Wednesday, February 28, 2007
'Cause the ladies are rockin' the house!
This is the part of AI that I like. I hate the auditions phase- too many hurt feelings, nasty remarks, and broken dreams. What can I say? I'm a softy.
Gina- Great song choice. I think this is her musical style. Love the red on her, too. Better vocals than last week.
Alaina- Better than last week. Vocals were off, but tough song. Brave to take on that song! Lots of energy.
Lakisha- (I'm a little partial because she is my favorite!) Oh my! Back up singers already?! You go, girl! OK. Midnight Train to Georgia? One of my favorite songs!!! I'm feelin' a little homesick... this lady has my vote!
Melinda- My other favorite. Great voice. Great smile. Fabulous.
Antonella- Tough song to sing. I think most of the contestants should stay away from Celine, Mariah or Whitney unless you are in the Top 5. Off tempo. Better than last week.
Jordin- Rocky start and difficult transitions. Still, a great singer with strong vocals. Beautiful dress. Not my favorite performance from her, but still one of my favorite contestants so far.
Stephanie- Difficult song to keep tempo. Hard to get into. Great voice and a lot of talent. Just needs to find her niche. One of the top 5.
Leslie- Soulful voice. I like her style. Needs a little fine tuning, but I like her sound.
Haley- Started out strong, wavered a little. Strong voice.
Sabrina- One of my favorite songs. A little off. Brave to take on this song! Strong voice but needs to vary volume.
My picks? Melinda and Lakisha are still my favorites. Here's the thing- There are some good voices and some phenomenal voices. Hard to compete. I think the ladies need to each find their own strength and go with it. Make it their own and fine tune their unique abilities.
I'm pretty sure the winner is going to be one of the ladies! Some of the best talent since Seasons 1 and 2.
Trista over at The Pumkin Patch is hosting a great blog carnival called Tasty Thursday. Each week, you can post a great, new recipe you would like to share with other bloggers. She asks that you have already tried the recipe and that it passes your "taste test."
Head over to Trista's and grab the really cool button. Leave a comment and tell her you are participating. Tomorrow is the first day!
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
I want to take this moment to thank you from the deepest part of my soul for building the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
I realize that you will probably never read this. But, I have to write it anyway.
As the mother of a young girl, I seek The Lord's Guidance in how to bring her up to be a courageous, educated, loving young woman. Her father and I have prayed over her as we carefully consider all of the possibilities for her future.
I always thought I was aware of the many opportunities for Americans. I thought I was grateful.
Until I saw the faces of South Africa.
I saw the smile of a young girl and the tears that softly fell from her face when you told her you would pay for her to attend a university.
I saw the eyes of a girl as she strained to see her homework by candlelight.
I watched my television, in my suburban, comfortable home and saw a young lady who wakes at 4:00 AM each day, walks across town in fear for her life, then rides a bus for an hour just to go to school.
I saw the faces of mothers, fathers, and grandmothers who struggle to feed their families, who live in small shacks without running water or electricity.
I saw how one woman can reach so many by sharing her success. But this has nothing to do with money.
You have shown me that one person can give so little, but it can mean so much. In the midst of tragedy, a simple gesture of kindness is worth a fortune.
A helping hand.
Thank you, Ms. Winfrey, for showing me that I can give all of these things to young children and to my own daughter. I cannot give the millions that you may give, but I can love a child. I can show them they are worthy. I can give them praise when no one else has confidence in them. I can treat them with dignity and honor.
And for that, I am forever grateful.
An American Mother
If you did not view the Oprah Winfrey Special about her new school for young girls, I encourage you to visit her website.
In the meantime, I decided to list my own Seven Modern Wonders of the World.
In complete seriousness, of course.
1. Pop Rocks
2. Disney World
3. Pizza Delivery
4. Washable markers and crayons
5. Disposable d*apers
6. The car seat/baby carrier/stroller combo
7. Chicken nuggets
(For the record, I haven't used the baby items in quite a while!)
Friday, February 23, 2007
So I figure I'll just go with it.
I saw this meme over at Big Mama's and decided to play along.
Favorite Song From Childhood: "I Love" Click and listen. It is really sweet. Mama used to sing it to me. She never liked the "bourbon" part. :>)
Favorite High School Dance Song: Pretty much anything Miss Janet wanted to sing. I tried to learn all of her dance moves. And let's not forget Paula Abdul, before she was sparring with Simon.
Senior Class Song: "Lean On Me" (I think!) I remember it being the one I didn't vote for.
Favorite Rock & Roll Song: I like the guitar solo in the beginning of "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen. I don't feel tardy.
Favorite Disco Song: Hmmm... this one is hard. I like the songs from Saturday Night Fever. Classic movie.
Favorite Country Western Song: "The Dance", Garth Brooks. Makes me cry every time.
Favorite Pop Song: I don't listen to pop much these days, but I love Gnarls Barkley "Crazy" and I like Kelly Clarkson
Favorite All Time Love Song: Hello! The entire Chicago and Air Supply collection.
Favorite Break Up Song: "Hard Habit to Break". And don't make me sing it for you in Winn Dixie.
Favorite Make Out Song: Um, what? I have no idea what you are talking about.
Song That Always Makes You Cry: Besides "The Dance", "Held" by Natalie Grant always makes me bawl like a baby.
Song About Your Kid/s: "Isn't She Lovely" by Stevie Wonder. "My Daughter's Eyes" by Martina McBride
Song That Reminds You Of Your Husband: "The One" by Elton John- our wedding dance
Favorite Gospel/Praise Song: I still like the old time hymns. And I like "Crimson" by Nichole Nordeman. It gives me chills.
Favorite Ringtone on Cellphone: Don't laugh. I have a new cellphone now with a regular ringtone, but my old cellphone played "Play That Funky Music Whiteboy" and I loved it! I miss it. I need to search for it and add it to my new phone.
