Monday, December 31, 2007

"Been looking forward to the future ..."

Whoa. Sorry about that. I really didn't intend to take so much time away from here. But once again, the holidaze just about got the best of me. I'm beginning to think I need to REthink some "traditions" as I get older. But probably, I'll just forget the hard parts by next year, and repeat everything, as usual.

The highlight of this year's Christmas festivities was one Miss Squishy. If she was in the house, I was having a hard time doing anything besides staring at her squishyness. But of course, there were always a zillion other things I needed to be doing, so I ended up feeling grumpy because I couldn't sit with her constantly and soak up what is now past: her First Christmas. But isn't she lovely?

I got some incredibly nice gifts, some of which require brain power to use:

Sisters Laura and Melody gave me a Bluetooth thingy for my car ... brain power needed to "link" it with my phone.

Adam & Brandy gave me a lovely digital photo frame, complete with Squishy pictures ... brain power needed to add new pictures.

And Jimmy gave me a GPS system ... brain power needed to drive and watch the GPS map at the same time.

Em helped me get the hang of the GPS stuff on our drive to Greensboro NC on Saturday. (I went along to keep her company on the drive to the Greensboro airport ... she caught a Skybus flight there to whisk her off to Ohio, where she'll spend the first week of the New Year.) It may take me a few years to get the "newest" gadgets ... but I'm really loving that British woman in my GPS that tells me to "Exit left and take the motorway"! I've decided to call her Patsy. (Extra points if you know why.)


Happy 29th Anniversary to us. How HOW HOWWWW can we have been married for 29 years today ... if I am barely over 30 years old???

Time, she's a BITCH.


I'm looking forward to the coming year ... looking forward to time with my Granddaughter, watching her grow and become who she is ... looking forward to time with "my girls"-- I've spent so much of my life without close girlfriends, but I'm totally enjoying making up for lost time ... looking forward to becoming a healthier me, preparing to totally commit to an exercise/fitness program ... looking forward to a new kitchen?? (A girl can dream!) ... looking forward to a blessed and happy year for my family and friends.

I love you all!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

"She dreams in color ..."

So sleepy, and yet I'm here.

Just wanted to do a quick update to share Frances' official "I really AM a great-grandma" moment.

Squishy came to stay with us for a couple of hours while her Mama and Daddy attended a Christmas party. The best part of the night for me: Squishy Smiles! ("... the grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day.")

We weren't able to catch the incredible smiles on the camera, as we were far too involved in conversation with Miss Squishy at the time, but I'm sure it won't be long before we have it preserved on ... uh ... hard drive.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The weather outside is frightful ..."

Because, really, who wants to Christmas shop in SEVENTY-NINE DEGREE weather? Not me, thanks. As much as I can complain about "freezing" once the air is cool, I prefer it when I'm hearing Christmas music at the mall.

Let me apologize (or 'pologize, as the song that regularly gets stuck in my head goes ... oh yeah, it's too laaaate ... ) for the lack of updating. It's just that I've been so busy. Or boring. Or both.

It's not likely to get any better either.

I'm leaving today to drive south for about four hours, spend the night with my Mother, and then turn around to bring her back home with me for some Holiday Time. If you're a long-time reader, then you know that this year The Visit has been cut dramatically, compared to past years. It normally begins on Thanksgiving and by now, she is usually PAST ready to go home, but not about to admit it. And by now, I've usually developed several facial tics that even a bottle of Pinot Grigio can't make disappear.

This year, sanity will prevail. She'll be here about two weeks.

Last weekend, I made a big old check mark on my Life List. If you have never toured Biltmore House, and you're a history addict like me, may I suggest you plan on doing so? I was totally fascinated by the whole thing. (Not to mention open-mouthed and amazed at the garish display of Filthy Rich. And I couldn't fight the feeling that I was walking around in my REAL family home. Heh.)

They don't allow photo-taking inside the house, but here's us on the outside. I loved it.

We drove up in the late afternoon on Saturday, and decided to stop at a charming little place on the side of the road in Hendersonville, NC called Cedar Creek Lodge for the night. We were sitting outside our respective cottages, for a last little bit of conversation before we conked out for the night, when someone pointed out the "art" in the wooded area just next to where we were planning to sleep.

Uh, yikes?

It was then that I noticed the eerie resemblance between Cedar Creek Lodge and the Bates Motel.

Naaa ... we all woke up the next day, and headed out for Asheville, as planned.

Patti and Michael, I enjoyed it SO much ... let's plan Charleston or Savannah for next year!


One-Month-Old Squishy Update:

It's official. That baby girl owns me. The minute I see her, I forget to breathe for a few seconds. It's craziness, this whole grandparenting thing. How did I live without her?

She takes after me, too. The other day, while holding her after she ate, I heard a familiar gurgling noise. And I was unable to tell if it was her belly or mine making all the racket. Also like me, she can rage against the machine if her tummy is empty ... and then the minute the problem is corrected, she is totally relaxed, happy, and ready for a nap.

Here is a picture of One-Month-Old Squishy with her "After I've Eaten" face on, when she came over to visit us on Saturday:

If you need more All Things Squishy, head over here where my sleep-deprived kid has posted a short video of hiccups. Don't ask me how many times I've watched it, OK?
Melinda! Your comment made my whole WEEK brighter! I am so happy to hear from you! Pleeeeeease keep in touch! :-)
"I'm holdin' on your rope, got me ten feet off the ground ..."
What did I tell you? It's in my head for the day now.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

"Next thing you know ..."

The only reason I'm here typing is to let you know I'm breathing. Life is lots of routine, with the added craziness of holiday shopping and decorating.

The tree is up.

The Santa collection is unwrapped and in place on the mantle.
The rest of the house is in chaos, waiting patiently for my attention. I'm good at ignoring, obviously. I'm hoping my live wreath for the front door is delivered today, so I can finish the little bit I'm doing for the outside of the house.


Weekend fun ahead ... we'll be staying up late on Friday night, awaiting the arrival of Michael and Patti. Unsure of the itinerary, but I'm almost positive it involves lots of talking, laughter, and maybe we'll drink a beer or three. And I'm finally going to see the Biltmore House!

Just like that, I can check two items off my Life List. Last weekend, I went with Kathy and Melissa and their girls to see a production of The Nutcracker. (Mary tried her best to teach me to knit when she visited a few weeks ago, but it's apparent that I need more instruction. Come back, Mary!)


