Monday, May 31, 2010

How Do You Remember?

Do you wave your flag in front of your home

Wear a lapel pin or an Old Navy t-shirt

Do you sip a slurpee or a snow cone

While waiting for your neighbor to grill you a dog

Do you hit the sales for all of the deals

Stop in at Wal-mart for some patriotic cookies

Do you buy a swimsuit in red, white and blue

And wait in the long line, thumbing through People

Do you drive past the cemetery

See the tiny flags waving in the wind

Do you think about the ones who rest

Beneath the decorated graves

Do place your hand on your heart

When the anthem plays

Do you exercise your right to vote

The one that they protect

Do you honor them for their sacrifice

While you enjoy the freedoms they provide

Do you remember

That they are the ones who died to keep your freedom alive

No matter how you choose to remember this Memorial Day- during a ceremony, a trip to Wal-mart, or time with friends in celebration of our many freedoms, take a moment to honor the fallen and to thank the ones still with us who fight for our country each and every day.

God Bless Our Troops.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Remembering My Gulf Coast

This week, when my husband was flying home, he sent me a text that read, "Greta Van Susteren is on the plane. What do you want me to tell her?"

Actually he said "Greta Van Sustenance" because he loves to play with names, his attempt at subtle humor, but that isn't really relevant.

I wrote back,"Tell her thank you for her fair coverage and ask her to be diligent in covering the oil spill. No one else is covering it."

He briefly passed along my thanks and left out the rest. (She was gracious, by the way.)

After I wrote him my request, I thought, "Wow, I've resorted to reaching out to the press. That's pretty desperate."

But desperate times call for...

The truth is that I'm angry. Okay. I'm mad. Spit nails kind of mad.

It hurts to see photos of dolphins washing up on a Mississippi beach, pelicans covered in an unknown brown substance, and aerial photos of liquid spewing from the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.

I want to clinch my fist and shake it in the air.

I want to jump on a plane and show up on a beach, pen in hand, ready to sign up for HazMat training.

Today I found the blog carnival of Mommy Melee and I knew it was finally something I could do.

Tell my story...

The Gulf Coast.

It is the place I long to be when my lips are parched and my skin is dry in this small town of New Mexico.

The memories keep me going when I miss my home, The South.

I still smell the freshly caught red snapper on chartered boats named "High Cotton" and "Miss Elizabeth" dotted along the docks in Destin.

I taste fried shrimp and hot hush puppies dipped in cold ketchup.

I see the water tower at Pensacola Beach, shrimp boats in the bay under morning sunshine.

I spot a shell, yards away, along a sugar white beach, and run towards it before the tide rolls in, and the tiny shell disappears into the emerald waters.

I watch as my daughter steps into the salty,warm water, one toddler toe at a time, and falls in love with the place I hold dear to my heart.

I see the dunes destroyed by Hurricanes Opal, Erin, Ivan, and Dennis.

I see the great people of the coast rebuild them, along with their homes and businesses.

I hear the wind through the sea oats as my bare feet plod on the boardwalk that protects them.

I listen as seagulls fight over fiddler crabs and water laps over dock pilings.

I feel sand on my skin. It sticks to me and I brush it off with baby powder (a beachcomber's secret.)

I turn to find my towel has been wet by the incoming tide and I don't care. It means the sun will set soon and I can watch it fade below the horizon as dolphins make their last run to feed in shallow waters.

I gather my things- sunglasses, cover-up, an empty Pringles can, leftover bottled water, and walk back to the car, burned from the sun in the places I missed with sunscreen.

I turn around for one last look before we head home with our bucket of shells and broken sand dollars.

The beautiful Gulf Coast.

It has endured thousands of footsteps of tacky tourists in flimsy flip flops, spring breakers in air-brushed t-shirts, and many storms.

It has recovered.

It has survived.

I pray it will again, and that all we will have left of this great coast is not just memories.

Related Links:

A few of my posts about the coast I love, including the one featured by SouthernLiving.Com.

Be sure to read more posts over at the carnival:

Mommy Melee's Blog Carnival

A story with a twister.

Tuesday was interesting here in SmallTown. We often complain about the lack of entertainment. I guess God was listening.

Daughter and I were up at church with some friends decorating a room for a kids' Wednesday night program. It was a relaxing moment of scenes outlined on butcher paper, buckets of paint, sponge brushes, and giggling kids pleading to help.

The kids got bored and ran down the hall only to run right back in the room.

"The sirens are going off and it's REALLY, REALLY dark outside!"

There were tears and furrowed brows and three very relaxed moms still painting Egyptian pyramids and palm trees.

"It's probably one of the tests they do each week. It looks sunny outside to us."

