Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Montage

1. Our weekend began with A Mighty Wind blowing dust and debris across SmallTown. I've never lived in a place with so much wind. I thought it only existed in Chicago and Oklahoma.

Before Hubs and I got married, he worked in Oklahoma for a while. We had not seen each other in months and my heart began to break a little. I planned a trip to see him, my first plane ride, alone. I did everything a girl does to get ready to see the love of her life. I packed new outfits, some Immodium for the nerves, and went to the beauty shop.

When I told my hairdresser where I was going, she warned me about the wind. She offered to sell me the best hairspray she had. I declined, then later regretted it.

When we got married, I went back and bought a can. I don't recall the name, but it was the strongest hairspray known to man, the kind they wear in the Miss America Pageant.

My hairdresser warned me, "You won't be able to brush it out. You'll have to wash it out."

She was right. As we left the reception, people pelted birdseed at us, and I could not even rake it out with my fingers. The birdseed settled deep in the hot-rolled curls of my hair. I was a perfect attraction for the local crows but my hair never looked more fabulous. (Oh, and a good shampoo of Pantene removed the hairspray and the seeds.)

Back to the wind.

I could use some of that spray.

2. On Saturday we went to an Easter Party and Egg Hunt. Daughter is older now, so she doesn't usually participate in the hunts anymore. We enjoyed watching the little kids run towards the eggs and bring them back to show their moms.

A sweet volunteer dressed as the Easter Bunny. She looked precious, except for the fact that the headpiece was so heavy that she had to hold it with her hand. At one point, it nearly slid off during a photo with a child. She quickly held the mouth and Hubs said,"Oh, no! The Easter Bunny is gonna pewk!" (Fortunately, the children ignored his comments or else the entire room of toddlers would be in therapy this morning.)

3. After the party we went for tacos at our favorite Mexican restaurant, one of the perks of living in SmallTown. When we got home, I was wiped out and took a nap. All of the excitement of traumatized kids and queso just did me in.

4. Sunday was church, a one-hour wait at Walgreens' pharmacy (get ready 1-800 Number,) more naps, a meeting, and my weekly trip to the grocery store.

My weekend was not as thrilling as nuclear-powered hairspray, but it'll do.

How about you?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

More on directions and thoughts about spring

After the comments from yesterday's post, I am convinced that I should design a new GPS system channeling every Southern mama out there. I'd probably go out of business pretty quickly. We'd all be lost or really late, but at least we'd be laughing.

When I do design it, I think I may add one more function- the Southern daddy version. The directions would be in the same format (random stream of consciousness) but the landmarks would include filling stations and good fishing spots. It would also tell you whether or not you'd make good time.

Now, on to spring.

We had snow- SNOW- here last night. It looks like a light dust of powdered sugar and is melting today. Earlier this week we were wearing short sleeves.

What's up with the weather? I'm starting to think there's a guy in a beret up there in the dome totally messing around with the controls.

I hope he doesn't give out directions.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

If My Garmin Had A Southern Accent

I wrote a post reviewing our weekend and nearly fell asleep while proofreading it. Since it's already Tuesday and most people are making plans for their next weekend, I'll just scrap my summary of our last weekend, which could pretty much be summed up in one word.


So, that's not really a word.

Let's move on.

Last week, a friend and I visited a new mom we know. I had printed out a map, thinking I knew exactly where I was going. We found what we thought was the street, counted down the blocks as I drove, only to find ourselves at a dead end and completely out of house numbers.

My GPS wasn't plugged in, and since I am not a multi-tasking driver (except for lipstick applications), my friend got directions the old-fashioned way. She called someone and asked.

Fortunately for us, the person we called knew exactly where the mom lived and gave us excellent directions. It also appears that there are two streets in SmallTown by the same name. Fun for the pizza guy.

I was telling Hubs the story the other day and we started explaining to Daughter about how Southern people give directions.

It got me thinking. What if the voice on your car's GPS was that of a Southern lady?

Her instructions may go something like this-

Honey, I'm terrible with directions. I'll have to give you directions from my house, since that's the way I would normally go. You know how to get to my house, right? Y'all came to the Sunday School Christmas party last year, although that was at night, and if you're like me, I'm terrible with directions in the dark. Plus, I don't drive at night since I had my cataract surgery.