By now, everybody has probably seen the "Elf Yourself" toy on the Office Max website. I've seen at least a dozen ... mostly of folks I don't really know in "real life" ... computer friends, if you will. When Emilie sent the link to this one last week, I discovered that, if you actually KNOW the elves, it can be pretty damn funny. Click here to see what I mean. Jud did the work and sent it to Em to make her smile, and when she forwarded it to me, I laughed so hard I had tears in my eyes. Love how the Allie Elf is slightly off the beat in most of her dance. I wish I could make it our Christmas card this year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Because you're standing still ..."

I've been sitting here a while this morning, surfing around trying to find things to cure my blues ... you know, things that will induce some laughter or even a smile. I found this:

Dancing Machine

Add to My Profile | More Videos

... and now I have a crush on the guy in the video. But he made me smile. And laugh.


Jimmy is dying again. This time, it's not his back, it's the flu. Or a cold, disguised as the flu. (I suspect the latter, since we both had a flu shot 3 weeks ago.) He stayed home from work yesterday, and looks to be doing it again today. yay.

Oh yeah ... Happy Birthday, Jimmy! And Mary, Happy Birthday to you, too! Here's what thinks about the both of you:

Your personal ruling planets are Jupiter and Moon.

You are tolerant and forgiving, always ready to overlook mistakes and give others a second chance. You expect the best from people and draw it out of them, and you enjoy making others comfortable and happy. Because of your emotional generosity, your life is rich with friends, and often financial blessings as well.

You have a buoyant, cheerful disposition and reach out to others in a warm, open, friendly way. Your emotional generosity and lack of pettiness is well known among your circle of friends, and people often seek you out for help, sympathy, or advice. You are always willing to overlook others' faults, and you sometimes overdo your charitableness.

You are easygoing, agreeable, and tolerant, willing to overlook others' mistakes, forget the past, and begin again on a positive note. You enjoy making others comfortable and happy, and sometimes overdo your generosity. You often feel that "everything will turn out all right no matter what I do", and so become lazy and lackadaisical.

Your lucky colors are cream and white and green.

Your lucky gems are moonstone or pearl. Your lucky days of the week Monday, Thursday, Sunday.

Your lucky numbers and years of important change are 2, 11, 20, 29, 38, 47, 56, 65, 74.

Famous people born on your birthday include Amos Bronson Alcott, Louisa May Alcott, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. John Mayall, Jeff Fahey, Cathy Moriarty, Kim Delaney and Andrew McCarthy.

I have to say though ... parts of that don't really seem to fit with Jimmy's personality. The whole "emotional generosity" and "overlooking others' faults" thing ... not so much. But it DOES fit Mary, so maybe Jimmy works hard to hide that side of himself from me.

I wish he'd work as hard to cover his mouth when he coughs in the kitchen. *sigh*

Happy 49th, honey .... it's all downhill to that coveted AARP membership from here!


A survey seen on MySpace this morning:

1) Are you an Aunt/Uncle?
I am - I have two nephews and two nieces.

2) Can you do a cartwheel?
I doubt it. I haven’t tried in centuries; and my upper arms are so weak, they'd probably crackle into a zillion pieces if I were to try now.

3) What was the last movie you saw in theaters?
I can't remember ... maybe "Evening" last summer?

4) Do you eat vegetables regularly?
Ashamed to say, not nearly enough.

5) If you were going to get a body piercing, where would you get it?
I wouldn’t. No, thank you.

6) Do you ever hang out with someone of the opposite sex?
I hang out with my Jimmy occasionally. And my son, too.

7) What is the weather like right at this very moment?
Sunny and cold.

8) What is something you can’t wait for?
I can't wait to be finished with my Christmas shopping and decorating, so I can sit down and enjoy it.

9) How many times have you been to Canada?

10) Have you ever had a reptile as a pet?
Hell to tha NO!

11) What is your favorite fruit?
Right now, it's oranges ... we bought a big box from the Riverside Band. But I'm having hard time coming up with a fruit I don't like.

12) What song is on your MySpace profile right now?
"How Far We've Come" by Matchbox Twenty. Yes, I'm over 35 and I have a MySpace page. Shut up.

13) Who was your last missed call on your cell phone?

14) Where are you most ticklish?
The arch of my foot, I think.

15) How many hours a week do you normally work?

16) Who’s your number 1 on myspace?
Emilie. I'm her number 137. Go figure.

17) Do you have deep dark secrets?
Who doesn’t?

18) When was the last time you were sick?
I guess the last time I was reeeealy sick was in August, when I was dealing with the whole twisted intestine thing.

19) What color is your car?
White. With black scratches.

20) How many siblings do you have?
Two, both sisters. Unless you count the half-brother I've seen twice in my life, and the half-sister I've never met. In that case, it'd be four.

21) Have you ever gotten caught sneaking out?
Nope. Frances wasn't too strict with the rules.

22) Did you ever try running away from home when you were younger?

23) What makes you the happiest?
I'm happiest when everything is going along smoothly in my kids' lives.

24) How do you feel when you see a child at the store throwing a “Tantrum”?
Glad it's not my kid.

25) Where do you want to be right now?
Here is OK. Although I wouldn’t mind being on a warm white-sand beach with my toes in the blue water, either. In the recliner with Miss Squishy might be a nice place to be, too ... if her tummy's full and her diaper is clean.

26) Have you ever finished a Rubik’s Cube?

27) When is the last time you drank too much?
Friday, November 16th. Somebody kept buying rounds of Lemon Drops. It was not my fault.

28) When was the last time you rode a bike?
I cannot remember.

29) Do you have any vacation plans for this summer?
This summer? As in 6 or 7 months from now? I hope to be vacationing on St. George Island, along with Michael and Patti again.

30) Where were you 1 hour ago?
Sitting here, clearing the sleep out of my eyes, and looking for something to read.

31) Who will be your next kiss?
Jimmy and his germs are off-limits. I may kiss his cheek when I tell him "Happy Birthday" later. But it'll probably be when I kiss Emilie goodbye on Friday. I don't get many kisses.

32) Do you kiss a lot of people?
Just family. And the computer monitor when I find a new picture of Johnny Depp online.

33) Are you wearing socks right now?
No - I’m wearing warm slippers, but my feet are cold anyway, and the ceramic heater is blasting away, 12 inches from my feet.

34) When was the last time you went out of state?
In October, I went to North Carolina for the day with Laura and Melody.

35) Have you been to the movies in the last 5 days?
I have not.

