Monday, December 31, 2007

And they brought Frank, Sense, and Tropicana Gold

Yesterday in Sunday School, our lesson was about the wise men and the three gifts they brought to Jesus- Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.

I shared with them that the Frankincense and Myrrh both smelled very good and were very special. I pretty much left it at that for their level.

Then we played a simple game. I placed several items in sandwich bags for them to smell-peppermint, soap, a fabric softener dryer sheet, and orange peels.

Later on, during our review, I asked them a few questions...

What town was Jesus in when the Wise Men visited him?


How many gifts did they bring?


What were the gifts?

"Gold, Frank and Sense and Myrrh."

Very good, it was Gold, Frankincense...that's a tough word... and Myrrh.

Which gifts smelled really good?

"The oranges."

Sunday, December 30, 2007 of the week.

Well, it's Sunday. Most Sundays I post a comment of the week, but I am throwing caution to the wind. I'm gonna mix things up a bit and post a "post of the week."

Because, people, my dear friend Linda is needin' the love.

Go read her post about Christmas dinner. Leave her some words of sympathy or maybe just have a moment of silence for her poor ham.

Here's to you, Linda, for keepin' it real!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Consider this my last PSA for 2007.

It's almost time, y'all.

Almost time for Target's 90% off Christmas Clearance.

I was out scouting for some goodies yesterday in anticipation of the markdown. Keep your eyes posted and your calculators ready...

Friday, December 28, 2007

When he cares enough to forget the very best.

Once the stress and hoopla of Christmas pass, there seems to be a new feeling in the air. It is hard to put my finger on it, but it feels like I have been on a roller coaster, about to be sick, and then they let me off and I'm walking around the amusement park with my head still spinning.

Oh, and I've had way too much cotton candy.

I keep thinking I will start putting away some of the decorations or maybe start a new project or maybe even get all the laundry done. Then the Hershey's miniatures and my daughter start calling me, and somehow none of the projects get done. I now know how the Egyptians maintained focus to build the pyramids; they hadn't invented Hershey's miniatures.

We've also had other things going on. It isn't just about the sugar highs.

We have been taking care of our neighbors' dog this week. Caring for a dog is different than caring for a cat. You don't walk a cat.

Well, you could try, but I'd like to read that post.

Plus, cats (whether indoor or outdoor) are easy to care for when it comes to potty issues. You either let them outside, or they go inside in a litter box. If you are lucky like us, you train your cat to go outside in the garage to go in the litter box, but then she has a mid-life crisis and goes inside anyway. On the rugs.


Here's another thing about cats. Cats aren't hyper like dogs. Kittens have a lot of energy but then they have their first birthday and they get over it.

As my daughter says, "Maggie looks bored all the time."

I told her that this is how cats look cool. Cats think that dogs look stupid always jumping around and wagging their tails and hanging their tongues out like idiots. All the while, there is a cat on a porch all excited and dying to let it out, but having to stay cool and look bored.

Come to think of it, this could explain the neurosis of cats. They are just big balls of nervous fur.

So we've been feeding and walking the neighbor's dog. The first time we went for a walk, I went prepared with a bag for scooping. We didn't need it. She just walked and sniffed and peed.

The next morning we took her for a walk, it was very cold and I grabbed my husband's coat as we headed out the door. Halfway around the block, our little canine friend decided to leave a little something special in someone's yard. I didn't have a bag.

I started to rummage through the neighbor's trash but decided against it. It was the day after Christmas. They'd think I was a thief. Or just weird.

Then I reached in my husband's coat pocket and found a tiny piece of paper, a list he had taken to the store. Hmmm... not big enough for that. I reached in another pocket and found a Christmas card- for me- still in the Wal-mart bag. He had forgotten all about it. No matter, I had forgotten to give him his, too.

I took out the card and used the bag to scoop the poo. Then I read the card. It was sweet. Heartwarming. Unsigned.

And very timely.

Merry Christmas, Honey. Here's to another Hallmark moment.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

What's the rush?

This morning I logged on to read some of the News and they are already telling me how to lose my holiday pounds.

Hey, Associated Press! How about a little Christmas Spirit, huh?

Let me savor the moments of Christmas. The cheer, the peace, hope, love. The fudge.

Yeah, and the Hershey's miniatures. Let's not leave out the little ones.


Tuesday, December 25, 2007

You Are Invited

Since the day after Thanksgiving, I've heard it said.

"Happy Holidays."

We've explained a little bit about the saga of Christmas and semantics to our daughter. Each time she sees something written or hears anything other than "Merry Christmas," she mentions it to one of us.

I told her that there are those who say "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" because they do not want to offend anyone. But, truly there are those who refuse to acknowledge Christmas because they do not believe in God.

Sure, they want to celebrate something. Winter. The Season. The (your preference here.) Anything not related to religion.

The best analogy I could come up with was this- It is like someone coming to a birthday party wanting a treat bag, but they show up without a gift.

But the truth of the matter is that these guests have no idea that they were invited to the party. They think they are party crashers, when in fact they are not.

They were issued an invitation long ago.

Jesus came over 2000 years ago. He was born of a miraculous birth and lived a perfect life. He died on the cross, punishment for all of mankind's sin. He did this because He loves us. He wants everyone to come to know Him, accepting Him as their Savior.

Every. One.

And if eternal life with God were not enough, the greatest part about this invitation is that you don't have to bring a thing.

Only your heart.

Go ahead and "RSVP." Don't wait. Accept God's Invitation today. Give Jesus your heart this Christmas.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son,
that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.
For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world through Him might be saved."
John 3:16-17
Merry Christmas

Monday, December 24, 2007

I said, Has anyone seen Flick?*

It is Christmas Eve, the little lights are twinkling, daughter is almost tucked in bed, the kitchen is clean, Norad is tracking Santa and Ralphie is about to beat up Scut Farkus.

Can it get any better than this?

Good night, y'all.


* A Christmas Story, the funniest Christmas movie of all time.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Random Facts and Some Seriously Good Linkage

1. Did y'all know that my husband is one of the best cookie makers? He is making cookies with our daughter right now. And, yes, I am blogging. Ahem.

2. I have to go to the grocery store. I have lost my mind. I keep thinking of a store that no one may be at, but that will have everything I need. I don't think we have one of those.

3. Maggie keeps hiding under the tree. She thinks she is a present. She is. She is the present that keeps on taking.

4. Mr. Edwards caught another beaver. We have at least two more to go in our pond. More on that later...

5. Roxanne has written one of her best posts about her Daddy and his Sunday best. Head on over there to read it. Seriously, good stuff!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Michael W. Smith- It's A Wonderful Christmas CD Review

mws banner

I received my free Michael W. Smith It's A Wonderful Christmas CD in the mail several weeks ago. In an effort to really savor the music before posting, I've listened to the CD on several occasions- while putting the lights on our tree, making dinner, preparing breakfast for my parents, and even cleaning house. All of these tasks may not seem very "Christmasy" or even festive, but I found that as I listened, I was reminded of the Gift of the Season.

Jesus Christ, My Lord.

Several words would describe this Christmas CD for me- Reverent, Joyful, and Worshipful. Carefully arranged, the collection takes you on a journey from exuberant praise to quiet admiration.

This CD will certainly be a keeper in my Christmas collection. I look forward to taking it out each year in celebration of the birth of Christ.

Thanks to Provident and Michael W. Smith for this opportunity.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This could be material for a Hallmark commercial.

So, I've been thinking a lot lately about how we all try to measure up, how we compare ourselves to other women, other friends, other people we never even met. We do this as women, and most of the time we make ourselves miserable in the process.

Christmas is the time we do this the most. It is the Big One. The Mother of All Holidays.

We look back at Christmas Past and compare it to Christmas Present. We see ourselves under the tree, in our Scooby Doo pajamas, eating a candy cane and playing with our new Malibu Barbie. All we remember, for the most part, is that Christmas was great. To us, it was perfect. Mama had her act together, or so we thought.

Then there was Grandma. The woman embodied hospitality and homemaking. Hey, she invented it. Truth be told, Grandma was probably just as stressed as you are right now, thinking, "I should be baking cookies instead of reading blogs."

OK. Maybe not.

But I am convinced that Grandma did not get run over by a reindeer. Grandma jumped.

Instead of pretending to be perfect, maybe we should just come clean with our own daughters. Maybe we should tell them that we really wish we could be blogging instead of baking cookies. Just for a little while. Just for a mental break. Maybe they should see us eat the cookie dough straight from the bowl. And then from the spoon, too.

They'll see us as imperfect, but trying our best. Isn't that what we want them to see? It won't matter to them that we didn't evenly distribute the sprinkles on the cookies. What matters is that we have sprinkles. (Wow! Was that profound or what?)

So when you start to stress this Christmas, let your daughter see you twitch a little. Let her see that Mom isn't perfect- just a little. One day, in Christmas Future, your daughter will burn the rolls and break an heirloom ornament. Then she'll look back and remember how well you handled not being perfect. Or not. Either way, she will know that it is perfectly fine not to be perfect.