Have a great weekend! I will be on a bloggin' break for a few days. I might just have to rent The Breakfast Club and work on my break dancing...
Thursday, February 22, 2007
I was so excited about going to my junior prom. How many times does a girl get to wear a pageant dress, big hair and rhinestone jewelry out in public?
Mama and I shopped for a dress all over Albany, but the one we finally found was at The Bridal Barn in Moultrie. If memory serves me right, the dress shop was shaped like a barn. But this wasn't just any dress shop. This "barn" was stocked with wedding gowns, mother-of-the-bride dresses, prom and pageant wear, and of course, lots of accessories.
It was like I had died and gone to Southern girl heaven smack dab in the middle of an old cow pasture.
My dress was crimson red with white satin bows on the shoulder, a sweetheart neckline, and a white ruffle inset at the hem. Just darling. And the shoes? Dyed to match. What else?
My prom date, whom I will call Tim, was a really sweet friend and I had planned to ask him to the prom if he had not asked me first. He worked after school at a local video store and saved his money for months to take me to the prom.
His boss offered to let him drive her car so that we could ride in style. I can't remember the make, but it was a big, white sedan with a bench seat in front. Just before the prom, Tim's boss was in a wreck and he was worried that he wouldn't have a car to drive. I'm not sure why he didn't borrow his parents' car, but my guess is that they needed it that evening. His boss assured him that the car would be repaired in time for the prom.
Just before Tim picked me up, my parents took the typical "Pose here in the front yard, honey, you look so grown up in that red dress" pictures. I still have the photos. I had just colored my own hair with Sun In, the at home haircoloring kit which involves the spraying of chemicals from a hairspray bottle and "setting the color" with a blow dryer. What person failed chemistry and invented this product?
I thought I was cute. Oh, yes I did. Red dress and orange hair. AND pearls with rhinestones.
So Tim picked me up and gave me the most beautiful orchid wrist corsage. Mama pinned on his boutonniere, and took more "Awww... don't they look nice?" pictures. We got in the car and to my chagrin, the front seat was covered with a huge bedsheet.
To cover the blood stains from the accident. Tim apologized for the blood stains and promised me that it was OK to sit on the seat. I guess I should be glad I was wearing a red dress. (By the way- His boss? She was perfectly fine.)
We met some friends for dinner at one of the nicest restaurants in town (public appearance in formal wear!) and then headed for the dance. The room was all decked out in 80's glitz, with tacky, low budget decorations, a "theme" and really bad punch.
As we slow danced to a 1980's ballad, Tim conjured up all of the courage he had and whispered to me, "You sway like a Georgia Pine."
I think he hoped I would swoon at his romantic line, but instead I just smiled, held in my giggle and kept dancing. It was a sweet moment of teen awkwardness.
After the dance, we went to a local lake that is nestled in a quiet neighborhood. The lake is bordered by quaint park benches, families of geese and migratory ducks. We strolled along the placid waters, looking on as the lake reflected the moon. The humidity hung thick in the night air. It was a quiet, peaceful evening.
Then the geese attacked my dress.
This information is probably documented in a yellowed, dusty National Geographic archive, but I will go ahead and tell y'all this- Geese are highly agitated by the sound of crinolins bustling in the wind.
My only hope was to seek safety on a park bench where I could quiet my crinolins and pray that the geese would just give up. They squawked and pecked at my hem, flapping their goosey feathers. Tim finally shooed them away and they swam off with their precious gosslings.
I was Causing A Commotion as the Lady In Red.
Don't Get Me Wrong. I Had The Time of My Life.
I know. That was Bad.
No geese were injured in the making of this memory, but my red taffeta dress suffered minor damages.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Nancy reminds me of gas station cakes.
In the South, you can buy anything at the gas station. We've got your petro, your engine oil, your over-priced milk, the regular conveniences. We like to go the extra mile because we are all about hospitality- even at the gas station.
We also hate to see anyone go hungry. So in the local, small-town, Southern gas station you can fill your tank and your stomach. You'll find everything from fresh fried chicken with all the fixin's to sandwiches. In South Georgia and Alabama you'll find some of the best boiled peanuts.
But, if you're lucky, you'll find a mouth watering, girdle busting, 7-layer cake.
Yes, m'am. Nothing beats a cake from the gas station.
We were visiting Nancy and the family, having dinner and catching up on lost time. Our kids were off playing, picking up right where they left off and the men were talking shop. As always, Nancy was preparing a delicious meal (fajitas- yum!). On the kitchen counter, perched on a lovely glass cake pedestal, was the most tempting caramel cake.
Nancy said,"It is left over from (hubs') birthday."
Impressed, I asked, "Wow! Did you make it?"
"No. It's from the gas station," she replied.
This wasn't just any ole gas station cake. This was one of Dean's cakes from Dean's Cake House out of Andalusia. If you are in Alabama or the surrounding states, I urge you to stop reading right this minute and click on the link to see if you can purchase one of these cakes in a fine gas pumping establishment near you. Dean's delivers their cakes fresh and supplies grocery stores and gas stations all over the fine State of Alabama and some of the surrounding states.
OK. Go now. Then, come back...
Are you back? Good.
So Nancy explained that she loved, loved, loved Dean's cakes and when she discovered they delivered to a gas station in the next town over, she was just giddy with the thought that all of those bad carbs were available. Convenient, too.
If we learned anything from rebuilding after the War, it was this- put all your good stuff in one place so that if you ever have to run from Sherman again, you can load up on fried foods and sugar and fill both fuels tanks in your pick-up truck.
All they need to do is add some ammo and a few 8 tracks of Merle and Dolly. Bring on the nukes, enemies of the State! We're ready!