36) What was the last thing you had to drink?

37) What are you wearing right now?
PJ's and slippers.

38) What was your last purchase?
Yesterday I bought a sweater at Ann Taylor Loft, miscellaneous crap at Target, and a few groceries at Publix.

39) Last thing you ate?
I had a bowl of chicken & dumplings for dinner last night.

40) Have you bought any clothing items in the last week?
See above: Sweater at Ann Taylor Loft. I also bought a hoodie and some "Happy Pants" at Target. On Tuesday, I went to the consignment store to pick up this month's money, and I found a Gap sweater, an Eddie Bauer hoodie, and an Ann Taylor sweater ... all looked brand new, so all came home with me. Score!

41) Are you a sexual predator?
NO, I am not. Unless your name is Justin Timberlake.

42) What is in the backseat of your car?
A CVS bag with pink tissue paper in it, bought on that fateful "too much to drink" night I wrote about earlier. It was a friend's birthday party, and I stopped on the way there to wrap her little gift. And an umbrella. And probably the windshield thing that blocks the sun when I'm parked, which I hardly ever use.

43. Three words to explain why you last threw up?
Gastric By Pass.

45. What was the last movie you watched?
My last Netflix choice was a documentary called "Wordplay" ... about people who love crossword puzzles. Zzzzzzz. I'll be watching "Capote" in the next few days.

46. Do you think Barbie is a negative role model for kids?
No. I think Britney and Paris are.

47. What kind of car does your father drive?
When he was alive, he drove a clunker truck ... I have no idea what kind. He loved it.

48. Do you like scrabble?
I do.

49. Where did you attend high school?
Hardaway High School. Columbus, GA.

50. Favorite scent?
Clean Baby.

52. Last television program you watched?
South Park, last night ... a re-run about Mormonism (Dum dum dum dum dum). I was too sleepy to watch the 10 PM episode. If it was new, the DVR got it for me.

55. Does your family own any boats?

56. Something you can’t live without?
My family and friends.

61. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
Driving to Garden Ridge for a job interview. They could only offer a seasonal job and it paid minimum wage. I didn't accept. I came home and watched the news coverage the rest of the day.

62. How often do you read books?
Every day.

65. Describe the computer you are currently using?
Um. It’s a Dell computer. It’s about a year old, except for the monitor, which was made in 1710.

66. How long does it take you to get ready to go out?
About an hour, from the shower to the car.

67. Will you donate your organs after you pass?

68. Have you been outside of the USA?
Yes, to the islands we visited on our cruise.

69. Would you ever get your nipple pierced?
HAIL no.

Monday, November 26, 2007

"Save it for a rainy day ..."

Was that just ONE weekend? My God, it felt like several. At least.

Rainy Monday here, you? I'm dog-sitting today, and she has some intestinal distress happening. Not sure whether it was her trip to the kennel over Thanksgiving or what ... but her tummy is not happy. And that means lots of trips out to the yard, in the cold rain. Ah, Monday.


Sooooo ... the weekend. Thanksgiving was everything I imagined ... lots of work getting the meal prepared, incredible mess in the kitchen, and it took 4.2 minutes to eat "The Meal". Everything tasted great though. (Kay and Kathy, I wish you had been here!)

One last-minute change to the menu: I decided not to do the Gooey Butter Cake and made a recipe Emilie brought home from work instead. They had a Thanksgiving meal at the office on Monday, and someone brought this dish that everybody loved. The recipe was shared, and we decided to give it a go. It was definitely a hit, even the Non-Food-Person (Jimmy) had more than one helping. It came without a name, so we have christened it:

Pumpkin Pie Cake
1 16-oz. can pumpkin
1 12-oz. can evaporated milk
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
Mix this and pour into a 9 x 13 baking pan that has been sprayed with a non-stick spray.
1 box of Duncan Hines Yellow Butter Recipe Cake Mix (dry)
1 and 1/2 cups chopped pecans
Sprinkle these over the top of the pumpkin mixture.
1 and 1/2 sticks butter (melted)
Pour this over the dry cake mix and nuts.
Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes or until lightly browned.
Frost with a mixture of:
1 16-oz. box powdered sugar
1 8-oz. cream cheese
1 8- oz. Cool Whip


Oh yeah, the turkey brining ... I ended up using a cooler with ice to house the turkey in the brining bag. I used a huge plastic bag I bought at Williams-Sonoma to hold the turkey in the brine, but after I got it all in there, I was worried that it would leak overnight ... and it was incredibly unwieldy, all that liquid in a bag ... so I used the cooler instead of the fridge. I roasted it slow and covered it with foil, until the last hour or so ... then I uncovered and basted it with butter until the temperature was over 165 degrees. It rested for about an hour while I finished the rest of the meal, and yes. It was moist, very full of flavor, and everything "they" say about brining is true! I'm even thinking about doing another one for Christmas.


Miss Squishy brought her Mama and Daddy over to watch the Clemson/Carolina game on Saturday night. Won't say too much about the game, other than "Whew!" That was a close one. Can't tell you how hard it is to watch those Tigers play sometimes.

On to the BABY ... she is not quite 3 weeks old, and this marked her first visit to Nana and Papa's house. She was awake for about half the time she was here, and for a good bit of her awake time, she was concentrating on the chatter coming from my mouth. When her head was on my shoulder, she leaned back a little bit so she could see my face, and pretended to listen intently. Way to melt your Nana's heart there, Squishy.

Love. Love. Love.


Yesterday was dreary and cold. Em and I took a walk with The Beast and came home with runny noses and frozen ears and hands. That, and seeing a few houses with the Christmas decorations already up made me want to come home and decorate. Laziness prevailed though ... we'll do it next weekend, I think.


Today is "Cyber Monday" ... the biggest Internet shopping day of the year? Whatever. I think about Christmas shopping and I start hearing white noise in my head. I can't focus. I have no idea what I'm doing ... or when I'm going to get around to doing it. Ugh. I hate it. I may or may not shop on the Internet today. I may or may not shop on the Internet tomorrow.

What I am doing today is laundry. And a lot of standing in the rain, holding a dog on a leash.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Turkey lurkey doo ..."

I can't muster that old Thanksgiving Spirit. With only three of us around the table tomorrow, I'm fearing it will feel like any other weeknight meal ... only I'll be really tired since I just cooked for 2 days. I miss my family very much. When Dad was alive, they'd make the trip us here on the day before Thanksgiving, somehow surviving the terrible traffic between here and Atlanta ... and as soon as they came through the door, it was Holiday Time in my head. Daddy loved to eat, so Thanksgiving was a happy time for all.