She'll thank you for it. You taught her a valuable lesson.

And you saved her thousands in therapy.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for sweet baby Olivia.

She is two months old and very ill. For more info, visit Big Mama's.

Thank you, Internets.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pickin' and Grinnin'

Well, I am still here. In body, if not in mind.

I am in need of some time in the stable, but other than that, I could be considered sane. At least, legally.

The last few days have been crazy. The weekend was a cold and rainy blur. Daughter had dress rehearsal for the church music program, a birthday party, Christmas shopping with Daddy, and the music program itself Sunday night.

During the dress rehearsal, one of the little girls (who, by the way, just so happens to be in my Sunday School class) decided that she was going to add her own moves to the music number. While every other child was singing and doing the motions, Katie decided to pick her nose.

The music director yelled out, "Katie! Don't pick your nose on stage!"

Katie stopped and joined in with the rest of the kids, not missing a single beat.

Sunday night, during the real, live performance, Katie was singing her sweet little heart out right there on the front row when she paused and ducked behind her friend.

To pick her nose.

I laughed right there in the pew. When I looked back at Katie's parents, I saw Katie's dad shrinking in his seat, shaking his head.

Don't worry dad. At least she was discreet about it.

Friday, December 14, 2007

So, where's my halo?

Honey, it says I'm an Angel. See? Really, it did! :>)

You Are an Angel

A truly giving soul, you understand the spirit of Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Meme

Reynie over at God, do you hear this Southern Girl Rambling? tagged me for a meme over a week ago. She has been so patient. Thanks, Reynie!

The rules are that I should share 5 things about me, leave a link to the one who tagged me, and then tag others to play along.

I have been blogging for over a year, so it is really hard for me to think of some things you don't already know. Well, things that I would tell you. (wink wink)

1. I am a Super Model. No, wait. That's another meme...

I have a strange ability to remember TV channels. I sort of categorize them in my head. I also do this with calendars.


2. I do not like gadgets.

3. When I was in college, my plan was to open a shelter for abused and needy children.

4. I can make fried green tomatoes, but I am not good at frying chicken.

5. I always liked Scarlett better than Melanie. ;>)

Since it is Christmas and everyone is busy, I am not going to tag anyone. If you want to play along, just leave a note in the comments.

Have fun!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Perhaps you have Yuletide-Imperfectionaphobia

"Charlie Brown, you're the only person I know who can take a wonderful season like Christmas and turn it into a problem." Linus Van Pelt

Every woman I talk to lately is completely stressed out about Christmas. We all seem to be pulled in too many directions with too many cookies on our plates. I would guess that you are stressed out, too.

Like Charlie Brown, the commercialism really depresses me, but I am the one who allows myself to get stressed. Every year I know what lies ahead of me. The gift buying. The cooking. The decorating. The musicals. The (fill in the blank.) All of these things pile on top of what is already a full schedule of responsibilities.

For you ladies out there who work outside of the home and for you homeschoolers, I don't know how you do it. If you are on some special medication, please leave the name of it in the comments, please.

Seriously, it seems like the duties, if you will, of Christmas always fall on the women. Yet, we are the natural nurturers of the family. It is part of God's Plan.

So why is it so hard?

Where are we going wrong?

For me, I know that I take on too much. I have a hard time saying, "no." I have a hard time disappointing anyone besides myself. I also enjoy the decorating and the gift buying- to a point. It is when all of the other responsibilities get in the mix, that it becomes a chore.

Then I hear God's Whisper,"Slow down. Keep your eyes on Jesus."

I think to myself,"I know that God. This just adds to the guilt. I want to keep my focus on you, the true gift of the Christmas Season. I love you, Lord. But, I am overwhelmed."

For the last several weeks, I have been studying the Christmas story in its entirety, trying to put all of the pieces together and prepare for Sunday School lessons. God has shown me several truths and I would like to share one of them with you.

Many times we think of Mary in the stable when she gave birth to Jesus. We pause and think, "Poor Mary. There was no room in the inn. She was forced to have her child, the Son of God, in a stable."

Well, you know what? That was God's Plan. God had prepared the way for Christ before His Birth. He must have prepared for the birth as well.

I am no scholar, but what I truly believe is that God wanted Mary and Joseph to be in the stable, alone with Jesus that night. If they had been in the inn, they would have been surrounded by people and noise and distraction. Instead, they were in a stable, in the quiet stillness of the night. They were alone with their child who was also their Savior. The Savior of the world. In the dark, lonely, dirty stable, surrounded by animals, Mary and Joseph were also surrounded by the Peace of God.

So I am adding one more thing to my list, and I am taking off a few others. I encourage you to do the same.

Each night until Christmas, even for five minutes, go to your quiet place, your "stable" and spend time alone with Jesus. Read your Bible or just spend time in prayer. Lock yourself in the bathroom if you have to. If you miss one night, don't feel guilty. Satan loves to take you on a guilt trip. Just wake up the next morning and ask God to help you stay focused on Him. He will provide the time when your heart is seeking Him. Your few minutes may be in the shower or the car on the way to work. No matter where your stable is, God will meet you there.

Look at your list of things to do. Is there anything you can take off? Are there any duties you can delegate? Any commitments you can let go of? I'll bet there is.

Remember, there was no room for them in the inn. There was no room for Him either. Take time in the quietness of the "stable" with Christ this Christmas.

Christmas doesn't have to be perfect. Christ, in all of His Glory, is all the perfection we need.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

What I love about Christmas

Besides the obvious, Savior In A Manger, these are a few of my favorite things about Christmas-

1. I love being out shopping and seeing someone buy a bicycle. It makes me smile to imagine the surprise on that child's face Christmas morning.

2. The Salvation Army bell ringers. They are a reminder that there are good things being done for those in need. The sound of the bell reminds me to give, to love and to be thankful.

3. Bows. I love bows. I love making bows. I like wrapping presents. My favorite times are when I can sit in the living room floor at night and wrap gifts, making special bows for each one.

4. HGTV's White House Christmas. Some may see it as a waste, but I love that our nation's home is decorated beautifully and elegantly for all the world to see.

5. Charlie Brown Christmas. My second favorite Christmas movie/show. Sally's letter to Santa cracks me up.

6. Our tree. Every year I choose a night to sleep on the sofa in the living room. I leave the tree lights on and fall asleep looking at our tree. My husband has come to expect it. Mama even asks if I have slept "under the tree" yet.

7. The Nutcracker. I missed it this year, but we usually try to go. LOVE it! Ballet and orchestra mixed in with Christmas. Wonderful.

8. Seeing children start to get excited about Santa. You can see it in their eyes. Just sweet.

9. Birthday cake for Jesus. We make or sometimes buy a small cake and put candles on it. We sing Happy Birthday to Jesus on Christmas Day.

What about you? What do you love?

I'm guessing Martha never did that.

Last night, I was working on the lights and watching Wheel of Fortune because I feel that one should increase her vocabulary Vegas style while screaming at the Tannenbaum.

The Christmas spirit. I'm feelin' it.

You see, I ran out of lights a few days ago because three hundred of them didn't work. I spent at least three bucks on them. You'd think they would have lasted longer than oh, five years. Go figure.

In a last minute stop to the Big K before car line, I was feeling a little like Martha Stewart. I grabbed two boxes of lights and a few others items and rushed off to car line.

When I opened them up last night to put them on the tree I realized they had white cords. Oh, the disappointment. But I decided to make them work and twisted and turned them on the VERY GREEN tree. And, you know what? The CIA could not have hidden the cords any better.

Just as Pat Sajak was reminding a contestant to use her free spin, the doorbell rang. I was in the middle of cheap electrical wiring and I asked Hubs to answer the door.

It was my next door neighbor. She delivered the fudge that the woman in labor had made for the cookie swap. This woman was in the middle of making fudge, went into labor with her third child, dropped off her other kids at a friends' house, delivered her baby three hours later, then managed to distribute the fudge to all of us two days later.

SHE deserves a badge!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Somebody needs a nap. Or a valium.

1. Remember this kitty? Well, as it turns out "it" is a girl and the neighbors have confirmed my suspicion that she is well-cared for and not homeless. Still, she insists on sleeping on our porch at times.

Daughter has named her, "Pilgrim." The other night Pilgrim was lounging on the wicker and daughter peeked through the window to say,"Good night, Pilgrim."

2. We have hired Mr. Edwards to humanely catch and release the beavers. Over the weekend, we snared us a critter.

The next door neighbor called us to share the news. We all gathered 'round with the kids early in the morning and watched the beaver sit on the bank and await his fate. (Don't worry. He was fine.)

It was riveting.

The beaver sat there, really still, with his back to us all and thought to himself, "I hope I don't end up on someone's blog."

3. Maggie has lost her ever lovin' mind. I found her on the kitchen counter! EWWW! I draw the line at counters and tables. I honestly think she is headed for the Paris trip at any moment.

