Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thursday Ten: Stuff I have learned this week

1. One Hershey's kiss will make a child take the yuckiest medicine. Try it. It works.

2. I really should consider politics. Watching the election process reminds me of high school cheerleaders and playground bullies. (No offense to the one or two nice high school cheerleaders out there.)

3. My mother-in-law likes to look her best, even in the deepest jungle. In a few days, a very smartly dressed woman will be among the gorillas in the mist- hopefully, not covered in tsetse flies. She packed the cream color top.

4. A non-fat mocha is better than a skinny mocha.

5. Sunday School Kindergarteners should not be in one room for longer than an hour. After so much time, no snack will make things right. Not even rainbow goldfish.

6. When your church decides to go to two services and change the schedule around, and you are a Sunday School teacher of Kindergarteners, you must ask for the following-

a detailed description of the new schedule time

an unlimited supply of crafts and snacks

Valium (for you, not the kids)

7. Never volunteer for something until you have checked your calendar.

8. When you get overwhelmed, dipping into the Hershey kisses bag can make you feel soooo much better. Or you can just take the Valium.

9. This season of Project Runway is lame. Yet I cannot turn away.

10. I need a vacation. Or a very long nap.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Day Thirteen Thousand And Something At The Milliner's House

Y'all, I'm a little overwhelmed. Some of these hats are getting a little itchy and uncomfortable and one or two of them don't seem to fit that well. Plus, it appears that I have more hats than days of the week.

I try my best not to take on too much, but I am stuck here, smack dab in the middle of a hat festival, at least for a season. Several obligations have fallen on my head at the same time. In a month or so, life will begin to look somewhat normal. (Normal for me, anyway.)

As Murphy's Law always has it (I think Murphy was a woman), right when I have a lot of obligations, my daughter gets sick. She has a cough and will be fine. Besides, The Mommy Hat is one that I will gladly wear, as worn and tattered as it is.

After all, it is my favorite.

But there are two sweet moms out there wearing their Mommy Hats who are about to put on another hat. In a few weeks, Sophie and Shannon are going to Uganda with Compassion International. They will be joining other bloggers as they live blog the relief work over there.

There's a lot of preparation that has to go into a trip like this, but the best preparation is prayer. Let's begin praying now as they begin this journey. Praying for someone else is one of the most precious honors God has allowed believers. It is a privilege to lift up another in prayer, especially those who are doing God's work.

Please begin praying now for the following:

1) Pray for their safety en route and while in Uganda.

2) Pray that there will be no technical difficulties.
They need to have Internet access to be able to live blog.
(Satan would hate for God to be glorifed in any way, so I am guessing this will be a big one.)

3) Pray for their sweet families back home.
Pray for Shannon and Sophie to be at peace as they miss their little ones while they are gone.

4) Pray for Compassion International and the children they reach.
Ask God to touch the hearts of many. One of them may be yours. :>)

Ladies, I pray for you as you each put on your new "hat,"
that you will be safe, calm, and always protected
by The God who loves you and has called you according to His Purpose.
God Bless you both. Thank you for answering His Call.

"May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you." Numbers 6:25

Monday, January 28, 2008

Civics 101

Madam Speaker...

If I were at the State of the Union tonight I would want to be that guy, the Sergeant At Arms. You know, that guy. Of course, only if I couldn't be the actual President.


For some reason, we have had a lot of civics lessons lately at our house. Maybe it is because it is an election year. Maybe it is because we have watched and/or heard I'm Just A Bill at least 1000 times.

A few days ago, I was explaining to my daughter how a bill becomes a bill. She already knows how a bill becomes a law. But we had to get to the "bill" portion before we can get to the "law" portion. I told her that if anyone, even a little girl like her, thinks there should be a law, that they should write their Congressman and tell them. If they really want to get their attention, they can form a petition.



Anyway. That lead to an explanation of a petition which went something like this-

If McDonald's on the corner put up a big, ugly sign and I didn't like it, I could write them a letter and ask them to take it down. They would probably ignore it.

There is no law against big, ugly signs, but let's say the big, ugly sign blocks my view of traffic when I try to turn. Then, I could write a letter to the county or whoever is the authority for signs and road safety and stuff (I used fancy words) and ask them to write a law so McDonald's (or any other business) would take down the big, ugly sign that could be dangerous.