On our side of the building.

"But it's REALLY, REALLY dark outside!"

We brushed it off at first, then one of the moms called her husband at work. He shared that there was a tornado warning, that a small funnel had been spotted south of town.

And I just dipped my brush in the most beautiful blue.

Soon, the pastor came upstairs to share the same news.

So we all headed to the basement, two-by-two, coaxing and soothing the kids that all would be fine. This was only a precaution.

Actually I believe my exact words were, "It'll be fine. We're just using the brain God gave us and taking shelter."

Once we were all safe, we gathered candles, a radio, cell phones with Internet access and maintained our post. I texted Nancy who was also at her church. She was safe, waiting it out.

Then I sent Hubs a text. He was flying home from a business trip and I was scheduled to drive to the next town to pick him up from the airport.

Our record of texting has not been good lately, so I decided I'd better be clear and concise.

"We are in the basement at church. Tornado warning."

"Is the teacher telling you all to be quiet? Why do you have to be quiet? Does noise attract tornadoes?"

"No, we're the teachers... church members are arriving."



The texts continued. I told him he'd have to wait for me to pick him up. It's fairly difficult to drive to the next town when you are taking shelter in a basement.

Hubs finally had to board the plane and TOTP when I was able to tell him we had a break between storm cells and I could get home. I eventually left the house and drove to NextTown, away from the storms.

But not until I grabbed my camera. I'm such a nerd.

The weather on my drive was perfect. The bad weather was at my back and I suddenly felt like those people in that movie who were being chased by a tornado.

We picked up Hubs at the airport, returned home to a house still standing, the power on, and all was well with our little corner of the world.

I didn't get any cool pictures to share with you. Drat.

Oh well, my camera isn't designed to take photos from a ditch. The angle really kills the zoom capabilities.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More ramblings and my answer to Monday's question.

It's only Wednesday?

1. We are winding down with school. Friday is our last official day. Yeah!! I'll take a nap as my teacher's gift, thankyouverymuch.

2. Later I will write my adventures from Tuesday, but I'm too tired to type it now. (Hint- It involves a funnel cloud.)

3. I went to a Japanese restaurant tonight and I suwanee they put sleeping powders in my fried rice. They also put way too much salt and, before I got home, I had swelled up like a toad.


4. This is the time of year I wish I had a pool.

5. Tomorrow is yard day at hour house. Blech.

6. I take back #4. This is the time of year I wish I had a friend who has a pool.

7. The answer to Monday's question, to some of you readers' chagrin-

Tommy Lee Jones

Hope your week is going well or you at least have a friend with a pool.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Random Dozen

1. Would you rather host party or simply attend a party?

Hosting stresses me a bit. I like to attend or maybe co-host at someone else's house. I love the decorating and cooking, but combining that with cleaning, prepping, and all the etc. is overwhelming at times. I'm more comfortable with a few friends or couples over instead of a large group.

Kids' birthday parties at my house, however? Easy peasy.

2. Tell us about the most memorable party you've been to.

Nancy and her husband hosted a murder mystery dinner at Halloween one year. Hubs and I went, along with another couple. We were all supposed to dress up as our characters. Well, Hubs and I went a little over the top and the rest of them looked completely normal. Party poopers.

3. What is one thing you hope for in the after-life?

Besides seeing Jesus, no pain.

4. What do you enjoy most about sunshine?

The way it makes me feel.

5. When you attend a bridal/baby shower, do you prefer to bring your own gift or chip in with others to buy a larger gift?

I am not a fan of the chip in, unless it is a going away type gift from a group or a large purchase the receive really wants. I prefer to buy my own gift and put a personal spin on it, if I can.

6. Would you rather have a FREE week of having your house cleaned or all of your meals cooked for you and your family?

This is tough. I would love to have someone clean my house, but the thought of someone else cleaning my dirt is a little invasive for me. I would like the meals, please. Although, they have to wear a hairnet so Hubs can eat.

Thank you.

7. What song describes your mood today?

After a tornado scare yesterday- "It's The End Of The World As We Know It"

And I feel fine.

8. What is something you received for your own bridal shower/wedding that you still own or use? (If you are not married, feel free to sub a gift you received a long time ago.)

I still have a lot of the gifts that were given to us. There is one crystal vase that I use often. It was part of a set from a group of great ladies- a really good chip in gift!

9. Your favorite flavor of ice cream is?

Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.

If I can't get that, then Rocky Road is my favorite general flavor.

10. When was the last time you felt "tested?"

Last time? You mean other people don't feel tested on a daily basis?
Wow. And may I add that I usually do not pass.

11. "[Fill in the blank] is a food that once I start eating I find really hard to stop."

