Wednesday, December 26, 2012


It's the day after Christmas. 

I was able to sleep in a little this morning. Hubs had already gone to work.  When I went in the kitchen I saw the signs of what he had for breakfast- pie crumbs.  It made me smile. I got my coffee and called him just to say, "Good morning." 

Daughter was still asleep.  I quietly opened her door to let out the dog, Jessie.  She went outside and did what she needed to do and ran back inside.  It's cold and windy today.  A cold front rolled in last night.

I came inside and turned on the tree, along with the little tabletop tree with my White House Christmas ornaments.  Then I sat down, turned on the TV and sipped my coffee, thinking about the day.  I'm planning to go to a few stores for after Christmas bargains later.

Some of the remnants of Christmas still sit in the living room. There are gifts to put away and a tiny Reese's cup wrapper I forgot to throw away.

Another day after Christmas.

It has been almost two weeks since I heard the news of Newtown.  Since then I've written and re-written post after post.  I kept wanting to say something, write something, do something.  I kept thinking of the mothers who were planning funerals while I was buying Christmas gifts.  There is something about such evil at Christmas that has made it so much more troubling. 
Time after time I kept staring at the laptop trying to write and the words just wouldn't come. 
Then Sunday night I was driving home from one last shopping trip when a familiar song by Michael W. Smith  played.  It expressed what I think a lot of us have been feeling this Christmas season.  It left me in tears as I drove in the dark.

Welcome To Our World

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You've been promised, we've been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child

Hope that You don't mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long awaited Holy Stranger
Make Yourself at home
Please make Yourself at home

Bring Your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
World now breaking Heaven's silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world

Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for them
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born

So wrap our injured flesh around You
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God
Perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world

It is at Christmas that we talk about peace.  We declare it on Christmas cards and sing about it in church.  Newtown was a reminder that we still long for peace. It is when the routines of our lives are interrupted with evil that we realize how much we need to hear from God.

According to the calendar, Christmas is over. Today is the day people begin to take down their decorations.  Some will leave them up until New Year's Day.  We'll pack up our ornaments and the nativity.  We'll climb on the roof to take down all of the lights. One evening I'll be handing Hubs all the boxes as he puts them away in the attic.

Pretty soon the stores will begin new displays for Valentine's Day. Santas will be replaced with pink hearts and red candy boxes.  Within weeks you will barely see any sign of Christmas in our homes or in the stores. 

My mother's heart hurts for the mother in Newtown who didn't get to watch her child open Christmas gifts yesterday.  For her, it isn't just the day after Christmas. It is the week after a funeral.  Today is  another day she has to find the strength to put one foot in front of the other. Tonight is another night she can't read Green Eggs and Ham one more time.

So I ask God to heal her heart, to wrap His arms around her and help her get out of bed every morning. Help her when the birthdays come and go, when she smells play dough and cries, when she sees a child in a store that is the age her child would have been.

I ask God to teach me something.  Teach me to slow down, to hug my child more, to love my husband more, to care for my friends more.

That Holy night when the angels declared the birth of Jesus to the shepherds was the beginning of the message of Christmas.  It's a message that has been celebrated for thousands of years, a message of peace and hope that only Jesus Christ can bring to our hearts. 

Our broken, burdened hearts.

I pray for Newtown as they heal.  I pray that God will give them peace.

And that, even though the calendar says Christmas has come and gone, that all of us will keep the message of Christmas in our hearts long after the last string of lights is packed away.

 "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4: 7  


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The little lights aren't twinkling.

Hubs was headed to Wal-mart on Saturday to pick up some things when he asked if I needed anything. 

I said, "Yes, a new rake."

"A rake?" he said.

"Yep.  Daughter and I are going to rake the front yard today and we only have one rake.  So, get me another one. Get a big one, not a skimpy one," I said.

We have a maple tree out front that has officially shed all of its leaves and I was past due on raking them all up. With some of the things we've had going on, I just did not have the chance to do it. Daughter said she would help me so we set out to do some yard work.

"Anything else?" Hubs asked.

"Yes, " I said, "Get some Windex outdoor cleaner so I can hose off the house and porch."

Now the reason Hubs was going to Wal-mart was to get clips to hang lights on our house.  Saturday was the only day he could hang lights (yes, the calendar is that full around here) and be able to enjoy the lights in time for Christmas. 

Since Hubs was hanging lights on the house, I wanted to be sure the front porch was hosed off. We keep our porch light on at night and all the bugs in Florida are attracted to it.  The little, green tree frogs love it, but it sure is an eyesore when the bugs decide to choose the porch as their final resting place. 

When Hubs told me he needed to buy clips, I was pretty certain we already had some.  He said he couldn't find them, and with all the moving we do, I wondered if they were lost.

He left for Wal-mart and I cleaned house.  I still wondered if I could find the clips in the Christmas boxes, so I searched through all the plastic containers in the garage. There they were in a sandwich bag amongst the ceramic Christmas houses, which made PERFECT sense.  (Wonder who packed that? Ahem. Me.)

So I texted Hubs to tell him I found the clips, but he decided to get extra anyway.

He is very thorough and prepared.  He used to be a boy scout.

Our roof line is very steep and apparently our ladder doesn't reach to the gutters over the garage.  So Hubs had to repel down the roof in a makeshift harness in order to hang the lights.  I reminded Daughter that this was how much her Daddy loves her while praying to the Good Lord above that he wouldn't fall off the house. 

Meanwhile Daughter and I raked the front yard. Thankfully there is only one maple tree and a small magnolia, so it didn't take all afternoon. By the time we were finished Hubs had hung the lights on the house, but I still had not hosed off the porch.

I asked him if it was safe to still clean the porch after he had put all the lights on and he reassured me it was.  When I was finished I plugged in the house lights to see the results.

Nothing.  Nada.

I jiggled wires and plugs and tried again.

Still nothing.

I stuck my head inside the house and said,"The little lights aren't twinkling."

There was a chuckle from inside.

"No, seriously, the little lights aren't twinkling."

Hubs got up from the sofa to check everything and said it was probably because the wires were all wet. He flipped circuit breakers and switches.  Still nothing.

Hubs had tested the lights when he was done, but now that I had hosed the porch, they didn't work.
I felt terrible, but he assured me that I had not ruined the Christmas lights that he had so diligently and dangerously hung on the house.  He said everything just had to dry out.

I am happy to report that the Christmas lights are now functioning. We did, however, discover that the outdoor outlet is not.  That may require a call to the electrician and possibly a repair. I am fine with that and just relieved I didn't ruin the Christmas lights.

I'm pretty sure Hubs has retired the homemade harness and doesn't plan to repel down the roof any time soon.

Except for when he has to take the lights all down...  

Friday, December 07, 2012


Lately it seems that I just can't get enough grits.  Maybe it's because it's turned cold or maybe it's because I'm just strange. Either way, I have eaten my share of grits in the last few weeks. (I type this as they simmer on the stove, so forgive me if this is short.)

Grits are one of my comfort foods. Everyone has their own comfort food- mashed potatoes, oatmeal, beef stew, chicken soup. Grits are mine.  Plus, Thai green curry chicken, which is another story, but thank you, Favorite Thai Restaurant.  Thank you.

Now, where was I?

Oh, yes. Grits.  (I have to hurry before the timer goes off.)

Every time I take a bite of grits it reminds me of home and childhood, or the smell of the gas stove in Mama's kitchen.  On chilly mornings, Mama always turned the oven on and slightly opened the oven door. It quickly warmed the kitchen, in addition to our household heating system.  I can remember the smell of a warming oven as I sat there at the table and ate breakfast. 


