Saturday, November 13, 2010

Blowing The Dust Off

I nearly forgot my password to blogger. It's been that long.

Things got a little nuts around SmallTown.  Our new pup ran a fever for a day, nearly scared us to death, and then ended up being perfectly fine.  I think I lost a few brain cells and perhaps have a new bald spot, but other than that, we're good.

Other than near nervous breakdowns, other things have kept us busy.

This week we have worked on Daughter's science fair project.  She has tested which microwave popcorn brand pops best.  Our house smelled like popcorn for two days.  I lit one of my fall candles and then it just smelled like pumpkin popcorn.  That had burned.  Badly.

Speaking of pumpkins, we carved one for Halloween, put it on the porch, and left it. A WEEK LATER I walked out the front door (which we never use) and saw our sad little pumpkin melting and molding away like a really bad science fair project.  His crooked smile had turned to a painful frown and his eyes were weeping in ways that vegetables tend to do when they are left outside to decay for days and days.

I scooped him up, put him in a garbage bag, and respectfully tossed him in the trash.  It was quite tragic.  Then I bleached the porch. The smell of bleach is so welcoming when you enter a home.

As you can see, even though I haven't posted in a sweet forever, you haven't missed that much.

You're welcome.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Test Test

I'm still here.

It has been busy in SmallTown.

Will post as soon as I can catch my breath...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Puppies and Toddlers

The highlight of our week has been our new puppy. She is about 7 months old, full of energy and very funny.  Rescued from an abandoned field, she had been in foster care for some time and now has found her furever home with us. Daughter named her "Jessie" (from Toy Story) and it fits.  

I'll post pictures later.  Once I've figured out how to keep her still long enough.

As you can see, we've been quite busy.

Everyone says having a puppy is like having a baby, but I tend to disagree.  Babies sleep all the time. You can put babies somewhere and they don't move.  You can strap them in a car seat and watch them in your little mommy mirror. NOT PUPPIES.


Puppies move.  A lot. They jump on your head while you nap on the couch. They climb in your lap while you are driving, making you hope and pray that you won't have to hit the breaks or get pulled over by the cops because, hello, your passenger bites.

Nope. Puppies are nothing at all like babies.  Puppies are more like toddlers.

Toddlers want to be everywhere all the time.  They wake you up while you try to nap on the couch.  They would love to climb out of the car seat while you drive, and believe you me, they try.

Like with toddlers, you teach your puppy the right way to behave and they try, only when it is in their best interest. Puppies sit or stay or lay down (maybe) if you give them a treat.

Toddlers stop screaming in Wal-mart if you bribe them with a Happy Meal.

Of course, this is only in the beginning of training.  Eventually they do what you tell them because they want to please you.  Until they become teenagers.

Puppies are learning where and when to go potty.  Sometimes they go outside.  Sometimes they go inside.  They try not to have an accident on the carpet, but really, they don't care because someone else is going to clean it up.

Toddlers are in the potty-training phase.  They want to please mama and daddy and they love to wear their new Disney character undies. But, really they don't care if they have an accident because someone else it going to clean it up.

And sometimes they go outside.

When a puppy suddenly gets quiet and disappears into the other room, you'd better put your coffee down and check on her.  She is probably chewing your new shoes from Steinmart or eating something from the trash.

While you're on Facebook, your toddler tiptoes down the hall.  You find her standing in your closet, wearing your new shoes from Steinmart while eating that half of a Hershey bar you thought you threw in the trash.

Let's face it.  You spend half the day saying, "What a good girl," and the other half saying, "What did you do?"

Yes.  Puppies and toddlers have a lot in common.

Puppies and toddlers are scared of strange noises.  Like the dishwasher and Cookie Monster.

Puppies and toddlers have big bellies that are warm and usually smell like their last meal.  Or something they rolled in.

Puppies and toddlers hate storms, firecrackers, and scary-looking people.

Puppies and toddlers are good judges of character.

They love children, ice cream, and warm blankets. 

They can sleep wherever they land.

They throw up when they eat too many treats.

They love you unconditionally.  They cuddle with you in the mornings, but just for a moment until they've moved on to something new. 

Yes, puppies and toddlers are a lot alike. Before you know it, they are eating grown-up food and napping less, learning new things and exploring on their own.  You turn around, and they are all grown up.

And, thank goodness, they finally stopped going on the carpet.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Is this thing still on?

I think I may have broken a record for amount of time not posting.  At least I accomplished something.

It has been a busy week for us.  Not busy in that there is a lot of blog material, but busy in that I want to take lots of naps and watch old episodes of Andy Griffith.

I have some things to share, but in the meantime, I have to comment on The Amazing Race.

First, I am glad the Ivy League Singers are gone.  I couldn't take all the singing.  No one goes through life just bursting in song.  That's just for TV and movies, which I guess they were kind of on, but it's a reality show, so hello.

I can't decide whether I like the home shopping team or not.  On the one hand, I find their over-friendliness a bit inappropriate.  I mean, who hugs a person in a foreign country after he purchased sunglasses?  On the other hand, they can be funny. 

I find myself both rooting for the father/son team and saying, "COME ON."

I was glad someone had to eat something weird.  I have no idea why.  It was just time.

Phil cracked me up with his eyebrow communication.

I hope they go to South America this time.  It's been a while. 

I find the lack of drama between teams this year (compared to last season) to be very refreshing.

That is all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up: That's it?

Well, the weekend was about as bland as could be.  Daughter is still not 100%, so our days were filled with episodes of Spongebob on the couch interrupted by trips to Wal-mart "just to get out of the house."

There is some sort of cough/sort throat combo going around and, unlike the corn dog/cherry limeade combo we get from Sonic, it is neither filling nor refreshing.

I'm about ready to be over this sickness thing.  It's hard to see your kid cough up a lung.  Last time I checked, those things are important.

I do have to thank you for all the FABULOUS pumpkin recipes you left in your comments. As soon as everyone's taste buds return to full capacity I am going to try them.

And thanks for understanding my prepositional grammar issues.  Apparently, bloggers love to break grammar rules as long as they are on our own blogs.  Contrast that with the watchful editing we do on church bulletins and praise music screens, and you have what some literary folks call IRONY. 




you are welcome

Speaking of church, we had to leave during the music yesterday.  Daughter started to feel flushed and funny and in the mom world we know that's a sign of upcoming doom.  Since the traditional baptist church decor does not normally provide Wal-mart bags or small trash cans for illness, we excused ourselves quietly.  We managed to get home without incident and she was fine.  It was just one of those things, but why take the chance?

That reminds me, a friend of mine once told a story about a person fainting during the church service.  Her mama thought he was slain with the Spirit.  As it turned out, he just had low blood sugar.

So, today I have a million errands to do (which could make good blogger fodder) and yet I sit and blog. 

Again, irony.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Break-up And My Grammar Issues

Today I have a sick kid on the sofa, laundry in the chair, more on the floor of the closet (it spilleth over the basket) and a grocery list I haven't even written yet.

So, I will resort to my precious standby, THE LIST.

For some reason Blogger just tried to ask me to switch my font color. How weird.

1.  The weather has been so fickle this week.  One day it feels like fall, the next day summer.  Sometimes it changes in the same day. Summer has begun to feel like an old boyfriend who just won't break up with you.  Enough.  I'll give you your letter jacket and your class ring back.  It's time to move on.

2.  I'm looking forward to Fashion Week on Project Runway.

3. Each week I say I'm going to stop writing so many sentences which begin with a preposition or a conjunction for effect. 

But then I do it anyway.

And regret it when I edit.

But then leave it.

And then blog about my grammar issues.

I have many.  I critique school flyers and store signs. 

4.  I am still amazed that the five of you (most of whom I'm related to- there goes that grammar) still read this stuff.

5.  My porch is still without pumpkins.  I have a bench out front with a fall leaf garland draped on it, so at least now the wreath has someone to talk to. 

6.  I've been craving Chile's Quesadilla Salad and Pei Wei.  Chile's is down the road and Pei Wei is 2 hours away.  That rhymed a little. 

7.  I am in the mood for some kind of pumpkin recipe this weekend.  Any ideas?

Y'all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Random Dozen: Aigner and Finch

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing? By the way, that's not "foax pass." (I know you know that. Just jokin' with ya.)

I mispronounced Etienne Aigner in high school. I finally realized in college that my purse did not rhyme with "Abner."

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: "I've got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morow.")

It depends on who I am texting and if I am trying to save space. Hubs doesn't mind.  In fact, he has his own abbreviations.

We all know how that turned out.

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.

I wasn't thrilled with the ones from school.  Most of us had senior pictures that we ordered made at Olan Mills or somewhere else. The ones at school were poor quality.

I remember taking my picture at Olan Mills and planning how I'd do my hair, and picking out which gold chain I would wear with a sweater that had shoulder pads.

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.

I didn't go to high school or college homecoming.  No dates for high school and college wasn't a big deal for our school. I really don't regret missing either of them.

6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"

Sunsets.  I would have to get up early enough to see a sunrise. The only time I've done that on purpose was for Easter.  (Worth it.) Otherwise, give me a sunset on the beach while eating crab legs or gulf shrimp.  Ahhh...