But then they ignore it.

So Mommy draws up a petition and asks the neighbors to sign it because they probably can't see oncoming traffic either because of McDonald's big, ugly sign. A petition would have lots of signatures and that is like a whole bunch of letters (more fancy words) and it gets attention.

Then they write a new law or enforce the one in place.


No, not my daughter. YOU READING THIS!

Believe it or not, she was actually interested.

The discussion ended when my husband walked in from work and asked what in the world we were talking about. He was just as bored as you are.

Days later, daughter and I were sitting at a traffic light, waiting to turn and we both looked over to watch a man change the letters on the McDonald's sign.

You guessed it.

My daughter turned to me and said,"There goes McDonald's. Putting up a big, ugly sign."

"That isn't really a big, ugly sign. It isn't dangerous either."

"I know, Mommy. I was just kidding."

Then, if that were not enough, a few more days passed and the three of us (daughter, me and not-interested-in-politics-man) were talking about how my husband likes to bring up gross subjects after dinner. My daughter ran upstairs for a moment, disappeared into her room, and then raced back down with a piece of paper.

At the top, it read "Reputation. Please do not talk about icky things."

She had signed her name. She handed the paper over to me, along with a pen and asked me to sign it.

Gladly, my little activist. Gladly. Oh, the power in numbers.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

You might be feeling sleepy, but you look fabulous!

I have no sense of adventure. None. Well, let me think a minute... nope. None.

However, my mama likes to travel, my daughter wants to travel (until she has been in the car for more than an hour), and my in-laws love traveling. Real, fancy, complicated traveling like they show on the Travel Channel. With connecting flights and multiple continents. And stuff.

Call me Mrs. Frommer.

In a few days they will be traveling to Africa. Africa! Like it is a whole other country. (I am kidding. It is a continent, not a country. Had you going for a minute, though. Didn't I?)

They have always wanted to see the wild animals of Africa, The Big Five as they say. I am learning the lingo so that I may impress you Internets. Or not.

For months they have planned this big trip, getting their vaccinations, planning their wardrobes, while the rest of us have been wondering what on earth are they thinking running off to Africa where there are lions, elephants, gorillas and really big insects that want your blood?

Then we remembered that they are actually going to see the lions,elephants and gorillas.

Yesterday I was talking to my mother-in-law about their trip and she was sharing what she planned to pack. Due to the fact that some colors of clothing actually attract really big insects that want your blood, her wardrobe mostly consists of tan and brown with some splashes of khaki. White attracts mosquitoes, so that is OUT.

I mentioned to her all of the many uses for Bounce dryer sheets that I have learned lately. I knew before that they repel mosquitoes, but the other day I discovered that Bounce dryer sheets repel bees, yellow jackets, and even mice.

She said jokingly,"What about the tsetse fly?"

Well, I don't know, but let me check on that. I don't think Heloise ever mentioned the Tsetse.

My mother-in-law mentioned a cream color shirt that she wanted to wear on the trip. It is cotton and comfortable and would be perfect for the heat. Her concern was the fact that cream is mighty close to white on the color wheel and hello mosquitoes!

I pleaded with her not to try the Bounce dryer sheet idea while in Africa. I do not want her to call me up on her international phone and yell,"Melanie! I am covered in tsetse flies and it is all your fault!" while someone from a US Embassy calls me up to explain that I am the cause of an international incident and Why don't I just turn on Fox News because I am about to be on it?!

Well, Mr. Ambassador, if my mother-in-law wants to wear a cream color shirt before Easter then, by all means let her. In my neck of the jungle, that is called "winter white" and it is perfectly acceptable.

Have a fun trip! ;>)

In case you didn't already know how weird I am.

Linda at 2nd Cup tagged me for a Meme. Here are the rules-

(1) Link to the person that tagged you.

(2) Post the rules on your blog.

(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.

(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.

(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

I hesitated a moment to share the really quirky habits about myself but after reading Linda's post, I feel totally comfortable.

It seems that weirdness loves company. Or something like that.

1. I count my teeth with my tongue. I have done this since forever and I have no idea why. It isn't a nervous thing. I think it is a bored thing. For sure, it is a weird thing.