Boiled Peanuts.

Yes, m'am.

12. "-----" is the best motivation.


See Lid for more great posts this week! Don't miss her Lost party pictures. (love the dirt monster)

Monday, May 24, 2010

If he was Spongebob the arm would have just grown back.

Things are a little busy at our house.

So, pardon me as I resort to lists and clever online quizzes this week.

1. Every time The Fugitive is on, I am compelled to watch it, even though I know he will eventually find the One Armed Man and realize he was betrayed by a friend.

Don't get mad at me for revealing the plot. If you haven't seen it by now (the original or the remake,) you must live under a rock or something.

2. The Fugitive is on as much as Spongebob.

3. Which makes it great because I can switch between them during commercials.

4. A few other movies I am compelled to watch, no matter how many times I've seen them or when they are on:

Bridges of Madison County
Dirty Dancing
A League of Their Own
Fried Green Tomatoes
Top Gun
Sleeping With The Enemy

To name a few.

5. What about you? What movie can't you resist?

6. Here's another question for you-

Harrison Ford or Tommy Lee Jones?

I'll give you my answer in the next post. :>)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

What kind of book are you?

Here are my results. Love this. Take the quiz with the link below.

You Are Humor

You love to laugh at life, and if possible, get others to laugh along with you.

You believe there's always a humorous side to everything. And your sense of humor ranges from upbeat to very dark.

You are outrageous and very honest. You're often the only one willing to say what everyone else is thinking.

You are witty and verbally talented. You like to play with words and say things in interesting ways.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More Things I Don't Understand: Subliminal Confusion

Y'all know I sit and wonder about things that baffle my mind. It happens a lot. It doesn't take much to confuse me.

1. According to a commercial I just watched, there is a cereal I can eat for two solid weeks that will take a whole inch off my waist. They call it Special K, but they don't realize I need Extra, Extra Special K and a lot longer than two weeks.

2. Why don't they just name it "The Cereal Women Eat When They Have To Get In A Bathing Suit?"

3. I realize that I want to make anything Paula Deen cooks as long as she looks at the camera and laughs.

4. A lot of companies are using babies and children in their ads because they know we love babies and children, as long as they aren't screaming in Wal-mart.

5. Funny, I haven't noticed any Wal-mart commercials featuring talking babies and disappointed kids without ponies.

6. My grandmother never owned a pair of sneakers. Grasshoppers were as close to athletic wear that her feet ever touched. I have no idea what made me think of that.

7. After our misadventure at the steak place, I realize waiters and waitresses are simply the middle men (or women) between us and the kitchen. Sometimes they are like the florist who shows up at your door with a dozen long-stemmed roses. Sometimes they are the negotiators in a hostage situation.

8. I suddenly want some nice roses for the dining table and a well-prepared, (no toppings, please) New York Strip.

9. I was going for 10, but we'll have to settle for 9. It will drive you OCD readers crazy, and I kinda love that a little.

10. So, I caved. My grandmother never wore sneakers, and she taught me never to offend. Or make people crazy.

Have a Special day.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Linda's Random Dozen; Quirks and Percolators

So, I'm sitting here answering Lid's Random Dozen for the week and watching Regis and Kelly. Kelly is wearing a horizontally striped skirt. Horizontal stripes on the bottom. Only she could pull that off. Even a Barber Pole has stripes at an angle.

Here are Lid's awesome questions.

1. What is one really fast, know-by-heart "go-to" meal to fix in a pinch?
It is usually tacos. I can brown ground beef and chop lettuce and tomato with lightning speed. I also make fried rice when I'm low on ingredients. For the best fried rice, use your electric griddle. No wok needed. (I got that suggestion from a friend, not bright enough to think of it on my own.)

2. What is one item you won't leave home without. (Purse and license do not count.)
You are thinking cell phone, right? Nope. Lipstick. It is the American Express of my life. Can't leave home without it.

3. Where is one place you never tire of visiting?
Destin, Florida. The waves are calling me now. The Oil Spill threatens those white beaches as I type and I hope and pray they survive. As of now, they are fine.

4. Share one factoid of your family's history.
I had a great, great, great someoneorother who was in the War of 1812.

5. Complete this sentence: "Once upon a time I ....had a waist."

6. If you could win a one year's supply of anything, what would it be?
Diet Coke. If I lived somewhere else, I'd say Starbucks. Since I have to drive two hours to get to one, I'd also have to win a year's supply of gas.

7. "One quirky thing you may not know about me is ...."
Just one? I like to sit in the aisle on an airplane. The window seat is too close to the outside for me. It works out well in my family because no one else likes the aisle. I just have to watch for that drink cart. Ouch.