7. Lea at Cici's Corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"

Hmmmm... I have to reach deep down in my not-adventurous self.  This one is tough for me.  I would like to go sailing at some point. Preferably, with the shore in sight.

8. Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind ponders, "If you could come back [in another life] as an animal, which would it be?"

I'd have to say a household cat.  That's the life.

9. Joyce from The Other Side of the Pond is curious: "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

Geographically, I was in North Carolina.  Figuratively, I was a new mom whose best friend and support had just moved. I discovered a lot about the real meaning of life and priorities. I also learned that I don't like East Carolina BBQ.

10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious discussion, do you gloat?

I try not to.  If it's Hubs, I rub it in just to be annoying.

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel?"

I am not a fan of caramel, but I would have to go with caramel cake. Preferably from Dean's Cakes in Andalusia, Alabama.

12. From my 17 year-old daughter to you: "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?" (She's so cute. And clever.)

This is one of the best questions in all the Randoms!

The Finch family from To Kill A Mockingbird. Scout witnessed so much change and pain and her father stood up for justice.  She was smart, thoughtful, and free spirited. That kind of legacy and history would be incredible to pass along.  I wonder what Scout would have become when she grew up.

Thanks, Lid and Friends (and Family!) for the great Random this week!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Funny Link, A New Favorite

Oh, the wittiness.

Oh, the sarcasm.

Grab your favorite catalog and have a laugh at Catalog Living.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Someone would have found America anyway.

Over 500 years ago, the king and queen of Spain sent Christopher Columbus (an Italian) on an all-expenses paid trip to Asia.  In his quest for spices and treasures, he discovered America, but, technically he discovered what we now call The Caribbean.

Ironic, since I sit here typing this in the high plains of New Mexico instead of on a beach in The Bahamas.

Oh, those Spaniards and Italians and their twisted sense of humor.  The least Chris could have done was send me an Olive Garden.

But that's all I'm going to say about that.

Our weekend has been pretty boring.  Friday was a day off of school.  Daughter and I both slept late, then got dressed for a walk.  Along the way, she found some interesting items for the Odd Objects Jar, an old plastic gumball jar she and her friend, C. found.  They put odd items in it like bolts and grass and weeds and bottle caps.  On Friday, she found a huge straw on the side of the road.  Not the Sonic Route 44 kind, but much bigger.  This was the Golden Egg of odd objects.

On Saturday, after all my chores were halfway done, I went to Hobby Lobby and managed to walk out with less than a $20 purchase.  I had the car washed, and then came home to get ready for a baby shower.

The shower was for a sweet young woman from Bible study.  Nancy and I went to the shower together and it was one of the nicest showers I've attended. The hostesses were so gracious and the food was delicious. I have a sneaky suspicion that at least one of the hostesses is Southern, as evidenced by the deviled eggs, pretty tablecloth and dishes. 

Not that non-Southerners don't own pretty tablecloths and dishes and know how to make deviled eggs.  What are the odds of combining all three?

The hostesses also displayed the cutest little decoration that I am totally going to steal if I ever host a baby shower again.  (It doesn't look like any of my friends will be having a baby at our age, so I'll wait until one of them has a grandchild in about 15 years.)

Along the wall, the hostesses had created a little clothesline with coordinating onesies.  It was so sweet and simple and who would guess that a decoration could also double as a gift for the mom-to-be?! Genius!

It's here that I'll skip right to Sunday, because I pretty much came home after the shower and went to bed.  Nancy kept me out until the late, late hour of 8:00 PM.

Daughter and I stayed home from church because we both had a cough and sore throat.  (Not the same cough or throat, for you grammar snobs out there. Wink.)

Hers was worse than mine, so I managed to spend the day in yoga pants refilling drink glasses and coaxing down Children's Motrin.  Hubs went to the store for us and got all of the ingredients for Paula's chicken noodle soup.  (It was yummy!)

Today I feel a bit better, but Daughter is still not 100%. Drat, those allergies.  So, it looks like she'll miss out on all the Columbus Day events which we really don't have, but still.

However, if Columbus had brought over that Olive Garden, I could be enjoying an endless pasta bowl. Instead, I'm looking out my window at grasslands and cows with that grade school rhyme about the ocean blue in my head.

Rub it in.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

More Stuff I Don't Understand: Edition Who Knows?

1.  If you are posting a puppy in need of a home on PetFinder, why would you name him "Killer?"

I'm no expert, but I am guessing a name like Snuggles or Champ would be better at attracting potential furever homes. 

But, that's just me.

2.  Why are all the late nite commercials about weight loss, vacuum cleaners, and acne products?  Shouldn't they be advertising insomnia treatments?

3.  Whenever someone gets voted off Dancing With The Stars or some other talent reality show, why do they perform one more time on the morning talk shows? If we wanted to keep watching them, they would not have been voted off in the first place.

And, yes, I realize sometimes the judges vote them off.  Just go with me here.

4.  Why does the person who won't obey the car line rules always have to be in the front of the line? 

5.  Why does the lady in the Chico's catalog always look put together, but when I put on the very same outfit, I look like I'm going to a costume party? 

6.  Why is it that when I tell Hubs that Old Navy clothes don't fit me, he asks if I tried on the right size?  It's the cut, folks. 

7.  Why is it that for a man's clothes to fit, he only needs to choose the right waist size, inseam and whether or not they are a medium or large? 

For a woman's clothes to fit, she needs to decide on boot cut, straight leg, tapered leg, fitted, regular, if it's sized small or big, what brand, what store, and if Jupiter is aligned with Venus. 

And then it still looks different when we get home.

If you'll excuse me, I have to look at my new Chico's catalog...

Monday, October 04, 2010

We could use the air mattress for a flotation device.

Is it just me or is Blogger all wonky this morning? 

Now that I have that out of the way, I'll tell you about our weekend.  This is the kind of post you can read during a commercial break, because, our weekend?  Boring.

I should say, MY weekend.  Boring.

Friday I took Daughter to horseback riding.  She always loves it and I always love sitting on the bleachers talking to her instructor. After that, we went to Dairy Queen (her new fav) where she got her usual order of a burger and blizzard and I was good and got nothing.

On Saturday (I know what you're thinking, if this is going to go day-by-day, I may have to just watch the commercials) Hubs and Daughter went Geocaching.  I've decided that geocaching is what Barbie does with the stuff that didn't sell at her garage sale.

After finding Barbie's old furniture from her Dream House, Hubs and Daughter went to Wally World for camping supplies.  They put the s'mores ingredients and hot dogs away and set up the tent. 

I don't camp.  If there were a camper with a cot or a bed, I'd be all for it. However, the tent thing is a little too Les Stroud for me.

I am aware that Les would not have a tent.  He'd make do with branches and leaves and such but this is the high plains, and we don't have branches and leaves and such.  Besides, he always uses what's available to him. In this case, that's a tent.

But I digress.

I joined them for dinner in the tent, then I came inside and watched  poor quality television.

I told Hubs that I think they should get a camper one day, the kind you pull behind the car.  He said that wasn't camping.  Then I asked him where you hang out during the day if you camp more than one night.  (I mean, there's only so many s'mores you can make, right?) He told me you do whatever it is you do that's around the campsite, like fishing or swimming in a lake. 

He never got to the part about when I would be in the camper lounging on a cot or turning on air conditioning, so I'm still lost on the whole camping thing.

Yesterday morning he and Daughter got up for church.  I was under the weather and stayed home.  You'd think they would be under the weather since they were the ones sleeping outside, but no.  It was me.  That fluffy Pottery Barn comforter really knocked me off my feet.

At some point yesterday afternoon I bought some groceries.  After nearly $200, we have barely enough for 2 meals, so I'll be back later this week. 

That was pretty much the highlight of my weekend. 

However, it runs a close second to Hubs cooking dinner on Saturday night.  Hot dogs and baked beans always taste better when someone else cooks them. 

Even if I wasn't eating them at a cheaply made table/sofa/cot in a camper.

P.S.  The s'mores were made in the oven.  As I said, this is the high plains.  Campfires, dry grass, and high winds? Almost as scary as sleeping in a tent.  


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Random Dozen: Aliens, Art, and Lattes

1. Do you believe, somewhere deep inside, that blondes do indeed have more fun? That they are "dumber" than brunettes or redheads? Be honest!

I am not a natural blonde. These days, I'm not even a natural brunette. I do go blonde for a reason. It makes me feel better.  Dr. Phil can add whatever meaning he'd like to that.
As for being dumber, no way. Unless they can prove that the peroxide actually seeps into our brains and kills off the cells.

2. Which animal would you most like to observe in its wild habitat?
I'm a mom and wife.  I already live in a wild habitat.

Seriously-  Any kind of sea life. Dolphins are my favorite. I'd also love to watch sea turtles hatch. 

3. This week the U.N. announced that Dr. Mazlan Othman has been appointed the official "Alien Ambassador," should any extraterrestrials contact us. Have you, or has anyone you know, ever seen a UFO?

I saw something in Tucson once that was very odd. A bright light hovered over, then flew off very quickly.  I am sure it was a helicopter, but don't tell Mulder.