Sometimes Mama fried an egg for me and I mixed them in.  (If you've never tried this, don't judge. It's yummy.) Sometimes I actually put ketchup on my grits, without the egg, of course.  I still don't remember why I ever put ketchup on them because I sure don't do that now, but my only guess is that I was a kid and put ketchup on everything. 

Grits also make me think of fried catfish and good hush puppies. A lot of people in the South eat grits with their fish.  Most of the time it's cheese grits, but sometimes they're plain.  Grits and fish just go together.  Much better than grits and ketchup, I might add.

Oh, my time is up! The grits are ready.

While I check the stove, please let me know about your comfort foods and what memories they bring up.  I'm going to fix myself a bowl of grits.  This time I think I'll just add butter.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Just Living The Dream

Well, I have about ten, count them, ten posts in the "draft" stage.  I have developed this new habit of writing something and then not finishing it.  The post gets stashed into the draft stage to collect grammatical dust bunnies. 

I'm not even sure grammatical is a word.

So I decided that this morning I am going to just write and write 'til my little heart's content and not worry about grammar or anything.

(I may still twitch a little.)

It has been science fair time at our house.  Lucky for me, Daughter did not choose anything related to dead crabs or red snapper scraps.  If you are new here, that is a reference to last year's fair when my kid's project involved soaking fish bones, chicken bones, crab shells, and oyster shells in vinegar.  I didn't really want her to be handling raw fish, so I volunteered to help "prepare the specimens,"  one of which was a blue crab which had gone very, very bad.

This is also when I decided to give up my lifelong dream of becoming a fishmonger.

I'm still trying to get over it.

This year Daughter decided to test amounts of gluten in a variety of baking flours.  And guess what!  Flour does not stink up the kitchen!  GLORY!

It does, however, seem to float in the air and land all over the place like inside kitchen drawers and down cabinet doors. She did her best to clean up, but I was finding flour in the kitchen for days. The thing about flour is that when you try to clean it up it just makes a paste.  Then you have to clean up the paste, but you can't let it dry because then it hardens and you have to flake it off and...

There goes my other lifelong dream of becoming a baker.

The other thing I've been trying to do is keep warm.  Last week it dipped below 50 degrees here several times and I was freezing.  I am also 80 years old.  Really, it's a good thing we live in Florida.

My feet are always cold and I wear my fuzzy slippers around the house. They were a gift from Daughter last Christmas and they are quite toasty. I wear them with pretty much everything while I'm at home.

In fact, it's a little chilly right now. It may have just dipped below 70 in the house.

So I think I'll search for my fuzzy slippers.

And also re-evaluate my other lifelong dream of becoming a fashion icon.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Well, at least we're stocked up on beef jerky.

We managed to dodge the worst impact of Hurricane Isaac. I wish I could say the same for folks west of us.  Having lived through a few hurricanes and tropical storms, I really sympathize with the victims of Isaac.  People are still battling the storm and they are in our thoughts and prayers.

Our little panhandle, on the other hand, only had a lot of wind and rain.  There are a few scattered areas of flooding, but for the most part, we made it through completely fine. 

The surf along the Gulf of Mexico was incredible.  It looked like someone took a big ole' spoon and just stirred it up with water lapping onto roadways, boardwalks, and roadways.  The water out there is powerful and the huge waves are a reminder that it should be respected.

On a lighter note, we are fully equipped for the next storm or any other emergency which requires canned tuna, chicken, soup and bottled water. Oh, and let's not forget peanut butter.  I believe anyone could survive for weeks on end with a jar of peanut butter and a spoon. (At least, that's what I tell myself when I eat it from the jar.)

What about y'all?  Any of you dealing with the storm?  We'll keep you in our prayers.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Heavy Rain and Wind

My family is glued to The Weather Channel.

We're prepping for Mr. Isaac.  It looks like we will miss a direct hit, but they don't know exactly where it is headed, so we are getting prepared.  (A lesson Floridians learn after they've lived here for a while.)

I'm stocked up on water, gasoline, and food items we don't normally eat unless faced with catostrophic weather.  (I am convinced Hubs secretly likes preparing for storms so he can buy beef jerky.)

I'll check in from time to time to give y'all updates, as long as we have power.  For now, we are almost all boarded up with our hurricane shutters, I have all of our special keepsakes set aside to take with us if we need to leave (or if the roof leaks and they need to go in plastic bags,) and I have almost all of my errands complete. Better safe, than sorry.

All kidding aside, let's keep the folks in the path of the storm in our prayers.

Thanks, y'all! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Pass The Turkey and Sunscreen

I cooked a turkey yesterday.  Yes, a whole turkey.  I was getting tired of the same old thing and as I browsed the grocery store to find something new and interesting, I thought, "HEY! TURKEY! It's not just for Thanksgiving!"

So I brought it home, thawed it in the frig., and roasted it. 

When I explained to Hubs that we were having turkey for dinner and that I decided it was perfectly okay to have it for more than just Thanksgiving, he said, "YAY! Thanksgiving!"

That's when I put on the brakes and said, "Whoa, whoa, whoa! We're just having turkey and regular vegetables, not the rest of it."

"No dressing?  No cranberry?  No sweet potatoes?" he said.

"Nope.  Just green beans, carrots, and mac n' cheese," I told him, "If you have all that other stuff all the time then it isn't special on Thanksgiving."

Which was partly truly but mostly a lie.  The real reason I only cook all of that once a year is because it takes me nearly TWO WHOLE DAYS. 

I make my own corn bread, let it dry out a bit, then mix up the dressing, etc.  I also make my own cranberry sauce, which is actually pretty easy, but don't tell anyone. I usually make three pies, which use store bought crust, but the ingredients are all homemade. The sweet potatoes come from a can, but my souffle takes two cans, which means I have to use the can opener twice.  Hello, sharp edges! (Not really, we have one of those safety can openers after Hubs' unfortunate thumb injury, but go with me here. Thanksgiving is a lot of work and dangerous.)

The turkey turned out pretty good.  I bought a Publix turkey which I must say was not as good as Butterball, but you aren't here to read my turkey reviews, are you? (Snoozeville.)  Check back next week when I review instant rice brands.

On Saturday we went to the beach and collected shells.  It had rained that day and rain storms always precede good shelling.  We were lucky enough to have a green flag, which means the waters are calm.  Our beaches have a flag system alerting swimmers about the surf conditions.  Rarely do we have a green flag, so we were excited to see it.  Daughter and I managed to find a lot of shells, which we always declare "Jackpot!"  My favorites are the olives. and the kitten paws.  (I'm no expert. We have shell books at home.)

I am hoping to squeeze in some more beach days.  With school quickly approaching on the calendar, I am trying to use all of our time wisely, which is why I've spent the last hour browsing the Internet and watching HGTV. 

As for today, it will be spent deciding what to do with all this leftover turkey.


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Random List of Coffee, Sports, and Genius Desserts

It has been a bit busy at our house, so today's post is going to have to be in list form.  I do love the list form.  It's always there for me in a pinch, just like tacos for dinner (which we just had, by the way.)

1.  My husband and daughter love soccer.  I don't love or hate it, but I still don't understand it.  For example, how can they not have regulation sized fields? Can you imagine?  You train and train to run one length or width of the field and then show up for a game and the field is much larger.  It's like training for a 5k and showing up to a 7k race.  I don't get it.

2.  The running has nearly come to a halt this summer, but I am getting back into it.  I need to form a school year routine AND a summer routine. The school year routine involved me taking Daughter to school in my running clothes and returning home to immediately grabbing my ipod and running out the door.  The summer routine involves me waking up pretty much whenever I want and staying in my housecoat until I notice it is nearly lunch time. 