2. Y'all already know that I hate the post office and I think I have mentioned that I hate the library. It stresses me out. I realize that this is odd, well because my husband tells me so all the time. If I didn't know this already, he continues to stress that I have issues. I keep saying I should write a post about this aversion to the library and to librarians specifically. Maybe I will...

3. I don't like board games which require strategy. I like trivia and that is pretty much it.

4. I read magazines and catalogs starting from the back.

5. I cannot eat any type of meat right off the bone. I have to either tear or cut it off first. Even wings and ribs.

6. Whenever we travel, I read the phone book in the hotel. I look up last names of our family and count how many are in there. Then I read the yellow pages. Not just to look up a restaurant. Just for fun.

Obviously, I should get out more.

Instead of tagging someone, I am going to leave this one open. If you would like to play along, just leave a note in the comments.

Go ahead. It's fun to reveal how weird you are. :>)

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Coat

Moms wear a lot of hats. The chef hat, the taxi driver hat, the nurse's cap, the construction worker hat, and many mornings the baseball cap to hide a bare, sleepy face and a messy ponytail.

That's the life of a mom and a wife, a woman of many jobs and many skills. Sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with all of the tasks that require all of these hats. Lately, I seem to be changing hats left and right and now I am wearing a vest.

Yesterday we had a special Girl Scout meeting and basketball practice. An unusual glitch in scheduling made for two activities on one day.

As we rushed in the house to change, I saw a package on the porch, my new coat. I'd ordered it from a catalog over a week ago and it couldn't have arrived on a better day. Last night was one of our coldest with chilling wind and a dampness in the air. I immediately opened the box and put on my new coat. A perfect fit.

Then I donned my taxi driver hat and we were off once again.

We walked in the church's gym and my daughter ran over to her team, her ponytail bouncing across the court. As I settled in the bleachers I saw my daughter's sweet coach.

She is tall and thin, not big as a minute but with a presence all her own. In the first few moments I met her, only a few words had crossed her lips and I knew how much she loves Jesus. I watch her each week on the court with the girls and even though I cannot hear all of the instruction she gives in the midst of the gym's noise, I can see from the Light in her face that her words are loving, encouraging, Christ-like.

She homeschools one son and has another little boy- a sweet, strong one-year old. Last night he was strapped to her back in an infant carrier while she coached basketball; her babysitter was unavailable. There were moms there who offered to watch the baby, but this mom would rather have him right there with her, as heavy and awkward as that would be.

You should have seen his face. He was content, a binky in his mouth, watching over his mother's shoulder as she dribbled and passed the basketball to eager little girls. Fascinated by the motion of the ball, he nestled in his little carrier against his mother's body. His mother wore two hats. And a backpack.

I knew then that I wasn't the only one multi-tasking. As overwhelmed as life may seem, I could never be teaching basketball with a baby strapped to my back. (Besides the stress, I am not athletic. P.E. brought down my GPA.)

This morning after I rushed daughter off to school, I did a little grocery shopping. It was just above freezing temperatures here and my new coat was perfect. The bagger, an older gentleman, offered to take out my groceries and I declined.

"I can get it. It's too cold out there."

As I pushed my cart into the cold, the wind hit my face. I thought to myself of all of the people at that moment who did not have a new coat, any coat. I thought of all of the hats I wear and how sometimes it feels like too much.

But I am so blessed.

I got in my car and wept. I prayed and thanked God for all that He has given me, as undeserving as I am.

Then I asked Him, "Why me, Lord? Why me? Why am I the one with a warm coat? A home to live in? A bed to lie in? This car to drive my daughter to school? A trunk full of groceries? Why do I have two loving parents? A wonderful husband? Why me?"

And in His quiet, gentle Voice He said, "Because... for unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

Much is required.

So I'll wear my coat and my many hats and I will give what I have, do what I can, for He has given me much- much more than I could ever ask for or even imagine. Even though none of it could ever out give what He has given, it will all be for Him, to Him, and through Him. For He has given me many hats.

And a warm coat to match.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Do you have a sash in petal pink?

It has been a busy week so far.

The week began with an ending to a sweet visit with family. Lots of giggles. Lots of laughs. Lots of little girl smiles and grandparent fun.