Our family was about to move to the little town where Nancy and her family were living. Needless to say, I was delighted to hear about the gas station cakes. Forget the closet malls and good shopping. I need icing.
We've had many fine meals with Nancy and the family, but this meal stands out in my mind for so many reasons. Nancy had really started to serve healthy foods (minus the cake) and asked if we ate whole wheat tortillas.
"Why, yes we do," I said. (We'll eat any type of bread wrapped around meat.)
"What about Enova oil?" she asked, "Do you think it will bother y'all?"
"Why, no," I replied.
Ain't it just like a good hostess to show genuine concern about the possibility that the meal she is about to serve will potentially cause bouts of diarrhea and intestinal distress?
Then Nancy sent her hubs to clean the dining table with Clorox wipes. Well, because the table is where Gilbert likes to sleep sometimes. Gilbert is their cat that deserves her own post because Gilbert is schizophrenic.
The table was sanitized, just in case, and the lovely place mats really made everything look so charming and inviting. To Gilbert. We walked back in the dining room and found that Gilbert had pounced onto the table and found the best seat in the house- right there on my place mat.
I felt so loved.
Nancy graciously grabbed a new place mat from the drawer and we all sat down to eat.
In walks Alli.
Alli is their lab. She is very sweet, but at the time was still in her puppy phase. Nancy and her hubs had tried everything they could think of to train this dog. They resorted to an obedience collar (they are perfectly safe), only the collar had not become very effective because every time they tried to activate it, they realized their little girl had turned it off.
All of us eating fajitas cooked in Ex-lax, wrapped in rubber, I mean whole wheat tortillas, at a fine dining table set with lovely place mats and a mentally disturbed cat, engaged in serious, political and social conscious conversation (not) while a playful puppy begs for thinly sliced grilled meat.
Then, Nancy's husband turns to her and asks,"Where is the remote?"
Because nothing says hospitality like shocking the dog during a meal.
Lucky for Alli, Nancy's daughter had deactivated the collar and the remote control didn't work. It was quite comical, really. The meal, the conversation, the menagerie of hosts.
And at the end, we all had a piece of cake for dessert, a little slice of caramel heaven, straight from the gas station.
Happy Birthday, Nancy!
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
See. It's really, really bad.
I am very close to writing about watching the grass grow, which would be difficult being that it's February and the grass is well, dead.
So, what's new with you and your lawn?
Monday, February 19, 2007
Well, truth be told, I have nothing against New York or Northerners in general. (I married one!) But when I started to blog, I had to come up with a name that described what it meant to me to grow up in the South, in a family rich with small town folks with simple, yet colorful lives. Our family is laid back and casual, and sometimes even unrefined. We speak with not-so-eloquent accents in slow drawls and we drink our tea sweet and cold.
While trying to describe this place I call home (no matter where I live), I could definitely think of what it isn't- New York.
That's how I came up with the name and it has stuck ever since.
This is my original explanation and my very first post as it appeared last June-
"If this ain't New York, then where am I?"
So, for all you New Yorkers out there, welcome to my little corner of the blog world!
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Daughter- "You don't see many TLC trucks driving around."
Hubs- "No, you don't."
Daughter-"Maybe they were here, but they didn't do a very good job."
Hubs- "Maybe... or they came and redid our room and made it look exactly the same."
Daughter-"Maybe... wanna do some art?"
Mommy- type, type, type.
Friday, February 16, 2007
So we have a lot of fun looking at all the cute baby stuff.
We were in Target today. They are having their baby sale. The store was filled with moms-to-be and moms and dads pushing strollers with sweet little bundles of joy. It was nostalgic for me as it wasn't that long ago (at least it seems) that I was in stores like Target looking at bibs and onesies, picturing how the little outfits would look on my little baby girl.
With all of the wonder and wide-eyed babies strolling by, it was this conversation that really broke my heart-
A mom-to-be was shopping with a friend. They looked pretty "hip" and if you asked my daughter she would have said they were wearing stylish pants. :>) Both looked like average shoppers, just searching for a great find.
The two of them stood in front of the bib display, the ones with phrases like "Princess Drool" and "Thank Heaven For Little Boys."
The mom-to-be turned to her friend and said,"I want a bib that says, "Blank you. I blanking rock!' Forget this 'I love Mommy' crap!"
My heart broke. It really did. I can just picture in my mind the life that little baby will have. I truly was not trying to judge, but what kind of environment is that for a child? I could tell by her tone that she wasn't joking. She was completely serious.
So tonight after I tuck my daughter in to bed and we say our prayers, I am going to say a silent prayer for that tiny baby who is yet to be born. And his mom.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
1. One of the neighbors mulched the Stop sign.
2. My daughter told me that "Ladies who work wear stylish pants."
3. This morning I purchased toilet paper, paper towels, and napkins- all in bulk. So much for saving the trees. Although, I also purchased 2 cards which were partially post-consumer.
4. The handmade valentines I mailed to my husband's grandmother were a hit at the assisted living home where she lives. They were all trying to decide how to hang them on the wall in their rooms. Final decision- Scotch tape. Sweet. :>)
5. I don't want to see a glue stick for a while. Refer to #4.
6. I have been working on a few new bumper stickers for y'all-
"If Mama ain't happy, it's probably your fault."
"Southern is a state of mind. Trouble is I'm not sure what state my mind is in."
7. They should rename Lean Cuisine "Appetizer for fat people." (I happen to be eating one right now.)
8. I have decided that Starbucks and Target are in cahoots. The Target people want you to walk in, buy a mocha, get all hyped up on java and GO MAD!
"LOOK! STUFF I DON'T NEED AT AN INSANE 90% OFF!"
9. Did you know that the stores already have swimsuits? Do they not know that there are people in Indiana eating out of cans?
10. Must go now... I need some stylish pants.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Thousands Are Waiting. One Can Help.