3.  This list form is really just short paragraphs so far.

4.  My Keurig is misbehaving.  I used too much Florida tap water and now the minerals are interfering with that pleasant coffee mug I love each morning.  I have descaled and descaled and it is still not working right.  I may end up having to buy a new one.  Anyone know of a sale?

5.  I just made Mary B's biscuits for Daughter.  The first two were ruint because I was online and not paying attention.  The second two made it out of the oven in time and are currently slathered in pumpkin and apple butters.  (If you haven't tried pumpkin butter, you don't know what you are missing.  It's like a little taste of Thanksgiving any time of the year.)

6.  I am really tired of struggling to find good books for Daughter.  They are either fun, light, and of little literary quality or full of dark material and written well. 

7.  Has anyone seen the little post-it notes that have sarcastic themes?  I found some at the book store.  My favorite one is "Paper Email." Think about it.
The one I have currently by our phone in the kitchen is labeled "Complaint" and is in the format of a message pad with boxes to check for who is at fault, what the desired outcome is, and who is the complainant.
If you haven't seen them, they are hysterical.  If I were on the ball and not on my summer routine, I'd leave you a link here to see them. 

8.  I will leave this little list with two words which make my summer routine worthwhile- 

Peach milkshake!  (Thank you, Chick-Fil-A!  You rock!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The next step is the Cotton Candy Machine at Golden Corral.

This new blogger format has been an adjustment, and by adjustment, I mean it has grated on my last nerve.

I don't do well with change. Just now I was sitting here trying to figure out how to write a new post, thinking "Where does it say new post?" and then realized that the little symbol with the pencil is what I need to click, which makes perfect sense, because, you know, pencil equals writing.

That may in fact be the worst structured sentence known to man, but cut me some slack, people. I am stressed.

If you don't have a Blogger blog, you have no idea what I'm talking about because you are able to live in this perfect world where you don't have to search for virtual pencils and you can just get on the Internet and enjoy life.

But, for the rest of us, it isn't all fairies and rainbows.

Hubs knows I hate change. I remember when we first got a mouse and he was trying to help me use it. I couldn't get used to the eye-hand coordination and every time I would move the mouse, it would move the little hand way over from one side of the screen to the other.

 I got so frustrated and declared, "I HATE these things! Why can't they just let me do things the way I used to?" 

And, Hubs, in his incredible patience, just kept showing me how to point and click and open this window and the other until I learned to survive.  Either he does, in fact, have the patience of Job, or he has learned to completely tune me out.

I'm sure you didn't stop by to learn about my neuroses, so I will move on.

This morning I went for my annual physical.  It was all routine and the like, but my doctor is starting to check things he never would have while I was in my 20's or even 30's.  He asked me how my heart is feeling, looked over my blood pressure numbers, and reviewed what labs I need.  He also checked my carotid arteries which are apparently working just fine even though my cognitive abilities while trying to navigate Blogger are foggy at best.

We are starting to discuss things we never did before, too. We launched into a discussion about cholesterol, things like heart attacks and liver damage and how this thing and the other happens to you after menopause. 

Hello! I am still listening to my Janet Jackson mix tape. 

Actually, I am nowhere near menopause, but the fact that it comes up in conversation now is something I never thought would happen when I was in my 20's. What ever happened to the important things in life like Bonnie Bell lip gloss and the latest episode of Seinfeld?

(And, I am hoping my cholesterol will be fine, even after all that pimento cheese in Charleston.)

Would you like me to go back to my neuroses?

This post is all over the place.

After Granny left the doctor's office, I went to lunch with Hubs.  We had Thai food because it is our favorite restaurant and now that we are old, we love to be in a rut.

I spent the rest of the afternoon with Daughter dropping off clothes at the dry cleaners and making a run to Dollar General where we purchased peanut butter and beef stew for the church food pantry and some dish detergent.

When we checked out, the cashier commented about how expensive peanut butter is getting and that she just paid over five dollars for a large jar of Jiff. I agreed and we chatted about how we should both become peanut farmers.

This is what old people do.

Right after they complain about the Internet,  discuss their ailments, share everything they ate that day, and list every item they bought at The Dollar General.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Well, let me pack some pimento cheese sandwiches and I'm ready to go.

Hubs and I just returned from a mini-vacation to one of my most favoritest (yes, it can be a word) places on God's green Earth- Charleston. 

I first fell in love with Charleston, South Carolina on our honeymoon over 18 years ago and I have always wanted to return.  Honestly, I would just plop myself there on the battery and live if they would let me. But since most of the homes along the water are umpteen dozen million dollars, I'd have to pitch a tent and I don't think Charleston is the type of town that takes too kindly to occupiers.  (Plus, as a side note, I hate camping.)

The entire vacation began with Daughter's plans to visit her grandparents in North Augusta.  It made no sense to drive her to their house, then drive another 8 hours back to Florida, just to make the exact same drive days later.  So Hubs and I  decided to take a look at the map and pick somewhere fairly closeby to visit. 

WHATDOYAKNOW?  I found Charleston! 

I am forever grateful to my mother for teaching me how to read a map at age seven.  To her credit, it was less of an educational moment and more of a keeping of her sanity.  Every time we drove to my grandparents' house I would ask the age-old question, "How much farther??!!"  So, she taught me how to read a map and count the towns on our route. Yes, I could get you clear across South Georgia, even with alternate routes (as long as I didn't nod off and lose count. If that happened, you could end up on Jekyll Island.)

Let me tell y'all something about Charleston.  It is PURTY.  Pretty would be the proper term, but it just doesn't do it justice.  The homes are gorgeous, the parks are beautiful, and the people are some of the nicest and genuinely cordial I've ever met.  We stayed at a quaint inn.  They are abundant, along with sweet bed and breakfasts. If you ever do get to visit, I recommend spending the extra budget and staying in one of them. It adds so much to the experience when you get to spend some time in these historical homes.

And the food? OH MY WORD. We found shrimp and grits on every menu.  They don't serve Jim Dandy grits, y'all. No, these are real grits.  The kind they sell in little bags at roadside stands and markets with words like "Stone Ground" on the side.  Hubs had shrimp and grits for dinner one night and I had a huge bowl of cheese grits at the Farmer's Market that will make you slap your mama.

(May I just say that my pantry is full of Jim Dandy grits and they are a respectable choice in my home, but when I can get some good stone ground ones, you know I enjoy them.)

There's something else I learned about Charlestonians. 

They love their pimento cheese. 

It was on everything. 

Pimento cheese and fried green tomatoes, pimento cheese on filet mignon, and pimento cheese sandwiches, of course.  I mean, I love pimento cheese, but I have never seen it served in so many ways. After three days, I finally gave in to the pimento cheese craze and decided to have it on my hamburger.  Y'all know what? The folks of Charleston are onto something. It was delicious.  I will never look at a pimento cheese recipe the same way again.  It may, in fact, be my new condiment.

One of my favorite parts of the trip was walking along the Waterfront Park. They have porch swings along the water where you can rest and watch the boats come and go.  The hostess at the inn recommended it as a way to cool off at the end of the day and I'm glad she shared it with us. 

I am starting to feel like this is sounding like a travel blog, but y'all, Charleston is really one of my most favoritest places on God's green Earth.

Now if I could just win umpteen million dollars or learn to live in a tent...