Jimmy doesn't enjoy food. Period. Emilie hates all the traditional Thanksgiving dishes. And here I am ... with my bypassed gastric, still loving the idea of food but unable to eat more than a few bites of anything.

Still, I'm starting the food preparation as soon as I finish up here this morning. Traditions die hard around me.

I'm brining the turkey this year ... a first for me. I bought the Turkey Brine from Williams-Sonoma. It has all the spices and flavors mixed together, and all I have to do is dissolve it in boiling water, and then cool it. I'll let you know how it turns out. I had planned to skip having a ham this year (see above, only 3 of us here), but on my last grocery run, I gave in to tradition and bought a small one. If nothing else, I love the smell of a ham baking. And it's protein ... yay, protein.

What else am I cooking? I do love to talk about food ...

=== Dressing: Grandma Owens' recipe ... made with homemade cornbread, Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix, broth, celery, onions, spices, and LURVE, baby.

=== Giblet Gravy: Again Grandma Owens' recipe, but tweaked around a little this year ... hopefully improved and not ruined.

=== English Peas: Jimmy's favorite food on the planet. He'll be the only one eating these. I guess it says a lot about whether or not you're a food-lover ... if, when asked what your favorite food is, you answer, "little green peas", you're probably NOT a foodie.

=== Green Beans w/Bacon & Tomatoes: New recipe.

=== Collard Greens: Call me weird, but I love to smell these simmering away on the stove. I'll be doing this one today.

=== Mashed Potatoes: With butter, cream cheese, AND half & half. Oh, baby.

=== Black Eyed Peas: So Emilie can have a veggie on her plate.

=== Strawberry Pretzel Salad: We may be the only family in America that uses this as a "salad" instead of a dessert, which is what it really is. We serve it with all the savory food.

=== Deviled Eggs: Along with olives, and bread & butter pickles on a relish tray. Have you tried Wickles yet? If you love bread & butter pickles, and if you love spicy stuff ... you should see if you can find some ... Publix carries them here. I'm the only person who likes them in my house, but MAN they are tasty.

=== Yeast rolls: Yay for more carbs.

=== Gooey Butter Cake

=== Pecan Pie

=== Sweet Potato Pie

Yeah, that's right ... three desserts for three people. Shut up.


Happy Thanksgiving. Take a nap tomorrow ... it's the law.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens ..."

A couple of Christmases ago, Jimmy gave me/us a Sleep Number Bed, also known as a Select Comfort Bed. I think I loved it from Day One, although there may have been a few nights there at the beginning when we had to get used to the change. His Sleep Number is as high as he can crank the thing ... mine is a 40 (I think), and I'll occasionally let the air out and go to a 35 when I want to sleep in mashed potatoes.

Several months before we got the Sleep Number bed, we purchased a pricey little Ragdoll kitten. Two years later, she's not so little anymore. The Ragdoll is a large breed, and Adam and Brandy's Ragdoll is proof of that fact. Their Bubba The Cat is over 20 pounds of pure sweetness. Our Maggie is a female, so she's a bit smaller ... in fact, I can't remember what she weighed at her last checkup. I think it was around 14 or 15 pounds. But I can tell you what she weighs in the middle of the night.

How can I know this, you asks? I'll tells you.

Every single night lately, I wake up between 2 and 4 AM with FIFTY POUNDS of dead-weight sleeping Ragdollness on top of my legs. She used to sleep, all curled in a furry ball, NEXT to my legs at the foot of the bed. That was fine. Hell, it was wonderful in the winter ... my own purring foot warmer. But now?

Now I wake up, realizing I can't feel my feet anymore. Her dead-weight on my shins has cut off the blood supply to my toes. I also can't MOVE my feet. I can't express to you how heavy she feels as she's dead to the world, snoring and having kitty dreams. I move my legs, trying to make her MOVE ... she never even notices. Last night, I finally managed to wiggle enough that she toppled off my legs onto the bed ... and she kept snoring! I never woke her up.

I woke up an hour later ... and she was back on top of my shins. What the hell!

That cat is ruining my beautiful relationship with my bed.


Mary, here's the Gooey Butter Cake recipe. I'm surprised you don't have this one, it's been around for years and years. It's always a hit, wherever I take it ... and I take it everywhere. My sister Kay shared this recipe with me at least 20 years ago, and it's slightly different than the one made famous by Ms. Paula Deen (Paula's has more butter in it!), but Jimmy says this version tastes better to him.

Gooey Butter Cake

The Butter Cake Layer:

1 box yellow cake mix, dry
2 eggs
1 stick of melted butter
1 tsp. vanilla

The Gooey Layer:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
16 ounces powdered sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 x 9 x 2 inch baking pan with a non-stick spray.

Combine the ingredients for the Butter Cake Layer and mix with a wooden spoon. This batter will be too thick for a mixer. Drop in spoonfuls all over the bottom of the baking pan, and pat into an even layer that covers the bottom of the pan.

Using an electric mixer, combine the ingredients for the Gooey Layer. Mix until smooth. Pour this mixture on top of the Butter Cake Layer.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Center of the cake should be a little "wiggly" when you remove it from the oven ... it'll firm up as it cools.


Here's Miss Squishy this weekend as she showed support for the Clemson Tigers, despite the efforts of Mr. Bowden and the football team ...

I hope her little hand will hold mine for the next 50 years ...

Her Mom and Dad started the whole "Squishy" business ... and for now, it truly fits.

"I shall call her Squishy and she shall be mine ... and she shall be my Squishy" -- a paraphrased Dory quote from "Finding Nemo"

Thursday, November 15, 2007

"Same old story ..."

TV Talk ahead:

My DVR erased Survivor before I could watch it. The nerve. I'll read the recap online today at some point, I'm sure.

I've said it before and I'll say it again ... if that damn writer's strike messes with Lost in January (or whenever it's supposed to air again), I'm going to ... well, I'll bitch really loud to the wall. Nobody else cares, I think.

But yay, Real Housewives of Orange County is back. And y'all, when I watched poor Vicki worry about "downsizing" and giving up her 5000 sq. ft. home for a TINY little 4000 sq. ft. shack, my heart hurt for her. Awwwww. They'll be so CRAMPED!