4. I went on a field trip today with my daughter's class and if I had been heavily medicated, it may have been mildly entertaining. But since I was not, it was, to say the least, a fiasco.

The person giving the chemistry demo kept confusing an acid with a base. A few of us kept looking at each other like, "Um. Is somebody going to say something?" Daughter's teacher is very diplomatic and reserved, unlike myself, so she didn't say anything. I suspect she will go over the material with the class later.

Eventually, somebody did say something. Guess who that was.

Yep. Me.

But in a nice way, I promise.

5. Later, we had a picnic lunch and my daughter's friend found the one spot in the entire park where the largest dog known to man went poo. Then somebody ended up helping her dig it all out with a stick.

Yep. Me.

I had to. She was so sad about her shoe. Bless her heart.

6. I later went to the grocery store and, no kidding, the bagger was so slow that there was actual moss growing on his little vest.

And I am very patient, people. Really. I used to work in retail. But with the acid and the base and all the dog poo, I had reached my limit for the day.

7. On the bright side, the little lights are finally twinkling.


Sunday, December 09, 2007

Cookies and Internet Goodness

I am sitting here listening to Big Mama and BooMama's Big Boo Cast and eating cookies from the cookie swap. The TV is on mute so that I can pay close attention to two of my favorite bloggers.

Hubs just came downstairs and said,"What are you doing? Watching TV and watching something on the computer?"

"Nope. I'm not watching TV. You can turn the channel."

"What are you watching on the computer?"

"I'm listening."

"To what?"

"Big Mama and BooMama."


"Big Mama and BooMama."

"So, who are they? Two talk show hosts?"

"No. Two bloggers."

"Ummm. 'kay."

(You bloggers out there are laughing out loud. You know you are!)

Back to the cookies...

I went to the cookie swap this afternoon. My neighbor invited me and, as it turns out, I knew half of the eight ladies invited. It's a small world. We were supposed to have a total of nine ladies, but one couldn't make it. She had some lame excuse that involved, oh, I don't know, labor of her third child.

Sheesh. People will do anything to get out of the kitchen!

So now I have 8 dozen cookies. Eight different kinds of cookies. Let me tell you that we do not need 8 dozen cookies in our house.

That would be 8 dozen.

In case you missed it.

My husband will not eat foreign baked goods. He would eat lead-based paint from China before he would eat the baked goods of a stranger. He is my Howard Hughes.

My daughter would eat all of the cookies, given the chance. Sadly, so would I, so I have decided to keep my neighbor's cookies and share the rest with the local fire station. All the cookies are so nicely packaged and delicious as well.

Well, maybe I'll hold on to the peanut butter cup cookies. Sorry, Mr. Fireman.

Comment of the Week #10

This week I give Jennifer the um, not-so-distinguished award of Comment of The Week for the following comment on the Camping Trip.

"My Girl scout experience happened when I was 7. I stepped into an ant pile and had bites up to my knees. I also got sick from the marshmallows. Nevermind that I had eaten about 14 of them. And I stepped in deer-doo-doo. After my scarring experience, I decided girl scouts was not the place for me and haven't camped ever since. But, I should have gotten an ant bite, barfing and doo-doo badge for all that I endured. Just to show I was a survivor."

Girl, if I knew of any such badge, I would send you one. Yes, M'am.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

At least no one has a lip fungus.

After writing yesterday's post, I visited Linda's blog this morning and saw her little Christmas quiz. I took the quiz, and guess what holiday character I am!

"The holiday season brings out your competitive side. You want to give the best presents, have the best-looking house on the block, and cook up the most delicious holiday feast. You strive to be number one at everything you do, which makes you prone to holiday freak-outs when things don't go as expected. As long as you stay calm, you're great to have around during the holidays – mostly because you're trying so hard to make sure everyone else has the BEST possible time."

Friday, December 07, 2007

The little lights aren't twinkling.

Edited to add- Hat tip to Jessica and Nicki for guessing "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation."

I've had my Christmas tree up for over a week.

It is all put together, the limbs are shaped and that is it. No lights. No ornaments. Nothing. Linus doesn't live around here, so it looks like I'm going to have to do something about it.

Hubs got all the Christmas boxes down from the attic and I searched them all over for the tree lights. It looks like he almost got all the Christmas boxes down from the attic. Now one of us will be back in the attic looking for the lights.

The good thing is that he brought down a box I haven't seen in years. Yes, years. I opened it up and it contained items I thought the movers had lost. And sometimes those movers were us.

I feel like I am about a week behind in my Christmas tasks. Last weekend was dedicated to shivering in a cabin. This week I helped out at school, had my child sick at home one day, and somehow I have managed to let the laundry pile up long enough that now we have little sock babies running all over the house.

I spent this morning making 8 dozens cookies for a cookie swap, this afternoon picking up a few items at Target, and this evening out for dinner for my birthday (can't complain about that!) Tomorrow we have company in the morning and I need to study for my Sunday School lesson. Sunday is the cookie swap and of course, church. Monday I help with something at school and I am sure that when Tuesday rolls around I will have something else on my plate.

Um, yeah. I feel a bit overwhelmed.

How about you?

*Points to the first person who guesses where the title of the post is from!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Moviegoers, Beware.

There is a new movie coming out tomorrow that is being marketed to kids and families. It has big stars, cute animals, and what appears to be heroic children.

If you are a believer, please take a minute to read this before you consider seeing it.

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." John 10:10

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It was good enough for the kind officer with the pepper spray.

So, today is my birthday. I almost didn't post that.

But I did it anyway.

I spent the morning volunteering at school and had planned to go later to get my driver's license. Yes, I know it was the last minute, but I had also planned to go yesterday, only I was volunteering at school yesterday and it lasted longer than I thought.


While I was helping out with a school project, the teacher's aid brought my daughter to me to let me know she wasn't feeling well. We packed up her bag, I passed off my duties, and we headed to the DMV.

Sounds like fun. Doesn't it?

Let me tell you that I have never been so glad to have my picture taken for my driver's license. It sounds a little nuts, but it is true. Several years ago, when I had the last license renewed, I was out of state and the DMV sent me a new license without a photo.

You would think that I had tried to spin the Earth in the opposite direction.

Whenever I tried to write a check or do anything that required a photo ID, I showed my license without the photo and the clerks would be in shock. The license clearly read, "Valid Without Photo ID." All of the state patrol officers and deputy sherriffs in the country considered my driver's license valid, but the lady at Wal-mart found it questionable.

I always got comments like this...

"Wow. I've never seen one like that."

"How do you get a license without a picture?"

"I'd like one of those!"

"Hmmm.... let me get my supervisor."

Inevitably, the "Let me get my supervisor" comment always came from the 19 year old cashier at CVS or Eckerd whenever I tired to purchase my sinus medicine. It seems that once you have mastered the skills of the One Hour Photo Lab at Walgreens, you are also an expert in fake ID's and nabbing a Stay At Home Mom who is obviously trying to buy Motrin Cold and Sinus for her meth lab.


Sometimes I would just have a little fun with them and tell the clerks that I was in witness protection. I'd pause to see their reaction, then laugh hysterically, of course. Most of them would laugh along with me.

Then there was always Mr. DEA at the photo lab who peered at me suspiciously in the corner of his eye as he plopped open the huge Book of Sinus and Cold Medicine Suspects and handed me a pen.

Which was chained to the counter.

You can't get anything pass that guy!


Tuesday, December 04, 2007

On The Camping Trip: Part Two

I really hate to drag this out for you. It is kind of like taking off a Band-aid. It is much better to rip it off quickly and just get it over with. There is so much to share about this trip that there is no way it could fit into one post.

Once during a hike, I turned to my husband and said,"Oh my gosh. There is so much blog material."

Once you measure your life's events by amount of blog material, you know that you have crossed over to the other side.

Kind of like the Matrix with household tips and parenting advice.

We spent our day visiting other troops' campsites. The girls worked hard making things fun and interesting for their new Scout friends. I almost wished that I had been a Girl Scout when I was little. I was also very glad that we let daughter participate.

We were leaving one campsite, hiking to another, with some very sweet Girl Scouts from another troop leading the way. I heard them ahead of us saying,"Don't turn left. Don't turn left."

One sweet little girl took it very seriously and stood at the crossroads of the hiking trail.

"Go right! Go right! You have to go right!"

"We can't go left?"

"If you want to walk 16 miles."

(That would be .16 miles according to the sign, but I am very glad that she took her guide responsibilities very seriously. Thank you, Dedicated Scout.)

We visited one troop and later learned they had hosted some other visitors, too. Namely, two snakes in the rafters.

Lucky for them, a dad was around to retrieve the snakes and relocate them to the woods. This was the same dad who arrived at Toasty Lodge. He told hubs that the snake definitely had a pattern, as in diamond shapes.

