Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mr. Department Store CEO, you are my nemesis.

We went school shoe shopping today. School won't start for nearly a month, but I knew I had to go ahead and start the Great Shoe Safari with my daughter. Normally, she is a total flip-flip girl, but the educational powers that be, including the PE Coach, usually frown upon kids flippin' and a floppin' while they are learning their times tables and shooting hoops.

Thus, we seek tennis shoes, which leads me to a question. Do y'all say "tennis shoes," "sneakers" or what? My husband says "sneakers" and I say "tennis shoes." That is neither here nor there nor, ya know, important, but I just thought I'd ask.

So we went to a major department store to find some tennis shoes and as soon as I walked in the shoe department I could tell that we had hit the jackpot. There were at least two choices of tennis shoes that may fit my daughter and, for us, that is like a shoe buffet. Only we don't eat them.

My daughter has her mother's feet. Bless her heart. She has a time trying to find tennis shoes or any shoe at all with a closed heel. We have average feet until you get to the heel. The heel is so narrow it could cross over itself. Or not. Shoes that fit in the toe just slide up and down in the back, and if we want a shoe to slide up and down in the back then we would just wear flip flops. Wouldn't we?

The clerk was more than helpful. Seriously, he was more than helpful as in he tried too hard. To tell the truth, I think he was on something or maybe he had been sniffing too many Crocs. I don't know, but he got on my nerves. I told him the brand we needed, because I am the Mama and I know these things. No need to waste any time on shoes made for chubby feet. My daughter has dainty feet, even if they are SO HARD TO FIT.

So I was thinking I made it easy for him, but no. That would be wrong, so wrong. Even with my organized, "She wears this brand and I think she is this size" self, he was confused. Normally I would just leave, but I could tell we were going to find some cute shoes that fit my little girl. And I am a Mama, so I stayed.

We left the store with not one, but two cute pairs of shoes for school- one for now and one to grow in. I also found a pair of flip flops for myself. SCORE!

We decided we must be on a roll, so we kept shopping. In a few weeks we will be attending my niece's baptism and we need something nice to wear. I don't usually shop for shoes AND clothes that fit, but hey! I'm crazy like that sometimes.

So we looked. And looked. And looked some more at all the girl's departments and girl's shops and we found nothing. We aren't picky. We just want my daughter to have a nice, stylish, modest dress that doesn't have a label that reads "Made In Las Vegas."

Is it too much to ask?

I had completely given up on finding a dress for myself at the mall and planned to head over to my friend Christy's cute little women's shop because Christy, she knows fashion. And she is a Mama. Somehow, (maybe it was the fumes from all the Crocs) I forgot my original plan and did look for a dress or nice skirt ensemble for myself. Everything was either Mother-of-the-Bride or Bride of Frankenstein. (sigh)

So we did what most girls do when they can't find anything good to wear. We went to Chick-fil-A. Nothing calms the nerves and lifts the spirits like a good piece of boneless chicken fried in peanut oil. Plus, as an added bonus (if the chicken nuggets weren't enough) my daughter's kid's meal had the coolest prize- A History of Flight booklet with paper airplanes and a space shuttle to put together.

I said, "You know, Chick-fil-A does have the best toys. They usually give books or language CD's or something really cool. I should put that on my blog."

Then my daughter replied, "Yep. You should. The rest of the happy meals' toys are all so lame."

After finishing our tasty peanuty oil lunches, we continued on our trek for cute clothes and accessories. Much to our chagrin, we found nothing.

Here's our little message to major department stores all over this country:

Your clothes for young girls are lame.

Your clothes for women over the age of 18 who actually eat or for women over the age of 30 who have given birth and eat boneless chicken fried in peanut oil- also lame.

You might want to PAY ATTENTION.

I'm a Mama. I write the checks.

Great Summer Links for Kids

Out of ideas this summer?

Here are a few great links I found for families and kids.

1. Scholastic Online- You can find cute video games related to some of their favorite books and you can play Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? for a little trivia fun.

2. Kaboose- Crafts, games, and family activities for all ages.

3. National Geographic for Kids- Lots of cool facts and fun about animals and the planet.

4. Family Fun Games- Check out this link for an outdoor game for each day in August! Fun Stuff!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Pick One: A Meme

Seeing as how I am under the dark cloud of writer's block, I have been working on a little meme. It's a lot like those quizes you get through email, only less creative.

So here goes.

I'm calling it "Pick One." Feel free to play along if you are suffering from writer's block, a headache, or Global Warming Syndrome (I just made that up. Hey, look, Al! I invented something.)

1. Coke or Pepsi?

Um, duh. Coke. Diet, please. Unless Publix is all out of Coke and I have to resort to Chek or Diet Rite. (shivers with the thought)

2. Pink or orange?

Pink. It's my signature color. It also comes in blush and bashful.