Then I heard her tell the contractor that her budget for putting in a pool in the back yard was TWO. HUNDRED. AND. FIFTY. THOUSAND. DOLLARS.

No pity for you, Vicki.

Gawd, I love that show. It makes me feel so ... normal.


Jimmy spent a few days in Puerto Rico this week, but he's home again safe and sound. Just in time for some winter, by the sounds of the forecasters. The next few days will only reach the mid-50's for highs. And that's cold enough for me, thankyaverymuch.


Saw Miss Squishy on Tuesday evening ... she's prettier every time I see her! It's a very difficult thing for me to stop sniffing her neck. She smells like heaven.


I've been putting off having blood drawn for my 18-month checkup appointment with my surgeon. Imagine that. Me, procrastinating! If I don't go tomorrow, I MUST go on Monday. Otherwise, the results won't make it back to him in time for my appointment on the 30th.


Today I am baking a Gooey Butter Cake for Jimmy to take to work tomorrow for their Thanksgiving office celebration. That'll hopefully put me in the mood to finally start planning my Turkey Day menu. I did buy some stuff to make a brine for the turkey last week. But it doesn't feel like Thanksgiving to me, so I'm slow with the plans. Looks like it'll be a low-key and quiet holiday here this year. Brandy and Adam aren't totally sure of their plans at this point. And we did consider driving to GA to see everyone there, but then we realized that Em must work on the Friday following Turkey Day. So that plan got scrapped. Oh well, when it's all said and done, we'll eat some good food, watch some TV, and be lazy. Sounds lovely, actually.

I'll miss "family" though. BUT ... there's always an Open Invitation, people. If you can see your way clear, come on up. We'll have plenty.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"It's getting better all the time ..."

Happy to report that Friday was a good day for the new family. At least that's what they tell me ... they still seem awfully worn out to me!

But it was a quiet, low-key kind of day, and they rested in between L'il Bit's mealtimes.

Best news of all: When she nursed at about 6:30 PM, she did so without the help of "The Boob Tube" (as her Daddy had started calling it)! Don't know if the trend continued, since I left before the next feeding ... but I have my fingers crossed that they didn't have to mess with that anymore last night.

Did she get MORE precious and beautiful on Friday? Why, yes. Yes, she did!


In other news:


Well, imagine that. There IS no other news in my world.


Planning for Homecoming today, where hopefully Brandy and Adam can relax and get some more rest. I'm headed over there in a bit to run the vacuum and put some dinner in the crock pot for them.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, November 09, 2007

"My mind is on the blink ..."

Just a quick update ...

Baby, Mom, and Dad are all doing just great. Although Mom and Dad are especially tired. Li'l Bit is in the hospital room with them 24/7, which leaves very little time for rest. I'm going to try my best to convince Adam to take a few hours and go home to lay down today. He's "resting" in a chair that pretends to be a bed ... for what looks to me like an average of 3.2 minutes at a time. He admitted yesterday that his back was hurting.

(Her name will continue to be "L'il Bit" for blog purposes, in keeping with her Mom and Dad's blogging anonymity. Yes, I know I've used their real names here ... and they never yelled at me about it. But I plan to respect their wishes on the baby name matter. Besides, if you're a family or a friend, you already know it. And if not, pretend her name is L'il Bit ... at least until another nickname sticks.)

She's beyond beautiful. And I swear I'm not saying that using my "Grandma Eyes". She really is. And I had totally forgotten how soft a baby's skin is. She is totally edible.

As of last night, she was working hard to frustrate everybody ... she's hungry, and getting quite impatient for her Mama's milk to come in. The hospital's lactation specialist came in late yesterday afternoon with a temporary solution ... a complicated tube system that allows the baby to nurse, which stimulates the milk production; and at the same time allows the baby to drink a small amount of formula, to fill her belly up. After the first go-round with this set-up, L'il Bit was one happy camper. She laid on her back and stared at the world with happy thoughts for about an hour. She even got the hiccups.

Emilie came home last night, and reported that the next try didn't go quite as smoothly, but hopefully during the night they had better luck. I know it's frustrating.

Especially when the whole "tired" thing is still so new.

I'm so proud of my kids, I can't even tell you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"You're the poet in my heart ..."

Welcome to the world, Precious One.

May the sunlight find your face
Even when the rain does fall
And get back on your feet again
Every time you slip and fall

Keep your heart wide open
And always taking in
And even when it's broken
Be strong enough to fix it up again

Oh, little baby girl
Sweet little baby girl
I wish I could hold your hand in this great big world
Oh, little baby girl

And I hope your hands are steady
And never need to make a fist
And I hope that when you're ready
You get one never ending kiss

And I hope that deep inside of you
There's a sweet eternal song
And I hope the words are pretty
And that you'll always sing along

And I hope your friends are many
And your laughter's always loud
To help you when you're lonely
And pick you up when you're down

I hope your eyes shine bright, love
And learn to see the light
Take the time to listen
Decide yourself what's wrong or right

Oh, little baby girl
Sweet little baby girl
Be strong in this great big world
Oh, little baby girl
("Baby Girl" by Will Hoge)

Sunday, November 04, 2007

"In the end, it's right ..."

She's 25 years old today. I was 23 when she was born. She's so much wiser at her age than I was then.

My birthday wish for her is the same as it's been every single year for the last quarter-century.

I hope that the days come easy and the moments pass slow
And each road leads you where you want to go
And if you're faced with a choice, and you have to choose
I hope you choose the one that means the most to you
And if one door opens to another door closed
I hope you keep on walkin' till you find the window
If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile
I hope you never look back, but you never forget
All the ones who love you, in the place you left
I hope you always forgive, and you never regret
And you help somebody every chance you get
Oh, you find God's grace in every mistake
And you always give more than you take
But more than anything, more than anything
My wish for you is that this life becomes all that you want it to
Your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small
You never need to carry more than you can hold
And while you're out there getting where you're getting to
I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too
Yeah, this is my wish
(Rascal Flatts, "My Wish")

Happy Birthday, Baby Girl. I love you.

Friday, November 02, 2007

"We'll leave the big door open ..."

Busy day ahead today ... and it started again at 4:30 AM. What's up with that? Yesterday, I was wide awake at 4:30, and the same today. I ended up just coming in here to the computer and reading for a couple of hours.

I should have put on my shoes and gone outside to walk. Duh.


Emilie shares this picture of Halloween, 2007: Hansel and Gretel ... sorta. These two aren't brother and sister.