4. Name your favorite Hitchcock film.

Rear Window.  I can watch it over and over, but it has to be in the dark.

5. Would you rather spend time at the library, the mall, a craft store or home?

Oh, Lid.  I had to chuckle about the library. 

If I'm in a creative mood, the craft store.  If not, then home.

6. Which Disney princess is your favorite? (Or Disney character, if you are a guy)

Cinderella was always my favorite.  I felt sorry for her, even as a child. I was more happy for her that she was able to go to the dance and look nice than because she actually found her prince.  I also love that the mice and birds loved her.

7. What kind of art is your favorite?

Nancy's :)

Also, Mary Cassatt, Renoir, and Winslow Homer

8. How do you feel about viral videos, that is, videos made by amateurs that end up on YouTube receiving thousands of hits?

Honestly, it is a bit disturbing to me. It is an example of how quickly anything put on the Internet can spread.  That's now always a good thing.

9. Where do you buy your jeans?

I now like Chico's.  Not Your Daughter's is pretty good, too.  (Pricey.) Most of my other jeans are just department store generics.

10. Tell me about your first automobile accident.

I rear-ended another car because there was a school bus stopped ahead of us. The car in front of me slowed down,  sped up, then slowed down again. I hit him. He was fine. Me? Not so much. This was before air bags were as safe as they are now. I am short and was too close to the steering wheel. I had a bruise on my sternum, a busted lip, and powder burns on my chin. I passed out for a second. Fortunately for all of us, air bags are better programmed for short people and we are all safer because of them.

11. Have you ever been honest when you knew you would benefit more if you would be dishonest?

I am known to be brutally honest. Kind of like Neal Boorz- the only one who will call the baby ugly.  I may be the only one to say it, but most of the time everyone else is thinking it.  If something truly doesn't need to be said, I won't lie. I just don't say a word.

12. If you were appointed "Ambassador to Aliens," what would you show and tell first about life on Earth? What would be the most difficult thing to explain?

First, we'd go to Starbucks and I'd explain the difference between a skinny and a non-fat and that, yes, you can taste the difference. I'd talk him into getting the venti and then we would head to Target.  I'd teach him how to find bargains and to always scout for the 90% off sale.  When we were done, I would take him to a nails salon where he can watch a lady paint another lady's toes (in wonderment.)

As for explanations, I can't say it any better than Jerry Seinfeld-

"Dogs are the leaders of the planet. If you see two life forms, one of them's making a poop, the other one's carrying it for him, who would you assume is in charge?" — Jerry Seinfeld

Thanks to the Girls for Lid's awesome questions this week!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sometimes crazy is entertaining.

I'm starting to think the house is bugged.  

Just the other day I told Hubs that what we really needed was a new season of The Amazing Race.  Yep, that's what we needed.  I've gone far too long without hearing someone complain about weird food or sleep deprivation.  I miss seeing a prima donna contestant spar with a rough and tough tomboy. 

So, you can imagine my surprise when I turned on the television and saw Phil raise his eyebrow once again as he described the first challenge for Season 17. 

I was so tickled that I wanted to call Susanne and share my joy, but I don't have her number and she also LIVES IN CANADA.

That's a whole 'nother country.

The first few episodes of The Race are usually snoozeville for me.  It takes a sweet forever for each team to get through the legs and challenges and, because there are so many teams, it is hard for me to keep them straight.  I'm such an intellectual.

I always feel sorry for the first team eliminated. I want to run up to that pit stop rug that looks like the rubber mat at Winn Dixie's automatic doors and just hug them.  Don't you?  I want to hug them for trying and going all that way, only to be eliminated the first episode. 

Okay, to be honest, I want to ask them how they kept from falling apart on national television because they were completely embarrassed to be the first team to go home.

After week 3 or 4, I begin to connect with a team or two.  There is usually at least one team that gets on my nerves and one that I start rooting for.

The two teams that stood out to me tonight?  The Singers and the Beauty Queen.

I can already tell the singers are going to get on my nerves. No normal person goes through life singing.  The beauty queen just intrigues me. Each time a beauty queen is on I want to see how she will keep her make-up on the whole time and if she can keep the height on her hair.  I'm nothing if not shallow.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to start looking under all of the lampshades for surveillance devices. 

Tap.  Tap.

Are you there, CBS? 

Tell Phil I said, "Hi."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Eight Questions, Answers.

Susanne tagged me for a meme, so here goes.  (Great questions, Susanne!)

1. What is your greatest joy?
Deep- Salvation in Christ, my family
Not-so-deep- A non-fat mocha, add the whip, after a day of Christmas shopping

2. What do you do when you're bored?
I would love to say run around the block or read, but then I'd be lying.  I usually turn on the television or the computer and surf.  Then I turn into a vegetable.

3. Are you a sweet or salty snacker?
Depends.  Sometimes I crave sweet, sometimes salty.  My favorite salty indulgence is hummus with warm pita bread. My favorite sweet is Reese's miniatures!

4. Beach or mountains?
Beach.  No competition there for me.  I like everything about it, sounds, sights, smells, feeling of sand on my toes.  Sigh...
(But I do love the Smokies and Blue Ridge Mountains in the Fall!)

5. Favorite things on a burger.
I like a good mushroom Swiss burger if in a restaurant.  If at home, I like lettuce, tomato, sweet pickle, onion, mayo and ketchup.  The messier, the better. (Great home fries make it even better!)

6. Would you rather have someone else do your laundry, clean your house or do your yard work?
I don't really want someone to do any of my housework, unless it is Hubs and Daughter helping out.  Having someone do the yard work would be fine.  They can also landscape it while they are at it!

7. Are you a one book at a time person or have many on the go at once?
One book at a time.  I need to find a new one to start.  Any suggestions??

8. Favorite scripture or quote.
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me".   Erma Bombeck
Thanks for the meme, Susanne!
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Must Read For Anyone Who Knows A Child

Roxanne is not just a great blogger.  She's a great teacher.  

Her post, And when we screw up...  gives insight to the reading challenges some kids face every day.  I learned so much from her writing. 

Take a moment to read it and see if you recognize anything she describes in a kid you know.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

What I've Learned From Judge Judy

It's no secret that I love watching Judge Judy.  The show is my guilty pleasure and I have been known to DVR the ending as I run off to pick up Daughter from school. 

I am very refined.  Ahem.

So, as a public service to you I thought I'd share what I have learned from her.

May you never face her.  If you do, don't say you weren't prepared.

1.  Almost every case comes down to whether it was a loan or a gift.  

2.  If you don't intend to pay someone back, and you've said you would, don't bother going to Judge Judy. She will nip that case in the bud quicker than her bailiff swore you in.

3.  If you have a pit bull, ask yourself, "why?"

4.  Keep your dog on your property, on a leash.  No excuses. None.  And if it's a pit bull, again, "WHY?"

5.  Keep receipts, email records, police reports, medical bills, and anything else that will corroborate your story.

6.  Look up corroborate.

7.  Don't tell Judge Judy what you feel, what others feel, what someone told someone else or anything else that is fuzzy.  She doesn't like that.  At all.

8.  She used to be a family court judge.  She knows what loser husbands, whiny wives, and delinquent kids look and sound like.  She likes them almost as much as she likes pit bulls.

9.  When she calls you "Madam" it usually isn't a good thing.

10.  Most of the time she doesn't care about your pain and suffering claim.  I know that sounds harsh, but get over it.

11. She makes Judge Wapner look like Santa Claus.

12.  She will correct your grammar while you are in the middle of a sentence.

I think she's my hero.     

Monday, September 20, 2010

Daniel-san, do not let jogging stroller intimidate you.

Right now I am surrounded by folded clothes, an ironing board, iron, and the delightful scents of ironing and pumpkin butter.  Hubs was ironing his clothes for work (hey, I ain't Martha Stewart) and watching FoxNews. I love the smell of ironing. And, no he didn't have a stain of pumpkin butter on his shirt. That smell came from the new candle I put out last night.

It's by Woodwick, called Trilogy, and I highly recommend it.  It starts out with pumpkin butter, then golden chestnut, and finishes with spiced toffee. So far the pumpkin butter has me hooked. I'll let you know about the rest.

I spent yesterday afternoon decorating the house for fall.  Never mind that it's 95 degrees outside.  I am ready for fall.  It was a cruel summer, like it was for Ralph Macchio and Elisabeth Shue before she went to Vegas and ruined her life.  (Oh, that's right.  That was another movie.)

I still have to get pumpkins and do something with our entryway.  Right now the front door has a sad, lonely wreath on it.  I hear it in the night crying, "Please find me some cute gourd friends to talk to.  I need to be accessorized!" 

I hear you, Hobby Lobby Half Off Wreath.  I hear you. 

On Saturday I participated in a 5K Walk/Run to benefit the Missing GRACE Foundation.  The foundation offers support to families who have lost a child through stillbirth, miscarriage, or early death.  A sweet friend of mine lost a child to stillbirth and I decided to walk in her son's honor. 

If you haven't already guessed, I was in the walking group. 