3. Matt or Ben?

Matt. Unless David Duchovny was a choice.

4. Baked potato or french fries?

With a steak, then baked potato. Yes, butter and sour and cream. And lots of it.

5. Krispy Kreme or Dunkin Doughnuts?

Krispy Kreme

6. Sleepless in Seattle or You've Got Mail?

Sleepless in Seattle.

7. Math or English?

English. Who woulda guessed that one? :>)

8. Paper or Plastic?

KIDDING! Must be the Global Warming Syndrome... must...recycle...now...

H and G. This Ain't NY.


Saturday, July 28, 2007


5 Minutes for Mom is having a not-so-little contest.

They are giving away a flat screen TV from Best Buy.

Yep. You read that right.

So, go enter now for a chance to win.

Your husband will love you for it!

Oh, how I miss Mr. Rogers.

The simpler times of Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans have all sadly disappeared along with my girlish figure and my soft-as-a-buttercup complexion.

My Mama had it so good.

Not only do I have to deal with W*ccan and weirdos and the West Nile Virus, but now, according to Mr. Science, I have to choose whether my kid is going to grow up with Multiple Sclerosis or Skin Cancer!

Please, Bill Nye the Science Guy, could you let up just a wee bit?

How 'bout solving world hunger? Or maybe you could clean up all those poor penguins off the coast of South America? Or how 'bout helping us with something, ya know, useful, like static cling and hair frizzies?

Seriously, I've got enough on my biodegradable, not-gonna-destroy-the-planet-and -make-Al-Gore-millions paper plate.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Drumroll, Please....

And the winner is...

Trista from The Pumkin Patch!

You are the winner of the Paula Deen Cookbook and the Ray Charles CD.

Email me,Trista @ the address in my profile and I will send you your prizes.

Thanks to everyone who left a comment or emailed me to enter. Thanks to all you lurkers (you know who you are, Tee Hee) for commenting.

I appreciate all of your kind words. :>)

Time. It is a wastin.'

Comments and entries for The Paula and Ray Bloggy Giveaway close tonight @ 8:00 PM, CT. (That's also known as Alabama Time down here.)

So, if you haven't entered, go here.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: Gigglepalooza

1. Having my daughter's friend spend the night reminds me of what it was like to be a kid, giggling and squealing and squeezing out the very last drop of energy in order to stay awake.

This is the real reason we don't give children coffee.

2. Spend-The-Night. Notice the words. There is nothing in there remotely hinting of sleep or even a tiny yawn.

3. To tell the truth, (and don't tell my daughter) the girls went to sleep a lot better than my friends and I ever did. I was the kid who kept talking and telling stories to keep everyone else up.

Tee hee hee...

4. The toys are all different. So far, I haven't tripped on a Slinky on the stairs.

5. The cat just came out of hiding. She usually gets under the bed when things are too loud and rowdy. Last night, I started to join her. (Hey Maggie, scoot over.)

6. The girls made crafts. Y'all know I'm all about the crafts! Yesterday they painted rocks to look like ladybugs. They turned out so cute.

And yes, I painted one, too. Mine is a butterfly.

7. One of our real-live-butterflies emerged yesterday morning. It is so beautiful. My daughter wanted her friend to see it so badly and she thought she would miss it.

It was the sweetest treasure of God's Creation for them to share together.

8. More craftiness... we went to the pottery place and the girls painted some cool critters. Can't wait to see how they turn out.

And did I mention I painted a rock yesterday?

9. McDonald's drive-thru. What did Mrs. Ingalls ever do without it?

10. The good thing about my daughter having a friend over to play and spend the night is that I can take a minute here and there to actually blog without any interruptions. And it isn't even 3:30 AM! It's like being at the blog spa.

11. This entire girly giggle party reminds me of the times I hauled my Snoopy knock-off sleeping bag to a friend's house and slept on the floor. The floor.

How did we sleep on the floor when we were kids? It's like Kool Aid is some sort of unnatural muscle relaxant/joint relief and we can just sleep wherever we fall.

Then one morning we wake up after sleeping on the floor and we can barely walk from the MASSIVE BACK PAIN.

I'm just sayin'.

12. Giggly girls are just one reason it's great to be a mom.

13. And the real reason moms drink coffee.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Pardon me while I stuff cotton balls in my ears.

For The Bloggy Giveaway, Go Here.

My daughter's BFF is here. They haven't seen each other since Christmas and they have a lot of catching up to do. Most of it includes giggling and squealing, so you won't mind me being out for a bit.

We have crafts to do! We might even find some critters to squish or house or cool stuff like that.

Um, yeah... did I mention the giggling and the squealing?

Of course I will be checking back on the Paula and Ray Giveaway, so have fun.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

From My Hometown To Yours...