The only thing missing is a beer stein in his left hand. Too cute.


Did you watch The Office last night? I heart Jim Halpert. He seemed miserable last night, which made him even more human to me. Although I didn't quite understand the whole Finer Things Club ... it felt very out of character for Pam, in my opinion.

Best line from last night: "The eyes are the groin of the face." It's true, you know.

Yeah, yeah, yeah ... it's just TV.


It's almost Baby Time!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

"Center of attention ..."

Holy crap. It's November.


We had about 3 or 4 groups of childrens at our door last night, begging for candy. A disappointing Halloween, for sure.

Grumpy Old Lady Moment From Halloween, 2007: The kid from across the street made a 2nd appearance at the door, with a different group of friends around 8:30 PM. He pushed his way to the front of the group, and loudly announced, "You'll let me have more candy since I live across the street!" Then the little punk stuck his grimy hand in my candy basket and grabbed a fistful of chocolate.

The smile never left my face, but inside I was calling him and his Mama a few choice names.

Punk-ass kids these days.


So I worked a little bit and finally finished moving all my older "LiveJournal" posts over here. They are not quite as fun to read as I was imagining, but at least now I'm all in one spot on the Internets. In the archives, everything before November, 2005 is the old LiveJournal fluff.


I wish my husband would tell me my hair looks nice when I go and spend money to have it trimmed and un-grayed. I realize there's not much nice to say about my hair, but a half-truth like, "Your hair looks nice, honey," beats, "You got your hair cut again? I thought you wanted it to grow out," any day of the week.


There's a small seed of thought, wayyyy in the back of my head, that I want to start running. Jogging, if you will. I'll give you a minute for the shock to wear off.


You ok?

I know. It's CRAZY. But my friends have started it. They've already run a 5K without me. And last week, one of those afore-mentioned friends actually ran a 26-mile marathon. At this point, I can't imagine doing a slow jog for more than about 30 seconds. But if I start ... and keep trying ... it's bound to work, right? I mean, I don't THINK I was born without a Running Gene. I just can't remember ever running. That's sad, really.

Anyway, I think I'm going to give it a shot. Maybe.

If I can find a good bra.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"I don't feel so bad ..."

I hit the ground running today. Then I sat down in here in front of the computer. And screeched to a halt. *sigh*

I'm not giving up though. I have plans to get a lot done today. Yes sirree. First on the agenda: PAY THE DAMN BILLS. I've been putting that off for so many days, it's embarrassing. Why why why??? Procrastinating is evil. Procrastinating looks a lot like "lazy" to the untrained eye. But it's not. At least that's what I like to tell myself.

Ah hell. I'm lazy.


Have you heard of Freecycle? From their website: The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,142 groups with 4,013,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.

I joined the Greenville Freecycle group a few months ago, and have gotten rid of a few choice pieces of "junk" ... all to grateful folks who acted like I was giving them a great gift. Yesterday I was on the receiving end of the whole process.

I had been planning to use Emilie's old crib mattress in the crib for Miss L'il Bit to sleep on. But when I looked at measurements, I discovered that new crib mattresses are slightly bigger all around, and the result is there are no gaps between the mattress and the crib for the little ones to get body parts wedged into. I really didn't want to spend another $100 on a new mattress, so I was planning on getting some foam and cutting thin strips to fasten to the mattress with packing tape, and then covering the the whole shebang with a zippered mattress cover. (Can you tell I live with an engineer?)

Over the weekend, I opened my E-mail to find a Freecycle offer of a crib mattress. I replied like lightening ... and heard back from the lady! (Which is sort of like a miracle, because things go fast.) I was able to pick it up yesterday ... she lived right around the corner from me ... and now I have a mattress that fits! I listed my old mattress last night, with the disclaimer that it wasn't going to fit tightly in a crib and shouldn't be used for an infant. Within half an hour, Emilie's old crib mattress had a new home. A lady wrote that she needed a newer mattress for her 2-year-old, who wasn't ready for a "big boy bed" yet. She'll pick it up later today. Cool!

Anyway, if you've got lots of junk ... or want some ... check out Freecycle. I'd recommend using a spare E-mail address when you sign up though, since it does generate a lot of mail.


It's COLD this morning! My thermometer outside said mid-30's when I woke up today.


I have so many things on my to-do list, I can't even think straight. Gonna go now and see if I can't get some of them OFF the list. Y'all have a good one.

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Yesterday's been laid to rest ..."

How was your weekend?

Mine was alright. I spent money. Cooked. Cleaned. And now it's Monday again. If memory serves, tomorrow it'll be Saturday once more. That's just how fast my weeks are going.

On Friday, I did the majority of the money-spendin'. Had to go by Whole Foods for my yogurt ... it's been weeks since the Publix near my house has had Fage in stock. I found one lone little carton on Friday, and they had marked the damn price up 20 cents, from $1.79 to $1.99! Those bastards. I'll be getting them at Whole Foods from now on, where they've always charged $1.69.

And I bought a crib! I'm having more fun preparing for the arrival of Miss Li'l Bit than I did when my own babies were on the way. I guess that's because we have more money now. Hell, when I think back to the pitiful array of supplies I pulled together when Adam was born, there's no comparison. We used Jimmy's old crib and mattress, I had an old "infant seat" that my Mom used for Sister Laura, and whatever clothes he had were gifts or hand-me-downs. And there weren't a lot of those. I remember I bought 2 crib sheets, a couple of receiving blankets, and a crib mobile that were "brand new". I also bought a plastic changing table ... because I found one marked down to $24.95. My sister threw me a little baby shower a few weeks before Adam arrived, and that's where the car seat came from, if I remember right. Most of those supplies were used for Miss Emilie too. Although Emilie lucked out in the clothing department, since Jimmy's "rich" uncle had a baby girl 2 years beforehand, and they were generous with the hand-me-downs.

Proof that it doesn't take "things" to raise good kids, I guess ... but I sure am having fun shopping for my granddaughter.


If it weren't for the Internet, I'd have no idea the World Series happened this year, and that Boston won it yesterday. Thank GOD for the Internet, huh?


I've had my little space heater on already, and it won't be long before I'm forced to turn on the "real" heat. I think there's a possibility for frost tonight. (Note to self: Bring in the Christmas Cactus!) It's CRAZY to think that by the end of the week, it'll be November. Last time I blinked, it was March, wasn't it?


Thanks Jimmy, for working so hard to get that damn guest room painted and finished up this weekend. Maybe we'll be in Assisted Living before it needs it again.