Y'all know how I feel about patterned snakes. I prefer my snakes in solids or stripes.

Hubs does not like snakes. He doesn't mind roughing it in the woods and he really doesn't mind mice, except for the fact that they attract snakes. Oddly enough, he is more afraid of the poor sanitation at a buffet line than he is a mouse in the woods.

Because we all know that it was the failure of a sneeze guard at Ye Ole All You Care To Eat Smorgasbord that spawned the Black Plague.


After our supper of chili and hot dogs, we let the kids roast marshmallows and make s'mores. Article 5 of the Girl Scout handbook states, "After hiking in the woods all day with a group of giggly girls, be sure to allow them unlimited access to sugar. Make sure they stand by a huge open flame while cooking the big lumps of sugar with long, pointy things."

Somewhere in the Girl Scout archives, next to the lost Smorgasbord Plague Chronicles, you will also find Newton's Law Of Sugar Consumption which reads like this, "For every giggly girl's rise in energy level there is an equal and opposite change in their mom's energy level."

It is all very scientific.

You see, I did learn something about Girl Scouts.

Now where is that badge??!!

At this point, I would wear the vest.


Monday, December 03, 2007

On the Camping Trip: Part One

When I was a little girl I had absolutely no interest whatsoever in Girl Scouts.

No offense to the Scouts, but I thought it rather silly to learn how to start a fire, cook on it, and then sleep outside in the woods with all the creepy crawly things just to get a badge that would go on a vest that I would not be caught dead wearing out in public.

But, that's just me.

Now, I did like to play outside and get dirty, but once nightfall came, this girl wanted to go inside and get the pine sap off the bottom of her feet before climbing into her warm, pink canopy bed in her Scooby Doo pajamas.

Before I get any emails from you Die Hard Girl Scout Fanatics, please know that I realize now that I was misinformed. Girl Scouts can be fun.

But I still feel the same about the vest.

Our daughter decided at the start of the school year that she wanted to be a Girl Scout. My husband was thrilled. Me... ehhh... notsomuch, but I did not want to discourage her from trying something new. She signed up and we have been doing stuff for badges ever since.

Including camping.

In the woods. With creepy, crawly things.

Dads were allowed to go camping with us as long as they slept in a separate part of the camp. When we heard this, my daughter was tickled to death. I was ecstatic. I knew that, no matter what, we would survive. We live with Survivor Man. (Okay. I am giving him a little extra credit here. But, hey. I'm partial. He is MY Survivor Man.)

As we headed to the camp Saturday morning, I said a prayer that all the girls would be safe, no one would get lost or hurt and that everyone would have a good time.

I kept thinking that we would be in the woods yelling, "Cinnndyyy! Bobbbyyy!" with really sappy music playing in the background while some girl from our troop sat down with an Indian boy and waited for us to find her. Then some clumsy mom would get in poison ivy and, although I had come prepared with Caladryl lotion, I was not looking forward to applying it to anyone, including myself.

Clearly, I have learned all there is to know about camping from The Brady Bunch.

When we arrived just outside the campground, the mom in the van ahead of us pulled over. She called me on my cell phone to tell me we were to wait for the rest of the caravan. (Yes, I had my cell phone on a camping trip. Wouldn't you?)

So we waited. And we looked around.

I looked over to my left and there was a car without wheels turned over on its side. All we could see was the underside of the car. To my right, there were items most commonly found in landfills or on Sanford And Son. Lamont would have made some serious cash on this stuff.

Strutting around the old tires and rusty tools were a rooster and his hen. The girls got all excited and said,"Awww, he's so cute." I let them know we were not to open the doors or the windows and that roosters were not cute. They are mean and hateful.

Just like that pit bull in the back.

I started to call the other mom to warn her not to get out of the vehicle, but hubs said he could tell that the pit bull was chained and other that the fact that the rooster and hen were checking out our Camry, we were perfectly safe.

The rest of our caravan finally joined us and we entered the campground. One of the park rangers instructed hubs where he would sleep later that night and we were off to our neck of the woods.

At one point on our journey, a little girl said,"Are we supposed to be here?"

She was so right. Someone should give her a badge.

I will share the day's events with you later, but I have to tell you about that night. When it came time to turn in for the night, hubs was off to his campsite. All of the moms in our group felt sorry for him saying, "Ahhh. Poor guy. He is going to be all alone at that camping area where they don't even have electricity."

I assured all of them that he would be perfectly fine. I knew that he would be all warm and cozy in his sleeping bag. I also knew that he liked the challenge of roughing it.

Hubs was actually looking forward to it because he has no problem starting a fire, cooking over it, then sleeping in the woods with creepy crawly things. In fact, he really wanted to make a shelter with twigs and straw, even though that didn't work out very well for the Three Little Pigs.

So when he drove away into the dark, cold night, I had no sympathy for him whatsoever.

(I am callous and cruel and, as it turns out, cold, too.)

When it came time for us to turn in, I ended up sharing a cot with my daughter. There was another cot open, but I was concerned that my daughter would wake up in a strange place and be afraid or cold. We each had our own sleeping bags and we settled in.

Throughout the night, I kept telling daughter to keep her cap on to keep her head warm.

"I am warm, Mommy. I just want to wear my gloves."

"No, you have to wear the cap that Daddy gave you. You could get sick."

"But I don't like it."

"I don't care. Wear it anyway."

All the while, I was pretty warm. All except for my face. I had the hood of my sweatshirt pulled over my head, but my face stayed cold all night. I could have covered my face with something but I felt that breathing was more important than comfort.

When we met hubs at the campfire the next morning, he had already started a buzz. It seems that when he went to his campsite (you know, the one without electricity where he would be all alone and cold and blah blah blah), he managed to meet the head park ranger who showed him a lodge where he could sleep.

They had quite the conversation about camping and the like and the park ranger told hubs that he didn't have to sleep in one of the tents outside. No. He was welcome to sleep in the lodge and start a fire.

Hubs said,"Are you sure?"

"Why yes."said the Ranger.

And then he gave hubs his own lighter.

By the time another dad arrived at the lodge, hubs had the fire going and the place was all warm and toasty. All they needed was the marshmallows.

Um, yeah. He had it sooo tough.

There I was with Cindy Brady, eating beans from a flashlight while he was off at the Huxtables' eating Cliff's famous chili.

Somebody please give me a badge.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Y'all have no idea.

If words could express the weekend I have had, I would eloquently pen them on handmade paper while sipping espresso and listening to Yanni.

Yet, I shall not. I am just plum tired. (How's that for eloquent?)

I've been camping.

When I've regained consciousness and sanity, I will share it all with you.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Be dazzled.

I have to tell y'all the rest of the story about the white flowers and how, most of the time, when I can remember what on Earth I am supposed to do, I tend to be the reliable Mom.

Except for the time I missed a school meeting for parents of exceptional kids because I FORGOT. Go ahead and give me my itinerary for that guilt trip.


Yesterday when I met daughter for lunch, it was only after she had asked her daddy the night before and he said he couldn't go. I knew this as soon as she asked me, but I didn't even hint that I had figured out her plight.

I asked Hubs, "Did she ask you to go to lunch with her first and you said you couldn't?"


"That's what I thought."

Not that I feel rejected or anything.

When I showed up at the lunchroom to meet daughter, Chick-Fil-A kids' meal in hand, guess who was walking with the class alongside daughter?

Yep, Hubs.

Daughter was tickled to death to have both Mom and Dad at lunch. Everyone probably thought it was her birthday and we were just too cheap to send in cupcakes.

Apparently, hubs managed to get his work done and was able to get away at lunch. He knew I was going, but decided to go anyway. It was a quiet family affair in the midst of the cafeteria chaos.

I turned to daughter and said,"You know, I told your grandmother that your daddy is the sequin vest, all shiny and sparkly and fun. And I am the old, worn out sweatshirt, all boring and tired, but reliable and warm."

Hubs just laughed and, after an explanation of the analogy, daughter laughed, too.

Then I said,"Really, Daddy is a sweatshirt that has been bedazzled because he is really reliable, but he is fun and sparkly all at the same time."

Daughter thought this was a hoot and said,"Daddy! You've been bedazzled!!"

Yes, but did he bring any flowers?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Boy. I'm just glad it wasn't orchids.

Last night, about this time, I got an interesting request.

"Mommy, I need to bring either one or two white carnations to school."

Keep in mind that the little person making the request was actually supposed to be asleep and I was sitting at the laptop in my pajamas.

"When do you need the flowers?"

"Um, tomorrow or the next day would be good."

(deep sigh)

"It would have been helpful for you to tell me earlier today when I could have stopped somewhere to get the flowers. Now we have to get up early tomorrow and go to Publix to buy some."

"I'm sorry."

"Ok. Go to bed. Do you need a dozen cupcakes, too?"

Giggle, giggle.

Fast forward to this morning in Publix less than an hour after they opened and before the retirees have even completed their morning walks. (Too early.)