This Contest Has Ended. Comments are closed.
As part of Shannon's Dog Days of Summer and in honor of my hometown of Albany,Georgia I would like to offer a free gift to a lucky reader out there!

One lucky reader will win a copy of Paula Deen's latest cookbook, Paula Deen Celebrates and a Ray Charles Greatest Hits CD.

The late, great Ray Charles was from Albany, Georgia. This CD has some of his greatest classics including "Georgia On My Mind."

Although she now lives in Savannah, Paul Deen grew up in Albany. You can read a lot about Albany and Paula's childhood in this cookbook!

Here are the guidelines:

1. Anyone can enter to win.

2. You don't have to be a blogger to enter. However, you will have to register (blogger should give you instructions) to leave a comment on this blog.

If you have problems, simply email me at the email address in my profile.
Please be patient. I publish each comment separately via email alerts from blogger. So if you don't see your comment pop up immediately, it is because I haven't had time to read and publish it. I will be vigilant in reading and posting comments in time for the deadline.

3. International readers are welcome to play along!

4. This post will be closed for comments on Friday, July 27 @ 8:00 PM, Central Time.

5. I will randomly draw one person and post the winner some time Friday night.

Good luck and visit Shannon here for more chances to win!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Blizzards, Butter, Babies, and BBQ

I'm brainstormin' a giveaway that will probably include a trip to a cute shop, Wal-mart and/or The Winn Dixie. I am also getting ready for comp'ny.

In the meantime, I urge you to read these posts where Big Mama hosts a baby shower with Southern Grace and Style and BooMama interviews Mandisa (yes, THAT Mandisa!) with Southern Grace and Style.

'Cause they both have, ya know, Southern Grace and Style.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

In Honor of Buffets and Brunches Everywhere

Originally Published July 16, 2006

The Gladiators Got Nothin' On Us

Sunday is a day we go to church to worship God, learn about His Word, put something in the plate when they pass it, pray, dismiss, and then try to beat the Methodists to the restaurant.

For some unknown reason there is this "thing", for lack of a better Thesaurus word, between the Baptists and the Methodists. Maybe it goes back to the whole "sprinkle vs. dunk" controversy. I can't speak for the Methodists, but we Baptists leave church to eat faster than Scarlett fled Atlanta.

Why is this Best Seat in the House competition only between these two groups? Don't the Catholics and the Episcopalians eat lunch?

I have actually been part of a Sunday School discussion when the subject was new worship times. (How exciting to add a new worship time in order to seat everyone!) The Sunday School class was deciding which worship hour they would attend. One very Southern Baptist man stood up and said that he would just stick to the early worship hour because he "had to beat the Methodists to the restaurants." He wasn't kidding.

I am also privy to some information about a certain Methodist church in Alabama that actually changed their Sunday worship time so that they could beat the Baptists to the restaurants. Oh, yes they did!

Before you get discouraged about going to church because of this silly Sunday lunch seating issue, please be aware that most of us Baptists and Methodists do still attend church for the right reasons. We just like to eat after it is all over.

One Sunday, we went to an early worship with my in-laws who are Methodist. After church we went to Sunday brunch. As we finished our meal and left the table, a large group of people came in. My mother-in-law said, "Here come the Baptists."

See, the First Baptist Church and The First United Methodist Church are across the street from one another. This can be seen in many small towns across the South. I joked with my Methodist friend Nancy once that I had never seen a Baptist and a Methodist church share the same side of the street. She shared that, in her town they actually shared the same block and even shared parking lots!


In most small towns, there are only a few restaurants. You have the southern home cooking buffet place called "Mama's Kitchen" or "Billy Bob's Family Restaurant." Or you may even have a fancy place with the word "Magnolia" in the name. Then, there is usually a good BBQ place, a fried seafood restaurant if you live near the coast, and maybe a steak place, if you're lucky. That's it. Unless you eat at Hardee's or Dairy Queen. So, really the Baptist/Methodist restaurant relay is a result of supply and demand.

I may never know why this Olympic level of competition remains between these two denominations. But, I am certain that it will continue in small towns for centuries to come.

So, to all of you Methodists out there I say, "See ya next Sunday! Let the games begin!"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The best things in life are free!

Once I figure out what to give away to you wonderful Bloggers and Nonbloggers out there, I will post the freebie and then link to Mrs. Dryer, AKA The Hostess With The Mostest.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hint- I really do have an idea up my sleeve.

Think "Survival- Sugarbaker Style."

Watch for the link next week!

Spoken like a good little future voter.

In the car today-

"Mommy, do you know what would be really cool? If someone called you up to tell you that you had paid too much taxes and that you would get it back. That would be really cool."


I'll go ahead and start saving for the campaign trail...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Thursday Thirteen: I Always...

1. I always cry at certain parts of movies.

Like when...