So, you'll have to bear with me while I try to give you directions from my place. Okay, you pull out of my drive like you're going to Winn Dixie, but then you turn before you get to the stoplight. I think you turn left at the light. You'll have to sit there a sweet forever because that light is so long, and don't go when school is getting out or the speed limit is 25, and that crossing guard will shake her finger at you. You know, she has been a crossing guard for nearly thirty years? She really should retire because the arthritis has been giving her fits.

Turn there at the light and go past the Cut 'N Curl until you see the pretty yellow house with the black shutters. That's Louise's house. This time of year she has the prettiest bedding plants, but I don't think she's planted any yet, you know, because of the weather we've been having.

When you pull into her driveway, be sure not to park near the old tree. She lets her dog go over there and one time I got out of the car and stepped in something awful and ruined my good shoes I got from Steinmarts. They were on sale, too.

When you see her, tell her I said,"hello" and ask her how her mama's doing.

What's that?

You need directions to Gladys' house?

Oh, I have no idea how to get to her house, but I heard she's already planted her bedding plants and you know they're going to be ruined with this weather we've been having.

And she doesn't have a dog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Thanks, Congress.

I started to sit down and actually write a post.

Then I decided to just deem it written.

Why didn't I think of this before?

This is so much easier!

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Training For The Gold

She had spent years preparing for this moment. Hours and hours of practice, days of disappointment, followed by nights of fatigue and sore muscles...

Join me for the rest of her story at the Cafe!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Armchair Detectives

This morning while watching Huckleberry Hound:

"You know we never see Clementine," I said to Daughter.

"Huh?" she answered.

"He keeps singing about her and looking for her."

"I think in one show they show a picture of her."

"It's so sad. He never finds her."

"You think he'd find her. Her shoe size is number 9."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Strikes and Mrs.

Last week I got an email from Hubs that said," Want to meet me after work at the bowling alley and bowl and we can have bowling alley food for chow?"

To which I replied," Why are you going bowling?"

"It's my bowling night. And could you bring my bowling shirt? Oh, and could you go buy me a bowling shirt? Not really. Just thought it would be something fun for us to do."

"Okay. But only if you let me use the bowling ball that says 'Homer."

So, it was a deal.

Our family hasn't been bowling in years. We have taken Daughter bowling several times and we always enjoy it.

I didn't bowl as a kid. Mama and Daddy didn't bowl. I think it was a Southern thing. Plus, the bowling alleys in the town where I grew up were not necessarily where ladies and gentlemen went on a Saturday night. I suppose the bowling alleys were one step up from the pool halls, but it was a tiny, sticky, gum-covered step.

These days you can find a family friendly bowling alley. There are still those that are, shall we say, shady? They are usually easy to spot. The snack bar is really just a bar, neon signs are brighter than the lighting in the restrooms, and a woman in a tight t-shirt checks out your shoes and oddly, she's run out of Lysol.

We met Hubs after work and headed over to the bowling alley. I was pleased to see families there, instead of people with names like "Stan" or "Helga." No one was using any bad language or sporting any obscene tattoos, except for that preschooler on lane five.

Bowling alley food can be quite tasty. And cheap. That's a combo you can't pass up (like the cheeseburger and curly fries.) After our dinner of greasy grill goodness, we selected our bowling shoes and balls.

I have never understood how to select a bowling ball. I always just stand there at the little ball holder, picking them up, putting them down, until I choose the best one, which is usually based on color instead of weight.

My goal is to choose a color I love while selecting a ball that will not break my wrist. I find it works well.

All through the night, Daughter and I double teamed Hubs. Our goal was to beat him, either of us, both of us. It didn't matter. We let Daughter use the bumpers, so at one point she won a game.

Let me clarify. Hubs' and my only handicaps were that we didn't have the bumpers.


Hubs won the other games. At one point we were neck and neck and I thought I may win. I made a few strikes, quite a few spares, and we won't mention the number of gutter balls.

Hubs added the scores and decided that our team's total score for the whole night may be a perfect score of 300.

We played four games.

Over the weekend I told Hubs we should make it a monthly family outing. It was a lot of fun.

At last I've found a sport that I can compete with Hubs on a level playing field. To his credit, he does have a bad knee.

