Thursday, April 29, 2010

He ain't heavy. He's my ladder.

The entire month of April has been busy. I was going to start out saying just this week, but I like to keep it real.

I've been in the midst of a project with a great group of ladies. The details are unimportant because this post is really about Hubs and me. I will say that part of the project has involved painting and part of the painting has involved ladders.

Last weekend three of us were painting when we realized that we only had two ladders. We could really use a third to knock out some of the work. So, I called Hubs.

"Hey, can you do me a favor?"


"Could you bring me the ladder?"


"And my two glue guns?"


So I met him outside the building, retrieved the ladder and glue guns, then headed back to our project.

Let me tell you about something about Hubs.

When he buys something, it is for function. No form. Function. The tool or gadget does not need bells and whistles but, if it does have a bell or a whistle, you'd better believe they are made from titanium alloy or stainless steel. His structural standards make Craftsman's warranty look pitiful.

This ladder of ours is no ordinary painter's ladder. It extends and contorts into every kind of ladder you could possibly need. It is heavy, durable, and could withstand gale force winds, which seems to be a really good measure of sound construction. (Not that I'd be on a ladder during gale force winds, but I'm just sayin.')

Under normal circumstances, that's a good thing. Under my circumstances, not so much. I had to carry this ladder for, I don't know, a mile or two (maybe I'm stretching it) on one shoulder while carrying a tote bag of glue guns on the other. It wasn't really heavy, just cumbersome.

Hindsight would urge my independent self to have Hubs carry the ladder, but hindsight is a lot like return labels on mail- completely useless.

I managed to carry the ladder and use it, then carry it back to my car when we were all finished. Fast forward to last night when I noticed the small bruises on my arm and shoulder.

Bruises from a ladder that didn't even fall on me.

I said to Hubs, "Look at my arm. Look at the bruises from that awful ladder of yours."

He said in his usual, caring tone, "Yep. You learned a valuable lesson that day."

"Yeah, don't call your husband and ask him to bring you his ladder."



Nearly sixteen years of marriage and he still knows how to show me he cares.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Random Dozen: Lost and Found

I've never been more thankful for Lid's random than today. I have not a smidgen of creativity in my bones this morning. Evident by the fact I just used the word "smidgen."

1. Have you ever been so lost that you were really afraid?

No. I lost my mom in the grocery store once, but I knew she was looking for me. She found me and I was much better. I'm sure she gave me a good talking to because I never wandered off again, except for hiding in the racks at JCPenney. Ahem.

2. Have you ever been to an island?

Yes. St. Simon's, Jekyl, and the Outer Banks (technically an island.) I've also been to Crab Island in Destin which is not technically an island. It's a sand bar where people hang out and swim and dodge the jellyfish.

3. Are you more of a thinker or feeler?

Thinker. I have feelings, promise. But I tend to analyze and pick things apart. After overhearing Lost on TV last night while I was helping someone paint (long story) I have decided that I must rent the entire collection and catch up. Yes, I'm just a few seasons behind and realize it is almost over. It just reminded me of all the subtle and profound analogies of X Files, which I LOVED.

So there.

I'm a thinker.

4. Do you tend to see issues or situations in life as black and white or shades of gray?

Black and white on moral issues. Shades of gray otherwise. Goes back to my analytical mind.

5. If you were stuck on an island, what book would you hope to have with you (Let's pretend the Bible is already there, so you can't say that.)
I'm gonna go with the obvious and say a book on survival. Call me boring. You can go ahead and read Pilgrim's Progress or Emma over and over while I learn how to start a fire and skin a rabbit.
6. What are you most afraid of?

Failure. This is a loaded question.

7. Would you rather lose all of your old memories or never be able to make new ones?

Never be able to make new ones. I think it would be sad for my family if I could not remember things from the past, especially for Daughter.
8. Pretend I'm looking at a scrapbook page about you. There are three spaces for you to drop in individual pictures. What are those pictures of, and why did you select them?

One picture of me with a book bag headed for school- Mama always took one of these on my first day of school. It says a lot about me. I love to learn and loved school (not jr. high or high school, blech.)

A photo of me and my family. They mean the world to me.

A picture of Maggie- See archives. To say I'm a cat person is an understatement. (I think that understatement phrase is overused, but I am too tired to come up with something new.)

9. If you were re-doing your wedding, what would you do differently? (If you're single, tell me one thing you would do if you were planning a wedding OR huge party.)

Honestly, I wouldn't change a lot. I'd take more pictures outside of the place we had our reception because years later it was torn down.