In the next 24 hours, 77 people in The United States
In that same amount of time, 19 people will die waiting for a transplant.
The sad truth is that there just aren't enough people willing to donate.
Since learning about sweet Kelli and what she and her family are going through, The Lord really pressed upon my heart to learn more about organ donation.
I have shared with my husband my wish to be a donor at my death. He has agreed to honor those wishes. Other than signing the back of my driver's license, I really have not done much more to share my willingness to donate.
In an effort to promote awareness about Organ Donation, and in honor of Kelli and the many others waiting for a transplant, I will be posting the "Organ Donor" button in my sidebar.
I am asking you to consider joining me in this campaign to promote awareness. You are welcome to right click on the button and post it on your blog.
You may also link to this post for a quick reference.
Who is eligible to donate?
Anyone over the age of 18 who has indicated their intent to donate. Persons under 18 must have the consent of a parent or guardian. Medical suitability for donation is determined at the time of death.
What can be donated?
Organs: heart, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, liver, and intestines
Tissue: cornea, skin, heart valves, bone, blood, blood vessels, and connective tissue
Bone marrow/stem cells, umbilical cord blood
You may choose and designate on your donor card what you wish to donate.
Can I still have an open casket at my funeral?
Yes. Donation does not interfere with having an open casket service. Surgical techniques are used to retrieve organs and tissues, and all incisions are closed.
No. Your family will only pay for your medical and funeral costs. All donation related costs are paid by the recipient or their insurance provider.
Will my wishes be carried out?
Even if you sign a donor card, it is essential that your family know your wishes. Your family may be asked to sign a consent form in order for your donation to occur.
How do I become an organ donor?
- Talk to your family
- Register with your state donor registry, if available. (See the national link below and follow the instructions to find your state's registry.)
- Sign a donor card and carry it with you
For more information about organ donation, state registries, and to download a donor card, visit http://www.organdonor.gov/.
Canadian residents may visit The Organ and Transplant Association of Canada.
Remember, you can't take it with you.
*Information taken from OrganDonor.gov
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
I was never the girl who had a steady boyfriend. I did have a few boyfriends, but not like some of those popular girls, you know, the cheerleader-types who always seem to have a "fella" as Mama would say. My best friend was one of those girls. She was always wearing some article of clothing that didn't belong to her- a class ring, a jacket, or some other ill-fitted garment that was the property of her fella.
Don't get me wrong. I wasn't exactly ugly, unless you count the time I tried to have my hair cut like Dorothy Hamill and I looked more like Luke Skywalker. Oh, and the braces didn't help much either.
I was pretty cute, if I do say so myself; I was just not in the Steady Boyfriend Clique' at the time. I spent my weekends at the mall with the girls shopping at Claire's for bright red beads and matching wide belts, you know, to wear over our oversized sweaters. Then we'd eat pizza or go to Chick-Fil-La and heckle the other kids from school who had to work that Saturday.
We were sweet like that.
What I'm saying is that in all my teen angst days, I can't remember having a boyfriend for Valentine's Day.
Do you hear the violins now? Give me a tissue, please...
No boyfriend. Age 14. Tragic.
One year my parents, in the relentless pursuit to impress their parental devotion to me, sent me flowers at school. Can you imagine? I know they did it out of pure, parental torture, I mean love, but FLOWERS FROM YOUR PARENTS! Can you be more embarrassed?
I got the call from the office over the intercom. (This was back when they allowed flower delivery at school right before Al Gore invented the Internet.) I was probably daydreaming in class about Kevin Bacon or Ralph Macchio, chewing my pencil and looking up at the ceiling tile when the secretary announced that "Melanie has flowers in the office."
Melanie! That's me!
Oh, who could have sent them? Is it Kevin? Maybe Duran Duran finally got my fan letter. I wonder if it's roses!
I remember that it was raining at lunch when I walked the breezeway to the office to claim the floral expression of devotion from my future husband. (I was 14, remember?) I can't remember exactly what the flowers looked like, but I remember finding them among other floral and helium arrangements of affection on the secretary's desk. Nestled in my flowers was a tiny box of chocolate mint candy.
Flowers and candy. He knows me so well.
Then I read the card. My heart sunk when I read the signature,"Love, Mama and Daddy."
I knew they meant well. They did. But at the time, that knowledge didn't make me feel any better. It just made me think, "I am the poster child for the teen cut down of all time- Only your mama loves you."
It didn't keep me from eating the chocolate.
And I realized that it really was a sweet gesture. At 14, or at any age really, sometimes you are just confused about true love and valentines.
Sometimes, even as adults, we don't understand that we can have a "Valentine" forever.
Jesus. He loves me every day, not just on February 14. He doesn't show His Love for me by sending roses or cards. He expressed His Love for me and for you over 2000 years ago. He stretched out His Arms on a cross, and after much suffering, suffering that we cannot even comprehend, in the most extraordinary expression of love for all mankind, He died.
He died for me. He died for you. He died and rose again so that we may live with Him in Heaven one day. And you know the best part? We don't have to send Him a card or roses, or do anything to show our love for Him. All we have to do is receive this offering He made for us all those years ago. That's all we have to do. Really! It's True!
If you are feeling alone this Valentine's Day, know that you are loved. You are loved by the One Who Is Love.
All you have to do is open your heart and believe.
Monday, February 12, 2007
My 100th post:
Well, this is it. We've all been on pins and needles. I know you have just lay awake at night anticipating when Melanie would post the big one- 100. Boy, I know I have.
In the spirit of Ye Ole Bloggy Traditions, I shall post 100 Facts and Attempts at Funnies About Me. I will try to make this as quick and painless as possible.
Hold still. This may sting a bit...
1. Chapter One: I'm Born
To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I recall that I was born.* (What movie? What book?)