Yesterday I hiked right into a new journey for me. You will never in a million patches guess who is going to be wearing a vest. Yep. I am going to be a Girl Scout Troop leader, assisting a wonderful Christian lady who loves the Lord. We went through an orientation and training and our heads were swimming. My brain hurt. But today we are refreshed, refocused and excited about the troop.

Last night during her prayers, my daughter prayed for her two new troop leaders. It was so sweet. She is becoming a real prayer warrior. Either that or she recognizes how much her new troop leaders desperately need some Divine Intervention. If she starts praying for a hedge of protection, I'll know for sure.


A button for Kelli

Karla has made a button for Kelli. Go ahead and grab it here and post it on your blog, or head over to Karla's for the codes.

Thanks, Karla!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Kelli- An Update

There is someone out there who has felt The Lord tugging on their heart. You don't know what it is you are supposed to do, but you know it is big. Maybe you are reading this. Or maybe you know someone who has shared God's calling in their life.

Whatever His Plan may be, take a moment to read this about what is going on with Kelli today. She needs a kidney. Plain and simple. It may not seem easy to us, but it is to God. Even if you are not the person who will give Kelli a kidney, you might be the one who shares the need.

Spread the word, folks. Pray for obedience in the heart of Kelli's donor. Pray for Kelli.

May God be glorified.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

A message from across the frozen, bloggy tundra

Y'all, it is cold. My neighbor from New York is cold. That is cold.

Ahem. Global Warming?

Which makes me think about the polar bears.

There is all of this hoopla about how Earth is getting warmer, blah blah blah. And how the polar ice caps are melting, blah blah blah. Well, has anyone thought that maybe the polar bears are just tired of being cold? I mean, there they are stuck on icebergs with nothing to eat but seals when all they really want is to live in sunny Florida and eat fried Gulf shrimp.

Just a theory.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Some toys live forever. Others should bounce away peacefully into lame toy heaven.

It is looking up to be an interesting weekend. My in-laws arrived last night and we have already had some good laughs.

The funny thing is that whenever we are in the middle of a laughing frenzy, my mother-in-law inevitably asks, "Is this going to be on your blog?"

To which I usually answer,"Maybe. You never know."

Last night we were laughing so hard at a Slinky. Yes, a Slinky. My mother-in-law brought one to our daughter because now we have stairs and "everyone who has stairs has to have one of these."

Hubs said that he could never make the Slinky go down more than two stairs. My mother-in-law remembered making slinky spring down more than a few stairs. The conversation later turned into a discussion as to whether the Slinky has always been silver or was it once copper.

I know. Riveting.

Then the five of us stood there at the bottom of the stairs watching Grammy make the Slinky, well slink, down the stairs.

Two of them.

It seems that Slinky only works if your stairs do no meet the building code. Or if they meet the Slinky compatible building code. Sadly, ours do not. Later, we will show daughter how to make stairs out of a stack of books. The entertainment continues at my house, folks.

Right now she is watching her new Schoolhouse Rock video with all of the best ones from my childhood and I am so tickled to death myself because Hello! Schoolhouse Rock!

With that last sentence, it appears that I should fast forward to Conjunction Junction to learn a little grammar myself. Right after I Unpack My Adjectives.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Not as big as the water horse, but just as scary.

I am sitting here trying to figure out what food I ate yesterday that had at least 5000 grams of sodium hidden inside because I woke up this morning retaining water like the town's water tower. I'd better hide now or someone will paint "I love Bobby Ray" in Charleston Green all over my nice pajamas.

My rings are tight, my face feels puffy; I am just drop dead gorgeous- to a hippo.

Water retention is an ongoing issue for me but I have figured out how to remedy the situation. Drink, drink, drink, and avoid salt. (If any of you are concerned, I have been screened for any underlying health problems with a clean, but bloated bill of health.)

Adding more misery to the mix, I have sinus congestion. No, I am not holding my breath. My cheeks are just swollen.


By mid-morning, after some sinus medication and lots of water, I'll be back to my pre-inflated state. So do not be alarmed. Just don't stick a pin in me. I could pop.

But, if you saw me now, you may think I've gained weight. They say the blog adds 10 pounds, you something like that.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Nevermind Fox News. I've got Mama.

So yesterday I was talking to Mama and I realized something. She is a wealth of information.