Forrest stands under the tree to deliver the note from Little Forrest to Jenny,

Ruth dies in Fried Green Tomatoes and Sipsey stops the clock and covers the mirrors,

The Count carries Katherine out of the Cave of Swimmers in The English Patient,

The mama dies in Hope Floats. The tea cup landing on the floor gets me every. single. time.

2. I always laugh at certain parts of movies.

Like when...

They show the family table scenes in The Nutty Professor,

Dell Griffith leaves his shorts in the sink in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

3. I always smile when...

I hear or read a Biblical Truth that speaks to my heart and to my convictions.

I hear my daughter speak up for Jesus.

4. I always frown when...

someone uses The Lord's Name in vain.

I have disappointed God.

I see someone being mean or disrespectful to the elderly or to a child.

5. I always wink when...

My husband and I share something funny from across the room.

My daughter and I are in a quiet place and I just want to say,"I love you, Sweetie" with my eyes

6. I always clap when...

Someone sings or performs really well.

Someone has tried their best to sing or perform really well.

7. I always refrain from clapping when...

Someone has just finished singing a very reverant song in church and I can sense the Holy Spirit guiding me to stay silent.

8. I always snap when I want to get on my husband's nerves. (He says my snap is too high-pitched. Go figure.)

9. I always want to scream (and sometimes I do) when...

I see someone being mistreated.

I see justice falling short.

And I can do nothing about it.

10. I always think of...

My Grandmother when I smell Aqua Net,

My Mother when I smell Coty powder,

My daughter when I smell Baby Magic,

My childhood when I smell honeysuckle.

11. I always think of...

Billy Graham when I hear Just As I Am,

Summer Camp when I hear crickets at night,

Heaven when I hear my daughter giggle.

12. I always think of...

High school when I see Ferris Beuller's Day Off,

College when I see Melrose Place re-runs,

Just about anything in life when I see Seinfeld. :>)

13. I always think...

thirteen is a little when you are counting change,

thirteen is a lot when you are doing Thursday Thirteen.

It's 3:30 AM. Do you know where your George Foreman Grill is?

I can't sleep, so I turned on the TV and the blog because that's what I do when I can't sleep. Oh, and I had a teeny amount of cookie dough. Yeah, cookie dough.

And since I am up at strange hours of the night when most normal people are sleeping, working the night shift, or eating at Waffle House, can I just say one thing?

I wish, for one time in my life, that some brave woman would serve slices of raw cookie dough at a party. Just once. Just put the dough right there on Grandma's china and let us all dig in. It would save you a lot of time in the kitchen and we would love you for it. Come on. Somebody, please...

Okay. Back to the post.

I have posted on infomercials before and I have shared a few observations, observations which are very important to your life and to your personal growth.


I have learned, based on the content of the infomercials at this ridiculous hour of the day, um, night, that everyone watching TV right now is fat, broke, and living in a filthy, gadget-free house.

If we call now, in the next 10 minutes, we can lose 20, 30, even 50 pounds while making up to $10,000 a month purchasing real estate with no money down, and we can have a sterile home where we can serve many quick-and-easy meals using our magic bullet and our chopper.

You guys are wasting time sleeping and here I am up before the chickens discovering solutions to life's most perplexing problems.

Like unwanted belly fat and dull knives.

Where IS that cordless phone??

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Where does she get this stuff?

Daughter- "Mommy, can I go outside in this?"

Mommy- "Let me see...Umm, no. "

Daughter- "What about the shirt?"

Mommy- "No. It's too hot for long sleeves."

Daughter- "Touche'"

Mommy- ?

Monday, July 16, 2007

More Conversations In The Car: Billy Ray, I feel your pain.

Today while stuck in traffic, I was scanning the channels looking for something to get jiggy to and I heard Billy Ray Cyrus' "Achy Breaky Heart."

Yes, friends. After all these years his heart is still a breakin.'

And achin.'

I quickly stopped the scan within the 3.4 seconds window of opportunity so that we could listen to Billy Ray.

I explained to my daughter...

"Sweetie! This is Hannah Montana's dad! You know the one that plays her dad on TV and is really her dad? This is him back in the early 90's, the 1990's when he was really popular."


"Anyway, that's HIM!"

Then I began to sing along, "Don't break my heart..."

Then I began to realize that I was singing along... "My achy breaky heart."

I don't know what is worse- the fact that I was telling my daughter that I remember her generation's pop star's DAD or that I was stopping the channel scan on my car radio so that I could sing along!


When we missed an opportunity to share Jesus. Or did we?

Go here for a touching post from Grafted Branch about offering a helping hand and sharing Christ.

Have you ever wished you said something, but the moment slipped by and the words did not come?

Maybe you almost told someone about Jesus or you almost said you were a Christian. I've been there myself and sometimes I think I have failed The Lord. Sometimes I think He kept me quiet on purpose.