I was born and raised in Albany, Georgia.
2. Chapter Two: I rolled over.
3. Just kidding. Couldn't resist.
4. I grew up in Albany as an only child
5. with loving parents, wonderful grandparents, cousins
6. a dog, a cat, and a rabbit, but not all at once.
7. I loved to make mudpies,
8. play Charlie's Angels
9. and watch Fat Albert every Saturday morning.
10. My favorite kid food was Spaghetti-O's and Roller Coasters.
11. I remember Vacation Bible School and Backyard Bible School.
12. Our VBS didn't have any cool decorations or wacky themes.
13. We ate cheap cookies and drank Kool Aid for snack.
14. On Friday, we had hot dogs.
15. Middle School (known as Junior High) was pretty uneventful, except for the Jordache jeans and add-a-beads, and Mr. Rick Springfield. Notice the "Mr."
16. High School was full of 80's drama, teen angst, Molly Ringwald, "Farmer Ted," and the Brat Pack.
17. I think I was in love with Kevin Bacon and Ralph Macchio.
18. I had a lot of perms, blue eye shadow, braces, and Bill Cosby sweaters.
19. Dare I say "acid wash?"
20. I always knew I would leave Albany.
21. I went off to college and met my wonderful husband.
22. He is a gift from God.
23. My first "real" job out of college was as a social worker,
24. managing about 500 AFDC and Food Stamps cases.
25. Pretty good for someone who hates lists and organization.
26. That job taught me a lot-
27. To plan well,
29. always be empathetic
30. but not naive
31. and always aware that one day I could be sitting on the other side of the desk,
32. needing help for whatever reason- the loss of a job, sickness, or personal problems.
33. That job taught me about compassion.
34. I married my sweet husband after living on my own for a while.
35. I think every woman should be independent before she gets married.
36. Some of my other opinions and not- so- valuable advice are:
37. Treat others as Jesus would treat them.
38. Never go anywhere you wouldn't take Jesus.
39. Because He is with every believer all of the time.
40. Expect a gentleman to open the door,
41. But thank him when he does.
42. Learn how to change a tire.
43. Keep some things to yourself.
44. Make friends and keep them.
45. The world can never sell you what God can give you.
46. Keep your chin up, and your knees bent. Pray, pray, pray.
47. I am Southern by birth and saved by the Grace of God.
48. Now, on to some of my favorite things... like Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream
49. Drug store make-up
50. The smell of Noxzema
51. Raw cookie dough
52. Old linens and fine china
53. Having my hair washed at the salon
54. Looking for worms in mud puddles after it rains with my daughter
55. Playing and getting dirty
56. Then getting all clean again with good smelling soap.
57. Giving a gift to someone when they didn't expect it
59. Watching Seinfeld reruns with my husband and Spongebob with my daughter
60. Listening to Aretha Franklin on a road trip
61. Catching up with an old friend.
62. Some things I hate are- going to the post office,
63. Libraries (but I love book stores!)
64. Loud women
65. Rye bread
66. Broken promises that could be avoided
67. The usual stuff like evil, cruelty, bad manners and vinegar in potato salad. :>)
68. Did I mention my love for mayonnaise?
69. Some things I do pretty well are- removing strange stains
70. Encouraging others
71. Starting mission projects
72. Whimsical, toll painting
73. Doctoring boo boo's
74. Washing socks
75. Changing the cat box
76. making chicken salad
77. (all things that SOMEONE has to be good at- why not me?)
78. Things I am not so good at- anything athletic
79. Like snow skiing (note to self- must post that story!)
80. Remembering notes to self
81. Staying on task and organized
82. .... now what was I writing about???
83. Oh Yeah! Stuff I am not good at! Like following rules of grammar
84. and not having run-on broken sentences with no punctuation at the end
85. Misc. stuff- I have always wanted a Wooden Cigar Indian
86. I hope to go to Greece.
87. I performed on the drill team of my college band at half time for the Atlanta Falcons.
88. I consider myself anaerobic.
89. I am an auditory learner and rarely took notes in school.
90. Coming up with 100 oddities about myself has proven difficult,
91. and since you are still reading this,( goodness knows why), I will just
92. drag it out until one of us falls asleep
93. or runs from the monitor screaming...
94. By the way, you are either really tough or really bored.
95. I had planned on posting a photo of myself for this post,
96. but Tom said we had just finished that photo spread in Vanity Fair.
97. Oh, did I mention I loved Top Gun?
98. And Dawson's Creek?
99. I just hope that the tradition for 200 posts doesn't include 200 things about me.
100. I am so done. ;>)
Sunday, February 11, 2007
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Let me just preface this post with the following disclaimer-
"I hereby declare to be the most inept, unqualified woman on the planet to give any other woman advice about anything, unless it involves removing a stain." *
Now that all the lawyer stuff is taken care of, I will move on.
I have been joyfully married for nearly 13 years. (Joy lasts. Happiness is fleeting.) I love my husband. I love being married. But, some days I just don't know what is going on. Some days I act more like a child than an adult. I can throw a really good hissyfit and don't make me have to raise my voice!
Yep. I'm human.
That's why I wanted to share what I have learned through Bible study, devotion, prayer, good godly counsel, and just plain ole' trial and error, but mostly error.
Here is what I know DOES NOT work for a happy marriage (not all of this is from experience)-
Whining, complaining, bossing, fake crying (you know what I mean, you girls who can turn on the tears like I turn on the sprinkler system), attitude, manipulation, the silent treatment, the lecture, the "My Daddy never treated me this way!" and the pout.
Let me back up for just a minute... Beep. Beep. Beep. (That would be me backing up.)
When I say what doesn't "work," I don't mean what doesn't work for you to get what you want. I mean what doesn't work for the marriage, for glorifying God, and for being obedient to His Word.