10. Tell me one thing you know/believe about forgiveness.
It is easier to forgive someone than to forgive yourself.
11. You're waiting in a doctor's office. What is your favorite way to pass that time?
Make notes for the blog or the one-day book!
12. If there were a clone of you in a parallel universe what is one way you hope she/he would be the same as you and one way you hope she/he would be better?
I hope she will send people real cards. It's something I've tired to continue because I think it's a lost art. (See, I worked in the theme, Lid.)

I hope she is not as uptight as me and weighs her ideal weight. If not, I hope she looks at herself in the mirror and loves what she sees anyway.

Whew. Lid, that was deep.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tots and Dreams

Do you know what I wish I could do?

I wish that I could finally figure out how to correctly pull up to the Sonic drive-in.

If I pull up too far, I can't reach the red button. If I don't pull up far enough, the cute little car hop can't reach my window to hand me my corn dog.

She always gives me that look, too.

No matter how hard I try, I can't seem to figure out how to park correctly.

These are things I think about in life.

What about you?

What do you wish you could do?

If you know how to order at Sonic, please leave me detailed instructions in the Comments.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

These are a few of my favorite links.

Favorite links this week from two of my favorite bloggers.

Arabs, Russians, and a Hookah Bar- Carpool Queen's Blog

Proudly announcing the arrival of...- It be's that way sometimes.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Horse Highlights

Daughter always looks forward to Wednesdays. Wednesdays equals horseback riding. When weather forces us to cancel, she is always disappointed. Wednesday afternoon is her favorite part of the week.

Yesterday we arrived at the barn earlier than Nancy and her daughter, C. Daughter caught her horse, prepared to ride, then headed to the arena.

The three of us arrived at the arena. Our instructor made sure Daughter was safely on, then left to help Nancy and C get ready.

She turned to me and said,"Okay, mom. You're in charge."

"That's scary, but alright," I said with a wink.

Our instructor walked the short distance back to the barn and I sat on the little stool as Daughter rode. As soon as she gets on the horse, she is in her own world. She listens for instruction, but everything else is shut out.

As she walked her horse around the arena, I watched. And listened. I have no idea what she was saying, but she was sharing something incredible with her horse. I could hear the emotion, the giggles, and the inflections in her voice. With every step, she shared something else. The horse's ears turned and listened as my daughter rode.

It reminded me of my visits to the hairdresser. I share my life's moments as she wraps my hair in foil. After she's done wonders, she shampoos and I keep talking. My hairdresser wraps my head in a towel and I plop down in the chair, where I chatter away as she reveals those necessary highlights.

Most hairdressers are patient with us as we tell them everything, but the truth is, they are tired. They really would like to work in peace in quiet. I'm probably the tenth customer of the day who shares her life.

Horses are different. They prick their ears and walk or trot or lope along. They listen intently as they work, capturing a moment with the rider who loves them.

Of course, I love my hairdresser. Who else could work miracles with this hair of mine? But nothing compares to the love a girl has for her horse.

No highlights could ever trump that.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

In Sympathy

Please visit Linda today.

Her sweet friend, Diane, has gone on to be with the Lord after a battle with cancer.

Linda has written a beautiful tribute to her friend.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

On The Menu

The last few days have been busy.

I delivered a meal to a new mom, baked a cake for a nurses' staff, helped serve at a food booth, made a casserole for a potluck, decorated tables, and hosted a dinner for homeschool moms.

Noticing a theme?

Food. I believe it is the best theme ever.

I only have one more thing to add. Mr. Pyrex, I love you.

Later I'll share pictures of the cutest dessert I made for a new big brother.

How is your week going?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday's Fav Five- Dixie and Yankees

Thanks for hosting the Fav Five this week, Susanne! Here are mine for the week.

1. This video clip from Designing Women- I recently mentioned Julia Sugarbaker. The clip about crazy people in the South is one of my favorite scenes. It makes me laugh because it is so true.

After my post last week, I learned that Dixie Carter who played Julia for so many years had passed away. Here's to Dixie and her spot-on portrayal of so many strong southern women!

2. Yankee Candles- When spring arrives, I love to buy new candles for the house. Some of my favorites for this time of year are Clean Cotton and Sun and Sand. (Hubs calls them flavors, not scents, which always cracks me up.)

FCC stuff- Yankee did not ask me to say that, nor have they sent me any free candles. Now that we've covered the legal nonsense, let's move on.

3. The casserole- I believe the casserole was created by some tired soul who had to make a meal for a large group of people and couldn't decide on a menu. Then she thought to herself,"I know just the thing! I'll just dump it all together, stir in some creamofsomethingsoup and top it with Ritz crackers!"

Thank you, m'am. You are a life saver.