8. You have one dollar in your pocket. What will you buy?
I wish I could say Diet Coke, but this isn't the 80's any more. I'll probably use it to tip the barrista at Starbucks after I drive 2 hours for my non-fat, venti mocha, add the whip. Or I could put a drop of gas in my car to get there.

9. "One thing that always makes me laugh is ....Linda's blog. Seriously."

10. What is one thing you could do today to help yourself reach a personal goal?
Hop off here and into Word and start writing.

11. What is one thing you could do today to bless someone else?
Send a note to a friend, clean up the house, put away clothes. Funny, we don't think of our daily chores as blessing others, but they do in small ways.

12. What is one thing you're looking forward to soon?
Vacation to #3

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Our Little Outing: Part Two

You all thought our Sunday ended with cherry limeade stains and sore feet. Oh, sweet friends, how I wish you were right.

Hubs had planned for our day of geocaching to end in a nice steak dinner. I don't know if he was really in the mood for steak or just thought the suggestion of taking me out for dinner would encourage me to go treasure hunting. You know, kind of like dangling the carrot, only it was a fillet Mignon.

I brushed my hair in the car and dusted off my boots before we went in, something I never thought I'd do before a dinner out. However, in SmallTown country, many people wear boots to dinner. I just decided to clean mine with the leftover Wet Ones.

'Cause I'm fancy.

After a good dab of face powder and a swipe of lipstick in the car, I was ready.

We got a table, ordered, and waited for our salads. I chose the salad bar and Hubs and Daughter chose the Caesar. When their salads arrived, I was doubtful.

I could tell the romaine was not fresh. Not bad, but not good either. I noticed Hubs not eating his salad.

"I smell fish," he said.

"Well, Caesar salad does have anchovy paste in the dressing," I said, "but I'm pretty sure it isn't supposed to have so much that you actually notice."

That's when we noticed.


Now, I'm no expert, but most of the Caesar salads I've had do not feature the whole fish. It puts it a little over the top. We all three agreed that Hubs and Daughter should not eat their salads.

Our waiter Tom noticed, too. Maybe the fact that Hubs and Daughter were just sitting there staring at their salads gave it away. He offered to get them new ones, but they declined and ate the bread.

The main entrees arrived including catfish (called the Kiddie Catfish, which we named KittyCat Fish) for Daughter, New York Strip for Hubs and a Fillet for me. Hubs' plate barely touched the table when he saw it.

A hair.

Tom checked on us and Hubs pointed to the unwanted topping.

"I am so sorry, let me bring you another one."

"No, thanks."

"No, really. I'll have them make you another steak."

This is when I chimed in.

"You don't know. I am sure he's lost his appetite."

"Yes," Hubs said,"I have this thing about hair on my food."

Poor Tom The Waiter took away the hair with the steak around it and walked away. Meanwhile, Daughter was halfway through her KittyCat Fish dinner. I began to apologize and comfort Hubs profusely, even though there was nothing I could do.

Then I cut into my steak.

It mooed.

Tom came back to our table when I said, "I really hate to do this to you, but my steak is not cooked enough. I ordered Medium Well and this is really Medium. It's a little runny."

At this point Tom realized why this waiter gig was only a part time job to get him through college and not an actual career choice.

Tom took away my steak and potato and returned moments later with a correctly cooked steak.

And no potato.

Apparently the cook decided I didn't need one and must have thrown it away as he threw my fillet back on the grill.

"Um, could I have a potato?" I asked.

Tom apologized once again, not noticing the kitchen's mistake. He offered to bring me another one.

Minutes later he returned, "The potato will take a while. I can bring you something else that is quicker if you want, but I don't want you to settle for something if that's not what you want."

Oh, we're way past settling now, Tom.

"Bring me mashed potatoes, fries, whatever. It doesn't matter. Really. This is not your fault. This is all the kitchen's fault."

Tom obliged and I quickly ate my mashed potatoes. He returned with a dessert menu, which is the restaurant's version of a peace offering.

"How about a complimentary dessert for all of your trouble?" he asked.

We all declined. Well, Hubs and I declined. Daughter pleaded with us to get dessert, but even free dessert wouldn't make us cave. At this point, we just wanted to pay our discounted check, tip Tom for his patience with us and the chefs (he was incredibly professional, considering the kitchen issues,) and go home.

The very next day I made Hubs roast and mashed potatoes for dinner. Hey, it's not New York Strip or anchovy salad, but I am happy to report it was hair and fish odor free.

I try.

Monday, May 17, 2010

They say this is how Columbus stumbled on America.

Hubs and Daughter have discovered a new hobby. Geocaching. If you don't know what that is, I'll give you a brief description.