We won't know for sure until we see The Lord and He reveals all of these things to us. All we can do is listen quietly to The Holy Spirit for guidance.

And right now, we can all be praying for Pauline and for the next person in her path who will share the Love and Saving Grace of Jesus.

Praise God!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

In honor of Mr. Ben and Mr. Jerry...

and Elsie and all the rest-

Today is National Ice Cream Day in the US, so go out and have your favorite flavor with your family!


(Thank you, President Reagan.)

Saturday, July 14, 2007

You could call me Martha, but I've never done any time.

I love crafts.

I've never aspired to be crafty. I've aspired to be thin and beautiful, but I really don't look good in brown. If you're confused, go here.

Craftiness just comes natural to me. I don't mean to brag. Besides, what's to brag about knowing how to use a hot glue gun and scorch the fingerprints off your hands?

The really cool thing is that my daughter loves crafts,too and if she doesn't have a pattern or a plan, she can make one up on the spot. Give her some pipe cleaners (PC term-chenille stems) and some Scotch tape and Ta-Daaaaa!

A Working Whimsical Whirlygig complete with the Gig.

Seriously, her resourcefulness could make MacGyver turn Martha Stewart Green with envy.

This Summer we have been on a craft marathon. We've made stepping stones, suncatchers, and today a bona fide homemade lava lamp. Not to mention a huge mess on the kitchen table. But I think part of Motherhood is remembering childhood. And the kitchen table is just a flat surface screaming for acrylic paint and glue globs, merely disguised as an eating area.

And can I add just one more incomplete sentence for literary effect?

The lava lamp sans lamp (and lava) was so much fun that I wanted to share the instructions with you. We also learned a valuable chemisty lesson. The characteristics of polar and non-polar, or in other words, oil and water don't mix. :>)

Have fun and go get that kitchen table dirty! It's crying out to you for some glitter!

"Groovy, Man" Lava Lamp

1 clear plastic jar or bottle with a tight lid
baby oil or vegetable oil
glitter, sequins, beads or anything that will catch the light
food coloring (gel or liquid)

1. Fill the jar/bottle about 1/3 full of baby oil.

2. Sprinkle the sparkly stuff

3. Fill nearly to the top with water

4. Add one drop of food coloring (a dark color like blue or red works well)

5. Fill to the top with more water

6. Replace lid and tighten well (You're working with youngsters and food coloring, people. Hey, I'm crafty but I'm not crazy.)

7. Shake well and see what happens. :>)

The "lava" doesn't float in blobs (is that a scientific term?) like the ones from the 70's, but it is still really cool looking.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Humans are weird.

I was in a restaurant the other day waiting on my entree when I realized something.

We humans are weird.

Our dining requirements in a restaurant are far different than those at home.

Can you picture you and your husband sitting on the sofa, with Papa in the recliner and Granny in her rocker, eating roasted peanuts and throwing the shells on the hardwood floor?

When was the last time you listened to Top 40 at a deafening volume and watched professional bowling while eating dinner at home?

Why is it that we will wait an hour for a table (hey, we've got nuts) but once we get to the table we want to order right away?

Where is that waitress? We've been sitting here 10.2 seconds. I think my seat is starting to get warm!

Why do we need a straw with our drink when we don't even stock them in our pantry at home?

Um, what's up with the paper coaster? The table is wiped down with bleach water every 45 minutes.

Why is it that we calculate the exact amount of tip we should give the waitress but when the pizza guy- the guy who has literally driven miles to our house to deliver us our supper- arrives at the door, we haphazardly hand him a couple extra bucks.

What restaurant expert decided that the little cup of dressing is considered enough for my salad? Why can't they just put the dressing on the table with the ketchup?

Why is the silverware SO BIG?

When my pot roast is good and everyone has enjoyed their dessert, why don't they leave me a five on the table? All I get is a spaghetti stain on the good tablecloth.


A Good Read for God's Glory

Take a few moments to read this powerful post at Big Mama's.

Seriously, go now and be encouraged by God's Awesome Love!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Works for Me: Paint Matching

We had to make a run to the home improvement store today for more paint for my daughter's room.

There are two stores of the same chain within a reasonable driving distance for me. Today I visited a different location than when I made my original paint purchase.

I was prepared with my paint label from the lid showing all the chemical formulas needed to mix "Tidal Wave" (not Green Vibe for you paint followers out there- watch for that post later.)

The paint pros told me that even though I had the paint label showing the proper percentages of magenta and whites and like, and even though I was at the same chain of store, the paint you buy from one store location of the same chain can be subtly different than from another location.

The good news is that, as long as you are at a corner or beginning a new wall, you will never notice the difference. If you run out of paint in the middle of the wall or try to do touch-ups, you will notice a subtle difference in the light. In that case, you have to return to the same store where you purchased the first can in order to have a perfect match.