Thinking to myself, "I hate carnations. I know what experiment they are doing, the one with the food coloring. How am I going to find a white carnation at the grocery store at the crack of dawn before I've had a full cup of coffee..."

"Honey, we may not find carnations."

"That's OK. The teacher said white roses work pretty good."

Thinking to self, "Roses from Publix for a school project."

"I don't see any carnations or roses. They have daisies and mums."

"Actually, the teacher said any white flower will do."

Muttering to self.

"Which ones do you want?"


Pay for bouquet of white daisies.

Thinking to self, "Much better than carnations."

Meet daughter for lunch, hours later...

Teacher- "Thanks for the white flowers. I asked the kids to bring in one or two if they could. Now we will have enough to try different colors. It is such a neat experiment for them."

Sit down to eat with daughter-

"Mommy, I was the only one who brought flowers in today."


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

So this lady walks into a card shop.

"Hello, may I help you?" asked the twenty-something clerk.

"Yes, I would like a birthday card," said the lady.

"We don't have birthday cards," said the clerk.

Puzzled, the lady replied,"What do you mean you don't have birthday cards? This is a card shop. Isn't it?"

And the dialogue continued.

"Yes, this is a card shop, but we stopped carrying birthday cards because we feel that it offends the people who come in here and do not want birthdays, do not celebrate birthdays or do not have birthdays."


"Now we only carry Happy Day cards. Let me show you..."

"I don't want a Happy Day card. I want a Happy Birthday card."

"You can squeeze Birth in front of Day on the Happy Day cards."


"Oh, wait a minute...let me get a pen." (slash, slash)

"There. I crossed out Happy on the Happy Day cards. I don't want to offend anyone who comes in here and doesn't feel happy. I wouldn't want to upset them. You can buy a Day card."

Lady stands speechless.

"Ooops. Wait a second." (slash, slash)

"There. I crossed out Day. I don't want to offend anyone who works the night shift or any of the bats and possums."

"Or better yet. Why don't you just not buy a card? There is just too much energy wasted in signing and reading a card. Take one of these."

Hands something to the lady.

"What's this?"

"It's a seedling. Go plant a holiday tree. I hear they used to have something to do with someone's birthday."


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I knew her when...

My sweet, talented friend Nancy has just added some new pieces to her gallery.

I am sitting on the sofa writing about stray cats and vegetable injuries and she is busy creating things like this.

Visit her blog to see some of her new works and take a peek at her entire gallery in the sidebar.

I hope one day she'll remember the little people like me.



Bon Appetit! Medic!

Yesterday I was at Publix trying my best to find anything remotely nutritious that did not include turkey, cornbread or sweet potatoes.

Because I've had about enough of that for a while... or at least until Christmas.

So I decided to get gourmet (not) and make a pasta dish with shrimp and a creamy sauce and even warm up some croissants which made me want to walk around saying things like,"Oui, oui, Mademoiselle....Ratatouille...French Dressing."

I am so refined.

Then I got all uppity and decided that I would cook an artichoke. Not in the can. Not in a dip. A fancy, fresh artichoke.

I am seriously considering writing a letter to someone because they need to post a warning on those artichokes. I reached for one and as I arrogantly put it in my cart, the little green thing stabbed me right there in the produce section next to the asparagus and the zucchini, with small children watching.

It was quite dangerous and I think others should be warned. You know, those artichokes have been known to kill people.

I even warned the cashier,"Look out for that artichoke. It is prickly. I poked myself."

That sentence alone should tell you why the artichoke is still on my kitchen counter awaiting a brilliant roasting recipe with a balsamic something or other and why maybe I need to stick with recipes which call for things like turkey, cornbread and sweet potatoes.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Miss Congeniality takes on a whole new meaning.

All I can say about this girl is Bless Her Heart.

And I don't care where she is from, this girl has some Southern blood in her. Any girl who can survive pepper spray and hives and still keep that kind of height on her hair deserves a crown.

I'm just sayin.'

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shop 'til you pull something.

In Ye Grand Ole American tradition, I joined the other turkeys yesterday for some shopping on the day after Thanksgiving.

Also Known As- The one day of the year when even the sweetest old lady can turn into a monster while diving for the last Elmo on the shelf at Wal-mart and all at the hour of 4:00 AM.

I think these same women are the ones who will hurt you while trying to catch the bride's bouquet. In fact, Black Friday shopping is training for catching the bride's bouquet. If it weren't for the fact that there was no chiffon or taffeta, I would have thought I was a bridesmaid all over again.

But I have never been in the early crowd. No. I'm a late shopper. I usually show up around 10:00 or 11:00 AM. You pros out there are probably aghast, but I just can't get up that early for any sale. Unless the stores start handing out espresso and diamonds for free, I will be all snug in my bed when the last Elmo leaves the shelf at 4:05 AM.

I found some pretty cute items and managed to get some Christmas shopping done. I can't say what because I never know who is reading this blog, but let's just say that nearly everyone in my family was represented in my shopping bags.

I've been looking for a new stainless flatware set for us and I found a really pretty one for 50 % off. Score! I am so happy with it. Hubs and daughter looked at me strangely and rolled their eyes when I came home and sat at the kitchen table, carefully unwrapping the new,shiny spoons and forks and squealing with excitement.

It doesn't take much, folks.

Give my daughter a few years or so. She'll understand. Hubs? He'll never get it. He's a man. He can't help it.

At the end of my shopping spree, I really could have shopped more, but the silverware was literally weighing me down. You should have seen me at one of those benches in the mall, trying to balance the weight of it all in both hands.

A man was sitting at a bench across from me, watching me struggle. He probably thought,"I'll bet my wife has that much stuff by now."

I managed to balance the goods so that I could hobble off to the car which, of course, was parked at the opposite end of the mall. It's a good thing, too. I could have really hurt myself. You know, shoppers have been known to pull a muscle or throw a back out from not using proper shopper body mechanics.

The only other place you see an injury like that is at a wedding.


Thursday, November 22, 2007

The table is set.

This Thanksgiving we stayed at home, just the three of us. I still cooked the turkey with all of the fixings, along with some pies.

I told my daughter a few days ago, as we were getting ready for the day, that she could decorate the table. She designed the no-sew runner and place mats for us, and helped me pick out the dishes we would use.

While making the place mats, she asked about a Bible verse to write on them. I took the opportunity to show her how to use the concordance, and we looked up "thanks."

After searching through several verses, she chose this one-

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry." 1 Tim. 1:12

And so we set the table. With store bought linens alongside handmade ones, wedding crystal with Grandmom's wheat dishes and depression glass. A hodgepodge of items with meanings of their own. Some memories- old. Others- new.

Even though we set the table for three, there is room for more. I hope that I would always make someone feel welcome at our table, in our home. I always want to have a place for someone else.

Especially for Jesus. My hope is that I would always make room for Him at our table. I hope that I would welcome Him if He arrived on our porch as a hungry man or a lonely widow. As a loved one in need of comfort, a relative in need of a kind word, or a neighbor searching for a friend.

I hope that I would welcome Him always. In thought. In word. In deed. In giving thanks on this day and every day.

Thank you, Jesus for everything you have given. Thank you for my salvation. Thank you for my husband and my beautiful daughter. Thank you for parents who took me to church. Thank you for sweet friends I can call on in the night. Thank you for all you have done. I didn't deserve any of it and that is what makes me thank you even more.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Got the Thanksgiving Jitters?

If you are up late tonight, making a pie and trying to figure out why on Earth that bird has not thawed yet, let me just give you a few helpful tips.

If you forgot an ingredient in something, don't worry. Wal-mart is still open.

The goal is not perfection. No. The goal is to keep everyone out of the ER and Uncle Ray off of COPS.

Remember, you aren't your grandmother. I have no idea how she did it. My only guess is that there was something in the water back then that made her have more energy, more sense, and more cooking skills.

Martha Stewart makes it all look soooo easy. She has one secret. It's called "staff."

If you are still up and reading this, stop now and check that bird. It should have thawed by now.

Happy cooking!

Michael W. Smith- Blogger Preview

mws banner

Check this site for a great opportunity to decorate for Christmas
while listening to Michael W. Smith and then blog about it.

How cool is that?

Thanks to Michael W. Smith for this great offer.

The wisdom of a young cowboy

I saw this yesterday and it brought me to tears. Get a tissue before you listen.

If you are a little down this Thanksgiving, if you have lost a loved one, if you are struggling in your marriage, if you are going through a divorce or a serious illness, just remember there is a God who loves you.

Just run to Him.

Click here to listen to Logan.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

How much for a trade-in?

Yesterday morning hubs found what one could call a surprise on the bathroom rug and on a towel, although we wouldn't call it a surprise, because Maggie has been quite consistent with her kidney related issues- the ones in which the Vet ran a complete panel of tests and said there is absolutely nothing wrong with her. Well, at least not physically.

So I tossed them both in the washing machine. (The rug and towel. Not Maggie and the Vet.)