I don't run unless something is chasing me.  I've always wanted to be a runner.  Okay, I've always wanted to LOOK like a runner, which would be great except for all the, you know, running.  Runners are long and lean and they look like they can do anything, other than maybe lift a car or something, which is obviously something I can do.


Do you know what's more humbling than being in the walking group among runners?  Being in the walking group among runners who are pushing strollers.  Uphill.  Yes, there were people running and pushing their kids uphill both ways in the snow while I was only walking and wishing the blister on my heel would stop hurting already. 

This is where I start to mire in self-pity but we all know that isn't productive or good blog material, so instead I'll just tell you that I did manage to stay ahead of the walkers who were pushing strollers.  That was my goal. Forget times and paces and such..

The little engine had, "I think I can."

I chanted, "I am going to beat that nursing mom with twins, three dogs, and the huge stroller."

I take any inspiration I can get.

Where's Mr. Miyagi when you need him?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday's Fave Five: Loss, Love, and Television

1.  Friends (both in person and in the blogosphere) who offer prayers and support.  Your comments about our Annabelle touched my heart.

2.  The impact of loss.  I know this sounds odd, but sometimes I believe God puts hardships and loss in our lives to remind us of how precious life and love is.  We are here on this earth but a fleeting moment. We need to make that moment count.

3.  On a less serious note, I am in love with my new K-cup coffee maker.  Not a love like you I have for my child children where I will pick up it's socks, but more of a love like I have for Target's 90% off sales where I look forward to it and savor every minute of it.

4.  The People's Court and Judge Judy.  I live vicariously through their sarcasm and desire for justice.  Also, I really wish I had a gavel.

5.  Walking with friends.  I am enjoying the morning walks with some awesome moms.  Let's keep it up ladies!  Can't wait to see what we'll do when it starts to snow! LOL

Join Susanne for more great Faves this week. Have an awesome weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Save One: A Homeless Pup's Story

Our Annabelle had a tough life before she came to us.

She was seen running the neighborhood for a long time.  A good Samaritan finally caught her and her companion, a pregnant poodle. She was covered in ticks and fleas, her fur was a mess, she had a runny nose, and had probably never tasted real food before. 

She hadn't even celebrated her first birthday.

Fortunately for her and her poodle friend, there are people who love the helpless ones in society, people who care for those who can't care for themselves. They took her in, gave her much needed veterinarian care, and loved her more than she had been loved since she was born.

We met her Friday at the foster mom's home.  I could see from Annabelle's reaction to her, that this sweet lady had really taken care of this puppy.  Annabelle wagged her tail at her and gave her kisses. 

Mrs. P. had packed her a little bag to go home with us, just like a mom would do when she sends her kid off to Grandma's.

Inside her packed bag were Annabelle's leash, supplements, comfort items for her nose and eyes, a pink, soft blanket and specially prepared food of lean ground beef and rice (a gourmet meal for a pup with a sensitive tummy.)  Mrs. P. had written out careful instructions including what she ate, how often to feed her, what she liked, and that she was a good cuddler. I knew from all the instructions and careful packing, Mrs. P. loved her as much as any human mom could. (You have no idea how grateful I am for that.)

The rescue volunteer took our picture with Annabelle on Mrs. P.'s porch. Then Daughter and I loaded her and her specially packed bag in the car and drove her home.

As soon as she was home with us, she found the sofa.  I kept thinking that, after so many months of sleeping only God knows where, it must be nice to have a soft place to land.  She was able to sleep well at Mrs. P.'s home and now ours.

So our life with Annabelle began. I warmed Mrs. P's special gourmet meal for her, followed her instructions, and we all loved her and spoiled her as she deserved.  She had a leftover stuffy nose and the rescue folks thought it just needed more antibiotics or allergy medications.  They asked if we wanted to wait to take her home, but in my heart I knew she was supposed to come home with us on Friday.

On Monday I scheduled a new puppy appointment with our vet.  I wanted him to meet her and check her out and see if he could do something new for her runny nose.  He examined her, treated her with antibiotics and gave her allergy medication. We scheduled a follow-up visit in a week.

Yesterday she was not well.  She screamed when we tried to pick her up, she yelped when we tried to move her.  I knew something was wrong and she was in pain.

We took her back to the vet and, after blood work and other tests, he determined that she had distemper.

Distemper is a horrible disease.  Seizures eventually set in, causing pain and loss of bodily functions. The pain she was experiencing from us holding her was a sign that her brain was sending the wrong signals. What should be a normal, pleasant touch was painful to Annabelle. Any treatment our vet would have given had a slim chance of saving her life.  If she lived, she could have permanent neurological damage, leaving her possibly like a vegetable.

After many tears, Daughter and I said goodbye to Annabelle yesterday afternoon. 

We talked to her and loved her.  We pet her gently so as not to cause her pain.  Our vet allowed us to stay with her as long as we needed.   As she disappeared to the back room in the technician's arms, we said goodbye. We saw her for the last time as the puppy we loved, still with life in her eyes and a sweetness on her face.

So, other than to tell you about my life, why am I sharing this with you?  I can tell you it's not to make you cry or to discourage you from rescuing an animal. No, quite the opposite.

Annabelle's story needs to be told.

Her story is a painful reminder of what is happening to animals in our society.  They need homes.  They need vaccinations early.  Annabelle was vaccinated by the rescue organization.  It was just too late for her. She had most likely contracted the disease before they found her.  She was kept in foster care long enough for most symptoms of illness to show.

Although they didn't save her life, the rescue volunteers were able to make her last days wonderful. We were able to make her death a peaceful one.  Death from distemper is violent and painful.  I can't imagine what Annabelle would have suffered if she'd been left on the streets.

After a lot of crying, I have to tell you that anger pushes through all my tears.  Annabelle's hope for survival should have begun the day she was born. Instead, she was tossed to the streets like garbage, left to starve, covered in parasites, and fighting for life.

I'm angry that people dump dogs and cats on the street.  I'm angry that they are euthanized because of sickness, or worse- because no one wants them.  What does this say about us?

But I am also grateful for those who give these creatures a chance, the rescue organizations, the Mrs. P.'s and the children in the world who let their hearts lead them to these wonderful animals. As painful as it is for all of them to say goodbye to a sweet puppy, like our Annabelle, their courage and compassion make a huge difference in a small, precious life.

Please don't let Annabelle's story discourage you from saving one of those lives.  Let it inspire you to save just one.

Or at least to try.

"Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way."

— Martin Luther King Jr.    

Monday, September 13, 2010

Home Is Where They Love You

If I have grammatical errors this morning, I apologize.  It is hard to see my "theirs" and "theres" due to my sleepy, blurred vision.  We have a new puppy.

The thing about puppies is they have bladders the size of a gnat, much like their attention span.  But they also have hearts the size of Lake Michigan, so I can't complain.

We met her on Friday.  She's a sweet poodle/terrier mix who was rescued from the streets by a great foster program.  Her foster mom gave her a lot of love and for that, we are grateful.

Strays don't come with papers or a family tree, so your guess about her history is as good as mine.  From the looks of her sweet face, I can tell she's glad that she's home.

And so are we.

Welcome to your furever home, Annabelle!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9-11

"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly:
it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.
Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;
and it would be strange indeed
if so celestial an article as FREEDOM
should not be highly rated."  Thomas Paine

Friday, September 10, 2010

On A Different Note

The thing about Random Dozens and memes of the sort is that sometimes we inadvertently reveal something about ourselves that we otherwise would keep hidden.  Sometimes it is a huge character flaw.  Sometimes it is an embarrassing situation.  And sometimes it's both.


Somehow, in the midst of my meme madness last week, I admitted that Yanni was the last concert I attended.  I realized that this was uncool, but I had no idea how uncool it was until a few of you commented and/or emailed me.  Apparently, I'm not hip.

This, or course, came as a complete shock to me.

Cough. Cough.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, or the pink, dorky elephant is in the room, as it were, I have to explain my Yanni fondness.

Way back in the day, in the mid-nineties, when Meg Ryan still looked cute and everyone thought she was married to Tom Hanks, I loved Yanni.  I had all of his CD's, including the "Best Of" collection.  Yes, m'am, I loved him almost as much as Linda Evans.

We were living near Pensacola at the time, and what would you know? Yanni was coming to town.  Right around my birthday.  It was fate.

I asked Hubs if we could go and because he loves me dearly and has some sort of issues, he agreed to take me to the Yanni concert for my birthday.  At the time, he was working in a place which was primarily men. Somehow word got out that he was taking me to the Yanni concert.  Yanni and red-blooded, American men go together like Al Gore and SUV's. 

One day at work, someone announced on the intercom, "Hubs (only they called him by his real name), please come to the front desk and pick up your Yanni tickets." 

Needless to say, the ribbing and teasing began, but Hubs took it like a man and also took me to the concert, like a man.  I absolutely loved it and he managed to sit through the entire performance without his ears bleeding.  To this day, I know it is one of the greatest expressions of love he's ever shown.  Well, that, and the time he sat up with me at the ER while I pewked my guts out.

If you ask him, I'm sure he'd tell you there really wasn't much difference between the two.