To my credit, I ate too many curly fries.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

I wonder if Erma ever had to bathe a cat.

Maggie has been in need of a bath for some time now. That things she does with her tongue just isn't cutting it.

I am the only one who bathes Maggie. I don't know how it happened, but when the Cat Bather assignment was given out, Hubs was off to the teacher's lounge making copies on the mimeograph machine.

I've given Maggie baths since she was a kitten, so you would think by now that she knows she isn't going to drown or die or be tortured. She could easily stand there nicely in the tub and wait patiently as I remove the stink from her fur.

But, then again, we're talking about Maggie.

So she stands there in the tub (and by stand I mean tries to escape continually) and moans and cries so as to alert the neighbors that she is drowning or dying or being tortured. Fortunately for us, all of our neighbors either listen to loud music,aren't home, or just figure the noise is part of our weirdness.

I've been putting it off for a while. It's cold. It's Maggie. Last night I stopped procrastinating. Maggie needed a bath and she has been sporting an Alfalfa at the base of her tail that would make Darla scream.

How does a cat get an Alfalfa?


I filled the tub with warm water, got out the sweet-scented, hairball-reducing shampoo, stacked some towels, and scooped up Maggie from her usual spot- the sofa. As soon as I turned the corner towards our bedroom, she began to wail. She may be old and stinky, but she's not stupid.

I plopped her in the tub and commenced to bathing. And praying. And wondering why in the world Hubs went back to the shelter to get her. In record time, she was clean and I was soaking wet.

Maggie's yellow eyes stared me down with disdain as I wrapped her in an old towel. I put her on the bathroom counter and gave her a quick blow dry. At one point she looked at herself in the mirror. She was not amused.

Once she was nearly dry, I let her down and she plodded away in disgust. She moped and snubbed me for at least an hour.

I can't wait to see what I find later on the rug.

Oh, and Hubs, you may want to get a new toothbrush. It was resting on the bathroom counter during Maggie's beauty treatment.

I cannot be responsible for Maggie's actions during that split second I had to turn my back.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Lid's Random Dozen- Plinko

Head over to Lid's and get the lowdown on the Plinko title. Here are her awesome questions for the week.

1. How old is the oldest pair of shoes in your closet?
I had to go to my closest and look. There is a pair of black loafers that I think may be five or six years old. I never wear them anymore, but they are my back up pair of black loafers until I get a new pair.
Looks like I need a new pair.

2. Did you buy Girl Scout cookies this year? If so, what variety?
Yes. GS are the only ones I will purchase anything from door-to-door. I'm a sucker. I bought a box of Lemonades and Peanut Butter Patties. Here's a thought for the Girl Scout Association: How about selling them at a time when we aren't thinking about swimsuit season? Just a thought.

3. Do you know how to ballroom dance? If not, would you like to?
No, and yes. That would be fun. I'm not sure I want to enough to take lessons at this point in life.

4. Were you a responsible child/teenager?
I'm so grateful for the forward slash in this question.
Child- YES!
Teenager- Notsomuch

5. How many of this year's Oscar-nominated movies did you see?
One. Up. I still cry every time I watch it. Hubs and Daughter always look over at me at certain parts to see if I'm wiping my eyes.

6. If you're going to have a medical procedure done, such as having blood drawn, is it easier for you to watch someone else having the procedure done or have it done yourself?
It doesn't bother me either way. Cartoons make me sob, but needles...ehhhh... piece of cake.

7. What is your favorite day of the week and why?
No school.
No commitments.

8. Do you miss anyone right now?
I suppose if I said, "no" that I would be heartless. If I say, "yes," then I'm forced to explain. The teenager in me will say, "maybe."
Seriously, I miss family that has passed away and friends who live out of town.

9. Do hospitals make you queasy?
No. See #6. Libraries? Another story.

10. At which store would you like to max-out your credit card. Not that you ever would, you responsible person, you.
This is tough. It would have to be a store with gorgeous dishes and linens.

11. Are you true to the brand names of products/items?
Heinz ketchup
Hellman's (or Best) mayo
Diet Coke
White Lily flour
Jim Dandy grits
Cover Girl face powder
Just to name a few!

12. Which is more difficult: looking into someone’s eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someone’s eyes when he/she is telling you how he/she feels?
Just the question makes me squirm a little. Can't I just write them a letter or a blog post or something?