We probably talked for less than 30 minutes, but in that short time (yes, that is short for us) I learned all of the following:

1. The sad state of her hometown's blueberry crop and the bad weather which caused its demise.

2. Who is sick.

3. Exactly what is wrong with them, what medications they are taking, and most importantly who their people are.

4. What she and Daddy ate yesterday and that the chili cheese fries at Krystal are sooooo gooood.

5. There was some mention of warming up some lima beans but I think that was from a different day.

6. The temperature at her house compared to the temperature at my house.

7. What bargains she found at Target and K-mart.

8. How proud she and Daddy are of their granddaughter. (That part I already knew.)

9. How she was really wanting some soup after I mentioned that I was making soup (related to the frigid temperatures at my house) but she had chili at Krystal and the chili cheese fries were sooooo gooood.

10. That we like to talk to each other about the everyday things, as unimportant as they may seem. They are still important to share with each other.

11. How much she loves me. (That part I already knew, too.)

Have you called your Mama today?

Monday, January 14, 2008

Politics and Maybelline

It's election time, folks. I wasn't going to blog about it at all. I still have not decided for sure what, if anything, I would say this year on this little blog o' mine. But this morning I thought the very least I could do is make fun of it a little.

That's my civic duty.

No, I'm not laughing at the election process nor at the seriousness of taking part in it as a matter of your God-given right as an American.

Alert: (Picture this flashing in red if I had html skills)

If you are an American and are eligible to vote, register now so that you may exercise your right to do so, then look at the issues, the candidates, and all of the options and pray about making an informed decision. Ignore all of the bells and whistles and what your parents or friends or favorite celebrities say. Then, go vote with your heart and your conscience.

Ok. Enough of that.

On to the fun stuff. I have been interested in politics and government since I was a little girl. I find it fascinating. I have also loved commercials since I was a little girl. Mama said that when I was two years old, I would run in my little bare feet from the back of the house to the living room whenever I heard the Nestea plunge commercial on television.

So, combine politics and advertising and I am just giddy. Like a nerdy kid in an encyclopedia store. By the way, I always wanted my very own set of Encyclopedia Britannica. You would never know I could do The Slide, would you?

With all of my TV viewing and encyclopedia reading, I have observed a few things about political campaigns.

1. Whenever a candidate makes a speech, they always have the American flag behind them, REALLY HUGE ones like the ones they have at car dealerships. I know this is supposed to make them look patriotic. Somehow, it is just too in-your-face. Besides the fact that the flag matches their red power tie, it doesn't do much for me.

2. Candidates always have people behind them who look like they really care what they are saying. Sometimes the people are just standing around, but most of the time they look like they are sitting in bleachers. They always have tiny American flags.

Most of the time, the people behind the candidate would be considered their opposites. The candidate wants voters to look at the folks behind them and think,"Hey! These people are different from her. I wouldn't have thought they would support her. They must be friends!"

For example, if I were running for office, you may or may not see the following in bleachers sitting behind me, waving tiny American flags against a backdrop of a humongous flag that I borrowed from the Chevy dealer:

-A woman without any lipstick

-People wearing white (and it's after Labor Day)

- Methodists with take-out bags from the restaurant where they got a table before us after church because their service gets out before ours does and Baptist preachers are long-winded

- Martha Stewart

- Department Store CEO's

-Members of a rock band


-The Postman

Of course, the postman would be late for the rally and Martha would be handing out handmade tiny American flags while the beavers chewed up the bleachers.

At some point during my speech I would go against all campaign advice, showing my real emotion, and turn around and hand that woman a tube of my red lipstick.

There are just some issues too serious for me to avoid.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

By which I have become a sophisticate of parental guidance.

Yesterday was a meaningful day at our house.

Hubs and daughter planned to spend the day together creating precious memories that will live in their hearts for decades. I planned to get my hair done. Obviously, I have my priorities straight.

I came home from the beauty shop and from running errands (fun ones like shopping for drapes and home accessories) and my daughter and husband had experienced the following bonding for a lifetime moments:

Go for a bike ride
Plan their (yes, "their") Spring garden

I had been home for a little while when my daughter and I had our own bonding for a lifetime moment.