You see, being married is not about YOU. It's not about him either. It's about Him.
If you go through life trying to act a certain way or look a certain way in order to get what you want, you will most likely be extremely unhappy and you'll wear yourself out trying. We are not to be the wife we should be to get something in return. We are to be the wife we should be to glorify God and God alone.
(I'm not going to throw out Bible verses to look important or holy. I just don't want you to think I'm pulling this stuff out of a hat.)
"Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free. Ephesians 6:7-8"**
In other words, whatever you do, do it as unto The Lord. Whether you are cooking macaroni and cheese, writing out the bills, or scrubbing the commode, do these things as if you are doing them for God.
Because you are. And because He is the only one who can truly reward you. Sure, your husband may say "thanks" now and then or show his appreciation with a hug, a card, or a helping hand.
But, what if he doesn't?
Does that mean you are to stop being the kind of wife God would have you to become?
I hate to break it to you, ladies, but you are the only person you can control, and you even have a tough time with that! You aren't responsible for your husband's behavior and you are certainly not responsible for punishing him for it.
You know what I'm talking about. Remember the time he forgot that he had agreed to keep the kids so you could have a Saturday out with friends? Remember how you just happened to forget to wash his work shirt for Monday's meeting?
So, let's just agree that we are responsible for our own behavior. After all, when we see Jesus, are we going to answer for our actions or that of others?
I would also like to address the topic of "submission." Did I hit a nerve? Good. We're getting somewhere.
When God said that a wife is to submit to her husband (1 Peter 3:1), He did not intend for her to be a servant as the world sees a servant. You see, the world is your enemy, not your friend. Just as you would never take any advice from an enemy, don't take any marital advice from the world.
The world likes to tell you-
"You don't need a man. He is there for you, your little puppet to treat like a child in order to get your way. When he acts like a child, you should scold and degrade him and tell him that he should act like a man. He can't tell you what to do! No one can tell you what to do! Oh, and you can have children, work 14 hour days, keep a perfect figure, bring home the turkey bacon and fry it up in a pan."
Let's just virtually cut out that little phrase above and tear it into tiny pieces. If you live your life trying to live up to those standards, you will be miserable indeed. I promise you.
I am certainly not implying that you cannot "have it all." Just be sure that the "All" includes God's Plan for your life.
To my understanding, (*see disclaimer) submit in the Biblical sense is compared to a military soldier submitting to the authority of his commander. The commander is in charge. Someone has to be. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if there were two Commanders-in-Chief in our country? You think Congress causes turmoil. Imagine two people of equal power and equal authority running a country. Nothing would get done.
Submitting to authority is also something we do willingly and respectfully, unlike "obey" which has consequences. (Children are to obey their parents.)
A good commander respects the ability and opinion of those under his command. He also delegates. Did you see that? Delegates. Your husband may not be the lazy, good for nothing wimp you think he is. He may just respect your abilities and trust your decisions so much that he would rather you be in charge of some duties in the household.
I didn't say TAKE charge.
And remember this- Your husband is also under the Authority of God, although it is not your place to tell him that. (1 Corinthians 11:3) It isn't up to you to inform your husband that he isn't a "good commander."
Important to note- This post is for those in a Christian marriage. If you are a believer and he is not, you really need to seek the guidance of a pastor or Christian mentor. While you are responsible to honor and cherish your husband, you cannot follow his leadership if he is asking you to sin against God.
And, of course, if you are in an abusive relationship, or if your husband is abusing your children, leave. You have to. God loves you and does not want you or your children to be harmed. Get help and get out.
For the rest of us, the bitter truth is that we are to live as godly wives to be just that- godly wives- not to get something in return. But, as you seek God's Will for your life and live out His Plan for the right reasons, you will see the fruit of His Labor. (Not that of your own- we can't do it without Him!)
The most important thing you can do is to pray for your husband.
Not like this, ladies-
"Dear God, please remind Tom to pick up his socks. I am so sick of doing it. He just doesn't appreciate me. And, God? Could you help him pick out my birthday present? I really hate those character pajamas he buys. I want him to be happy, God, but, please help him be the man he should be so that I can be the wife I should be. Amen."
How about this one-
"Dear God, please show me how to be the wife that you would have me to be.
I want to honor and cherish Tom just as I promised at the altar 15 years ago in front of Mama and Daddy, my cousins, and that bratty, I mean sweet little ring bearer we had. (I need to work on forgiveness too, God.)
Help me be the wife I should be because I promised You too, God, at the altar 15 years ago. I pray that Tom will seek your guidance for our family. Give him discernment and wisdom. Help me to love him as much as you do, unconditionally.
Thank you for giving him to me. I am so blessed. Amen."
** Ephesians 6:5-9 is Paul's instruction to slaves and masters in his time. I am not labeling women as slaves or husbands as masters. This text is also used in reference to employers or to any service or work we do for others. Please read the chapter in its entirety.
Upcoming post- "Jesus was the first Women's Liberator!"
Last Spring I received an email from Nancy titled "Southern Women" with a link to one of the funniest posts I have ever read. This commentary on Southern Mamas was my very first introduction to reading blogs and to Boomama.
I called Mama and read it to her on the phone. First I had to explain exactly what I was reading to her, that it was from a blog on the internet. This led to an explanation of what a blog is and how people write their innermost thoughts on their computers for all the world to read. Mama still confuses the concepts of emails and websites. So, blogging? A challenge.
Mama and I both laughed out loud, the kind of laughs where you have to take deep breaths just to maintain the oxygen flow to your brain.
Boomama wrote about how her mama prefers teeny, tiny bites of stick gum, but not necessarily denim. And Maaatha, her mother-in-law eats only two Pringles at a time. Gum and Pringles all in one post- I was hooked.
Hooked, people. You could see the barb sticking through my cheek. Reel me in.