As for me, I still secretly love to pop in a Yanni CD when I'm feeling especially uncool.  Linda has since moved on, but I'm still a fan.

For the record, I do not like Barry Manilow.  I may be a Yanni geek, but let's not get crazy!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Please take this all down, Miss Hathaway.

I woke up this morning, got coffee, fixed breakfast, rushed Daughter off to school, kissed Hubs good-bye, and sat down to catch up on emails and such.  I found a nice, sweet note from Nancy warning me to update my blog or else I was banned from the walking moms group. 

She's such a doll.

Seriously, she's one of my BFF's and is only motivating me to do what she knows I love best- write.

I'd do the same for her.  So, Nanc, if I learn you let a week go by without painting or printing or otherwise exercising your creative genius, I will ban you from the walking group and/or from all those peanuts we're going to boil when the peanut crop is in.  Nuff said.

The truth is that I have at least five posts saved in archives that need tweaking or editing or whathaveyou.  At some point, you look at a post and think, "Ehhh... that's old now.  What's the point?"

Eventually, I just start all over with a new post, which in this case, begins with a threat from one of my best friends.

Insert Transitional Paragraph Here.

Last weekend we went to Amarillo, or as we like to call it, Town. 

Daughter needed some school clothes as we have out shopped SmallTown.  Half of her class is wearing the same Dillard tops and Wal-Mart socks, resulting in what could be the new school uniform.  We have never cared about looking a certain way or being fashionable, but when you have purchased nearly every single top or jeans at the local department stores, it's time to go out of town.  .

On our way, we passed through Hereford.  Hereford has like 1000 cows per person or something, so every time we drive through I have to hold my nose.  Hubs told me then I'd have to breathe it in through my mouth, an ugly, yet less smelly choice.

On this trip we pulled over to take pictures of all the cattle to share with family back home.  Hubs pulled to the side of the road, opened the sun roof, and stood in the seat to take a photo.  All the while I was yelling for him to hurry up because the flies kept coming in the car.  He eventually took a panoramic, so as to include all the bovine, and I still haven't checked to see if it turned out.

When we arrived in Amarillo, we went straight to PetSmart.  We have been looking for a dog since we lost Maggie, and PetSmart was hosting an adoption event.  Well, we thought they were hosting one.  When we got there, a sign was posted at the adoption area announcing that the local shelter would not be bringing any dogs that day.  So we all piled back in the car and drove to the shelter.  We didn't find a dog, but we did get to play with a few pups.

The rest of the afternoon was spent finding Daughter some clothes from stores other than Dillard and Wal-mart.  Note to Justice-  Please offer espresso for moms.  The two hour dressing room event would be much more tolerable.

After a very successful cool school clothes shopping marathon, we all went to World Market.  The foods and kitchen items and colorful decor tickled my poor deprived SmallTown self.  I felt the same way Granny did when she saw the cement pond.  Only Granny didn't buy Italian soda and olives.

Our other adventure included a visit to Cadillac Ranch, the place where some artists buried cars in the ground and now tourists freely spray paint messages and smiley faces.  It's the first time I have actually done any graffiti, partly because it was completely allowed.  For some of you, I know that totally takes the fun out of it.

Before we headed home, we went for a late lunch, dinner (or linner, as we call it) at Red Robin. The mushroom burger?  YUM!

So that was the weekend we went to town.  Stinky cows, shelter dogs, school clothes shopping, yummy food, and a moment with some great artistic Americana.

It was big fun or as Jed would say, "Whewwww, Doggie!"

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Lid's Random Dozen: Interpretation Of Dreams And Creepy Bug Question

1. What insect are you most afraid of? Feel free to post a picture.
New Mexico fire ant.  I was bitten/stung a few weeks ago and it felt like a knife went through my skin.  OUCH! These cowboy fire ants are much tougher than the Georgia redneck ones I grew up with.  Mr. Bug man came and made them go away.  (That's my nice way of saying he obliterated them.)

There are insects in the rainforest that make me freak out a little, but I won't list them here since I don't think I'll ever be in the rainforest.

2. What is the greenest/most organic thing about you or that you do?
The greenest would be when I ride the rides at the fair... oh, that was bad.

Seriously, we drink organic dairy. I started out choosing organic dairy to avoid the hormones in our diet, but now I also just love the taste.  And organic sour cream?  Oh, you'll want more than a dollop!

3. Tell me about a recurring dream that haunts you.
OK, Lid. What is this? The therapy edition of Random?  First my scariest bug and now my dreams?
I don't have any recurring dreams anymore.  However, it always bothers me when I dream about something bad happening to someone I know. I always want to call them up and warn them.  I don't think I'm being given any message or anything- just makes you think.

4. Have you ever missed a flight? What were the circumstances?
No, but I've come really close.  On our trip this summer our first flight took off late and we had about 10 minutes to get to the next one.  Lucky us, the second flight was delayed for maintenance. This was the first time I was glad the plane had maintenance issues.

5. What do you consider your best feature?
Physical- Eyes
Other- I really like to encourage and help people. 

6. What was the last concert you went to?
Ummm... Yanni.  In 1997

7. Describe the most embarrassing church moment you ever experienced.
I was about 12 years old.  I sang a duet with a friend.  My friend missed her notes and at the end, she stood there in front of everyone and did the "gun to your head" gesture with her finger.  The congregation laughed, but I'm pretty sure that's a prime example of "quenching the Spirit."

8. Are you a whistler, hummer or singer?
Singer, unless Andy Griffith is coming on.

9. George Washington Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." What is God saying to you through nature today, or this very minute?
God is saying, "Ragweed is an example of my mystery."
No really, nature always reminds me that things smaller than me and larger than me go on with their lives without my knowledge or involvement.  Just watch a Live Oak weather a storm or a fire ant make an ant hill.  All of God's Creation is important to Him and in His control. 

10. On September, 1, 1752, the Liberty Bell arrived in Philadelphia. What memorable event will take place in your life on September 1, 2010?
I will post the Random Dozen before noon.

11. Taco Bell or the Liberty Bell? (You must choose.)
The Liberty Bell.  I am a patriotic mess. 
Although, I really should choose Taco Bell. That story later...

12. Do you believe men and women can have purely platonic friendships?
Not a close one.  I know a lot of people disagree, but I have seen that usually at least one or the other begins to have feelings beyond friendship, even if the other does not share those feelings.  This may come as a shock to you, since I am always quoting Jerry and Elaine.  But, HELLO, that's a TV show.

Visit Linda for more randoms.  Her Random rocked this week, even with all the creepy bug questions. ;)

Friday, August 27, 2010


I just got back from our moms morning walk.  A few of us are walking after we drop the kids off at school.  So far, we usually walk close to 3 miles each time, with a goal of three days a week.  I walked only two days this week, but next week I'm in for all three.

That last paragraph was a lot of rambling and numbers and poor grammar.  Please don't judge me.  My feet are still tingling from the exercise.  Apparently, an increased heart rate leads to decreased brain activity.


The walking has been great.  I'm getting to spend time with old friends and get to know some new ones.   I take Daughter to school, then come home and throw on some old yoga pants and t-shirt and put my hair in a clippy.

We meet each other on a designated corner. This morning I arrived a bit earlier than the rest of the team.  I was all proud of myself until every car going by kept looking my way.  I told the other ladies if I am going to start standing on corners, maybe I should start dressing a little better.  Ahem.

Now it's only 9:30 and I have the rest of my day to clean, do laundry, run errands, and watch Price Is Right.

May I just add that, although Drew Carey is no Bob Barker, I think he is doing a fabulous job. I keep wishing he'd launch into his old sitcom theme song and scream out, "Ohio!"  But, other than that, bless his heart, he has a tough act to follow.

Yesterday Hubs went to work late and we watched Price Is Right together. I realize most couples do not spend their dates together while listening to the sounds of Plinko, but I'll take what I can get.  Price Is Right is such an American experience.  If there were one show I'd like to attend, that would be it.  I spent summers watching Bob Barker give away showcases of Chevrolets and trips to Paris. 

Every kid in the 70's could tell you the going price of corn or if Bounce dryer sheets and Metamucil added up to a total of over $10.00.  We also knew that the most important lesson in life is to spay or neuter your pets.  Granted, we had no idea what that was, but it was the last thing we heard as the showcase winner's family members rushed on stage to climb in the winner's aqua blue Chevette.

The sad thing is that now I know exactly how much dryer sheets and Metamucil cost and it has nothing to do with watching Bob or Drew.

Maybe I should go on the show. I'll be the winner sitting in the PT Cruiser. 

Just look out for my crazy family members rushing on stage. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Random Dozen: Because people like to say "salsa."

1. What is your favorite Mexican dish?
Really good chicken chimichangas.  Close second- Tamale
I like nearly anything from a good Mexican restaurant. I judge Mexican restaurants by their salsa.  If the salsa is good, pretty much everything else on the menu will be good. Hubs judges them by their guacamole- the simpler, the better. Okay, who wants tacos for dinner?

2. When you were a kid, did you get started on your homework right away after school, or did you procrastinate?
In elementary school, I don't remember having much homework.  I spent the afternoon eating Little Debbie cakes and watching I Love Lucy re-runs.  In middle school and high school, I procrastinated as long as possible.