Here are a few of our favs from our recent trip-

Charleston Waterfront Park
Amen Street Raw Bar and Grill (oysters and fresh seafood)
Poe's Tavern (Yummy beach burgers for lunch. Try the pimento cheese)
Farmer's Market (local farmers, artisans and delicious food vendors)
The Market (local vendors all in one spot)
Belgian Gelato (try it "Belgian style" with Belgian chocolate and whipped cream. HEAVEN.)
Sullivan's Island (quiet beach with locals and lovely homes, no condos)
The Battery (take a drive or ride your bike)
Charleston Tea Plantation (the only one in the country)

Also, check out Fort Sumter, USS Yorktown, and Drake Hall.  We visited all of them on our honeymoon many moons ago and they all are rich in history. There are tons of historical homes as well.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Where's my umbrella and please pass the fried potatoes.

In case you haven't heard, there is a tropical storm pretty much parked in the Gulf of Mexico right now. One morning I wake up and it is headed to Texas. The next day I wake up and it is headed straight for Florida. I've decided there's just one thing to do. Don't wake up.

Storms aren't new for us.  We've lived in Florida for over half of our marriage.  I've hunkered down for tropical depressions, storms, and quite a few hurricanes.  Each summer we buy jars of peanut butter and jugs of water (to wash down the peanut butter.) We have packed up the pictures and the pets and evacuated on more than one occasion. Storms are part of life on the gulf coast. So, you'd think I'd be used to it by now.


Although I don't think this storm will be a big one (what do I know?) I feel a little unprepared. As I type this I have only half a jug of water and a partially eaten jar of Peter Pan. Debby doesn't seem to be the kind of storm which warrants a power trip to Wal-mart, but my OCD personality wants to be prepared. To tell the truth, if it doesn't start moving, we may need an ark. Believe or not, Wal-mart doesn't sell those.

May I just say that every time I read or hear Tropical Storm Debby I can't help but think of the line in Despicable Me when Gru tells Miss Hattie about his fictional wife's passing.  And then I laugh a little to myself. Don't judge me for my word associations. 

Despicable Me is one of my all-time favorite movies.  When we were living in New Mexico, daughter and I watched it during a snow storm and ate chili with fried potatoes in place of watching the Super Bowl.  I have no idea why I just shared that, but you are welcome. If you've never tried fried potatoes over chili, you don't know what you're missing.  

So here we are in not-so-sunny Florida, waiting for Debby to go away.  Meanwhile I think I just might make chili and fried potatoes for dinner tonight.  It seems appropriate. 

It's a lot better than half a jar of peanut butter and a jug of water.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

It's like a little vacation with cool decorations.

I have three words.


So, those aren't words but actually letters.  Just work with me here.

This week our church has been decorating for Vacation Bible School.  It starts next week and I am tickled about it. We have an excellent group of volunteers and leaders and it is going to be quite the week filled with goldfish, crazy decorations, music with lots of arm motions, and best of all, the story of Jesus. 

You have to admit that goldfish and Jesus is a good combination. It just doesn't get any better than that.

Unless you add in crafts, which we will also have.  See?  TICKLED!

I have a little confession.  Being a part of VBS is pretty close to heaven on earth for me.  There is just something special about entering into the imaginative and inquisitive world of children as they hear stories from the Bible, often for the very first time. It is a huge honor to stand next to a pre-schooler in worship rally as she waves her arms and sings about how much God loves her.

It is also a lot of fun.  So far, I've helped hang banners, paper, letters, airplanes, and clouds, and painted a mini version of the Grand Canyon.  It isn't all about the decorations or the crafts or even the cupcakes. VBS is about the message they help convey.

Hopefully, all of these efforts will send a message to children. One that says, "We care about you and The Bible can be fun.  And you know what else?  What God has done for you is even more exciting than this!"

Can I get an Amen?

What about you? Is your church doing VBS this summer?  I'd love to hear! If you aren't already,  I would also encourage you to volunteer in some way.  There are tons of things you can do to help out.  If you aren't comfortable with teaching, there are lots of other positions to fill from manning the registration table to being the official Juice Box Distributor.  

I promise.  It will be the best week you've had all summer.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Nobody knows the hair trouble I've seen.

Well, I've waited long enough to write something (at least on paper/the Internet) that I decided it better be important.

Let's talk about hair.

If you don't think hair is important than either
a) You are a man
b) You are a man.

Sorry, but let's face it. I have never seen a Pantene commercial with a man tossing his hair from side to side or a Clairol ad with a father playing with his son in a meadow as the wind gently blows through his highlighted, side swept bangs.

Nope, men just don't care as much about their hair as we do. That is, until it starts to fall out. And then they join clubs. 

I have had over a year of hair woes.  Yes, I kept track. I won't describe them all in detail here.  Oh, okay. I will.

Last February I had a major hair issue. (Don't ask me how I remember it was February accept that Hubs had been out of town and was about to return in March which meant that it was of utmost importance that I have good hair.  But, let's move on.)

I went to my regular stylist in Smalltown whom I'd been going to for well over a year, the girl who highlighted and lowlighted me and gave me reasonably good choppy layers.  I had gotten to know her.  I gave her a baby gift when she had her little boy.  I joked with her about clothes and make-up and we talked about vacations. She was a sweetheart and if I had the occasion to see her more often than 6-8 weeks, then we could have been gal pals or just had lunch at cute sandwich places where they serve a melon wedge with your chicken salad.

She was pretty good, but not great.  She tried, so I stayed because I liked her and she was such a doll. And then on a sad day in February 2011 she added just the right (or wrong) amount of lowlights to my hair and I felt myself wishing I could run to the sink and rinse it all out.  It happened before I knew it.
"Ummmm... what are you doing? I don't usually get it done like that."

"Oh, I always put the lowlights in like this."

"Not on me. We usually do them differently."
"No, I always do this with everybody."
That's when I realized that every time she had asked me, "Would you like the same color as last time?" that she didn't really have a card on file for me. What she meant was, "Would you like the same color that I always do on everyone else with dishwater blonde hair?"

But I told her I would let it grow on me and she said if I still didn't like it in a few days to call her back and she would fix it.

So, I called her back.

And she fixed it.  But that was when I decided to find a new stylist, one that would hopefully keep a card on file instead of giving me the same "do" that she gave everyone else. Don't get me wrong. I don't mind having a style like then next girl, as long as it looks good. I just felt like it was time for a change.

I waited for months and months, my roots showing and split ends splitting, searching for a new stylist and being careful to pick a great one. That's when I found J.  She had been doing hair in her house and opened a salon. My friends started going to her and they looked fabulous. I made an appointment.

When she was finished with my hair, I looked in the mirror and was so delighted that I was certain the clouds above the beauty shop had parted and the angels were singing in glory. FINALLY. Someone who knows hair. It looked great. I was overjoyed and her prices were very reasonable.

And then we moved.


When we returned to Florida I just went back to my old stylist.  It started out a little rocky, but I chalked it up to the fact that she hadn't done my hair for years.  I kept going back, hesitantly, but loyally.  I tend to be loyal to my stylists.  I have no idea why, but I think a lot of women are that way.

Each time I went something wasn't quite right, either the cut or the color, but it takes some time for a customer and stylist to get on the same page so I gave it some time.

(I promise this is going somewhere!)

Things just went downhill. I had my hair done and it was bad. It felt overly thin and crunchy on the ends. The cut, the color, everything.  I called my good friend in North Carolina who is a stylist herself and explained it to her. She said it sounded like the color had been left on too long. Basically, my hair was fried.

I suddenly wanted to join a hair club myself.

If you are thinking this sounds like a pity party, then you are right.  A woman loves her hair, especially a southern woman.  We are raised on it.

Good skin, good hair, and a good girdle are a girl's best friends.  Only now we aren't allowed to wear girdles except for Spanx, which really doesn't work as well because it isn't nearly as painful.