Geocaching uses Al Gore's Internet and GPS technology to help normal people like you and me find little treasures (or caches) tucked under boxwoods in city parks and inside overgrown weeds on the side of the road.

Most of the containers look like green metal thingies that could be featured on the Military Channel. Some of the items inside are pretty cool, but most of them look like the leftover items from VBS treasure boxes and really bad birthday party treat bags.

The fun is in the hunt. And in the fact that you do find that one really cool coin or toy among all the stretchy lizards and broken, miniature paddle balls.

Yesterday they decided to take me along. I have issues with being in strange places and with sticking my hand in strange containers with stranger objects, but I thought it would be fun to go along and I didn't want to be a buzz kill.

Everybody hates a mama who is a buzz kill.

Daughter told me what to wear, "The same thing you would wear to horseback- long pants and boots."

Which meant, "There may be snakes."

Thanks for the tip.

So, I went. I brought my Diet Coke for hydration and comfort. Hubs packed us all some bottled water. Daughter packed the Official Family Geocaching notebook.

Hubs brought along Nancy's portable GPS system, the kind in which you punch in the coordinates and then look at the arrow. Only you can't really look at the arrow and the road, so he had to depend on me looking at the arrow while he looked at the road.

Hubs- "Okay, where do we go next?"

Me- "S Avenue. We're on D."

Minutes later.

Me-"Oh, wait. It's SOUTH Avenue E. Not S."

Hubs- "Where to now? Right or left?"

Me- "I don't know."

Hubs- "I gotta do something here."

Me- "Okay.... left."

You have to understand that I can read a map. But I was dealing with the portable GPS, the arrow, and the Google map Hubs had printed for us which did not have all the streets on it. Streets are helpful while you are, you know, driving.

We managed to find several caches. Our first was on the side of a road where I discovered a stray cat. Hubs and Daughter continued to search for the cache while I abandoned them and went to the car for some pet food I keep stashed in the back. The cat ran off, but I left food out for him anyway.

You can see why they never invited me before.

Our second discovery was on the edge of a curb, in front of a house. According to the Geocache rules and description, we had permission to search and there was no need to go through any gates. For Paranoid Me, it was dangerously close to trespassing, so I stayed in the car.

(I can hear Nancy laughing right now.)

Our next two caches were in a park. Ok, this I can do.

As we walked, I was again distracted by an animal. This time, a prairie dog, which is not necessarily a treasure, but, according to local cowboys, is a big rat.

By the time we found the prairie dog cache, I was tired, hot and thirsty. My Diet Coke was long gone and I had slurped down two of the bottles of water, reserving the last for Daughter. I convinced Hubs to take a detour to Sonic for some necessary provisions.

We pulled in and Hubs ordered a round of limeades. Cranberry for him, strawberry for Daughter, and cherry for me. When the car hop arrived, Hubs handed Daughter her drink, then put our limeades on the console as he turned to pay.

I turned around to do something and my elbow knocked over my entire cherry limeade, spilling it all in the back floorboard.

You can imagine the trauma. I mean, I was really, really thirsty. Not to mention the HUGE CHERRY STAIN on the back floor mat.

Hubs had pulled too close to the menu board, so I was the only one who could hop out of the car. I ran around, grabbed a blanket and began to sop, hanging my feet and legs out of the car. The sweet car hop brought me another drink as I quickly cleaned up the mess with the blanket, a box of Wet Ones, and a sample of Viva paper towels.

It was very stressful.

We recovered from what will no doubt become known as the Unfortunate Cherry Limeade Incident and moved on to our last cache hunt- a multi.

A multi means you follow coordinates to find the next location, and so on. Eventually, you find the geocache at the end.

Translation- You walk in your boots for a very long time and realize these boots weren't made for walking.

There may or may not have been an incident of Hubs jumping a fence and there may or may not have been an incident of me whining about my poor, blistered, snake-protected feet. The last treasure turned out to be the best one, even if I did have to walk a sweet forever.

And by sweet, I mean the kind of sweet you find at the bottom of a Sonic cherry limeade or, in my case, the bottom of my back floorboard.

I'm so glad I didn't get the Route 44.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When texting goes horribly, horribly wrong.

On his way home from New Jersey, Hubs decided to text me his travel updates. The funny thing is, he always snickers at those husbands at baggage claim who call their wives. You know the ones. They call before they board. They call as soon as they land. They call when they get their luggage. It's really obnoxious.

However, texting the same information is not. Obnoxious. Nope. Not at all.

And denial ain't just a river in Egypt.

So anyway.