Then the intruder arrived on the porch, all sweet and nice and purring and lounging on my wicker furniture without leaving a stain.

Last night when we went to bed, I told hubs that I was putting Maggie in the garage.

He said,"ALL NIGHT?"

"Yes. It's not cold outside."

"Poor, poor Maggie. She is getting banished to the garage."

"Well, she needs to quit going on the rugs."

So this morning I let her in and she let out a moan and a groan in an Oh, The Trouble I've Seen fashion that would have alerted the Humane Society. She didn't stop griping until she got to the kitchen so that she would look sweet and impress me so that I would feed her.

It's all about her.

I tell you what. This cat of mine. She is like the little old lady in the fur coat who has spent her entire life managing the ladies' rummage sale and now she suddenly decides to get a convertible and ride around in Paris shopping for high heel shoes and drinking Perrier with lime. Then she arrives at the family reunion with a new boyfriend who is at least 25 cat years younger than her, and they are both sporting tattoos that say,"Simba" and tiger's eye belly button rings.

If they had belly buttons.

Listen up, Maggie. There is a sweet, short haired replacement with better bladder control and manners waiting outside on the porch. You'd better start losing that mid-life crisis of yours, or the garage will be the least of your worries.

In case you are new to my blog, please know that Maggie could be going on my husband's pillow and I wouldn't give her up. My pillow? Well... ;>)

Monday, November 19, 2007

That Noah!

Here is an update on my porch, my day, and an overdue photo of a cardboard watercraft.

Daughter is out of school and, other than one errand this morning, our day was completely open for some extraordinary entertainment. We planned our Thanksgiving table decor AKA excuse for crafting and we watched the intruder on our porch.

Daughter found him lounging on the wicker love seat. We decided to let him stay. He looked harmless enough. I took out the trash later and found him nestled with one of the scarecrows in a wicker chair. When I tried to snap his picture, he jumped down and gave me this pitiful look-

Right after he rubbed his head on my foot.

Notice the flip flops. I realize it is November, but it is still flip flop weather where I live.

So, anyhoo.

I went outside again and this time our little intruder wanted to go back inside with me. I guess the wicker wasn't comfortable enough for him.

When I told him, "No, sweetie. You have to stay out here. We already have a kitty cat. You can hang out on our porch and we won't bother you," he gave me this look-

The "I can't believe you are giving me the It's not you, it's me routine. "

Nothing like being rejected by a cat that you just rejected.


On another note, here is the long overdue Noah's Ark photo from Trunk Or Treat. I know. It is so lamely late. I promise that the photo is crooked, not the ark. Either that or I need the tires checked.

Exactly how many cats did Noah take on the ark? I wonder. All of their descendants end up on my porch.

If I ever go missing, just send out a team of stray cats. They always seem to find me.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Comment of the Week # 9

This week's award goes to Annie for her sweet comment to this post.

"That is so sweet. I loved sleep overs as a little girl. I even try to have big girl sleepover parties every once in awhile. When the universe conspires and all the daddies can watch all the babies. I call the extra children in my life my born of the heart babies. They just grow in my heart until it gives birth to an awesome love." -Annie

"Born of the heart." I love that! :>)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Portion size is in the eye of the beholder.

After all of the talk about my people and their large portions, it got me to thinking.

The women in my family can put away some groceries.

And I do not mean in the pantry.

Now that I think about it, none of us are rail thin. Most of us have had our moments of "Don't she look good?"s, but for the most part, we are all prepared for winter.

And that's all I will say.

My grandmother, Mama's mother, was very tiny when she passed away. She wasn't always that way. She had put on a little weight (the Southern way of saying one needs a girdle) and then she had bypass surgery which put the Fear Of God in her. From that point on, she ate like a bird.

She would take tiny bites off of a potato chip and then put it down. Who puts down a potato chip? She would always say she was getting full and when you offered her something from the table she would say,"Oh. Just a temp." That was her word for a small portion. (Like half a bite.)

But put a plate of fried catfish or popcorn shrimp in front of her and it was no holds barred. Granny could eat some fish. Oh, yes she could. Whenever our family had a fish fry, Granny could nearly beat my Daddy in the number of catfish fillets consumed.

Did I ever mention that my Daddy is also skinny as a rail? He is the only man I know who can actually tighten his belt after a large meal. Why, oh why did I not inherit this gene?

My daughter runs a close second to Daddy these days when it comes to eating a platter of catfish. The child will eat an adult entree complete with cheese grits and hush puppies. (And she is skinny as a rail.)

Granny would be so proud.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I'm off to the chair...

Checking in to say hello and thanks for your fashion advice. I am off to get my hair done, and it is only Thursday.

I still have to share the Road Trip with y'all. Combine that info with the beauty shop scoop I am soon to learn, and we may be on to something...

See you in a bit-

Stuck Between Maternity and New York City

It has become apparent that I am out of touch with today's fashion.

I was out shopping today, looking for some clothes for church. Something. Anything modest and decent and fashionable and cheap.

At this point, I'll go for two out of three.

Seriously, if it were not for Big Mama's Fashion Fridays and my sweet friend Christy (who has a local ladies' boutique) I would have no clue what was in style these days. Let me take a moment to thank these dear ladies for their charitable offerings to my wardrobe poverty. You are too kind.

I've never been one to follow the trends. I usually know what is in style, but I tend to go conservative and classic over super trendy. But today I realized that I have forgotten what defines classic.

Unless a v-neck top and capri pants are considered classic. If that is the case, well, somebody call Vogue, I am a fashionista.

I have nearly every color of plain t-shirt, long sleeve and short sleeve, in my dresser drawers. Some of them are my "good" ones, which means they do not have bleach stains on them. These are reserved for going somewhere. The stained or otherwise "not good" ones are reserved for yard work, painting projects, and cleaning the kitchen sink.

Can you stand the excitement?

I do have a few new items (thanks to Christy) but I need a few more. I have lost a few pounds and now I must buy new clothes out of necessity. (Yeah. That's the reason.)

What I realized today is that I must have been on a deserted island for the past eight years or so, because from the time I was pregnant to now, all of the cute, easy stuff is just gone. I realized today that if Forrest Gump had been with me he would have said, "Fashion is tough."

And then he probably would have just run, run away because that is what Jenny told him to do and if you had seen me in some of those flouncy wrap dresses today, you would've have run, too.

So, here is the deal. I need your help, Internets. If you are in your thirties, what on Earth do you wear? Where do you find clothes that fit?

Are any of you stuck in postpartum fashion failure or are you one of the lucky ones whose fashion sense snapped right back, along with your figure?

And if you are one of the lucky ones, please know that I don't hate you. Really.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Works For Me Wednesday: Local Sales

While reading a magazine today, I happened upon this site.

Here is how it works-

Register your zip code to find out the sales at local stores.

You can even check out deals on groceries!

View weekly ads and flyers.

(Sounds like a great tool for those after Thanksgiving sales.)

I hope to use the site to find the best deals on Christmas gifts. Check it out!

See Shannon for more great tips this Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thank you, Peter Pan

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. In addition to the menu planning and the turkey purchasing, I decided to start my list of Thankfuls.

wink wink

If you are new here, please don't think me disrespectful. Sarcastic and nuts, yes. Disrespectful and ungrateful, no.

wink wink again

I am thankful for the following, in no particular order:

1. Indoor plumbing

2. Make-up. (Such big miracles in such tiny packaging)

3. Diet Coke

4. Dyson (moment of silence in respect for Mr. Dyson himself)

5. Saltine crackers (They do wonders for nausea and soup, but not necessarily at the same time. Unless the soup made you sick.)

6. Peanut Butter

7. Lycra

8. The big toe. Without it, we would all be off balance. Yeah, you would.

9. Aretha Franklin. Her music makes me smile no matter what. It also makes me want to dance, which is why I am even more thankful for #8.

And the list goes on...

Blog Comments??

Several of you have said you are having trouble leaving comments on my blog. If you are having trouble, would you please email me at the email address in my profile? I think it has something to do with Google.

I don't allow anonymous comments. Having registered commenters helps with the SPAM content and keeps the language appropriate.

Feel free to email me. I may not answer immediately, but I do always read them and answer eventually.

Thanks for your patience!


Monday, November 12, 2007

When giggles turn to dreams

They are sitting in the floor right now, eating popcorn and watching Air Buddies. My two girls.

One of them I actually gave birth to and the other, well, I would have given birth to her too, if her Mama hadn't done it already. I have several other "children" like her. Children of close friends, best friends. Sweet children that I would have picked for my own, given the chance.

This other girl of mine has brown hair with curls and waves that fall gracefully on her shoulders. Her curls turn to tendrils when she has played and giggled past her bedtime, or when she has gotten too hot in the sun. Her eyes are brown and large, puppy dog eyes, which fit her; she adores all things canine.

Including the great wolf.

Ever since I can remember, she has loved the wild, yet gentle nature of the wolf. An unlikely devotion for a child.