The women in my family have always had good hair.  I can remember admiring my grandmother's hair.  We talked about how pretty it had grayed.  Her sister's hair had turned to a snow white.  Good hair is in my genes, even in old age.

But no good genes can help you at all if your hair is fried like a green tomato.

I have conditioned and conditioned and have even had special treatments put on my hair since that last visit to my stylist. (And no, I didn't go back and complain.  That's in my genes, too.)  I've since found a new stylist who listens and is learning what my wonky hair does when it is cut in layers. 

I'm letting  my hair grow and using lots of clippies.  And I'm still considering joining ones of those clubs, only I think if women had one we'd call them Hair Support Groups and we would eat chicken salad with a slice of melon on the side.

And maybe even talk about bringing back the girdle.

Or maybe not.

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's a mystery, one that can't be solved in less than an hour.

It was a typical morning at my house.

I got up, fixed my coffee, talked to the dog, made breakfast, packed lunches, finished some dishes, started laundry, picked up other people's socks, got more coffee, talked to the dog (we have a bond,) and turned on The Cosby Show.

I don't always watch Cosby.  It just happened to be the only decent thing on when I sat down after getting up, fixing the coffee, talking to the dog, and so on.  I usually sit down at some point mid-morning, not because I have nothing to do, but because I have to eat something and it is my "me" time.  Plus, it is a lot better than standing in front of the washing machine and waiting for it to make that clicking sound when the load is over.

After Rudy learned a valuable lesson about growing up, I channeled surfed for a bit and found Matlock.  I have to make a confession here. I got a little excited.

Then I remembered that I am not 75 years old.

And you know what is worse than watching Matlock at age 41?  It's getting on the computer and missing what revelation Matlock just made and then rewinding it so you could hear it and not miss anything. 

I always wondered why they never had a special two-hour drama where Angela Lansbury and Ben Matlock meet in some coastal town and work on a murder case together. Wouldn't that have been the best?

As you can tell, I may in fact be a 75 year-old woman trapped in a 41 year-old body.  Would someone hand me my TV Guide?

I sat there watching Ben in his blue suit explain to a jury why his client was innocent and I realized one thing.  More and more, I am taking after the women in my family. 

I say things like "there's nothing decent on TV anymore" and "I have to sit down." Nearly on a daily basis I comment on "what this world is coming to" or how something just "tickles me to death."

I also walk around in my house shoes whether I am in my sleep clothes or dressed.  It's not attractive, but it is better on your legs when you have to "stand on that hard tile in the kitchen." 

Yep, I get it honest.  I don't know when it happened, but I have become my grandmother's granddaughter, my mother's daughter, my aunt's niece and so on.  And that's a good thing. I am not sure if it happened overnight or gradually like the tendency toward bunions, which I also inherited.

I still twinge a little when I wear something in white after Labor Day, even though I know it is now supposed to be fashionably acceptable.

I walk through Belk and see a baby outfit and declare,"Now that is just PRECIOUS! Isn't it PRECIOUS?"

Then my daughter says,"You always say everything is precious," and rolls her eyes a little. (You just wait until she's 41 years old and sees a darling smocked dress.)

I curl my toes under when I sit down. 

I have to eat something salty after dessert to cut the sweet.

I love butterbeans and biscuits and I sop the biscuit in the butterbean juice.

I like cotton, but not linen. 

I watch Matlock and Murder, She Wrote and I talk back to the television when they haven't figured it out yet.

Yes, I am becoming more and more like the women in my family, one quirky gesture or preference at a time.

It tickles me to death just thinking about it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

And free samples wouldn't hurt either.

I promise to write about something other than running, but I will give y'all a quick update.  

After last week's incident with the pit bull, I decided to run the entire 2.4 miles without stopping the very next day.  No pit bulls were around.  I was just crazy.  I made it, but within minutes there were muscles that began to hurt that I didn't even know I had.  And I took Anatomy and Physiology I and II.  By the end of the day I was walking (if you want to call it that) around like a cowgirl who had gone on a long cattle drive without a saddle or a brain. 

But, by the next day I felt much better and Hubs was quite impressed. I think the word surprised would be more appropriate.  As of this morning, I ran about 3 more mailboxes past the last point.  I am sorry to speak in mailbox measurements but the metric system has always been confusing for me.

So that is my update. I'm about three weeks ahead of schedule.  I guess that would be ten or so mailboxes ahead.

Other than the running, I've been doing the usual things like housework and laundry and taxi service and grocery shopping and watching Rachael Ray while writing terrible run-on sentences. 

I have just one question.  Really, I have many but y'all are kind of enough to read this far, so I won't bore you. 

Who cleans up all the salt that Rachael tosses over her shoulder?  She tosses salt in the corner of her kitchen every single time she cooks. There must be a least several inches of salt in a little pile by the end of the week. Does she do this at home?  I don't know about you, but I would throw luck to the wind if it meant I had to clean up salt off the floor.

See, this is what I spend my time thinking about.

This and the new Ellen JCPenney commercials.  They are a hoot.  They make me want to shop at JCPenney just so I can return an item. 

Seriously, I have fond memories of shopping at JCPenney.  Before malls even existed Mama and I would go shopping at JCPenney in this little shopping center in what they called midtown.  To me, the store was huge.  It had two floors and I loved riding the escalator. 

The very best part of it, though, was the candy counter.  I felt like I was in New York City or Atlanta.  The candy counter had shiny glass shelves displaying fancy chocolates.  Mama always let me get chocolate covered peanut clusters and I can remember the lady using the silver scoop to pour them onto the scale.  Then she put them into a white paper bag and handed them to me. I probably finished them before we got out of the store.

I can imagine how sticky my fingers must have been and how much chocolate I must have smeared on the merchandise. Chances are Mama made me clean my hands as soon as I was done because she always had Kleenex in her purse.

When the store moved to the mall, they no longer had a candy counter.  I was so disappointed. 

Now that's an idea, JCPenney.  Forget no hassle return policies.  Bring back the chocolate covered peanut clusters and I am so there.

Only then I'd have to run like a million mailboxes...

Thursday, February 23, 2012

And I ran. I ran so far away.

After over a week of no running, I decided to jump back on the proverbial treadmill. 

When Hubs got home from work the other day, he asked if I wanted to run.  I said a firm, "Yes," and turned off the taco meat.  (See, I told you our dinner menu is full of boring. However, I am thankful for the suggestions so far. Keep them coming!)

We have a timeline of goals that we are trying to meet.  To be honest, I am the one with the goals since Hubs is already capable of running a 5k.  Hubs keeps saying "we" because he is kind and considerate and doesn't want me to feel badly about the fact that one of my first goals was .25 mile.  (That's about 3 mailboxes.)

This is why I love him.

That an the fact that he was the cute one in my sociology class and he makes me laugh.

So, WE have goals that Hubs has set for us leading up to the 5k in May.  I mean, you can't go straight from watching the Amazing Race on the DVR to actually running a 5k.   There are like a hundred mailboxes in between.

Needless to say, with the allergies and the sickness, WE are behind our goal.  I had some catching up to do.  So, we ran the other day with the idea in mind that I would run as far as possible. Considering the time we have been off our game, I didn't think it would be very far.

At a few points, I did have to stop and walk a few steps to catch my breath. Hubs is always kind enough to stop with me and pretend he is tired, too. (More reason to love him.) I did keep going and at one point I seemed to get my stride.

Then we rounded a corner and out of nowhere my motivation came running at me. 

Two stray pit bulls ran toward us out of nowhere.  Let me tell you, when I joked around about only running when something was chasing me I did not expect for something to ACTUALLY BE CHASING ME.