Hubs knows I worry. I realize he is perfectly capable of taking care of himself, but he also has a tendency to get lost or, at the very least, not have any cash. This is all despite the fact that I am certain that his mother taught him never to leave the house without cash. Yes, he is a grown man, but I love him dearly and worry because I love him.

Plus, I am a paranoid person and worry is in my blood, much like the butter I slather on biscuits.

On his way back home, Hubs sent me a series of text updates, in abbreviated forms. Apparently, I am not as hip as I have allowed myself to believe.

"All Aboard"- No interpretation needed.

"OTG @ DFW"- On the ground at Dallas Fort Worth.

Pretty easy, eh?



Think, think. "OTP"- On the plane...

Within minutes of his text, his mom called to see if I had heard from him. I shared the texts with her, minus the TOTP part, and that I thought he'd be home late. We talked and caught up and then I got off the phone.

My brain returned to TOTP. It was driving me nuts. Since TOTP, he had not texted me again and I was certain that he would have landed by then and surely was driving home.

I texted back.

"Where R U?"

No answer.

By now it was late and I was tired.

"TOTP"... texting on the plane?

OH. NO. Terrorist On The Plane.

My Common Sense Self kept tapping my Paranoid Self on the shoulder saying,"NO WAY. He is fine. You're nuts. You're tired. Besides, you're nuts."

But, then my Paranoid Self turned around and pepper sprayed my Common Sense Self and took over.

What do I do? Is he going to text me and ask me to call our FBI friend?

Tap, tap. SPRAY. My Common Sense Self cowered away.

FINALLY, Hubs walked in the door. He was perfectly fine. I asked him what TOTP is supposed to mean.

"Turning off the phone," he said, "I made it up."

"You can't make up acronyms without sharing them with me! Do you know what I thought it said? I thought you meant terrorist on the plane!"

"Sorry. If there had been, my text would have been 'STD."


"Saving The Day."

"Okay, but you may want to come up with a new one because that is not what most people think about when they hear that abbreviation."

"Oh, yeah. I guess not."

Maybe we should go back to two Dixie cups and a piece of string.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's our love language.

Last year, Hubs gave me a new cell phone for my birthday. I may have mentioned it here a time or two, but since I'm overly informative ( I just made that up) I'll mention it again. This new phone has a real keypad instead of a telephone-style keypad so I can text without doing Calculus.

If I knew how to do Calculus.

Hubs also programmed a few ringtones for me. My ringtone for texts is the Seinfeld theme song, which is perfect since Hubs is usually the one sending me a text. My regular (is that what you call it?) ringtone is "I Think You're Crazy," which, sadly, is also perfect.

The reason I love this new phone is because now I can actually stay in touch with Hubs. When he is at work he can't have a real conversation, what with the fact that he is earning money so we can have food on the table and so Maggie can live in her posh existence. Sending a text is quick and convenient.

Hubs has been on a trip across the country. We had a death in the family and he went to be with relatives and attend the services. Daughter and I stayed home but, thanks to the wonderful world of texting, we stayed in touch.

This blog is beginning to sound like a bad AT&T commercial.

On Monday, while I was escaping SmallTown, Hubs was in New Jersey. He forgot that I was going to face The Loop in Lubbock and sent me a text.

Seinfeld began to play loudly from my purse. We were in the middle of Barnes and Noble, which is one step away from the library. I quickly hit OK and read his message.

"Who was the farthest relative at your grandmother's funeral?"

I suppose you thought he was going to tell me loved me and missed me and couldn't wait to be home. You obviously are new to this blog.

I stood there next to copies of The Borrowers and every book Beverly Cleary ever wrote while Hubs continued to text me with questions. I continued to answer, thinking to myself that I'd become one of those people who text in public. You know, middle schoolers.

All the while, people in Barnes and Noble were purchasing Seinfeld DVDs in droves with no idea why.

We arrived at the check-out counter and I handed the phone to Daughter. In hindsight, I should have turned off the phone, but instead asked her to quickly answer it if Seinfeld again began to play. I managed to pay and get out of the store before he sent me the following text.

"Caskets go for $2500. Urns are $300."

"What are you trying to say?"

"I'm not saying... I'm just sayin."

He went on to say that he could save money and hire Cyndi Lauper or Lisa Lisa to sing at my funeral who, oddly are his favorite singers from the 80's.

This is our strange way of telling each other, "I love you and times like these remind me of how precious you are."

The texts finally stopped until I was on the road home. When I stopped for gas, I read and answered the rest of them. We bantered back and forth until I wrote, "I have to drive now."

I climbed in the car and turned to Daughter as she opened the ring pop she bought inside the convenience store.

As I tucked my cell phone back in my purse, I said, "I think Daddy misses us."