Who knew? Here's my tip:

1. Save the lids with the label showing the paint's formula.

2 With a permanent marker, write the name and address of the store. I.E. "L*we's on Madison" somewhere on the lid.

3. Stack the clean leftover lids (with paint dried or cleaned off) in a Tupperware container or some other container where you can find them later.

Be sure to read Jordan's comment for even more painting advice. Thanks, Jordan!

Check out Shannon for more tips this Wednesday.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Real decorators don't use spray paint. Real cheap ones do.

Y'all know how it is when you move into a new place. After you go through all of the boxes and put things away, then you are able to start the fun stuff. Decorating.

We've had our patio furniture for about five years. All this time, it has been either on a screened porch or outside, exposed to the elements. The set was a deep, forest green and still in pretty good shape. I threw out the old cushions because, frankly my dear, I hate mildew and after so many bleach applications, the lovely magnolia pattern just became a faded flowery mess.

There were a few rust spots and some craft paint spills. Other than that, the set was completely salvageable. All it needed was a fresh coat of paint and some bright, new cushions.

I bought some sunshine yellow cushions while they were on sale, so all I needed to finish the revamp was to spray paint the furniture. I originally thought I would spray it all black, but when I went to the home improvement store I saw it.

Charleston Green.

Oh. My. I was just giddy. You mean this huge place filled with trucks that go "beep" and piles of plywood has a little bit of Charleston history tucked neatly on a shelf and packaged in an aerosol can? Someone give me a tissue. I think a tear actually trickled down my cheek.

Charleston Green in a can. Spray Paint Heaven. You shall never see it on any interstate overpass. This color must be reserved for patio chairs, front doors and porch railings.

"I Love Bobby Ray" in Charleston Green on the Willacoochee, Georgia water tower? {Gasp!}

I fell in love with Charleston,SC while on our honeymoon. We rode our bikes down Meeting Street, along the Battery, and past lovely homes with sideways porches. I learned of the culture and history, including the story behind Charleston Green. The story just reminds me of how people in the South used what they had to still try and make things beautiful. I love that.

So I was in the yard today spraying my patio furniture, just tickled to death that it was going to be Charleston Green, knowing that everyone is going to think it is black, and thinking to myself, "I don't care. The chairs and I will know the truth. Sniff, sniff."

While spraying the gorgeous hue of greenish black from an aerosol can, I also realized something else. Although we may be known for our culture and history, we Southerners are not known for our protection of the environment. I realize Al Gore is from Tennessee, but, well, he's Al Gore.

As Mama would say, "He's just different."

The closest thing to recycling my grandparents ever did was turn in their glass Coca Cola bottle at the local grocery. (To get another "Co-Cola.") My grandmother would have looked at you funny if you had told her not to use her Aqua Net hair spray or even suggested that she recycle newspapers to save the trees. My grandfather worked in the Lumber Industry. They don't save trees. Trees are planted to be cut down or leaned upon in a nice tree stand during deer season.

I have never seen a Bubba cut up his six-pack rings or drive a load of recyclables to the recycling center. Um, what recycling center? The only load Bubba hauls is to the city dump or to the place everyone has designated as the city dump- that spot at the end of the clay road past the Old Johnson Place.

I'm not sayin' it's a good thing. I'm just sayin.'

My generation is really starting to change things, but for the most part, The South's contribution to the organic approach is cotton. (We grow it.)

Well, what do you expect from a People who had to mix their own paint? Other people were painting their front doors in Colonial Blues and Reds. We were mixing black with a touch of yellow just to get by. The horror of it all.

*Uncle Peter... my smelling salts!

Go here for more on Charleston Green. :>)

The smelling salts quote is from Aunt PittyPat in Gone With The Wind.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The peach doesn't fall far from the tree.

There are moments when I see and hear things my daughter does and I sense a little Southern in her. Sometimes she's Melanie Wilkes and sometimes she's Scarlett O'Hara.

I just grin and giggle a little to myself.

Here are a few things I observed the other day...

1. Our sweet neighbor came over to see our growing caterpillars (post below) and my little girl offered her a drink and something to eat. Then she fixed it for her. I was tickled.

2. One evening I heard a "whack" and a "thud" from her bathroom. She had killed a mosquito with a shoe. Talk about brutal. I could hear her talking to it and telling it off.

Then she came out, flip flop in hand and said,"I'm Okay. Just worry about the mosquito."

Friday, July 06, 2007

There was an old woman all covered in Off

There was a an old woman who lived by a pond.
She had really sweet neighbors of whom she grew fond
They gave her some dinner and cinnamon coffee cake
Then she learned that the pond and the neighbor had a snake.