3. What is your favorite store for home furnishings?
Ballard Designs.  Most of the time I "catalog" shop and then look for something similar somewhere else for less.  Sorry, Ballard.  You're not within my price point. 

4. When you were young, did you like school lunches?
I liked elementary lunches. Once Middle school hit, the lunches went bad.  Very, very bad.

5. Is religion a crutch?
It can be.  It can become a crutch for not taking responsibility for developing a relationship with Christ.  It can also become a reason to close yourself to other denominations within the Christian faith.

6. In your region, what is the "big" (most popular in the community or state) high school sport?

And I'm not one of the big fans.

7. Do you consider yourself rich?
Not by American standards. I consider myself blessed and thankful for what we have.  I know that it all really belongs to God and what we do with it should be used for His glory.  Do I always do that?  No. I do try and often need reminders of how blessed we truly are.

The truth is that all Americans are rich compared to the rest of the world.  We have no idea what it's really like to be poor. 

8. Which of these would you have the best chance for success in administering:


B) Heimlich Maneuver

C) Changing a flat tire

CPR  I hope I never have to use it.

9. Which dance would you prefer to learn & why:

A) Salsa

B) Hip Hop

C) Waltz

D) Swing

Salsa...hmmm...maybe there's a connection to Number 1.

10. What's the worst news you've ever delivered to someone?
Having to tell my family that Maggie had cancer.  That was difficult.

11. Name something you learned in college that had nothing to do with classes or academics.
It doesn't matter who is or who isn't teacher's pet.  It all boils down to responsibility.  The professor doesn't care if you show up for class.  I loved this!  So many of my teacher's pet friends had a rude awakening.  I was glad to be out of high school and be treated like an adult.

I also had a professor who said not to worry too much about getting straight A's. He said, unless we were trying to get into another academic program, it didn't matter.  Employers will never ask you what grades you made in biology. They want to know your work ethic and if you can manage the job at hand.  What he was trying to do was relieve our anxiety and encourage us to enjoy college, work part-time, and participate any other things.  (May I add that he was a Psych professor!?)

12. New variation on an old question: If there's a song in your head that just won't get out, what is your favorite (or most repeated) line in that song?
Sock it to me.  Sock it to me.  Sock it to me.  Sock it to me...

Visit the Lid for more Randomization!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday Goals and The Spice of Life

I've decided to set myself a few goals for the week and post them here.  I mean, really, what better way to hold yourself accountable than to POST IT ON THE INTERNET?

1.  Breathe a little life into the 'ole blog.  Seriously, the dust is settling, mainly because I've had serious writer's block.  I hope to lift that block write out of the way (get it? WRITE out of the way? Tee Hee... sheesh. See I told you.  Blocked.)

2. Walk with friends at least twice a week. 

3.  Get most of the housework complete by Friday so I can enjoy my weekends with the family.

4.  Blog about all the sore muscles which will be the result of #2.

5.  Clean out the spice cabinet.  I realize this isn't a monumental accomplishment in the grand scheme of life, but have you seen how many bottles of oregano I have stashed in there?

Hope your Monday is off to a great start, with or without the oregano.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Random Dozen: Fair and a bit unbalanced

1. What is your favorite fair/carnival food?

I haven't been to the fair since Daughter was a tiny baby.  It may or may not have something to do with Hubs' aversion to carnies.  Or it could have something to do with the fact that I can't even look at a ride without needing some Dramamine.  The only things left are the games (which are soooo rigged,)  food, and the animal exhibits. I will still play a few of the games in denial and I can see the animal exhibits by looking out my back door. Hello! SmallTown. 

That leaves us with the food.

My favorite fair foods growing up were the Jaycee's foot long hot dogs.  Local Albany non-profits had their own booths and they were always better than those little wagons the carnies brought to town. My second favorites were the freshly made pork rinds.  (Hey, it's the fair.  Cut me some slack.)

If I have to go with the typical fair food, I'd say funnel cakes.  Who doesn't love fried dough topped with powdered sugar?

2. Are you holding onto something you need to let go of?

My aversion to carnies?

3. What is your favorite gift to receive?

Something handmade or something that is simple, but shows someone remembered me mentioning it.  My close friends are the best at this.

4. When was the last time you tried something new?

This one made me think for a loooonnng time.  Can't think of a single thing.  Wow.  Guess it's been a while.  Maybe I should try something new, like daily posting to the blog. 

5. What is your favorite and least favorite book genre?

Memoir, Mystery, Political Intrigue, Romance, Humor, Historical Fiction, Historical nonfiction, Chick Lit, Self-Help, Other

Least Favorite-  Historical Fiction in it's true sense. I like fiction set in different times with the historical setting as a minor component.  I don't care for fiction drowning in empire waists, Lords of The Manor, or prairie fires. 

Favorite- Good Southern Fiction in any time period (I realize this isn't really a category.  Please don't judge me.)

6.Silver or Gold?

To wear- Silver
To win- Gold

7. What makes you sigh?

People in car line who refuse to follow the rules but still want me to let them in/out, even though they are going the wrong direction, in the wrong lane, and making other people sigh. 

Sometimes I don't just sigh. Sometimes I talk to them from behind my windshield in a higher tone than my normal voice.  Ahem.


Note to self-  New thing to try:  Relaxation techniques

8. If you didn't know how old you are, how old would you claim you are?

I've always felt older in the mental sense, not necessarily in the physical sense.  I think it has something to do with growing up an only child and being around adults a lot.  You could say I have an old soul (not that I believe in that sort of thing.)  One of my best friends is the same way. 

I'd say 45. 

9. Would you break a law to save a loved one? To protect a loved one?

I am normally a rule follower (see number 7) unless it is a matter of life and death or goes against common sense.  SO, yes to this one.

10. If you had to teach something, what would it be?


11. You're having lunch with 3 people whom you respect and admire. They begin to criticize a close friend of yours, not knowing she is your friend. What do you do?

Take up for her.  This has happened to me regarding someone I barely knew and I spoke up.  When I tactfully (I hope!) said something, the women got really quiet.

I can't imagine what I would do or say if it were a close friend.  (Probably do more than sigh.)  I'd want someone to do the same for me.

12. Which of the 5 Love Languages is your prominent means of experiencing love?  (Check out Lid's blog for a link to the quiz.)

Quality Time

Physical Touch

Acts of Service


Words of Affirmation

My love lanugage is definitely Acts of Service, followed closely by Words of Affirmation

See Lid for more great Dozens!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Piggies and Betrayal

Well, the week is nearly over and the cobwebs are forming in the corners of the blog.

I'm sure you've moved on with your life by now, but the consensus seems to be that the little piggy from the rhyme was sad.

I think he was said, too. Hubs is convinced he was happy. Who knows, really? And who cares, right?

This is my life, people.  I spend time pondering the emotional state of swine.

What I really should be concerned with is why a pig would eat roast beef. That's just wrong. There should be some sort of farm animal pact. 

Monday, August 09, 2010

Little piggy

Hubs and I were watching TV last night when the new Geico commercial came on.  (Have you noticed a theme here lately? I love commercials.) The one we watched featured the little piggy going "Wee, wee, wee all the home."

This launched into a controversy which I hope all of you will settle.

In the story we all told to our children, was the little piggy happy or sad?  Was his "wee, wee, wee" a gleeful one or a teary one? 

What do you think?

I'll tell you my take on it later. 

As you can see, we had an exciting weekend.

Looking forward to your thoughts in the comments!

Love the comments.  Keep 'em coming!

Also, CPQ has written a wonderful tribute to her dad. Today is his birthday. Be sure to head on over and wish him a happy one!

Friday, August 06, 2010

Friday's Fave Five: Silly This or That

1.  Yesterday I was at a local gift shop purchasing a stack of cards.  I like to purchase cards in bulk. If I need a card, I buy that particular one and also buy some for any birthdays or other occasions over the next few months.  That way I can have them on hand when I need them or just completely forget I have them and buy duplicates later.  It all starts out to be a very efficient plan.

So I was paying for my cards when a little boy behind me kept stomping his foot. I thought he was marking time with the Sinatra tune playing overhead, but then I realized he was just a nervous kid.  After a few minutes of this, his mother finally said,"That's enough."

I wanted to turn to her and tell her it was enough for me about 100 stomps before that.  However, bless her heart for her patience.

Did I mention they were standing in line to buy candy?  That's just what you need to give to a nervous kid- a bag of candy.

The clerk put the candy on the counter after she counted the pieces.  She added up the amount, then waited as another clerk rang up my cards.  In the meantime, the leader of Stomp nervously waited for his candy.  The clerk then offered him his choice of one free silly band from a basket behind the counter.

Silly bands have been around for a while but they have just caught on here in Small Town.  New fads arrive to us via Pony Express.  It takes a while.

So the little nervous boy, wide-eyed, chose one silly band from the basket (which is like eating one potato chip) as the clerk quickly snatched it, I mean gently placed it back behind the iron bars of the counter.  The little boy's mom asked her if they sold them, which they did, in packs, on the other side of the counter.