I taught her the electric slide. Don't ask me how it came up because I still haven't figured it out myself. Hubs had the song saved and played it for her a while back. He must have mentioned, ahem, that Mommy could actually do the electric slide and he must have mentioned,ahem, that he himself cannot.

At least that's his story.

So yesterday in our kitchen I taught my daughter the electric slide. It was a precious moment for us all. Hubs commented that he couldn't do it and that he considered himself lucky to have married me because I knew how.

Well, maybe he is lucky, but I don't think it has anything to do with my dancing skills.

Click here for the song and video. Go ahead. You know you want to!

It's Electric!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Emergency on Aisle Nine

Sunday mornings are usually a little chaotic at our house. First of all, I am not a morning person. I'm not even a mid-afternoon person. I am a night person. I have no idea why the world has decided that everything like go to church, school, the grocery store or the bank must be done during the daytime.

Unless it has something to do with that little thing call sunlight.


I do not wake up happy. I go to sleep happy but something occurs during my REM cycle that turns me into Cranky Lady. So when we all have to get somewhere at the same time and be dressed up, MERCY ME. And I don't mean the awesome Christian music group.

Sundays I wake up to the coffee pot shuffle and start getting ready. In the meantime, my husband wakes our daughter and starts her breakfast. My breakfast is in mug which is probably laced with lead paint.

After I get ready, it is husband's turn in the bathroom . I usually iron his clothes and then help my very decisive and fashion-minded daughter pick out her clothes. All this time, I am watching the clock and thinking,"I really hate my clothes."

I finally make it out the door on time, weighted down with Sunday School material and the grim reality that the two people with me are much better dressed than I am.

The chaos always seems to end once we get in the car- until a few Sundays ago. We were riding down the highway and I suddenly heard a thump by the passenger's (Me) door. There in the rear view mirror was a picture of my hub cap not-so-gracefully tumbling down the road.


Don't worry. We didn't go back and get it. If it wasn't picked up by a group of prisoners in orange jumpsuits, it is probably resting on the side of the road with its new found friend, The Shoe.

My husband went to Wal-mart later to buy me a set of hubcaps. (That sentence alone paints a portrait of our life that could hang in a Motel 6 lobby.)

We have the same kind of car so he didn't check the size wheel cover needed for my car. They should be the same. Right?

Oh no. The Toyota people like to change things from one year model to the next just to keep things interesting. So hubs went to another Wal-mart close to home to exchange them. He came back empty handed.

Our local Wal-mart did not have any hubcaps.

Aren't hubcaps a staple at Wal-mart? When Sam Walton opened the very first Wal-mart in Arkansas didn't he write some sort of Wal-mart Constitution that called for the pursuit of automobile accessories, over-sized electronics and better gun selection?

Something is seriously wrong, y'all. I am starting to think that the Target folks have infiltrated the ranks of their blue vest competition.

You can breathe easy. There is a happy ending to this otherwise uninspiring post and there is still hope for Wal-mart. Hubs purchased the correct size hubcaps at the original Wal-mart and the little guys are tucked into place on my tires. I told him it was a matter of urgency.

Riding around without a hubcap is one step away from duct tape on the windshield.

I'm just sayin.'

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Works for Me Wednesday: Laminate Floors

We have wood laminate floors in the dining room and the living room. I am trying to find a cleaner that will keep a shine on them without leaving a residue.

If you have wood laminate floors, what works for you?

Thanks in advance for your tips!

Visit Shannon for more WFMW: Backwards Edition.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Mediocre Tuesday

I woke up this morning and considered blogging the New Hampshire Primary all day. Right here! From this blog!

Oh, I kid. I'm not that desperate for material.

But I will keep an eye on the primary numbers and updates because it is important. I'll spare you from the spin. You can watch the News for yourselves.

There is big news here at Mayberry. My neighbor emailed that a small beaver was snared last night. Mr. Edwards will be out there this morning to relocate the little guy. I checked on the beaver a little while ago and he was safely snared on the bank of the pond where he had removed a huge area of sod from the neighbor's yard. These guys go out in blades of glory. (Get it? Blades? Grass?)

On a completely different note, I have to do some housework today, and grocery shop, and maybe even cook a nutritious meal for dinner. You can see that today is shaping up to be exciting.