So the not-so-old woman looked it all up on the Net
She learned what to do if she and the snake ever met
Then the neighbor's husband chased away the snake
And the woman decided that she still loved the lake

The next door neighbor had a pretty cool critter
In her garden was a green caterpillar
So the thirty-something woman was hot on the trail
And learned that this critter was a Black Swallowtail

So the thirty-something woman who lives by the water
Is now raising butterflies with her inquisitive daughter
They've learned all there is to know about a thing called "frass"
Don't do a Google. You don't want to ask.

Now the very tired young woman who sits on the dock
Is fighting off biting flies straight out of Hitchcock
It seems that the pond attracts critters galore
Snakes, caterpillars, buzzing flies and there's more!

The Wild Kingdom woman saw a brown rat
And she thought to herself, "Where's that big snake at?"
The neighbor's dog tossed the rat as it played dead
Then the neighbor gave the rat a big whack on the head.

Now the tired woman with the critters running loose
Is considering the purchase of a great big mongoose
To kill the snake after it kills the brown rats
And for the flies, she's decided on some nice Venus fly traps.


Thursday, July 05, 2007

How to look really thin while wearing your Depends Undergarments.

There's a new weight loss method out there on the shelves, but beware dear Internets. The name on the box may sound like a friend, but this diet aid is no buddy of yours. No, m'am.

The ingredient that causes weight loss works by preventing the absorption of fat. This sounds like a gift from above. So, I can eat as much fat as I want and not get fat? Ummm...that means I can eat ice cream, cakes from the gas station, fried chicken from the gas station, butter beans cooked in pork grease and let me think what else...

Yeah. Where can I get this stuff in bulk?

If it sounds too good to be true, well, you know the rest. I'm not sayin' it can't work. Noooo. I would never challenge the validity of an FDA test. Ahem.

See, you always have to read the fine print. It's in fine print for a reason, people.

So, you take this product, eat fatty food and your body doesn't absorb it. Where does it go? To Never Never Land? To The Great Fat Farm In the Sky? Deep in the East River with Jimmy Hoffa? Nope. According to the website, the body will expel the unabsorbed fat.

Expel. It doesn't mean that the Snickers bar went to the Principal's office. It means your body expels it the way it expels every other food you eat. Just to prove it, they want you to look for it.

Let's all say it together. EWWWWWW!

According to the website, you may see something in the commode that resembles pizza grease...Blah, blah, blah...

In other words, it gives you the trots, girlfriends.

I'm thinking it works because after you have seen the "results", you just quit eating pizza. But, hey, I'm no scientist.

The website warns you about what happens when you take the product and still eat like a pig, I mean eat too much fat at one time. Here are a few tips paraphrased just a bit, wink wink-

1. When you begin taking the product, you may want to limit the amount of fat you eat until you are used to the product's side affects, like going to the bathroom fifty times a day.

2. You may want to wear dark pants to work in case you soil yourself while getting thin and beautiful. This may also be a good time to apply for work with UPS.

3. While taking the product you may experience more gas. The best place to expel the gas is in the bathroom. Ahem. Didn't we learn this in the third grade?

Can you just picture a really thin woman at an important board meeting, wearing UPS brown pants, eating a Snickers bar, going over quotas and charts and really important stuff that you put on Power Point and she stops mid-sentence to excuse herself to the Ladies Room so she can expel something and then look for it?

Girlfriend, next time go for the snack size Snickers, or just don't take something that makes your body do things only done by rude, old men in plaid pants and suspenders. Or third grade boys.

I would love to lose some weight and fit into some cute capris or a sassy new sundress. I just don't want all my capris to have to be dark brown.

Then again, they say that brown is the new black... ;>)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Not another Hallmark card

I'm planning our 4Th of July, Independence Day for the United States.

We are having homemade hamburgers (with handmade patties), fries and maybe a little ice cream for dessert. I bought some sparklers so let's cross our fingers that we all still have our fingers when it's all over. We also bought some red, white and blue decorations to cheer up the porch.

The thing is, during all of this planning and festooning, I started feeling a little guilty.

There are men and women on the front lines, away from their kids, sleeping in tents, or on the ground, or in a dusty ditch, or unable to sleep anywhere. Some of them are wounded, recovering in hospitals or at home relearning how to walk, if they are able to walk at all.

All the while, I am trying to decide what kind of hamburger buns we should have. Sounds a little pathetic, doesn't it?

So I thought about it. I want us to celebrate but I don't want to take for granted the people who are literally, at this moment, making the celebration possible.

I want them all to know how thankful I am.

Not a Hallmark kind of thankful.

Not a let's all sing Lee Greenwood for the 500Th time so we can feel all warm and fuzzy and patriotic inside and move on to our daily routines July 5Th.

Nope. Not that kind of thankful.

I want all of the soldiers, active and retired, to know how truly grateful I am for them. So I will do for them what matters most.

I will pray for them and for their families.