I chuckled and said to the clerk,"Yep.  Go ahead and give them some crack and then get them addicted."

The mom laughed but the clerk was not amused.

All of that leads me to my favorite thing of the week, which is not silly bands, as you may have guessed.

No, it's the fact that I have a dark, sarcastic sense of humor which old clerks do not understand, but tired moms of nervous kids find amusing.

2. The hamster commercial. Hubs and I have laughed and laughed.  Either you hate it or you love.  We love it. 

3.  Lunch with friends.  I had a nice lunch with a friend yesterday. Our girls played while we talked.  It was great. 

4.  The bug man.  I am waiting for him to arrive as I type.  One of those New Mexico fire ants got me the other day.  We have an area in our driveway where they have taken up residence.  They are about to get evicted.

5.  Good Mexican food.  This was one thing I missed while we were away from Small Town.  There's nothing like taco grease to lift a girl's spirits, until she stands on the scales.

Suddenly silly bands are looking more interesting.

See Susanne for more faves this week!  Thanks, Susanne for hosting.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

On Beauty Products and Brides

I really should rename this blog "This Ain't Updated Very Much.  Check Back When I Remember To Write Something, Probably In List Form."

But that would be really wordy and tough to center in my header.  It could encroach on the curious cow photo.

I'd say we've been busy and productive this week, but I'd be lying. 

Daughter had some friends over one day.  We've had horseback riding, several unfruitful trips to the grocery store (I am holding off for the BIG shop,) and one trip to Sonic. 

My big accomplishment?  Cleaning out three drawers in our bathroom vanity. 

Poor Hubs gets a small area under his sink. The drawers are mostly for me and all my make-up, hair and moisturizing products.  I would say I feel sorry for him, but I really don't think a man needs more than a small area under the sink for his morning routine products. Do you?

As for the results of the clean-up, I realized that I buy a lot of anti-aging products that don't work and that we have every shade of pink nail polish known to woman. 

Maybe that shade of fuchsia will distract from all the wrinkles. 

On a completely unrelated note, I am tickled pink about the upcoming Say Yes To The Dress- Atlanta.  I watch the New York version, but I can't wait to compare the two shows.  It should be a delight in accents, opinionated mamas and the importance of deciding on a hairstyle before purchasing the bridal head piece.  (Priorities, people.)

Have a great Thursday. 

I hope your toes are pink and wrinkle free.


Monday, August 02, 2010

More things I don't understand: Flying

1.  Why does the pilot always tell you the weather of the arrival city during the flight?  It doesn't really help me to know it's 95 degrees and humid in Atlanta or 42 degrees and cloudy in New York.  I already packed.

2.  Why does he tell us our altitude?  The number of thousands of feet we are cruising at doesn't really matter to me as long as that number isn't rapidly decreasing and that little oxygen thing doesn't pop down.

3.  The extra weight fee on luggage is a total scam.  I recently was charged for one piece of luggage being 4 pounds over the weight limit. The baggage checker lady told me I could take things out of it and put it in another suitcase.  That makes no sense to me.  Shouldn't it be TOTAL weight of all my luggage? 

I just let them charge me extra because I knew if I had opened that piece of luggage, it would have been like opening a can of silly snakes.  Stuff would have been flying everywhere. Not that I packed snakes.  That's out of regulations.

4. Why do I get excited about the free soda on the plane? I don't even like my Diet Coke over ice.

5. Is it just me or does that little drink cart look like a cross between an ice cream vendor's cart and something from a HazMat team?

That being said, where's my ice cream?


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Classic Southern Writing and Baked Goods

Yesterday I spent my time running errands, going to horseback lessons (which is always a treat,) and staring at the basket of folded clothes which continues to nag me.  Never mind the inch of brown dust in my windowsills and on the furniture which collected while I was away.  I also need to mop the floor (brown dirt of SmallTown, you are my nemesis) but instead I am on here blogging about the fact that I've done nothing about it.


Oh, I forgot. There was one other thing I did yesterday.  That was catch up on my TV viewing, including O'Reilly featuring Laura Ingraham who is smart and witty and lovely, but I'd rather watch Bill.  Sorry, it's like Jay stepping in for Johnny.

I also may or may not have watched a few minutes of Days of Our Lives during my daytime channel surfing.  Within the time it takes me to get a Diet Coke, I was all caught up on Sam's latest saga and the fact that Hope still looks good. 

I'm still so proud of her for losing all that weight and keeping it off and if you find that shallow and unimportant, then you've never struggled with a weight problem or seen the wedding episode where she had to ride the back of Bo's bike with her dress flapping up in the wind. 

Bless her heart.

So today I've decided to get back to the important things in life, regular posting on my blog.

If you are wondering about the donut I mentioned in my last post, it was from The Donut Hole in Destin.  The Donut Hole is not paying me for this endorsement, by the way.  They've already rewarded me plenty with their good key lime pie, huge biscuits, and now the red velvet donut.

It tastes just like red velvet cake, only with the added benefit of not needing a fork. It even has a layer of cream cheese icing on top.  Y'all.  It was better than Krispy Kreme.  That's pretty much all I need to say about that.

On our trip, I decided to pick a good book for the airport, down time in the airplane, and all the moments I was able to put my feet up on the beach and relax.  I say "able" because I have a daughter who likes me to help her build sand sculptures and look for shells and a husband who likes to come report to me about Daughter's sand sculptures and found shells. 

I picked The Help because I had read great reviews from other bloggers.  It was probably the best book I have read in a very long time.  Again, no endorsements.  (I really should make a button to cover that.)  I won't go into the details or the characters, but if you are from the South, you'll love the voices and themes.  Be prepared to cry a little and cheer a lot.

Moving on.

Now that I've delved into the serious issues of life- donuts and Southern novels, I need to get to that layer of brown dust and that irritating folded basket of clothes...


P.S.  A bite of red velvet cake donut while reading The Help would be a great combination.  I wish I'd thought of it earlier myself.  Drat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On vacations, planes, and housekeeping hang-ups.

We are home.

Our luggage made it.

We made it.

And I have some stories. Oh, the stories.

Some of which include weird people on the plane (not us, although that could be a post,) the best donut I ever had, one of the best books I've read in a mighty long time, my love for water, and the incredible irony of changing seats on the plane.

It's all in my head.  Along with plans to lose the five pounds I gained on the trip.

May I just add that your comments about cleaning motel rooms and cabins made me feel a little more comfortable about leaving my house?  Yes, there is an underground Lysol/Clorox cleaning team out there, folks, and we are keeping the world as germ-free as possible.

Monday, July 19, 2010

You could say it's a wealth of information. Or not.

We traveled right through the Peach State and I didn't manage to blog a thing.  It may have something to do with my lack of Internet access, but I'm just guessing.  I do have some things tucked away in the dusty corners of my brain, so we'll see if I ever get it on the Web.

On Saturday, we arrived at our condo on the beach.  Let me clarify- the condo we rented, not our condo, as I have not won the lottery (you have to play to win) and no rich uncle or aunt in my family has died.  However, what we lack in inheritance, we make up for in crazy.

Where was I?

Oh, yes.  The beach.

So we arrived at the condo I rented from "one of those websites where you save money by renting from the person who owns it" (totally trying to avoid the correct title so as to avoid Google searches.)  We have done so in the past and it saves a lot of money.


There are a few perks you do not receive. 

There is usually no daily maid service. You could be totally caught off guard by something when you arrive.

Now, you do have some negotiating power with a contract, but then you have to be all confrontational and assertive and, unlike many of my sweet Southern friends, I have no problem with that.

So far, the two places we have rented by the person(s) who own them have been fine. They have been clean, but I had to do my own cleaning. 

Then again, I have issues. 

Let me tell you about my issues.  Go ahead and get your second cup of coffee.

I have two clean standards.

1.  Family/Friends/People I Generally Know Or Send Christmas Cards To-  When I visit their house, I feel at home.  I have no issue about clean/neat/tidy.  I feel welcome.  I know them. I love them. I hope they extend the same graciousness to me when they visit my house.  (Don't even ask me how often I vacuum under the bed.)

2. Hotel/Motel/Good Grief, People I Never Met Have Slept and Eaten Here-  Hotel germs are different.  And, I don't mean Forrest Gump, we'll grow to love you kind of different.  I don't know them.  I don't love them.

The thought that someone I don't know has been there and maybe the housekeeper missed a few places makes me twitch a little.  So, unless I am at the Hampton Inn (they even wash the comforter!) I clean the place again. 

Here's the kicker.  The longer I'm there, the deeper I clean.

It's a sickness, really.  But they say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

I always rewash all the dishes before we use them.  I wipe down the microwave, frig., and counters.  And then I sanitize the bathrooms.

Sometimes I use Lysol.  Sometimes I use cleaner with bleach.  It's all about the mood at the time.

That environmentally-friendly stuff is great for the environment but seriously, vacation is no time to be saving the environment.

All of this being said, if you are still here, you are probably sitting there either shaking your head at my insanity or thinking about all those times you stayed in a condo/hotel room and wished you'd had a can of Lysol.

I'm just here to help.