The moment of panic turned into a moment of relief when we realized the pit bulls were friendly.  One of them ran away but the other one decided to join our pack and stayed with us.  We kept telling him to go home but he was determined to stay.  Maybe he liked us.  Maybe he thought I needed to run a little faster.

At one point along our run, he decided to visit another dog in a neighbor's yard. The dog was not happy about it, but there was no confrontation. (Whew.)  Our new canine friend left the dog alone and continued to run with us.  Hubs called the police to connect us with animal control, but they would not respond after hours. (Not only we were concerned about the dog being loose, we were concerned about the dog.  He was obviously friendly and we didn't want to see him hurt.)

The pit bull followed us all the way home.  I called a local shelter number and was also told they wouldn't come pick him up due to budget cuts unless it was an emergency.  As concerned citizens and dog lovers, we considered it an emergency, but what do we know? We only pay the taxes.

After all the running hoopla, I turned the taco meat back on and we had our tacos.  Dinner turned out to be exciting after all. 

We cleaned up the kitchen and Hubs mapped out our run.  I managed to run (with a few walking breaks) beyond our goal. I'd like to say it was because of my awesome coach, but the fact is that the closest thing to a lion motivating you to run is actually a friendly pit bull.

The next day, however, I had a different kind of motivation- stubbornness.  That part tomorrow...

Edited to add: The friendly pit bull left our porch and was found by another friendly neighbor who apparently found his home. I love happy endings. Don't you?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

On the menu: Sunshine and Tacos

Yesterday was pretty much the first day I have seen a cloud-free sky.  Hello, Florida, The Sunshine State.  We've had rain and cold and rain and cold and more rain.  It is nice to finally see the sun.
However, I can't really see the sun as well as I would like because my eye is killing me. It is all red and painful.  I'm pretty sure it is conjunctivitis also known as pinkeye.  Mine is allergy induced, so I am trying to wait it out before going to the doctor.  I am allergic to hay, so my guess is that I rubbed my eye while at the barn over the weekend during Daughter's horseback lessons.

Good times.

Later today I have to grab a few groceries and run some errands. I need new ideas for dinner. My poor family is probably tired of baked chicken, roast, and tacos. Sometimes I spice things up and make spaghetti. I know! I am such the Iron Chef.

So, any ideas out there for family dinners?  Any great recipe sites that you love?  I am open to some new menu items.  Can't wait to hear!

Edited to add: The good news is that I started this post on yesterday and since then my eye is better. I am happy because vision has always been helpful when one is trying to blog.

Friday, February 17, 2012

I think the science fair kids should predict the weather.

Well, I don't know about y'all, but I do not believe that groundhog for a minute.  According to my sinuses, spring has already arrived.  I wish the pollen would just crawl back into a hole, like Mr. Punxsutawney Phil himself.

I had to look up Punxsutawney.  I always thought it was Pox-hutawney, as in the chicken pox. It is actually Punx-sutawney as in "You punks get off my lawn!"

I like Punx much better.

But I still think he is a terrible weather man.

I have neither run nor walked this week. It is partly because of the rain we are having, partly because of the crud I am having, and partly because I have just been lazy.  Once I get out of a routine of exercising, I tend to get into a routine of being on the computer and making trips to Target.  As much as I love me some Target, I love the feeling and effects of exercise much better. 

I do think I need to be cautious when I return to running. I am new to the whole exercise thing, but so far  I have found that there are a few critical necessities when exercising. One is a good pair of shorts that doesn't ride up and the other is you know, breathing.

I find the breathing part to be even more important than the shorts, but that's just me.

(Besides, it doesn't really matter how cute those shorts are if you are gasping for air. That's not cute at all.)

There have been some exciting things that have happened this week. Daughter received Honorable Mention in her category at the regional science fair.  We are so, so proud of her.  I  have to say that I was a bit disappointed that they didn't hand out a special award for parents who survived the science fair, but since they probably don't have awards for oyster shucker or dead crab panhandler, I guess we shouldn't be surprised.

If y'all ever want to feel inadequate or average,  just go to a regional science fair. Those middle schoolers and high schoolers are little geniuses in small sport coats and heels (worn by separate people, of course.)

The questions from the judges were tough, too.  During the judging,  Daughter overheard one of the judges ask another contestant nearby, "Where did you get your cobalt nitrate?" 

Those were my thoughts exactly.

Those science kids are smart.  By the end of the awards ceremony last night I realized that I pretty much slept through high school physics and that I should give up on my dreams of becoming either an astronaut or an engineer.

And we all know NASA will miss my contributions.

This leads me to my last point.  (Were the rest of these random thoughts points?)

I took a test last night to see whether I was a right brain or a left brain.  In case you were wondering, I am completely a right brain.  I'm pretty sure Hubs is a left brain and Daughter is a right brain.  My guess is that most of you are right brains, too.  If you've never taken the test, just Google it and tons of little quizzes pop up. Let me know your results.

I'll be right here looking up cobalt nitrate.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I blame my lack of fitness on all the germs.

Wouldn't you know it? The minute I posted all over the Internet that I am preparing for a race, I have not run one step, not even walked. It is pitiful, really. I blame it on being busy because lazy is less flattering.

Last week, Daughter competed in the regional science fair.  We won't know the results until this week. My nails are about bitten off with anticipation. We had a brief but dramatic moment (kind of like a heart attack) when her logbook had gone AWOL.  It was lost, but now it is found, so she was able to compete with all of her data and notes about how vinegar breaks down crab shells more than chicken bones. And we all know how much we needed that data.

We picked up her science fair board on Thursday and as I popped it into the car, I let out a sigh of relief. Some people will say that science fairs aren't stressful, but those people are also probably the parents of children who choose projects like growing tomato plants or building a volcano out of a Coke bottle. Not my child, no. She wants to help the world learn why acid breaks down exoskeletons faster than endoskeletons in an effort to cure osteoporosis.  And, yes, I realize I should be proud (I am,) but I am also tired.

In addition to all the science, Daughter has been sick with a cold/sinus infection/ear infection, although I believe the pediatrician's official diagnosis was "The Snot."  Daughter is much better, but from the looks of things on my sofa this weekend, Hubs is coming down with it, too. He had the sniffles and sore throat one morning and he was camped out under the favorite family blanket.

As of this morning, I have this stuff, too.  My throat feels like little elves were working on it with sandpaper all night and I really would love a nap. But, it is Monday and things need to get done.

Too bad Daughter's science fair project didn't involve throat gargles and Mucinex.  We'd all be much better by now.

There's always next year...

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Run, Forrest, Run

I have always told y'all that I am not a fan of running. And by not a fan, I mean, I hate it.  I have never understood, to save my life, why anyone would choose to run unless someone or some thing was chasing them. 

When I picture the perfect world of the Garden of Eden before sin entered into it, I don't envision Adam and Eve lacing up their shoes with some kind of lightweight vine and jogging circles around the Tree of Knowledge.  I picture them sitting around eating Reese's cups and sipping whole milk lattes.

Hey, don't judge me.  You have your Eden; I have mine.

The reality, of course, is that Adam and Eve would have been dining on fresh fruits and veggies and drinking pure water without the use of a filter, but one can dream. ( Reese's weren't invented yet.)

A little over a year ago, I had some health issues which were brought to my attention.  Okay, full disclosure.  The doctor pretty much told me if I didn't do something to be a little more healthy, that I was on a path to a stroke or a heart attack.  Well, he didn't really say that...oh, wait, yes he did.

Up until that point, doctors had always said,"You know you need to lose weight.  Your blood pressure is creeping up.  Your cholesterol is borderline."  They said all those things, and I knew all those things, but it wasn't until someone bluntly and honestly said "All those things are true and this will be you in twenty years if you don't do something about it" that made me think.