I was hooked on reading Boomama's colorful renditions of her southern relatives. With every single laugh I could picture someone in my own family saying or doing some of the same things Boomama described. What's more is that Boomama can make anything funny.
I truly believe that if she were to actually post about watching grass grow we would all be rolling on the floor in tears of laughter. She would end up with 3000 comments of "You crack me up... Grass. Growing. Funny stuff!"
She's just talented like that.
I have never met Boomama but I have read enough of her writing to know that she would be ever-so-humble about my bragging on her greatness. That's why we keep reading her blog and well, her Mama raised her right.
The other day I read this post, the one that convinced me that Boomama is in fact the Kevin Bacon of the blogosphere. If you have never played the Kevin Bacon game, go here for an explanation. You'll see what I mean.
So, Boomama, congratulations on being a finalist in the Share The Love Contest. Consider yourself loved by this blogger and many others out there!
Thanks for inspiring us as writers, moms, wives and women who love The Lord. If I never meet you on this side of Heaven, I will be sure to look you up on the other side.
I'll just ask St. Peter, "Do you know which one is Boomama?"
And he will reply, "Why, yes. She is the one in the sassy pants!"
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Works-For-Me Wednesday: Love, Sweet Love Edition
Valentine's Day is just around the corner and already it has taken on the blogosphere with tips and ideas from Shalee's Diner and now more from Shannon.
Bloggin' is good like that, people.
I have shared before that I like to give cards to people and Valentine's Day is one of those holidays where I start working on it early. Most of the time I just buy a box of valentines and sign "God Bless- Love, A Christian Friend" and take them to a local nursing home. Sometimes I have a chance to pass them out and other times I have asked someone on staff to do it. (They are always glad to do so and are really appreciative of someone reaching out to the residents.)
This year I am making valentines. I started over a month ago and have worked on them here and there at night. It has been a lot of fun. I am mailing some of them to my husband's grandmother so that she can pass them out to the residents at her assisted living home. She has no idea I am doing this. I hope it is a nice surprise. :>)
If you do decide to reach out to the elderly at an assisted living or nursing home facility, remember that they really do not need any candy. Most are on a special diet and honestly, the card means so much more to them.
Here are some other ideas for valentines:
1. Call your local Meals on Wheels and offer to provide them with valentines for their trays that day. Ask them in advance how many they will need. The little boxed valentines are the perfect size for tray favors.
2. If you have a children's home in your area, offer to donate a box for each child, unsigned. These kids will want to bring valentines to their friends at school. The homes and foster parents may not have the budget to buy them for the kids. (I have never called a children's home and been turned down. They have always been grateful for someone to do this. Sometimes the staff will pitch in from their own pockets to buy them.)
Remember- you will need to give one box per child. This is a great time to visit the dollar store or ask your Sunday school class or Bible study group to help out.
These are just a few ideas of how you can share the love. A few years ago I decided to really try to reach out on Valentine's Day to tell people that God loves them. He IS Love. It makes sense to share His Love for them on this holiday.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Here are my, not-so-creative ideas for a romantic day with your husband-
1. Meet your husband for lunch that day. This year, the 14th falls during the week. Go somewhere adults go for lunch. Avoid places that have an overgrown mouse serving pizza or any place that serves your food over a counter. You may end up smack dab in the middle of a toddler birthday party or a Mom's Day Out.
2. Lunch is often cheaper than dinner. By going to lunch together you can save money on the meal and the babysitter. Go out for ice cream for dessert!
3. Remember, you don't have to celebrate Valentine's Day on Feb. 14th. Think about it- Would you rather have a quiet romantic evening together on Feb. 13th or a rushed, "How long have we been gone?" and "Are we ever going to get a table?" night out?
4. Go somewhere you went to when you were dating or somewhere that "takes you back." For us, it would be a Mexican restaurant.
5. Rent a movie, pop some popcorn and just curl up together on the couch after the kids have all gone to bed. Sometimes the simplest times can be the best.
Visit Shalee for more tips!
Sunday, February 04, 2007
Plus, I've got this guy watching my back.
My husband's trip is why my daughter and I had our own little Super Bowl Party. On Friday, her extra cool teacher Mrs. J. let them dress in their favorite team colors or any color of their choosing that was festive and sportsmanlike and party-ish. The class had a fun day filled with voting for their favorite team and watching an Air Bud movie.
The whole voting process consisted (I think) of most of them picking either their parents' favorite team or that of Mrs. J., with her being so cool and all. Mrs. J did use this as a fun teaching tool, introducing graphing. I am all about creative ways to teach math. (I hated math. My kid doesn't know that. Shhhhh...)
At the end of the day, my daughter had decided that Chicago would win,
or as she said it, "Da Bears."
Do you hear the snorts of laughter traveling across the internet?
She has NO IDEA what is funny about Da Bears. She was just repeating Mrs. J. The. Ever. So. Hip. Teacher.
Anyhoo. My daughter was convinced Da Bears would win. Then she went for the Colts. Then Da Bears, and so on. To be honest, the girl just loves horses and that is the only reason she would choose the Colts over Da Bears.
But, since Mrs. J was rootin' for Da Bears, she had herself in a pickle- My love for all things Equine or my love for the coolest teacher evah?
What's a girl to do?
So, I told her that she could root for Da Bears and I would root for the Colts and that is what we did, after we went to Winn Dixie just before the game (Mommy was trying to evade the drunks) and bought the following items:
Healthy juice that I convinced my daughter would taste good and is in a cool bottle
Little Debbie valentine cakes
A WAY COOL basket that was originally 12 bucks that I bought for $1.49 with my Winn Dixie Rewards card. It has a handle, a plastic liner, and a fabric liner and is the perfect size for rolls or biscuits.
Because, NFL or not, my friend, I am all about finding a bargain.