Driving the last leg home, I thought about the years we have behind us, filled with Seinfeld quotes and ringtones and strange love notes that other people would find odd.

Moves across the country, romantic anniversaries, the birth of a child, silly nights on the sofa, and goofy texts at the bookstore and the gas station.

I thought about the many years I hope we have ahead of us, filled with laughter and tears and all the things that make this marriage ours.

And the fact that I'm totally hiring Rick Springfield to sing at Hubs' funeral.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!

Daughter and I drove to Lubbock today to escape SmallTown. The peach milkshake at Chick-Fil-A has been calling our names for weeks and it was high time we answered.

Two words about Lubbock.

The Loop.

The loop is a bypass built by nearsighted engineers who decided it would be fun to scare out-of-town drivers. Rumor has it that the locals stay off the loop because it is easier to get around town. I still have not been able to navigate around town, but today was the day I got motivated to learn.

Once you are on the loop, you have no idea which direction you are going. I have a keen sense of direction and, for me, it's like putting a feed sack over my head, spinning me around, and then asking me to pin something on a donkey. Yes, it is exactly like that. You go in circles and the whole thing makes you dizzy.

Getting on and off the loop is a whole 'nother issue. It seems that these same engineers decided it would be fun to design off ramps that you exit before you arrive at the actual road. When I want to get to Quaker, I exit at Indiana. When I want to get to Indiana, I exit in New Mexico. Oh, I kid. Sort of.

Then there's the Marsha Sharp Freeway. I had no idea who Ms. Sharp was until I Googled it. I began to imagine that she was a crazed, old woman who liked to scare small children or the mothers of small children, because that is exactly what the freeway honoring her memory does.

As it turns out, she was some kind of coach at Texas Tech and I am sure she was a lovely woman. However, this should be a lesson to us all not to let any nearsighted engineers build a road after us.

Once I am on the Marsha Sharp, I am fine. Getting there is the issue. Depending on which way I'm traveling on The Loop, I have to remember which way to exit to head in the right direction on the Marsha.

At first, I exited one way, then wound up the opposite direction. I turned around, headed back, passed a million construction barrels, and pressed on.

You see, desperate times force us to face our most dreadful fears. I faced down the Marsha with one destination in mind- New Target.

If I'm going to drive for hours through cow country and dust storms, I'm not going to any old Target. Only the new one will do. Oh, you could try to tell me that the old Target has all the same things that the new one has, but I beg to differ, friend. The new one is fresher, nicer, and it has Starbucks.

So, I conquered The Loop and The Marsha. No fear prevented this mama from finding cute flip flops attached with elastic string, Archer Farms snacks, and Circo t-shirts.

I'm wearing my seat belt and I've got my GPS on.

Bring it, nearsighted engineers.

No Fear.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Remembering Mothers

Mother's Day is almost here.

It's time for the kids to get out the crayons and make memories, for husbands to rush to the store to help them buy a gift, and for grown sons and daughters to set aside time to call Mom.

It's also a sad time for many out there who have lost a mother.

Some have lost a mother long ago. Some have recently said good-bye.

For all the sons and daughters who miss their mothers this holiday, may you hold the memories with your mother as tightly as you held those freshly picked flowers from the yard.

"Mothers hold their children's hands for a short while, but their hearts forever. "
Author Unknown

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Random: Yet another list in which I write about naps.

1. What was the last thing about which you procrastinated?

Folding clothes and putting them away. The laundry basket is leering at me as I type.

2. How long does it take you to fall asleep, and do you sleep through the night?

It depends. I can usually fall asleep within 30 minutes unless I have something on my mind. I can sleep through the night if Hubs doesn't come home from work late and disturb the happenings in the house.

At some point, Maggie often sneaks up there on my feet. Somehow, she manages to not wake me up and I find her there in the morning. This is how cats steal your breath.

3. Which decade would you choose to exemplify your favorite fashion styles?

I guess the 90's. I have been so behind in fashion for so long, I don't even see the difference in the decades.

4. What is your personal best dish to feed a crowd?

Best? I don't know. I like making stuffed manicotti, enchiladas or chili for a big group. Some of my favorite dishes for my family are Chicken Georgia, pot roast, and fried chicken tenders.

5. Are you an impulse shopper? What was the last thing you bought on impulse?

Notsomuch. The only thing I may buy on impulse is a cute pair of flip flops. I hate to try on clothes and hate returning things even more, so I tend to not impulse purchase clothing. Maybe a simple t-shirt, but that's it.

6. What is one wish you have for your own funeral?

I won't know what's going on, so it won't matter. I just hope things go smoothly for my family and that Hubs remembers to write thank-you notes. Ahem.