4. Bible Study- If you are not in one, find one. You will be amazed at the friends you can make and the incredible things you learn when consistently in a small group. Each and every time I am involved in one, I learn something new that greatly affects my life.

5. Spring skirts- I love wearing a skirt in spring. They are so comfortable and just make me happy. I just need to work on my fake tan so I don't blind small dogs while walking down the street.

If you are wondering about my own family in relation to number one, the answer is both. :>)

Be sure to check Susanne's blog for more favs!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good Horse Sense

I grew up hearing all kinds of odd sayings. Of course, I had no idea they were odd. To me, they were perfectly normal.

It took marrying Hubs to learn that not everyone says things like,"Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth," or "You can get glad in the same pants you got mad in," or how about "He's a good egg."

The butter phrase is one of his favorites, by the way. I used to think it was because he found it clever. Now I know it is just because he loves butter.

Over the years, I've explained a lot of words and phrases to Hubs, or at least I've tried. He pretends to make fun of me a little, but I like to say he is channeling his third grade boyish charm in an effort to show he likes me. I just hope he doesn't give me a toad for my birthday.

There's one phrase Mama used that is fairly common- measuring a person's intelligence to that of a horse, "using good horse sense."

Whenever a person would do something not-so-bright (the Southerner's nice way of saying you're being an idiot,) Mama said,"Well, he doesn't have good horse sense!"

My sheltered self had no idea the magnitude of that statement. I'd never been around horses and I certainly had never given one an IQ test.

The weather here in SmallTown is schizophrenic. One minute it's nice and sunny, the next it's Sybil.

Every Wednesday, Nancy and I watch the forecast to see if we will have horseback riding lessons. Our instructor does the same. Some days it is obviously a day to cancel early in the morning. Other days we've had to cancel on our way there.

Yesterday all three of us were watching the weather. Nancy was watching the skies, I was watching the forecast, and our instructor was watching the radar images. If this horseback stuff doesn't work out, we could all work for The Weather Channel.

A stormy morning turned into a sunny afternoon. Horseback lessons were on.

When we arrived there was a nice breeze. The girls didn't even need a jacket. They tacked up and headed to the arena. Within minutes, the wind blew in clouds and cool weather. The three of us sat there and watched the girls on their horses underneath an unpredictable sky.

It was unanimous. We'd let them ride as long as the weather was decent, or as long as they could stand it.

The horses' behavior indicated the change in the air. Ears turned, lips twitched. The girls kept riding as it began to drizzle.

Their instructor asked the girls several times if they wanted to quit. They declined.

Because of their good training, the horses continued to work as commanded, but with a little protest. They changed direction on their own to keep the rain at their backs.

And they trotted by our instructor with the most hilarious expressions.

As the drizzle became a light rain, the girls kept riding. Each time they passed their instructor, the horses gave a new look.

"Hello, do you know it's raining?"

"Ahem, are we done yet?"

"Who is this kid you put on me who continues to ride in the rain?"

The three of us just laughed. Although, we should have been the last ones laughing because none of us had a jacket or a real hat.

Finally, the instructor called it and we all headed to the barn. I was proud of our girls for toughing it out.

The girls enjoyed their ride in the light rain. It was a new experience for them in riding and in horse behaviors. They put away their tack and brushed their horses as we looked on.

I stood in the barn, in my damp shirt and muddy boots, realizing the true intelligence of horses and the real meaning of another popular phrase.

As Mama would say, "Some people don't have enough sense to get out of the rain."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Observations from the Couch

What you may have overheard at our house last night:

Sound of me typing on the laptop. Seinfeld re-run playing in the background.

Hubs- "You know, Mike and Ikes are genius because you have the Mike and Ike in the same box."

Sound of my brain cells trying to comprehend, followed by the sound of me typing on the laptop.

Hubs- "Did you know that if you need your teeth permanently altered that it has to be done by the dentist? The hygienist can't do it?"

Me- "What does that have to do with anything?"

Hubs- "Nothing. You just may need to know that if you have your teeth permanently altered."

Sound of me typing all the nonsense on the laptop mixed with the shaking noise of a box of Mike and Ikes.

And the faint cries of a dental hygienist off in the distance.

Tomorrow we discuss the complex nature of the doctor/nurse relationship and why neither of us likes Raisinettes.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Trans Fats and The Nervous Digestive Habits of the Equine

I don't know about y'all, but I don't want any more ham for a while. We ate leftovers until my sodium count reached near Dead Sea levels. On Monday afternoon, I had a migraine and realized it must be due to the nitrates.

At that painful moment I said, "That's it! I'm switching to the original white meat!"