I promised my child that she could pick dinner and snacks. She is a really good eater normally and it won't kill her to eat faux food for one meal. I am sorry. I don't care what that skinny cook on Food Network tries to tell you, you just cannot eat spinach tofu nachos at a party. Can. Not.
Would someone please call Paula Deen? I need some real food.
Let me also tell you that our family does not watch sports. Even my husband only watches the World Cup. That's it. Sometimes I will catch a Braves game, but that is rare. We are just like that. Call us nerds. We are. We won't lie, but watching sports would not make us any cooler.
The closest I ever got to watching a football game was dancing at half time with the band. The yard lines have no meaning to me unless I am trying to do a kick line while making the shape of a "D." I did attend a Falcons game once, as a dancer in the college band. All I can tell you is that the Falcons lost and I was more excited that the Braves played on the same field.
So, you can picture the athletic ambiance at our house tonight. As the game started, my daughter brought out two stuffed animals- a pony and a bear. She dug through her collection of beads and we both wore the proper colors for our team.
When the Colts scored, I yelled,"Nayyyy!"
When Da Bears scored, she yelled,"GRRRRR!"
At one point, the plush pony and the plush bear began to fight and I told her that they needed to be friends. Her bear looked at my pony and said, "Wanna go get a smoothie?"
As the game played on we ate our pizza and our Little Debbie cakes, talked about the commercials (that I screened carefully), and we both cheered. The party ended with what I believe every Super Bowl party should not be without- a session of nail painting, complete with Pastel Pink Twinkle nail polish. Then, the Super Bowl fan of all fans was off to bed in her Hello Kitty gown.
I can't wait to hear about the post game wrap-up tomorrow with Mrs. J. Oh, the drama of elementary school and the NFL.
Saturday, February 03, 2007
I attract cats.
I have often said that if I outlive my husband and live alone, with my daughter abandoning me and living far, far away with her own family, getting on with her own life because she actually has one, not that I would ever be bitter and feel sorry for myself or try to make her feel guilty for taking care of her husband and children and living her life without me far, far away, that I would probably end up as the neighborhood cat lady.
I would take in or at least feed every needy cat in a 3 block radius and everything that resembles a needy cat, except possums. That's just me. I'm crazy like that. I love cats. Always have.
I feel sorry for cats because they can't defend themselves against cruel creatures like humans. Dogs can bite and growl. But cats? The only real damage they ever do to you is when you try to give them a bath. Or maybe when you are on your way out the door to church and they paw your leg to play and snag your pantyhose. Dogs can snag your face.
So, I have always had this mental picture of myself surrounded by well-fed, crazy cats, drinking my coffee, eating all the chocolate I want, watching Seinfeld re-runs for the one thousandth time, defying all threats of unsolicited magazine salesmen and diabetes.
Last night, to my delight, I mean chagrin, I realized I. Am. That. Woman.
Minus the magazine salesmen.
I was up very late making Valentines (that's another post) and I heard a noise on our porch. I looked out my back window to find Black Cat sitting on our patio table. He didn't even jump down when he saw me peek out from the blinds. (A sure sign that this fellow knows I am The Cat Lady.) Then I discovered he had brought his buddy, Mr. Fat Black and White Cat, who was curled up under the patio table, also not budging whatsoever at my presence.
Maggie, our rather fat and spoiled cat had not even taken notice at this point. She just slept in the chair, or the sofa, or wherever it was she wished to exist at the time.
Later on, it was like the band started to play again, only without any music.
Make the wailing stop.
When you hear cats wail, you are almost afraid to look for fear of seeing something you'd rather not, covering your eyes and running away from the window screaming, "OH! SWEET MERCY! NOTHING IN ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME. MARGARET PREPARED ME FOR THAT!"
But I looked anyway and this is what I saw- (It's OK. The kids can stay in the room.)
Black Cat lounging, Mrs. Little Black and White Cat sitting in my patio chair, Medium Sized Black and White Cat strolling, and Grouchy Gray Cat double cat daring Mr. Fat Black and White Cat to get under my patio table.
Five cats. At 2:00 AM. All on my patio.
At this point, Maggie did take notice and she started licking paws and taking names. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, lots of hissing and scratching, but mostly just for show.
This is when I realized that I am also a Cat Whisperer, because I am pretty sure, through all of the wailing and hissing and growling, that this is why I heard-
Maggie- "You'd better get off my patio! This is my house and I am in here, and you are out there. Don't make me come out there where it is cold and windy and scary and there is no food and... never mind. Stay as long as you like. "
The Cat Family-
"This is my cat lady and I found her, so you guys had better leave."
"Ooh Look! A playhouse. Makes the perfect outdoor potty."
"Does this patio chair make me look fat?"
"Mommmmy! I want a drink of water!! "
"Go back to sleep."
"Could you guys keep it down!? What will the neighbors think?"
"Good night, John-Boy."
Sweet dreams, my dear furry, flea-covered friends. Sweet dreams.
Friday, February 02, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
This morning in the car-
Daughter- "Mommy, what is the difference between gambling and just spending money on something fun?"
Me- "Gambling is when you spend money so that you can win a lot of money. Your chances of winning aren't very good. It's just a waste."
Daughter- "You mean like running through Wal-mart naked while eating 8 hard boiled eggs?"
Me- "Uhhhh...No... That would be someone daring you to do something stupid. Did you just make that up?"
Daughter- "Nope. Remember when we were getting the new tire and the guy at Wal-mart said "This Wal-mart is weird. We had a guy run through here naked the other night?" Then Daddy made up the part about the boiled eggs."
Me- "Ummm.... Okaaayyy."
Daughter- "Do you know what made my day extra special, Daddy?"
Daughter- "You! Having lunch with me!" pause...points to me, "And You! You know, 'cause you exist."
Me- "Thank you."