Visit Lid for the Random Dozen. She is the hostess with the mostest. She also uses better modifiers than "mostest."

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

What A Mama Does

I went to the mailbox today and found a treasure. No, it wasn't the valentine. I've given up on that. It's probably lost. I keep picturing someone in the deep rainforest of Papua New Guinea trying to read it, holding the twenty up to the sun, and trying to figure out the meaning of all the stickers on the envelope.

It's all quite fascinating, especially since I'm fairly sure people in the rain forest don't actually get mail.


Mama sent us an envelope of treasures.

She recently found a very old photo of my great grandparents. It's one of those black and white photos where the subjects sit next to each other, but not very close. Neither of them smile and you know they probably only took the photo because a photographer was in town. I look at it and wonder what work they had to put aside to take the time for the snapshot.

She also included newspaper articles. This is what mothers do when their daughters move away. They clip and highlight newspaper articles from the hometown paper and mail them. The biggest news is always a wedding, or maybe the birth of a baby. Sometimes someone wins an award. Then there are the festivals and town tragedies.

One of the sweetest items she included was a clipping from a Belk circular. It featured a gorgeous comforter set in pinks and greens from the Biltmore collection. Next to the photo, Mama wrote,"Looks like something you would like."

It's not that I'm going to order the comforter. I'm not even looking for one. Mama just knew that I'd love it (and I do) and that I'd appreciate her sharing it with me (which I do.) What's more endearing is that she recognizes what I love.

That's what a Mama does.

Even the ones in Papua New Guinea.

Friday, March 05, 2010

I live in a non-pony country.

Click on the link below for more proof that I can relate anything in life to a Seinfeld episode. Other people play the Kevin Bacon game. I prefer Jerry.

Here's to all the immigrants who had to leave their ponies behind.

Click here for the video.

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Lessons From The Barn

Y'all know that Daughter has been taking horseback riding lessons. She adores it and she has learned a lot. It is amazing what a child's brain can store.

Anything related to animals or DS games is instantly filed and locked away. Other things like, oh, cleaning their rooms or picking up the towel off the floor are instantly dumped.


When she first began horseback lessons, I was clueless. (Okay, I'm still clueless.) I thought a pony was a baby horse. I didn't know what a cinch was or that there were special names for colors and patterns.

I was never around horses growing up. I was never interested in horses, either. Many of you shudder at the thought, I know. My own daughter thinks I'm nuts.

The truth is that I was a wimp and that I really didn't like the smell of manure (who does?) I also never liked to be dirty for very long. I liked to play in the dirt, but once I was done, I loved to come inside, take a long bath, play with my Barbie, and put on some nice, clean footie pajamas.

That's still me, minus the Barbie.

It also takes me a very long time to get up the nerve to try something new. I am very cautious and get frustrated when I don't get something right away. This is why I never learned to drive a stick shift. (And why Hubs will ski alone for the rest of his life. Bless his heart.)

However, I love animals and I appreciate them. I also appreciate the people who work with them.

That's why I've dedicated this post to Daughter's horseback riding instructor and to all the beautiful creatures she shares with us each week.

All I Ever Needed To Know, I Learned In The Barn:
A Clueless Southern Girl's Attempt At Horse Humor

1. Horses are a lot like people. They have personalities, feelings and moods.

2. Horses are much different than people. They weigh more than you do and can kick you in the head if you don't follow safety instructions.

3. Always wear a helmet when around horses.

4. The barn is a lot like your home. Everything should be put in its place so you can find it when you need it later.

5. It is easier to motivate a kid to put away tack than it is to put away toys. Maybe we should tell our kids that they are raised in a barn.

6. When the ride is over (good or bad) it's always best to walk it out.

7. Always listen to your instructor.

8. Always listen to your horse.

9. Stuff happens. When it does, you shovel it, learn from it, and get back on.

10. Sometimes you step in it. (To avoid this, see #'s 7 and 8.)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Random Dozen: A Little Odd, But I Think I Love You

1. Do you prefer even or odd numbers? Any particular reason?

Odd numbers. Particularly, 3, 5, and 7. I have no idea why. Maybe it is a sign of some strange mental illness or abnormal aversions to post offices and libraries.