Let me point out that I am not giving up ham completely. I am just going for smaller portions of the preservative-filled meat. Ham is a necessary part of my Southern diet. What else could I cook my vegetables with?

Don't tell me EVOO. I can use olive oil now and then, but good pole beans require a ham hock.

But, I know you didn't come here to read about my pork product preferences.

Our week has been fairly routine. We've homeschooled, gone to Bible study, and had horseback riding lessons.

This week Nancy was not feeling well, so I took her daughter and mine to riding lessons. Both girls have taken lessons for nearly a year, so all I had to do was surpervise.

However, there must have been something in the air, because both horses decided to do their business in the barn. These lessons are real lessons in caring for horses, so when your horse goes, you have to clean it up.

I'm suddenly understanding why I never took horseback riding lessons.

Daughter and C took turns with the pitch fork and literally pitched it. Neither complained really, which shows me they are much more mature than I am.

All the while Nancy was at home, leisurely lounging on the sofa with a stomach bug or something.

After the girls' lessons, we headed for Sonic. It has become our weekly routine. Daughter loves the root beer float and C goes for a Reese's Blast.

Nancy and I pretend to go for the girls, but the truth is I love the cherry limeade chillers and she loves the tots. She has been much more health concious lately, opting for a Diet Somethingover.

I'll bet she uses EVOO.

Which shows me she is much more mature than I am.

Hope you are feeling better Nanc. :>)

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Random Dozen: Elmer's Glue and Designing Women

Here are Linda's questions for the week.

1. Define a great relationship.
Nothing like starting out with the easy questions, Linda.
I think a great relationship, whether friendly or romantic, requires loving honesty, trust, loyalty, common values, and some common interests. I am blessed enough to have two wonderful friends who fit this description and an awesome husband.

2. Why is it called a "drive-through" if you have to stop? (Real question: What was the last food/drink you purchased at a drive-through?)
It really should be called a "drive around," now that you mention it, Lid. I bought Daughter a Frosty, fries and chicken nuggets from Wendy's.

3. As I type this, the Butler Bulldogs are getting ready to play in the NCAA championship game. Every Hoosier is hysterical about this except me. So in honor of the Bulldogs ... what is your favorite breed of dog? (I tried.)
I was so glad to see you weren't going with a sports question. We know how much I love sports. Ahem.
My favorite breed would have to be the beagle. I just love them. In all honesty, I love the mutt in the pound who needs a home. I really love his little nose pressed against the chain link gate.

4. If you had to move to a state besides the one you currently live in, where would you move?
This one is obvious.
South Carolina runs a close second. I love the low country.
Notice both offer wonderful beaches and fabulous seafood.

5. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
I honestly can't think of anything. I have great parents.
As for what I would change about myself, I would not have squirted the glue in my hair in Kindergarten. I would also love to go back to first grade and punch that kid who picked on me on the playground.
Did I mention that my parents were faithful in taking me to Sunday School?

6. Who's the funniest person you know?
My husband. His humor is part of what attracted me to him. That and his blue eyes. We can sit on the sofa and laugh with each other about anything. We can make stuff up as we go along and just laugh. When people visit they look at us strangely.

I've told him that one day we will end up in a home and the staff will think we have dementia, not knowing it will be perfectly normal.

7. Did you get enough sleep last night?
No. The last time I got enough sleep I was about 5 years old.

8. What's the first thing you thought about this morning?
I'm sleepy.

9. Grilled or Fried? --HONESTLY
Unless it is amberjack, and then GRILLED.
My food preferences are always in CAPS LOCK.
(I'm glad Lid gets my subtle, punctuational humor. Not even sure punctuational is a word.)

10. Are you afraid of the dark?
No, but I'm afraid of flashlights.

11.When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was in the 4th grade I wanted to be a dental hygienist. Then I realized what they had to do most of the day and that the dentist really made the cash. I decided to be a dentist.
At some point in high school, I wanted to be an interior designer. I blame Julia Sugarbaker.

12. If you had one word to describe yourself , what would you choose?
Square Peg
That's two words, so I'll go with one.

See Linda for more rockin' random dozens. Thanks for the great questions this week, Lid!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Lycra, Spring Fever, and Ibuprofen

Spring has officially arrived and I am itching to go to the beach. The only thing holding me back is my pasty white complexion and, well, there's the added problem that the closest beach is hundreds of miles away.

I'm also a little biased about beaches. If I'm going to spend good money on fake tanning and plane tickets, I want to go to the Gulf Coast. Florida's gulf coast, specifically. We plan to go to the beach this summer, so I have to be patient.

Each time I Google or check the weather, there is list posted in the sidebar of the country's top beaches.