When someone makes ignorant, misguided remarks about how the military of this country is spoiled or pampered, I will proudly speak up for all the men and women who sacrifice daily for our freedom to make ignorant, misguided remarks.

I will vote responsibly.

I will stand in respect, hat off, hand on my heart, when I hear the National Anthem play.

And I will join in. And know all the words.

I will teach my daughter about Christian civic duty.

I will show my thanks by cherishing the freedoms we still hold dear to our hearts...

Freedom to worship anywhere I choose without fearing death.

Freedom to express myself, even on the Internet.

Freedom to walk down the street to visit a neighbor without fear of a car bomb.

Freedom to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom or a doctor or a dentist or a plumber, or whatever I dream.

Freedom to own a Bible.

Freedom to do the small, everyday things that we take for granted...

A warm slice of apple pie or a cold wedge of watermelon.

Grilling hamburgers out back while savoring the smell of my neighbor's BBQ ribs next door.

Feeling warm and fuzzy when I hear Lee Greenwood or I sing the national anthem.

Seeing my child's face in the light of sparklers at dusk.

The little things that bring me happiness in the midst of freedom.

To all of the soldiers across the sea who are defending our freedom today and everyday, we thank you and we pray that you are safe. We'll keep the pie warm, the watermelon cold, and Old Glory waving proudly until you come home.

God Bless you.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Favorite eateries in my hometown, or some town, somewhere.

There's a meme going around town asking bloggers to post their favorite restaurants in their hometown. I've read a few of them and it looks like a lot of fun.

Being that I don't even divulge what state I live in, me thinks me has to tweek the meme a bit.

Here are a few of my favorite types of restaurants:

1. Sweaty BBQ- I love good BBQ and, no offense to you Eastern Carolinians, but I don't care for Eastern Carolina BBQ. It has to be Memphis Style for me. We lived in Eastern Carolina for a while and I missed me some good ketchup-based pulled pork. My husband did, too. For his birthday one year, I had dinner from Corky's shipped to our house.

For a moment, I believe he thought he was Elvis.

Some of you are wondering what on earth is sweaty BBQ. I'll tell ya. When you walk in a place that sells bbq and the place is clean and air conditioned (not including Sonny's), just politely tell the hostess you won't be needing a table and walk out.

Good BBQ comes from places where it is hotter than blue blazes and the cook is literally wiping his brow as he pulls the ribs out of the pit. Don't worry about the health inspector report. There is none.

The best places serve light bread. (Light bread is just plain ole' sandwich bread straight out of the bag. I have no idea why we call it "light." We just do.)

2. An authentic ethnic place, like Mexican or Chinese. Never eat in a Mexican restaurant that plays rock music or a Chinese place that plays jazz. It's just not right. And I'm sorry, but I don't want a red-headed Irish kid bringing me my wontons.

3. A steak place that serves real, honest to goodness beef. It's what's for dinner. Steak shouldn't be fancy, just good. While I appreciate the attempt at cowboy atmosphere, you can just leave out the country line dancing. I've got a big knife in my hand and I'm trying to cut up my meal. Don't distract me. Someone could get hurt.

4. Country cooking like Granny made. I like the kind of place where I have to walk up onto a porch to get to the front door. There aren't many tables, but all of them have a nice tablecloth draped on them and one fresh flower in a milk glass bud vase. They serve fried chicken every day, but the vegetables are seasonal. In the summer, you can get the best fresh sliced tomatoes and butter beans. You have a choice of biscuits or cornbread and the tea is always sweet. The closest chain to this type of dining would be Cracker Barrel.

Now I'm hungry.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

It's time for a new do.

I have not had my hair properly cut and colored for oh, maybe two months or more. EEEKK! I have tried to prolong the inevitable with the clippy, the headband (not the best choice for a forehead the size of Texas), and the natural look.

I'm Southern. We don't do the natural look. From our early years, we are told that beauty is within. We've accepted the harsh reality that beauty is not natural and we've perfected the use of powder, lipstick, perms, hairspray, nail polish, and peroxide. Errr... are there any carcinogens I've left out?

This morning I was getting ready for church, trying to tame what was once a pretty sassy, textured bob. I used the curling iron (a staple in my house) to carefully smooth down what had been textured ends and is now just a big ole' mess. I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I looked like this woman.

But thankfully, not quite like this woman.

I admire Joyce Brothers, if not for her advice, for her impeccable skill of maintaining the same hairstyle since, well, just since. If I didn't know any better, I'd say she must be Southern. Southern women have perfected the ability to keep a hairdo in place for an entire week, between the Friday Wash and Style. Dr. Brothers has managed to keep her hair in place for decades.

Dear Dr. Brothers,

Would you please give me some advice?

What kind of Aqua Net are you using?

A woman who is calling for a hair appointment tomorrow