If I could choose a word for how that made me feel it be would this one-  UNCOMFORTABLE.

Since I had Daughter, the baby weight didn't really go away and actually kept creeping on.  I went through phases of trying to lose weight and get healthy. I tried everything I knew how, including the crazy protein diet which just made me absolutely hate bacon. Anything that makes you hate bacon is just wrong.

So, with that doctor's blunt encouragement and a whole lot of determination, I decided to get healthy.  The goal was health, not weight loss. I wasn't so much worried about how I looked but I decided that living was much better than the alternative.

I started walking several times a week with a great bunch of ladies who have all become lifetime friends. (One of them already was.)  I started eating better, drinking water, and doing a lot of what Adam and Eve probably did in the garden, except for the fact that I had to get my fresh produce from Albertson's.

I am here to report that I feel much better. My health is better, even though I still have to take medicine.  I am not saying this to be all preachy and tell you to put down that Reese's cup (I had some in my Christmas stocking)but I have changed my mind,at list a little bit, on all the fitness and exercise.

We moved back to Florida and I started walking again.  It is not the same without all my BWBFs (Best Walking Buddies Forever.) I told Hubs that I was bummed and that I needed a challenge.  I started running short distances, as in from one mailbox to the other.

Hubs said,"You should run a 5K. It could be a goal and I will help you."

Let me stop right here and tell you that Hubs has never suggested that I run.  It is like him suggesting that I go to the post office or the library. He knows what I hate doing and what is way out of my comfort zone.  Even in my twenties, I loathed running.  Walking made sense to me.  Walking is pleasant.  Running is not. 

However, in an ironic "Well, I'll be!" moment, I agreed to run a 5K in May with Hubs.

Yes, people.  I choose to run.

Don't get me wrong. I still don't really like it and at the half mile point, I have to imagine a roaring lion lunging toward me from behind the community mailbox to keep going, but when I am finished, I feel great. 

The best part is that when I am done I stop and say to myself, "Hey. What do ya know? I can do this!" (I say this to myself in my head since I can't really breathe at that point.)

Now that it is all over the Internet, I am fully accountable to the one or two of you who read this.  I will keep you posted on my progress. So far, I have gone a little over halfway without collapsing in the road.

5K is a long way to run when you aren't actually being chased by a lion.

Monday, February 06, 2012

A Short Recap of Boring, Except For All The Cute Puppies

Well, it's Monday and where do I begin?

It feels like last week was a blur, so we will skip right over that update and go straight to the weekend.  

All day Saturday we worked in the yard, pulling weeds, cleaning out Hubs' garden spot, and feeding the turtles in the pond.  Jessie (our dog) loves hanging out by the pond, but she always require a good foot washing when she comes inside, or at least a paw washing. Saturday it required a full up bath.

After all the yard work, Daughter and I worked together on the floors.  We made sure Jessie stayed outside for that.

That evening I decided we would go out to eat since all my muscles were sore and I honestly didn't feel like cooking.  We went for Italian food at a new place and it was yummy.

Hmmm... come to think of it, the yard work idea may have been a good plan.

On Sunday, we had church, a few errands, and then the Puppy Bowl on Animal Planet. Hubs is not a football fan (unless you are referring to the kind of football that requires soccer cleats) so we watch the Puppy Bowl as a family.  It is a hoot.  We were able to watch most of it and then headed off to church in the evening.  It is a good thing we have the DVR. We can watch the second half tonight. Shhh....don't tell me who won and spoil it!

How was your weekend?  Did you watch the Super Bowl?  The Puppy Bowl?  A TLC marathon?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

You gotta respect the roll.

So far, my week has included several trips to the grocery store, one or two trips to Target, a trip or two or three (ahem) to Starbucks, and a trip to the dentist.

Yeah, my week is a trip.


I had a regular dental check-up before Christmas.  The dentist and I mulled over my old fillings. They are slowly wearing out since they were all put in around the turn of the last century.  Okay, not really, but they were all done before Al Gore invented the Internet.  And yes, for you youngins out there, we did have modern dental care before Facebook or Google.

I know you are shocked and amazed.

We also managed to brush our teeth using toothbrushes that didn't spin.  It was EXHAUSTING.

Legend has it, that back in the day, dentists gave you a sucker after an appointment. I never experienced this because my family dentist was cheap and didn't even give you a free toothbrush that didn't spin.

However, my many trips to the bank on Saturday mornings with mama made up for it because the teller always gave me a sucker.  So, even though I had to change out of my Scooby Doo pajamas to get ready for our bank errand, I was happy. (Yes, we actually went to the bank to do our banking as opposed to doing everything online.  Free candy! See what you're missing?)

Yesterday I took Daughter to school and headed to my dentist appointment to have two of my fillings replaced.  The truth is, I dreaded it, but having them replaced now is better than biting into a walnut from a spoonful of Chunky Monkey and completely ruining a Ben and Jerry's moment.

I am proactive about my Ben and Jerry's moments.

When I arrived at the dentist office, I went to the ladies' room.  I also needed to brush my teeth since  I'd been sipping coffee in the car.  After I used the facilities, I stood in the mirror, applied some lipstick and decided I should turn around and check if my sweater was pulled down in the back.

My sweater looked fine, but there was another problem.

There in the mirror was a long piece of toilet paper stuck into the waistband of my jeans.  I looked like I had a tail made of Charmin Ultra Soft.

I quickly averted disaster and removed it.  Then I thanked the good Lord above that I had looked in the mirror. I could just imagine myself walking down the hall to the dentist chair with a tail of toilet paper gloriously trailing behind.

As soon as I finished brushing my teeth and thanking God for saving me from embarrassment, I headed to the waiting room. Before I could even get settled, they called me back.

I'll spare you the dental details. You will be happy to know my fillings were replaced without incident.  Other than the fact that I was numb for half the day and probably drooling without knowing it, I am one step closer to being able to eat Chunky Monkey worry free.

And, let's face it, drooling is still better than a Charmin tail.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Scully, is it you? Yuuup

I go through television show phases.

Back in the early 90's, I was in my X Files phase. Each week I'd get a bit obsessed about sitting down to watch on Sunday nights, hoping, just hoping The Smoking Man would make an appearance.  Then, as an added bonus, it would be a show that threaded an extra mysterious twist into the tapestry of the conspiracy theory, and I felt like I'd just ordered fries at Sonic and got a free tator tot.

Don't tell me your happiness isn't measured in tator tots.

Hubs rarely watched it with me.  The one episode he did watch all the way through was one he renamed, "The Dirt Monster" which, oddly sums up the whole plot, but certainly degrades the talent and the incredible hair Scully had throughout the episode. 

Most Sundays, he walked through the living room and said,"Is this a conspiracy one?"


"Well, that's it. I'm lost. I can't watch."

"Oh, but the truth (and it's out there)  is that the ones you don't think are conspiracy ones you later find ARE conspiracy ones when you put it all together and then that 's what makes it SOOOOOO GOOOOOD!"

"Yeah, but who's that guy?"

"I don't know.  We may find out later or maybe six episodes from now."

"I'm going to bed."

These were our Sunday night conversations until X Files went off the air.  Then Alias came along and Sydney Bristow filled my Mulder/Scully void. It was a huge void, mind you, and I always found it ironic that a show called Alias replaced my show with aliens. Get it? Similar words? No?? Okay, I'm a word geek.

But, seriously, Sydney was tough and cool, even with the hot pink wigs.

Then Alias just go unbelievable (as opposed to real life Dirt Monsters) and I just couldn't watch any more.

Since then, my television phases have involved 24, and a brief interlude of sitcom re-runs.  But, now I have finally found a new obsession.
Storage Wars.