You're welcome.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Oh, where do I begin?

I have a multitude of travel tidbits and my mind is swimming with blog fodder.

I will post later, but here are a few little morsels for you.

1.  I had no idea how much I had missed hearing a Southern accent.  It is music to my ears.

2.  The humidity, it is good.

3.  It is downright shameful how much food I've eaten since we arrived in the South.  Tasty, but shameful.

4.  I was sitting at lunch today and saw a woman with skin that was actually dewy.  Note to Hubs:  You have to get me out of New Mexico in time for my skin to eventually return to the dewy.

5. The sound of bugs at night is delightful.

6. I head for southeast Georgia tomorrow.  Red clay and good fried catfish.  It doesn't get any better than that.

7.  On Friday, I saw a gator.  A gator!  I love that.  He welcomed me back home.  At least I think that look was a welcome.  Although it could have been the "you could sooo be my dinner" look as well.  Those gators are so hard to read.

8.  I realized today that I could visit Target in three states by the end of my trip.

9.  I am all about setting goals and reaching them.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Observations From 5-B

Yesterday Daughter and I arrived at the home of my in-laws in South Carolina. It was a cool and breezy 100 degrees.

I've been planning this trip for months.  SmallTown does not have what I'd call a reliable airport (as in the airplanes are so small they look like they need an 8 year-old on the ground with a remote control.) So we always have to drive at least 2 hours to another airport. For some reason, I decided it would be a good idea to fly out of Lubbock at 7:30 AM.  That would be in the morning. 

This meant that I had to be at the airport at 6:30 AM.  In the morning.

My goal was to reach South Carolina before rush hour and before dark.  However, flying out of Lubbock at 7:30 would mean leaving my house at 4:30 (which is also technically in the morning.)

We decided it would be better to drive over the day before, enjoy a good dinner, get a good night's sleep, then head to the airport, as opposed to getting up while the night watchmen were on their coffee breaks.

Hubs left work a little early and I already had our bags packed. We drove to Lubbock and went to Pei Wei for some good Asian food.  That's when it all went very, very bad.

Hubs decided to teach Daughter the art of making a suicide drink at the fountain drink machine.  He apparently only mixed Dr. Pepper and root beer, but mostly Dr. Pepper. The thing about the Doc is that it has caffeine.

By the time we got back to the hotel, Daughter was full of energy, so much so that she had the uncontrollable giggles.  This lasted until 1:00 AM.  In the morning.

We got up at 5:00 AM.  Yes, that would also be IN THE MORNING.

We opened up the Hampton Inn breakfast and I must say that those scrambled eggs taste much better when they are freshly made.  I usually eat them near the end of the breakfast time because I am normally still in the bed and the only way I ever get breakfast and coffee is if Hubs brings it to me while I'm still in my pajamas rubbing my eyes. 

But yesterday the sun and I shared our first cup of coffee together. I looked around for that Jimmy Dean sausage commercial guy, but even he was still asleep.

When we loaded our suitcases in the car, I said,"It's still dark.  This is so wrong."

Hubs drove us to the airport and dropped us off at the curb because of something about a meter running.  Oh, I kid.  He parked and then made me pay for it.

Seriously, I was eternally grateful that he was able to drive us to the airport (which is an act of love and friendship right up there with helping someone move) before returning to SmallTown to go to work.  God love him.  He pulled the suitcases, hoisted them up on the scale, checked our bags.  He basically did all the heavy lifting.

He even waited to make sure we made it through Security because you never know, what with my record and all. 

After we made it to the other side, Daughter decided she needed a water.  I was glad to fork out the twenty bucks to keep her hydrated, so we waited at the Starbucks counter.  A lady dressed like a pilot was ahead of us.  She ordered 4 drinks, all with different dairy and non-dairy contents and types of syrup.  I kept an eye on my gate, wondering if I'd make it and get the water.

I couldn't complain because every girl needs her Starbucks coffee whenever available and heaven forbid for me to get in the way of a pilot who is just trying to keep her crew awake.  (I don't know much about flying regulations, but that seems like it would be at the top.)

We were able to get our water in time and board our plane, which had another pilot and crew, I may add.  I don't know if they were properly caffeinated.

Within 20 minutes of takeoff, the pilot or co-pilot (how do you tell?) walked to the back of the plane to the bathroom.  My first thought was, "Don't they need him up there?" and my next thought was, "Didn't he go before we left?" 

My third thought was,"Maybe he did get a double espresso."

And my last and final thought was,"This is such great blog fodder, if only I can stay awake long enough to write it.  Maybe I should have had the double espresso."

Monday, July 05, 2010

No need for Lat/Long; Just follow your nose.

I've been running around today, getting ready for our trip.  First I was off to the drugstore, then to Wal-mart, then to UPS, which was closed for the holiday that fell on yesterday.  Whatever, Brown.

They know I'm in their clinches and I'll return tomorrow since I do not go to the post office EVER.

I returned to an empty house and unloaded my few packages.  Hubs and Daughter had gone geocaching. Soon, they both waltzed in with Hubs' new GPS (which we gave him for Father's Day) but no geocache treasures.  They were pretty disappointed.

However, they can't blame the new GPS.  It is pretty cool, if I do say so myself.  

Daughter gave me an update on their hunt.  She told me that one location had a lot of grass or brush or something and that they decided it was best "not to stick their hands in there."  That was when I thanked the Good Lord that I married a man with sense.

Then she said they "smelled a rotting carcass, IT SMELLED JUST LIKE A ROTTING CARCASS!"

She said it in all caps for emphasis. 

That was when I thanked the Good Lord that I birthed such an honest and olfactory sensitive child.

And that I was left out of the expedition.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Untold lessons in American History and side dishes.

I was driving home from the grocery store last night feeling like I was dodging cannonballs from the Redcoats.  Everyone in SmallTown decided to set off their fireworks, some of which were very close to the road and to my Honda packed with provisions.  Is this what it was like for Paul Revere while he was trying to make it home with his Diet Coke?

Growing up, we had only sparklers.  The rest were illegal in Georgia.  Living in Florida, most of the fireworks were legal and we always enjoyed our neighbors' fireworks across the beaver pond.

However, living in SmallTown, some of these rockets are a little too close for comfort.  Either that, or I've turned into the neighborhood old lady who runs outside swinging my cane and yelling something about getting off my lawn or I'll go get my shotgun.

Not that I have a cane.

While I was at the grocery store, I ran into a friend who asked me how we were going to celebrate the 4th.

Without hesitation I answered, "Eat."

That's pretty much how we celebrate everything, isn't it?  Even a funeral, which is not a celebration, of course, but requires lots of food. 

Hubs' birthday is also coming up, and Daughter and I will be out of town.  So we thought we'd celebrate this weekend.  My idea is to celebrate his birth with the birth of the country, because that would be festive and easy and, let's face it, the two are close in age.

Oh, I kid.  Our country is still young.

For Hubs' birthday I ordered Corky's BBQ.  Hubs loves ribs.  Good ribs.  He is a rib snob.  I don't judge him.  I feel the same way about coffee.  We are big fans of the Memphis-style BBQ.  Kansas may run a close second, Texas third, and poor East Carolina trails in at the end. 

I just can't get past the vinegar based meat and the idea of eating corn fritters with my BBQ.  I need ketchup and brown sugar and buttered BBQ bread, or even a loaf of light bread on the table. 

(Note:  Light bread is just a plain loaf of sandwich bread, perfect for sopping up sauce that managed to drip off your fingers.  There is nothing light about it.)

You may wonder why I'd pay an arm and a leg to have the FedEx man deliver ribs to Hubs.  We have BBQ restaurants in SmallTown, but nothing compares to Corky's. The only thing better would be to take Hubs to the restaurant itself, which, looking back may have cost just as much as shipping on dry ice.

In the ribs package were beans, pulled pork (for me!) and a fudge pie.  The fudge pie wasn't necessarily a required menu item, but for the small amount of extra money, I couldn't resist.  All I have to do today is make some potato salad. 

Potato salad is a required BBQ menu item.  And, of course, I am using BBQ as a noun here. 

Come to think of it, potato salad shows up on the table for a lot of meals.

When you ask a woman, "What are you taking to the cook-out?" she will answer in one of two ways.

"The men are cooking the meat, so I'm taking potato salad," or "I don't know what to bring, so I think I'll bake a cake."

For those of us who don't bake cakes, we bring that chocolate pudding dessert which has about a million names to include words like "delight" and "death."

Which brings me back to potato salad.

It also makes an appearance at funerals.  Something about mourning the beloved calls out for a Tupperware or an heirloom glass bowl of potatoes smothered in Hellman's mayonnaise.  What else do you eat with the bucket of fried chicken?

I have no idea how my post on Hubs' birthday turned into a tangent of side dishes, except for the fact that pretty much everything in a Southerner's life revolves around food.

Apparently, the same food.

You could call potato salad the Southerner's fruit cake.  It has a long history of showing up at important events.

You know, they say some Loyalist never returned that Tupperware dish of potato salad and that's what really started the Revolution.

Have a Happy 4th!

(Just be sure to return the Tupperware.)