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.