It pales in comparison to CIA and FBI agents, but I am completely obsessed with the fact that there are people that forget they have valuable antiques stored away in a dusty container in the middle of California.

My favorite on the show is Barry Weiss, the collector who just plops down thousands just to sort through Hefty bags of old clothes with his skeleton gloves (love those) in order to find one odd piece of art.  He is hysterical.

I've heard that burglaries of storage units have increased since the show aired because people are under the impression that there are thousands of dollars in antiques locked behind those rolling doors.  Not the actual things in storage that I would have like old blue and mauve draperies or a juicer from 1994. 

I'm still holding out hope that one day a new secret agent show will emerge from the networks.  Until then, I'll watch Storage Wars, since it is on 24 hours a day.

Maybe one day Brandi and Jerrod will buy a locker and find a message from the Smoking Man explaining the entire conspiracy theory.

Now, THAT would be valuable.

Just ask my husband.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Who is the crazy lady in the card store?

Yesterday I drove Daughter to school as usual, then drove the opposite direction to a doctor's appointment.  Well, to tell the truth, I was driving to what I thought was a lab appointment but turned out to be a doctor's appointment/lab appointment. 

When the lady called me back and asked me to step on the scale I told her I was just getting labs and she said,"Well, I have to do all of this anyway."

So, I thought, "Well, okay, but I would have worn lighter clothes."

I thought it was all a misunderstanding and I felt badly for taking up the doctor's time since I wasn't actually ill, but he assured me that it was fine and that my paperwork read "follow-up."  He sees the patients before their labs, (I suppose to make sure you are getting what you need) most of the time. So, I was the only one who misunderstood and I was supposed to see the doctor and get labs all at the same visit. It was like opening the cereal box and getting a prize, except the prize was in a lab coat holding a needle.

Okay, that's not really a prize.

When I left the doctor's office I headed straight to Starbucks which is the opposite direction of my house, but was the closest one the way the crow flies.  I had fasted for this appointment and completely earned my grande latte'.  That's when I remembered the really cool Hallmark close by. 

If it sounds like this was all completely random it is because it was.

I brought my yummy latte with me to Hallmark and browsed.  The ladies in there are so sweet and helpful. Two of them stood with me as we tested out all the new noise-making birthday-related gifts.  The three of us were in stitches.

There is an older lady who works there who is just precious. Every hair is in place and she wears red lipstick and all matching jewelry.  I can picture what her house looks like.  I'll bet she has scatter rugs with fringe perfectly smoothed out and some kind of cute cookie jar on the kitchen counter.

I can tell a lot about a person within the first five seconds. Including whether or not they have cute cookie jars.


After I spent nearly an hour in the store sipping my liquid breakfast and pushing all the buttons of everything musical, I took my cards and wrapping paper to the counter where the sweet older lady checked me out. 

She offered to have me sign up for a Hallmark card. I usually turn it down because I am in a rush, but my whole morning was off the cuff, so why not throw caution and time to the wind and take the time to fill out a little pamphlet?

She said,"You don't have to fill out anything on the form that you don't want to."


She continued, "You know some people are funny about that, like they don't want to tell you their birthday, but I say go ahead because they send you coupons.  But whatever you want to do is fine."

"Oh, I'm one of those people. I am paranoid.  I don't mind giving my information voluntarily,but it bugs me when stores try to be sneaky about it."

She said,"Oh, I know.  I don't like that at all."

I continued to fill out the form as we talked.
I looked down at my form and realized that I'd made a mistake.  I had gotten side-tracked by our conversation and instead of writing my street address, I wrote the house number and "Paranoia" as the street.  I started laughing.

"Look what I wrote!" I said and showed her.

We had a chuckle at my expense (I blame it on the fasting labs) and I gave her my form with the correct address.  When I told the lady I corrected it she said,"Darn.  That would have been funny." 

Cute rugs in her house and a sense of humor.  Love her! I may not know whether or not I have a doctor's appointment, but I know people. Just don't ask me my address...

Monday, January 09, 2012

Frozen baked goods and '80s TV

I just made Daughter biscuits and they match the ones in my header. (Mary B's, not homemade.)

I'm sure that adds joy to your day. I just had to mention it.

You're welcome.

Thanks for the encouragement and carpet solutions. I am going to try the ammonia/hydrogen peroxide combo. We had the carpet cleaned, but carpet cleaners don't do what a woman can. Sorry, guys. You may have the muscle, but we have the determination.

This weekend was pretty ordinary.  In addition to our regular things, Daughter and I went shopping one afternoon.  I love to check for bargains in January and the stores are usually pretty empty.  I had several January birthdays and a baby gift purchase.

I love buying gifts for people. Along with sniffing out bad odors for large cities (I have the nose of a bloodhound) I have always thought I'd like to be a personal shopper.

This post is all over the place.

And since it is just pointless at this point, I'll go on another tangent.  I've been watching Designing Women in the mornings and they are showing the episodes without Suzanne Sugarbaker.  I love Designing Women, but those are the days when the show went downhill. 

It's kind of like when Laura left Little House.  Television was not the same.  Little House has to have Half Pint and Designing Women has to have Suzanne Sugarbaker.

Am I right?

These were just a few bad decisions of the '80s, right up there with New Coke.

And now that I have taken the bloggy bridge to nowhere, I'll wish y'all a happy Monday.  I browsed Designing Women clips but couldn't find just one to post. Tell me which scene is your favorite.

Edited to add: BooMama posted some great clips from DW. Head on over to see them and read her post.  Let the Sugarbakers and their pet pigs live on!


Thursday, January 05, 2012

The only resolve I have is for the carpets.

According to my trend of not posting, it would appear that we just skipped over Christmas and New Year's. I haven't blogged anything since the Series of Unfortunate Cooktop Events. We did have a wonderful Christmas and New Year's which included going to church and eating black-eyed peas (which are equally spiritual.)

However, I won't review the holidays in detail as it is now 2012 and half of those holidays happened in another year.

The most important part was that over Christmas, we visited family in Georgia and South Carolina. Now that we are on the East side of Old Man River, I am a happy camper who can just drive to my people's homes as opposed to flying American Airlines and wondering if my Purell is going to exceed the liquids limit.

Here's a question:  Who else out there refers to their family as their "people?"

And another one:  Do you also know where your people are from and where other people's people are from?

Sorry for the digression. The sugar from my Christmas stocking is still affecting my brain.

This week I have been on a mission to get some things done.  I have sort of resolved to get them done, not a resolution, per se, because I don't do those (mostly because I never follow through and then feel like a big flop and mire in self-scrutiny by about mid-March, which, is not good for the rest of the year,) but more of a goal (which oddly reminds me of supports and makes me twitch.)

I also should sort of resolve to improve my grammar and not turn run-on sentences into paragraphs.


Here is my checklist. Some of it will happen over time.  I figure if I put it on the Internet for the few of you who read this, it makes me accountable and it will also stare me in the face every morning I log on.

1. Finish painting.  Our tenants left the usual wear and tear and a few colors of which I am not a fan.

2. Replace cooktop. See previous blog posts.

3. Replace carpet or find some sort of magic carpet spot remover.

4. Hang pictures. Yes, it is sad. We have been in the house for months now and the only room with pictures is the master bedroom.  I want to hang things differently which is why I put it off. I need to figure it out because all the plain walls are depressing and not very inviting.

5. Decorate the porch.  It has wicker chairs and new cushions, but I need something on the door. It needs fluff.

I'm sure there is something else that I've forgotten.  When I remember it, I'll add it to the list.

What about you?  Any plans, resolutions or sort of resolutions for you or your people?