Now the Internet is just trying to hurt me.

The thing is, a trip to the beach means I will be buying a swimsuit. Swimsuits are not what I care to think about right now. My diet routine has consisted of bad lemonade cake and Diet Coke, and my work-out routine involves me walking back and forth from the hamper to the laundry room.

It's very effective.

You can see that I am torn between my dreams of emerald waters and my fear of clingy fabric and fluorescent lighting. My psychological health is very fragile.

If you'll excuse me, I need to run (not actually run) to Wal-mart for a supply of tan-in-a-tube, cellulite cream, and a Fromer's Guide To Florida.

Maybe I'll just get a new pair of flip flops and some Extra Strength Tylenol.


Monday, April 05, 2010

Holiday traditions and really bad poetry

When I was little I made a card for Mama which read, "It may be Easter, but I don't love you any leaster."

Clearly my writing skills were beginning to emerge.

Our Easter morning began with Daughter opening her Easter basket. She showed us all the goodies in her basket. Then she grabbed her stuffed lamb (as in plush, not rack of), and then scurried away to her room sporting a huge grin. Hubs and I love to see her scurry away- a sprint down the hall or to her room with the look of mischief or delight on her face. It reminds us of the joys of childhood.

After church, I finished cooking our Easter dinner. On Saturday, I cooked a ham, boiled eggs for deviled eggs, and prepared a hashbrown casserole. All I had to do was warm the ham, finish making the eggs, and bake the casserole. I also steamed some broccoli, but I don't really count it as cooking.

I had planned to make sweet potato biscuits. As soon as I read all the steps, I decided to make my plain biscuits. I was too tired and did not want to take the chance at a new recipe. (The plain ones were quite tasty, by the way.)

For dessert, we had a pink lemonade cake. I don't usually bake, so making cakes is tricky for me. Give me a main dish or a roast to make any day. Make me measure baking powder exactly and I start to twitch. The cake turned out pretty good, not great. We ate it. (Hey, it's cake.)

Hubs cleaned the kitchen. Bless his heart. I took a nap- a long, pull the covers over my head, nap. It was nearly as good as the biscuits.

In the evening we colored eggs. Hubs, Daughter and I sat at the kitchen table dipping eggs in coffee cups filled with food coloring, and swirling eggs in little bags. It was fun and Hubs will be eating eggs for lunch for the rest of the week.

My grandmother loved to color eggs. I remember coloring eggs with her and then finding them later during an egg hunt in the yard. We didn't hide plastic eggs. We hid real ones and then ate them later. In the South Georgia heat. No one died.

We would come inside the house, and sit down at the kitchen table with our baskets. Mama helped me peel my eggs. I always put a little salt on them. Granny or Mama always made pound cake for Easter and after we had our eggs, we'd each have a slice. Then Granny would eat one potato chip to cut the sweet.

That's right. Boiled eggs, pound cake, and potato chips. An odd combination. But every time I peel an Easter egg and see where the coloring seeped through and colored it pink or yellow or green, I think of Granny. I sprinkle a little salt and take a bite, remembering Easter at Granny's table.

Next year, we're having pound cake for Easter.

And one potato chip for each of us.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Falling Asleep

I logged on here to write and realized I hadn't written anything since Monday. And that wasn't even a real post.

It has been a busy week for me.

Sunday night our oven died. The element burned out. Fortunately for us, we are renters right now and all I had to do was call the landlord and wait for the repair, instead of taking care of it ourselves.

Tuesday, an appliance repairman came to check out the oven and then order a part. Unfortunately for us, we are renters right now and I have to wait on the repair, instead of taking care of it ourselves.

The stovetop works just fine, so we've had stovetop friendly dinners. (We sooo should have had Stovetop stuffing just for the irony of it. Why didn't I think of that? Maybe it's because I don't like Stovetop stuffing.)

Each day has had something going. Bible study, horseback riding lessons, meetings, homeschool, trips to UPS. I still need to plan my Easter menu (the oven will be repaired by then,) and hopefully find time to search for an Easter dress.

And it's only Thursday.

Our day is winding down. We just finished dinner, a stovetop friendly meal of tacos. My feet hurt a little. My back aches from traipsing through Wal-mart and standing in the kitchen. Here I am online.


Tonight is the night they came for Him.

It's the night He asked the disciples to pray. They fell asleep. I've often criticized them for that. All Jesus asked was for them to pray. How could they fall asleep? Couldn't they pay attention? It wasn't much for Him to ask.

Yet, here I am online and it's Thursday.

I'm tired. I ache. I have things to do. I don't have a dress. I don't have a working oven.

My Lord has asked me to pray.

Logging off...