Kathy, Mary, & Melissa: You're good friends. Only good friends will fake an interest in irritable bowel stories. (And then they gag when you look the other way. Heh.) Love you!


Plenty to do today, and I should get started!

Friday, October 26, 2007

"So far it has not been fun ..."


Haven't been around much this week because all I have to talk about is my irritable bowel. See how I think about you and your happiness? It's all I do, really ... think about you.

But oh, my intestinal woes this week have been mighty. My schedule yesterday was entirely dictated by "Bossy". Yep, that's what I've named her. She's a grouchy old girl.


In other news: Nope, no baby yet. But tonight's the full moon. I have full faith that she'll come when she's supposed to, but I'm also thinking that I really would like to hold her. It's a predicament, no?


Jimmy has today off work, and I'm hoping he'll get a little more painting done in the guest room. Sure would be nice to have it finished before the weekend is over. Last weekend, I agreed to "help", and it wasn't long before my brain exploded. I don't know how to say it any clearer: I HATE PAINTING. After totally screwing up the door, he allowed me to use the roller to cover the walls. My dental cleaning yesterday was WAY more fun ... and my gums were bleeding.


So today I've made a grocery list, and I'll be heading out for "the errands" soon ... that is, if Bossy says it's ok with her. That cranky bitch.

Friday, October 19, 2007

"Tomorrow might be good for something ..."

Friday! I know I say it every other time I'm here, but damn. Time flies.


I saw this one coming from a mile away: Amy Winehouse: Arrested, Fined In Norway Drug Bust. But after reading the details, I'm SHOCKED. There was no crack pipe? No crystal meth to be found! It's scandalous, don't you agree?

In other useless news, Britney (or as one of my favorite gossip websites likes to call her, "Unfitney" ... love it!) ran over the foot of a paparazzi yesterday just after she got her lips blown up with collagen. And once again, she left the scene of "the accident". Somebody needs to tell her that she won already. Forever and always, her name will be synonymous with "Crazy Bitch". The contest is closed.


Homecoming at Clemson tomorrow ... hopefully the little team from Central Michigan will play nice and let the Tigers win. Emilie and Jud have game tickets, and it looks like it'll be a nice day for some football fun.


We are in the final countdown for BABY here at the castle. Brandy says she can't imagine much more. She's not sleeping well, and her feet are being a pain in her ... uh, feet. They are swelling a lot, and I can understand how that would be no fun if you're having to dress in a professional manner and go to work all day. That, and the whole "I can't bend over anymore" thing. I know it's miserable. And even though she feels like it'll be soon, I know it won't FEEL like it's soon to her ... even if the baby comes next week. Those last few weeks of being pregnant felt like months and months.

When I was pregnant with Emilie, I was certain that labor was only hours away in mid-October. On Halloween, my mother-in-law showed up at my house, saying, "There's a full moon tonight! Get in my truck, we're going to find us a bumpy dirt road ... you're having that baby TONIGHT!" And I'm so stupid, I got in her truck. Oh, the bumpy road when you're carrying an almost-10-pound baby. That's probably the reason RIGHT THERE that I needed a "bladder hammock" last year.

And Emilie was born on November 4th.

Hang in there, Brandy. (And call me if you want to find a bumpy dirt road on Halloween. There's a full moon! Whooo!)


Are you watching The Office on NBC every week? If not, you should be.

Monday, October 15, 2007

"Once I rose above the noise and confusion ..."

Back in the day, 1971 to be exact, I took my Richards Junior High yearbook and located every single picture of David Ragsdale. I took a marker, and lovingly drew a heart around his face in all those pictures. I was in 7th grade, he was in 8th. I was a dork, he was a cool guy. I was 5'10" already, he was ... short. But he knew how to dress, his hair was long and oh, so beautiful -- and so there was nothing else for me to do. I had a Crush. With a capital C.

(I think that was the beginning of my fascination with "Men With Hair", and why I ended up falling for the man I live with now. Jimmy used to have some dreeeeeamy hippie hair ... WAY back in the day. His brother Michael did too!)

But time marches on. There were babies to raise and houses to keep; and through the years, not much thought was given to my junior high school Crush. In fact, except for the time in the 80's, when I heard he had made the bigtime and was playing in Louise Mandrell's band (Ha!), I hadn't given him ANY thought at all.

Not sure when he joined up with the old band, Kansas ... but his webpage says he has spent at least 7 years playing with them. Jimmy heard that they would be performing in Greenville on Saturday night, so herniated disk be damned ... we were there.

For a bunch of old guys, they put on an awesome show! That was a little joke there. I enjoyed it a lot. Especially when the lead singer said, "Hey, tonight's really special for me! This is the first time all 3 of my grandchildren have come to see us perform!"

*sigh* All we are is dust in the wind, y'all.

You have to skip ahead to about halfway through the video to see a little concert footage (and David with old hair).

David, with new hair, on Saturday night:

And finally, if you really need proof that time marches on ..

"I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment's gone ..."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

"Let the sun illuminate the words ..."

Several of the bloggers I read on a regular basis have recently posted their "Life Lists". In case you haven't heard of the concept, it's simply a list you make of the things you would like to do or accomplish in your lifetime. They say that once you start the list, things actually begin happening ... whether it's you making the effort or there's some "magic" in actually stating to the universe what you'd like out of life. I think there's something to this. About 20 years ago, I made a tiny list in my journal: "Things I Want". (Hehe.) At the time, they seemed quite unattainable. In looking back, years later, I discovered that almost every single thing on the list could have been crossed off. (Except for the ones that only applied to the house we lived in at the time.)

With that in mind, I decided to start my "Life List". Wanna hear it? Here it go:

* Go to a Dave Matthews Band concert.

* Go on a "Sisters Only" weekend trip with Kay and Laura.

* Sell this house and move.

* Live in a house that has good natural light ... windows! Big rooms. And grass in the backyard.

* Grow tomatoes and a flower garden in that sunny backyard.

* Exercise DAILY.

* Invite friends for dinner, or drinks and conversation ... in other words, stop worrying that my home isn't "nice enough".

* Visit Hawaii.

* Go to a Madonna concert.

* Organize all my photographs.

* Find a way to visit and reconnect with my old friend Leslie White Adams.

* Clean out all the junk in the garage and basement. Too much STUFF!

* Visit Greece.

* Travel around the U.S. in a motor home. (The closest I'll go to "camping".)