And I remember so much.

I remember her playing with my little girl in our backyard, helping her blow out the candles at many birthday parties, the two of them riding the carousel at the mall.

I remember her very first spend-the-night, how I set up a tent in the living room. The girls watched patiently, then climbed in and peered out at the television. After many OK, girls. Go to sleeps, this other child of mine said softly in the dark, "Miss Melanie, I wanted to sleep in the magic bed."

So the three of us gathered our pillows and blankies and furry friends and went to my little one's room, where I set up the magic bed (trundle) and both of "my" girls drifted off to sleep.

And tonight, I will be able to share more memories with them, even though they may not know I'm listening. I'll hear their giggles and their quiet girlfriend moments through the door. After many Go to sleeps, they will drift off to sleep (finally) and I will do the same.

Sweet dreams, girls.

Sweet dreams.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Comment of the Week #8

Yo, Linda! This week's award goes to you!

"Way to keep it real, Rocky Balboa." - Linda

You crack me up.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Dear Mrs. Ingalls,

I am sitting here at a thing called a laptop (a small computer that sits on your lap) while my daughter builds a log cabin out of popsicle sticks for school.

Huh? Oh, a laptop is really cool (not chilly) and you can go wireless and take it with you in your SUV or your minivan (those are cars, like wagons without horses) to Starbucks (where you pay five bucks for coffee) and email or blog with your friends on the Internet (another computer thing) which was invented by Al Gore (he lost the election and now he has invented Global Warming.)

Huh? Wha???

What's a computer?

Hmmm... kind of hard to explain.

Anyway, I have a question. How did you build a log cabin without HGTV? Or did you Google it?


Friday, November 09, 2007

So much for goodness and mercy.

I was out shopping with my daughter yesterday, looking for some new clothes. She needed a new coat because it has dropped below 50 degrees, people! Here in the South, that's cold.

We can brave the heat, but don't make us put on a scarf. No, M'am. Scarves are for the retailers to mark down after Christmas because no one in their right mind down here buys them because, hello, half of the time it is 80 degrees when we are opening our Christmas gifts.

Daughter and I found a new coat and some really cute church clothes. As we were leaving, it was still early, but already dark outside.

When we walked out of the mall to our car, I took her hand and said,"Stay close to Mommy. It is dark. Mean people come out at dark."

She gripped my hand and looked up at me to say,"Why do they come out at dark?"

"Well, they come out in the day, too, but for some reason they come out at dark because they think they are brave. Really, they aren't brave. They just think that because it is dark that no one will see them. But God does."


"But don't worry, we are safe. And if anyone ever tried to mess with my little girl, I would punch them in the mouth."


Not the best story to tell after this post, but I do try to keep it real, folks.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Hello, My name is...

I was sipping some citrus-flavored mineral water at a party when she asked me.

It was a Let's get together and chat, have some tasty appetizers, listen to a presentation about home-based business, and then browse through a catalogue of gorgeous items while considering our budgets because some of us do not work home-based, mall-based, or otherwise-based kind of party.

And I do love me some tasty appetizers.

And shopping from my neighbor's easy chair.

So she asked me. She wasn't the first. Someone else at the party had asked the same thing.

"What do you do?"

As I swallowed my sip of citrus-flavored mineral water, I paused for a moment, considering her possible response, and I answered, "I am a Stay At Home Mom."


Several years ago, I would not have left it at that. I would have recited my resume of accomplishments, some fairly remarkable, but most not. I would have explained the whys and the how's and the maybe one days.

But not anymore.

Oh, I could tell her what I do. I do laundry. I do dishes. I do the floors. I do the grocery shopping. I even do windows, on occasion.

I get up in the morning, still sleepy from the night before, and I roll out of bed and shuffle to the coffee maker. I start warming the frozen pancakes for breakfast and then trod up the stairs to wake my sleepy daughter for school.

I trod back down the stairs, trying not to trip over the cat who thinks she is supposed to be the first one fed. Then I check on the microwaved pancakes, pour on the syrup (I don't skimp) and set the plate at the kitchen counter, calling upstairs for my sleepy daughter to come down to eat or we will be late this morning.

Meanwhile, my husband is getting ready for work and I am trying to make sure he has clean clothes, and tell him a quick Good Morning before he rushes out the door.

Once I get the sleepy daughter to eat, get dressed and brush her teeth and do a good job or you will end up at the dentist with a cavity, I head out the door in my sweats, no make-up, except for some under-eye concealer and take my daughter to school before I start my day of doing laundry, doing dishes, and doing the grocery shopping.

But the woman at this party eating spinach-artichoke dip doesn't really want to know all of that. She doesn't really want to know what I do. What she really wants to know is who I am.

For some women, who they are is so tightly woven into what they do, that they soon lose who they are. When asked, they say, "I am a mother. I am a wife. I am a teacher. I am a doctor." Yes, they are all of those things, and all of those things are so very important in forming who they are.

And what about me? I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a Stay At Home Mom. I am a Sunday School teacher. I am all of those things, but lately, I am learning and listening and seeing that there is only one job, one identity that is truly important.

I am His.

So when I am doing the laundry and the dishes, and even the windows, my prayer is that I will reflect what Christ would have me be through Him. I fail miserably, mostly when I try to do everything in my own strength. It is when I give it all to God, that His Love shines through, not mine. Only when I humble myself and remember what I am not, can I share with other people what an awesome God He is.

My prayer, my hope, is that when people meet me, they won't wonder what I do, or who I am. They won't even want to know anything about me, but somehow through my faith and failures in this imperfect life I live, they will want to know The God who helps me through it all.

They will only see Him for Who He is. They will see His goodness. His mercy. His love. And they will turn to Him and say, "Nice to meet you."

Monday, November 05, 2007

I feel like such a dumbbell.

If you ever want to feel really, really stupid, just attend a Spelling Bee.

At first you'll sit there all smug with your shoulders back and your spine straight when it all begins.

"AWWW... the first grade words. They are soooo EASY! I remember that!"

Then you realize it is only the warm-up rounds and it has been thirty years since you have been in the first grade. Even then, you were reading about Spot running and running and running (that dog never stopped) and how Jane kept seeing Spot running and running (that Jane needed to get a life.)

Kids today are reading real books with real plots, learning phonics and words like "discombobulated."

OK. That last word? Notsomuch.

The Bee was in a church and the hosts were phenomenal. Hospitality at its best. However, I don't know if it was a matter of timing or what, but somehow the church bells didn't know that there was a spelling bee going on.

Maybe they thought it would be over within an hour and then the bells would chime away in a big, pomp and circumstance finale, but these kids were smart and it took a while for the eliminations. So when a sweet little boy stood up to spell his word, the bells began to ring.

And ring.

And ring some more.

Fortunately, the judges were quite fair and gave the young man another word.

He began to spell again and then the bells rang. Again.

And played a hymn.

OK. One more try. One more word. Here goes...

Another hymn.

I started to get out the hymn book and just sing along, but my daughter would've died. Instead, we all waited and the young man waited patiently yet again for another word.

Until the bells stopped playing.

In the silence, we all watched, slumped down in our seats, feeling a little less smug and less-than-confident in our own spelling skills as the young man, with his shoulders back and his spine straight spelled his way to second place.

And on to the State Spelling Bee.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Comment of The Week #7

This week's award goes to Susanne for this comment-

"We used to have a black cat that got "loaded" on cooked carrots. We'd feed them to her just so we could laugh as she walked and rolled around like she was drunk. Really weird."

A cat drunk on carrots. Good stuff.

Saturday, November 03, 2007


We've just returned from a Spelling Bee and I have much to blog about.

I will catch up with all you I-N-T-E-R-N-E-T-S later when I have time to get my thoughts together...

Thursday, November 01, 2007

The trials of parenthood. And tender morsels.

When we first brought her home, we should have known. She cried all the way. She kept sticking her little nose through the air holes in that cardboard carrier telling my husband The News.

I had wanted a cat for a long time. We decided to wait until we were settled into our own house and we had looked at the animal shelter several times. One day I saw Maggie- a little, fluffy black kitten in a cage all by herself, away from the other kittens. (Looking back, this should have been a sign.)

The day we first met her, we didn't adopt her. Instead, we walked away and decided to keep looking. All the while, I knew I was in love with that black ball of fur.

My husband returned to the shelter a few days later, planning to surprise me with a kitten. Little did he know, that same black kitty was still there. Another family had taken her home and returned her within the short time we had seen her. He thought it must be meant to be.

And I was surprised. What a thoughtful gift. A sweet little kitten for a crazy cat lady.

Maggie had the kind of health problems most strays suffer, so we nursed her back to health. She was a bit malnourished and just needed a lot of TLC.

She has always been a big eater, ahem. At first the vet said she was trying to catch up on being malnourished, but we figured it out later- she just liked to eat. Not any food. DRY FOOD. This cat was weird.