7. If it's true that joy is in found in the simple things in life, what does your joy look like today?

It would look like a nap if I had time for one. Today is a busy day for me. On normal days, it looks like a glass of sweet tea as I sit in the glider on the porch.

8. What is your favorite type of bread?

Really good biscuits straight from the oven. I also love the bread you get before your salad comes at all the steak restaurants. You know, the little loaf on the cutting board with the huge knife.

9. What trait do you fear developing the most? (Laziness, greediness, grumpiness, etc.)


10. What trait would you like most to develop?

A little bit of a sense of adventure. Not TOO much. I don't want to go overboard.

11. Which room in your house best reflects your personality? Why?

My bedroom. It has my favorite furniture, beach-like bedding, a print of Charleston's Rainbow Row, and all the things that remind me of a Southern B&B.

12. How do you maintain balance in your life regarding, work, family, church, other organizations and activities, and blogging?

I don't. But I do try.

See Lid for dozens of dozens!

And I'll bet she's wearing matching shoes.

In yesterday's Random Dozen, Linda asked us about funeral preferences. In Linda's post, she said she wanted a closed casket. This reminded me of the many funerals I have attended in my lifetime.

You're probably wondering, "How many people does she know?"

Not that many.

The truth is that Mama took me with her to funerals of people I didn't know, people I kinda knew, people I was related to, people I was kinda related to, and people I kinda knew and was related to.

Daddy was often at work. You can't always get a sitter on Tuesdays at 3:00 in the afternoon. So Mama just took me with her.

My people believe in funerals. When someone dies, you go to the service and at the very least, the visitation the night before to pay respect and show sympathy to the family.

Going to funerals was normal for me. I was never afraid of dead people.

I can't believe I just typed that last sentence.

We close the casket during the funeral service, but during visitation people can come by the open casket for a viewing.

This is when dear aunts and cousins can comment on how natural you look.

"Don't she look natural?"

Looking natural is the best compliment to a dead Southern woman.

We spend our entire lives making sure we look anything but natural. We don't go to the grocery store without lipstick and we never serve company without putting on our face. But once we have left to be with the Lord, we want everyone to think we look natural.

Truthfully, how we look at our death is not a testimony to our good complexions or perfect hair. It is really a testimony to the funeral home who hired the best beautician in town to do our make-up.

However, we like to believe that looking natural at our death is the final chance to show off good grooming.

It's also a good time to force our husbands to buy us a new outfit.

That's when those sweet aunts can make the other common remark heard at funerals.

"He did a good job buying that suit. She always did look good in blue."

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Scantron and A Tutorial On Self-Defense With Pork Products

My week is starting out pretty well. We had school yesterday after a week of standardized testing. Yes, I'm a homeschool mom who puts her kid through standardized testing, even though it is not required. It is the only way for me to know how she is doing compared to others her age and grade.

I also make her clean her room on a daily basis and do the white glove test when she is done.


The truth is, Daughter enjoys standardized testing. I have a confession. I did, too. It was a break from the routine and I thought it was fun. Yes, I said FUN. You should know by now that I am a nerd.

I always did well in Reading, Social Studies, and Spelling and notsomuch in Math. (Big Surprise.) My only disappointment was that we were no sections titled "The Application Of Blue Eye Shadow" or "How To Copy All The Janet Jackson Videos" because I would have totally thrown the curve in those two.

However, I never did well in transitional paragraphs.

Last night I went to a coffee with some ladies, then out to Wal-mart. I have previously vowed to avoid Wally after dark, but sometimes schedules and empty pantries trump that vow.

I also have seen the website with photos of people at Wal-mart. I think some of it is not that kind, and maybe a little staged. I also know that I'd better be dressed appropriately when I shop or else my mug may be on the Net.

But, there I was at Wally World. I got out of the car, clutched my purse, and proceeded to use my paranoid personality to keep an eye out for any weirdos in the parking lot. (Weirdos that would be out of place.)

At one point I walked past a truck playing loud music and thought it was a teenager (the driver inside, not the truck.) It turned out to be a middle-aged gentleman waiting for his wife to buy bread. At least that's what I told myself.

The little old lady at the door greeted me and I made an effort to quickly finish my list. Thank you cards, t-shirt transfers, Smithfield ham, and two cans of Allen's green beans.

I said to the cashier,"Well, I guess you know what I'm cooking for dinner tomorrow night."

"Looks good," she said.

I quickly left and headed for the parking lot, passing the man with the loud music. I stayed alert, armed with a spiral ham in one bag and two cans of good pole beans in the other.

The evening ended without incident. No one took my purse, my spiral ham, or my picture. I was just glad I made it out of Wal-mart without ending up on the Internet.

Oh, wait. I just did.