2. On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being "not at all" and 10 being Carly Simon-worthy, how vain are you?

I have my usual hang-ups like most women, but in all I'd say I'm a 4. This is evident by the amount of roots I have right now.

3. Among these Irish stereotypes, with which do you identify most closely? Talkative, Proud, Inquisitive, Love to party, Hot-tempered

Inquisitive and maybe a little hot-tempered.

4. How lucky do you consider yourself?

I've been blessed beyond measure in so many ways. Some days I forget that.

5. What is the subject of your favorite post that you've written?

Maggie. She's lovable and quirky and could possibly prefer odd numbers.

6. Describe March weather where you live in three words.

Wait Five Minutes

7. How apt are you at detecting blarney when you hear it? (Smooth talk, flattery)

VERY. I can spot a line or a schmooze from a mile away.

8. How "green" are you, environmentally speaking?

Not very. It's the rebel in me.

9. What is your favorite song this week?

I haven't listened to a lot of music this week, except for the radio in the car. I'll have to go with the opening music to The Amazing Race. I'm excited about the new season and the cowboys are cracking me up.

10. You are walking along and see a coin on the ground. What denomination does it have to be before you will stop to pick it up?

None. Daughter spots free coins quicker than I spot Blarney. If I do see one, I pick it up and hand it to her.

11. Complete the sentence: "Every time I look outside my window ...."

...I wish we had trees."

12. What was the #1 song on the day you were born?

"I Think I Love You" by the Partridge Family.

(Lid, I was so glad it was a song I actually like!)

See The Lid and her blog for more. She doesn't spout any Blarney.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Movies, Sales, and Naps

When we first married, I looked forward to Saturdays with anticipation, planning and plotting the fun things Hubs and I would do.

During the week, I'd glance over at him on the sofa and say,"What do you want to do this weekend?"

"I don't know. What do you wanna do?"

"I don't know. Whatever."

"What is there to do?"

"I don't know."

By the time Saturday arrived, we usually ended up just going to a matinee while sneaking in snacks from Wal-mart.

We always went to a matinee. Newlyweds do not have a lot of money. You could say the matinee is the newlywed version of the early bird.

On our really exciting ventures, we went out to dinner after the movie. (Hey, we saved all that money on movie tickets and cheap snacks. Why not splurge?)

Now we are parents, but the weekends are pretty much the same.

"So, what do you want to do this weekend?"

"I don't know. What is there to do?"

"I don't know. There are no kid movies playing."

So Saturday often involves Hubs doing yard work during the summer months, me going grocery shopping, and Daughter playing, cleaning her room, or just being a kid.

On a really exciting Saturday, I get to go shopping or have my hair done. Sometimes I'll meet a friend for coffee or take a nap.


But not at the same time.

Those couches at the coffee shop are quite comfy. The baristas do let you lounge freely on them, but they usually draw the line once you fall asleep.

The homeless look just isn't good for business.

Saturday Nancy and I met for coffee. We chatted. We caught up. And, yes, we may have lounged a bit. It was all perfectly acceptable because neither of us fell asleep. (It may have something to do with the double espresso.)

After our coffee time, I went to JCPenney to return a catalog item. (I've become my grandmother. She loved the catalog.) Then I found some great doorbuster sales.

I've always been fascinated by the doorbuster. There is always a time limit, like "only from 9:00-10:00" or "only on a Tuesday when there is a full moon."

This time I managed to be there at the right time when the moon was the correct phase and I found the cutest lounge pants, t-shirt and comfy socks, all for the low, low price of twenty five bucks! I happen to be wearing them right now. I'd take a photo, but it's morning and well, I'm in my pajamas.

After the super find at JCPenney, I headed for Hobby Lobby to buy some picture frames because they were on sale for 50% off. They're always on sale for 50% off. I found three for gifts and then stood in line for a sweet forever. I was tempted to just put them back and walk out in protest or in principle, but it took me an hour to find the three I was looking for. Plus, they were 50% off.

My Hobby Lobby trip then lead me to the grocery store where I managed to spend over $100 and had nothing to show for it, except for some really small apples and a supply of butter for Hubs.

So, that was my Saturday. No matinee. Although, I may have had some cheap snacks.

How about you? Did you do anything exciting?

Better yet, did you get to take a nap?