now. And I am very thankful, really, that God has blessed our little, humble family. He has. And thankful that He has filled my daughter with nearly the same amount of excitement I am filled with at this bloggity moment.

I'm not quite as excited as I was on the day she was born, but almost. I am, however, quite glad that this type of excitement does not involve an IV and an anesthesiologist who lives in denial.

I promise to post a copy of her poem as soon as I get a copy. From what I hear, it is quite thought-provoking and deeply moving. It is a poem about silliness. :>)

I know. Call The New York Times. We may have a best-seller on our hands.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

If you haven't already, go check out Nancy's blog-

She has officially issued a Walking Challenge. All of us are invited to log in our own mileage each week as we walk across the USA!

I signed up. That means I have to get going...

Sorry for the weird linky; I am still having trouble linking outside of my own blog. Hmmm...