Early on, in an effort to give her a treat, I bought canned cat food, even "human" tuna. She wouldn't eat it; she just turned up her nose and tried to bury it. The canned food would have helped with the hairballs, but no, this cat wasn't interested.

Until that fateful day, years later, when a small can of addictive goodness arrived in the mail.

It was a free sample of Fancy Feast Elegant Medleys. I laughed but decided to give it a try. She lapped it up. Then went back looking for more. We all were in shock. This must be some pretty special cat food.

What started out as an innocent treat has become an obsession and a learned response that only Pavlov could understand. Because of her kidney related issues, canned foods are just a treat, not a staple good. So whenever Maggie hears any pop-top can opening, she goes insane.

Insane. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she even hallucinates in little kitty cat hallucinations of warm, sunny windows and clean litter boxes.

Now she even starts to twitch when she sees me pull out the paper bowls. Seriously, I think I need to call The Cat Whisperer. Not only do I have to sneak around the kitchen to have my Campbell's soup, I can't even use paper goods.

We've considered a twelve step program, but since Maggie is a cat, you can't get her to do one step much less twelve.

So, I am warning all of you, Internets. Stay away from gourmet cat food. And please, for the love of Garfield and Morris and all of the other orange, annoying cats, stay away, far away from anything labeled with a savory broth.

This may very well be the new gateway drug.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This is the day.

It has been busy around our house with the ark setting sail. (Or would that be a launch?) Hmmm...

So, I wanted to share some thoughts with all of you, dear Internets, on this day, the day with which I struggle each and every year.

Our church had a festival this evening with Trunk or Treat, games and free food for all. At first I struggled with whether or not I should participate. Some of you may remember this post.

I prayed. I prayed a lot. I respect our leadership. I truly do. Our pastor has a love for people and a real heart for all to know Christ. He is the type of pastor who wants to go to the people, to meet them where they are and tell them the saving message of Christ.

I kept thinking about the struggles I have with this day, many of the things that go with it, and about my own Sunday School class. All of them would be there. Should they see their teacher?

And I prayed some more.

In the end, I felt led to participate. I felt God tugging at my heart. I thought about those Sunday School kids and how they should see their teacher support the outreach ministries of the church. And believe me, folks. This event was truly an outreach ministry.

Tonight, hubs, daughter and I passed out over 600 bracelets with a message about God on all of them.

That's 600 kids, with probably 2 parents (you do the math) who I otherwise would have never met. Who knows how many of them will decide when they are searching for a safe haven, a place where people love them with A Love that is beyond compare, to choose our church as that place?

And you know what else? I was in the car this morning after seeing some not-so-friendly costumes at a local business and I thought to myself, "This is the day that The Lord has made."

I will rejoice and be glad in it. I am not going to let anything or anyone prevent me from rejoicing. Nope. Not this day.

Even though I still would love to see our churches have festivals on other days, I know there are so many kids out there, some of whom walked by my trunk and held out their precious little hands, who otherwise would not have stepped onto the church grounds if it had not been for tonight's festival. I am thankful for the opportunity to smile at them and offer them a message of hope and of love.

So now you know why I have been working on the ark. My prayer is that these many people, some of them lost, will not remember a simple, cardboard replica of God's amazing promise and grace. Nor will they remember a saved-by-grace, middle-aged woman, still growing in her faith, still struggling with the answers, sharing the message of God's amazing promise and grace.

My prayer is that somewhere, tucked down deep in their hearts, is the message of God's amazing promise and grace.

And tonight I am going to pray for them all. All 1800 + of them.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Comment of the Week #6

The Comment of the Week goes to Julie for this quote about Atlanta-

"I will never forget getting stuck at a Subway with a friend of ours who lives in Atlanta because the time had passed that we could drive anywhere. Apparently there are certain times that no one who lives in Atlanta will go anywhere! I dont know where all the traffic comes from since everyone is waiting wherever they are for "rush" hourssss to be over. We went to the World of Coke on our honeymoon. I thought it was great."- Julie

I am sorry for laughing at your expense, Julie but the image of you being stuck at Subway because no one- even from Atlanta- would drive at that time of day cracked. me. up.

Classic Jeff Foxworthy moment!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Gettin' to the church on time.

Daylight Saving Time ends next week in the US, unless you live in a few US States and Territories that never started it.

Those rebels.

So don't turn back time tonight, folks. Save that hour for next Saturday.

I was almost one of those people who turned back the clock tonight thanks to my calendar. Thankyouverymuch, Calendar Maker People for not listening to Congress and almost making me late for teaching Sunday School, a class of kindergartners who would have been saying, "Where's Miss Melanie? I want snack."

Friday, October 26, 2007

Please Pray for Linda...

Linda had her wisdom teeth removed and is now having complications. She is seeing the dentist again this morning.

Please pray for her and leave her some encouraging words on her blog.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Where's Mr. Edwards when you need him?

I decided to take a break from the crafty, glue gun goodness to give y'all an update on the pond.

We have beavers.

Our neighbor on one side of us has, I mean had, some gorgeous tropical plants and lush, green landscaping. She now has several banana tree stumps and a bald patch on her lawn.

It seems that beavers have a sweet tooth for bananas.

And St. Augustine grass.

Yesterday I found our dock's outdoor lighting taken apart. Seriously. These guys took one outdoor landscape light and disassembled it. I am guessing they need batteries for the sound system they are installing in their Neighborhood Pond Condominium.

The sound system will be so sweet with the other neighbors' landscape lights, and the lily pads from her gold fish pond.

It's like they have their own little Trading Spaces going on out there.

The neighbors with the gold fish pond decided to install motion flood lights to try to deter the beavers. The other night, one of the lights came on and our neighbor said,"Look! There's the beaver!"

Motion lights don't even scare off these critters. They just help illuminate all the goods awaiting them so that they can fill their little beaver loot bags while wearing their little beaver ski caps. Nothing stops these bandits; they make raccoons look like Boy Scouts.

Our yard has not suffered much damage. We have sort of a retaining wall that I think is keeping them from coming in the yard. Either that or they just come to our house for their Duracell batteries.

I'll bet they are out there right now, lurking on my blog on their little wireless laptops.


Noah had how long??

I will be back later.

I've got some crafty stuff to do.

It looks like this ark may just set sail...


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WFMW- Scrubbing Sponges

I have started using a different scrubber-

Chore Boy Non-Metal Sponges with soap pad.

I have one in the kitchen and one for the bathroom. It works great for soap scum and for pots. The great thing is that they don't fall apart like other plastic scrubbers and even when the soap runs out, you can still use it.

Love these!

See Shannon for more tips this Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Sometimes I think I should become a dog person.

I don't know much about physics or the natural order of the Universe, but one thing is for certain around here.

Road Trip= Maggie's Reluctant And Borderline Violent Stay At The Kennel

I picked up Maggie yesterday after taking my daughter to school and after my Grande Non-fat Pumpkin Spice Latte because it is finally feeling like Fall and I require at least a double shot of espresso before getting Maggie from the kitty cat hotel.

We keep trying to tell her it is like the spa, only the massage includes a temperature reading, but she ain't buyin' it.

Maggie has been having some kidney problems which have been controlled by a special diet. (By special, I mean expensive.) Periodically we have her kidney function checked through a blood test just to be sure she is doing fine. So far, so good.

But lately, Maggie has been having some kidney-related issues on our bathroom rugs. It first began when we moved into the new house, so I thought she had to get used to her new potty box location. She is trained to ask to go out to the garage to the conveniently located potty box. She has done this since she was a kitten and without a kitty door. (They are smarter than you think, folks.)

After a long night in the garage Maggie stopped her kidney-related issues on the bathroom rugs and started asking to go out like a good kitty should.

Until my husband came home from his trip.

You would have thought I had been giving her Pumpkin Spice Lattes. I was washing rugs every day. Oh, and my husband's clothes that he left on the floor. Yes M'am, she did.

The crazy cat lady in me knew this was all behavioral but what if it wasn't? I would have felt really low if all of these kidney-related ISSUES that require multiple trips to the laundry room were all signs of kidney failure. So we asked the vet to check her out.

All kidney function tests- Normal

Maggie- Not normal

The vet asked me a series of questions to rule out any other problems.

Does she have to go down any steps to get to the litter box? No, and the box is right outside the laundry door. This cat runs up the stairs all day looking for our daughter. She is not suffering from arthritis.

Have you changed litter brands? Some cats do not like a new scent. It is the same brand, but could be a different scent. (I don't sniff it in Target before putting it in the cart. I go with odor control.) Besides, she does her other business in there without any problems.

Are there any other cats that could get in the garage? No. We don't even have our cars in there.

In the end, we decided what we knew all along. Maggie is just being bratty.

When I mentioned my husband's return from a trip, the vet just smiled. He said,"Put your husband's shoes next to the litter box and then see where she goes."

Don't worry, honey. I won't do that to you. The vet was just kidding... I think.