But not nearly as exciting as the exit polls in New Hampshire. ;>)

Sunday, January 06, 2008

I'll take away your chewing privileges, Mister!

*Updated to add- After Linda's comment, I just hope Joey the Beaver is saving all of those banana leaves for the seven years of famine. :>)

I know that most of you have been sitting at the edge of your seats waiting anxiously for a beaver update.

Today is your lucky day.

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, let me give you a brief history. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm Southern. Nothing about me is brief.

We have a small pond behind our house that we share with our neighbors. Most of the time, the pond is quite enjoyable and relaxing. It is stocked with fish and attracts beautiful wildlife like herons, cranes, migrating ducks and turtles.

It also attracts thousands of mosquitoes.

And beavers.

Sure, beavers look all cute and cuddly, but let me tell you, they are not. Beavers destroy things, ordinary and odd things like banana trees, fence posts, outdoor lighting, and any other object that would make their hidden condo complete. In fact, rumor has it that they are about to have their own show on HGTV. It's a spin-off of Trading Spaces called, "The Beavers Did That."

A while back we hired a trapper who would remove the beavers humanely and relocate them to another pond. When we caught our first one, the neighbor called us all over to check it out. Other than looking a little embarrassed about being caught, like some beaver rookie, the little critter looked fine. We looked like idiots.

My friend Nancy said she gets a little sad when she sees a member of an animal family trapped and removed. She always holds out hope that one day he will be reunited with his family. I told Nancy that maybe the trapped beaver was a trouble maker or a slacker, that maybe the conversation in the Beaver family went something like this-

"Hey, MOM! Joey never does his chores. All he does is wait for us to bring him some banana leaves or pear branches and then he lounges around in the underground condo and watches Ty Pennington build entertainment centers."

"JOEY! You are grounded! And clean up this den! Mud is everywhere!"

Maybe his Mom and Dad tried to teach him to be a responsible citizen in beaver society. Maybe his sister is that beaver age, and she got tired of little brother getting on her nerves, hanging out with her friends and doing that annoying noise with his tail.

Finally, Joey became the example and after a very firm, tough love push, he found himself in a snare on the shore awaiting his relocation while a bunch of people stared at him in wonder on a Saturday morning.

Right now, Joey is swimming around with other delinquent beavers, going through beaver boot camp on a new reality TV show.

Hosted by none other than, Ty Pennington.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Five things Meme

I saw this over at Susanne's and decided to play along.

1. Five things found in my room- I am in the living room with the laptop.

Hershey's kisses that need to go away. I am on some kind of Hershey's marathon.
My Bible
Curtain rods still in the wrapper (with no curtains yet to go with them)
The TV. I am watching the Republican debate. This may be why I need the chocolate.
A blanket. It is sooooo cold. I know cold is relative. You Canadians get an imaginary gold medal from me.

2. Five things I always wanted to do.

See Greece.
Learn to quilt.
Run for office. (Seeing a theme here?)
Research family history.
Send a group of kids to Disney World.

3. Five things found in my bag.

Happy Meal toy.

4. Five things in my wallet.

Information that says I am an organ donor.
Store discount cards
Emergency phone numbers
The usual things you would find in a mom's wallet like very little cash.

5. Five things I'm currently into.

The Presidential election. Praying for wisdom there.
Blogs. Ahem.
Purchasing curtains for the house. Decorating in general.
Reading my Bible through in a year, using a guide by our pastor.
The Hershey's kisses.


Friday, January 04, 2008

Sometimes the arches are not as golden, but Barbie never disappoints.

Daughter and I were out today hoping that our Target stores had gone to the insane 90% off their Christmas clearance.

Our hopes were squashed like tiny gnats on a Southern family reunion potluck table. The Christmas and "holiday" items were still at 75%. Like an amateur, I caved and purchased a few items anyway. My best find was a really cute Barbie for the low, low price of $1.24.

We stopped at McDonald's drive-thru for some lunch. After ordering, the surprisingly polite cashier at the window said our Happy Meals were not ready. So we waited.

I turned to daughter and said, "Your nuggets will probably be very hot. We are either waiting for chicken nuggets or french fries."

And we waited.

The cashier came back and said,"I am so sorry. We are out of nuggets. Is there anything else you would like to substitute?"

Daughter said she would eat a hamburger and we waited some more.

I thought out loud,"Wonder how they could run out of nuggets. Maybe their supplier is late delivering."

"But, Mommy, McDonald's is known for their nuggets."

My child. She is astute in American culture and its deep-fried history.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thirteen things I did today that would not impress any of you. Not even my Mama.

1. Woke up and planned a day of cleaning house, organizing and having my daughter's friend over to play.

2. Listened to my little girl giggle with her friend all day.

And squeal. And giggle. And squeal.

Because IT IS SO EXCITING TO SPEND THE WHOLE DAY TOGETHER EVEN THOUGH THEY SEE EACH OTHER AT LEAST THREE TIMES A WEEK AT CHURCH. But, Glory! The revival that happens in their hearts when they are reunited on days other than Sunday and Wednesday.

It's a good thing we are Baptist and (somewhat) reserved or I couldn't stand the excitement!

3. Cleaned out the garage.

4. Froze to death. What idiot picks the coldest day yet of the season to clean out the garage? (The idiot whose kid is being entertained and occupied with a charismatic game of Candy Land.)

5. Found and washed curtains that I forgot I had.

6. Looked for snails at the pond out back and FROZE TO DEATH!

Anyone for escargot Popsicles?

7. Helped the giggly girls dig in the dirt and look for treasure. We found it. It was called the buried portion of our dock. (But not as exciting as the lost curtains.)

8.. Made hot chocolate with marshmallows and peppermint sticks.


9. Caught up on some much needed time with giggly girl's mom (one of my best friends) while giggly girl and daughter played and played.

10. Heard friend repeat over and over, "Get your stuff together. It's time to go."

11. Kept talking to friend. Giggly girls kept playing. And giggling.

12. Wait. Which ones are the giggly girls?? Us or them?

13. Thanked God for Christian friends and their sweet children.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Works for Me: Homemade Scented Play Dough

This is a play dough recipe I made for my Sunday School class. They loved it. Even my daughter likes it.

Scented Play Dough- Not Edible

1 cup four
1 cup water
1/2 cup salt
1 to 2 Tablespoons oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
a few drops of food coloring
a few flavoring drops (for scent) such as lemon or peppermint extract. Do not use extract with color, such as vanilla.
You may also use one small pack of Kool Aid instead. Cherry and Grape work well.
Try to match the play dough coloring you choose with the scent you add.


Place all ingredients in a saucepan on low heat. Stir the mixture until it forms a moist, gloppy ball. Do not let it burn. Remove from pan. (You can gently scrape it from the pan with a spatula.)
Cool, then knead until it forms a ball and leaves your hands clean. Store in an airtight container.

The peppermint smelled wonderful!! Have fun.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The next thing you know, I'll quit using hairspray.

So today is New Year's Day. There are a few Southern and family traditions that go along with this day. This year, I broke a few and bent a few others.

I don't believe in luck. Never have. I just like traditions. Keeping them and passing them on is, to me, part of passing on a family's history. It kind of keeps those who have passed on still with us.

I thank my Granny for many traditions, but especially for those on New Year's Day. That lady was brilliant. The two things she never did on New Year's Day were sweep and wash clothes. One was supposed to cause a loved one to die and the other was to cause you to lose your money. I could never keep them straight, but I thought she was a genius for getting out of housework for at least one day a year.

Of course, the other traditions involve food. We are supposed to have black-eyed peas and greens for good luck. The peas represent coins and the greens represent paper money you will recieve in the year to come. I always make blackeyes and I usually put ham hocks in them for flavor. We also usually have pork roast. I don't eat greens except for cabbage, so we always have cabbage.

Except for today.

We had the black-eyed peas, but no cabbage. We had cabbage's anemic cousin, cauliflower. I am not sure what kind of luck that is supposed to bring us. I didn't buy ham hocks or a pork roast, so we ate the pork Lil Smokies left over from last night's family New Year's junk food dinner.

Plus, I didn't techinically sweep; I vacuumed. We took down the tree and I couldn't go a whole day without cleaning up the stray needles. And (gasp!) I am washing a load of clothes at this very moment. You have no idea what this means. There are Southern women tossing and turning in their graves.

What on Earth have I done?!

It's a good thing I ate two huge servings of peas.

Have a Happy New Year, Y'all!