* Grow my hair until I can be happy with a haircut again.

* Learn about wine.

* Learn to knit.

* Learn to swim.

* Become a person who is thought about often, in loving and positive ways.

* Floss every day.

* Get rid of the remaining wallpaper in this house, and repaint the 1st floor rooms.

* Redecorate the kitchen and laundry room, floor to ceiling.

* Read more books.

* Be supportive and helpful to my adult children. No smothering. No guilt.

* Learn to dance the Shag.

* Find someplace to volunteer.

* Straighten out my recipe notebook.

* Get a new deck built for this house.

* Win the lottery. (Can't hurt.)

* Be the kind of Grandmother that I always wanted for my own kids.

* Spend more time outside.

* Make a trip to the beach, any beach ... at least once every season.

* Ride a bike again.

* Ride a roller coaster again.

* Sit and talk more with Michael and Patti.

* Plant a magnolia tree in my yard.

* Say more "I Love You"s.

* Stop settling for less.

* Model self-confidence and humility for my grandchildren.

* Spend less money on "things".

* Start every day with "I'm grateful" thoughts.

* See a performance of "The Nutcracker" during the holidays.

* Visit the Biltmore House.

* Learn to play the flute again.

* Grow old gracefully. But with spirit.

* Nurture friendships with other women. Spend time with my friends.

* Keep my kitchen clean.

* Have a front porch with rocking chairs. And maybe a swing.

* Be present. Now.

* Own a vacation home at the beach.

* Take care of my mother as she ages.

* Get new bedroom furniture.

* Visit Italy.

* Take an Alaskan cruise.

* Take a trip with no itinerary.

* Learn to play the guitar.

* Take a cake decorating class. Or two.

* "... the rest is still unwritten."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

"Because the drugs never work ..."

I am living some crazy busy days this fall. It's so unlike me!

Saturday was unusually fun ... I drove to Traveler's Rest, parked my car at a Sleep Inn, and rode with Sisters Laura and Melody to North Carolina. First stop was Hendersonville, where we rode around for several hours, looking at homes for sale. (They are hoping to sell their house in GA, and move to the mountains ASAP. I have to say, I think it's a marvelous idea!) We stopped at an apple orchard and tortured Melody by making her pose for pictures. Then we headed to Asheville and found more houses for sale. Now that may sound like a recipe for a very boring afternoon, but I was with Laura and Melody. Never a dull moment! When the sun went down, we headed into downtown Asheville and found some food and wine. I love spending time with my long-lost sister. Wine or no wine.

On Sunday, I tried to sleep late and talk to my other sister, only she wasn't answering her phone. I ran some errands, and saw Adam and Brandy for a little while. They celebrated their 2nd anniversary on Monday! I went to bed early, but spent most of the night awake ... Jimmy had a terrible time with pain that night. The spasms in his back were horrible, and seemed to come one after another for several hours. At one point, I dressed to take him back to the ER for some pain relief. (He let his pain meds get low by not calling the doctor's office on Friday. He was warned. He chose to disregard my wisdom and experience in this matter.) He decided to take his last dose around midnight, and see if he could tough it out until the office opened Monday morning. I made him take a double dose of the muscle relaxant, and we did sleep a little bit.

I spent Monday being Nurse Dawn ... well, except for that one hour when I was locked outside, being eaten alive by global warming- sized mosquitoes. After picking up new narcotics and drugging the man, I spent some time outside planting a few fall flowers. That was right about the same time Jimmy decided to fire up a few podcasts of Bob & Sheri and doze off.

And yeah, I was locked out. I looked around for a key in the basement (Which is NEVER locked. Heads up, burglars!), checked out the garage windows and decided that IF I cut the screens to climb through the cobwebs and grime, I'd likely break my neck trying to climb over all the hoarded crap he stores beneath the windows. Forget THAT. And yeah, my cell phone was in my purse, as usual. I had only one option: I had to ring the doorbell a million times, hope he'd get aggravated that I wasn't asnwering the door, and then he'd somehow stand up and make his way downstairs to let me in.

This part took close to an hour. I'd ring, ring, ring the doorbell ... then I'd pound, pound, pound on the door, or the window next to the door. I'd sit for awhile, admiring my new flowers. Then I'd do it all over again. I started to wonder if we might miss the 3:45 MRI appointment, since I'd not even had a chance to tell him it was scheduled.

It's a good thing I didn't have to pee.

I'm typing this, so you already know I did make it back inside. I heard him laughing as he made his way down the stairs to let me in. (The humor was lost on me, at this point.) He said he thought the doorbell was sound effects on the podcasts he was listening to, and he thought all the door and window-banging was me, "hanging pictures". I said, "Where did you think I might be hanging 40 pictures??!!" His answer, "I guess THAT'S why you didn't answer the phone when it was ringing just now."

Dur. He claims all the narcotics have NO EFFECT on the clarity of his mind. I will save this little episode for proof otherwise.

Anyway. We made it to the MRI. Still waiting on results, hopefully today. He's back to work, walking like a pretzel. He says as long as he takes the oxycodone every 4 hours, the pain is manageable. Between the back issues, and Emilie's head cold and cough from hell, I will carry on as Nurse Dawn for at least the remainder of this week.

To be continued ...


Kathy & Emilie: That personality test captured you both PERFECTLY. Wow.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

"Everybody's got insanities ..."

This is fascinating in its accuracy!

The Quick And Painless Enneagram Test

My Score: 2 - the Helper

I chose CX - my Enneagram type is TWO (aka "The Charmer").

"I must help others."

Helpers are warm, concerned, nurturing, and sensitive to other people's needs.

How To Get Along With Me:

* Tell me that you appreciate me. Be specific.
* Share fun times with me.
* Take an interest in my problems, though I will probably try to focus on yours.
* Let me know that I am important and special to you.
* Be gentle if you decide to criticize me.

In Intimate Relationships:

* Reassure me that I am interesting to you.
* Reassure me often that you love me.
* Tell me I'm attractive and that you're glad to be seen with me.

What I Like About Being a TWO:

* being able to relate easily to people and to make friends
* knowing what people need and being able to make their lives better
* being generous, caring, and warm
* being sensitive to and perceptive about others' feelings
* being enthusiastic and fun-loving, and having a good sense of humor

What's Hard About Being a TWO:

* not being able to say no
* having low self-esteem
* feeling drained from overdoing for others
* not doing things I really like to do for myself for fear of being selfish
* criticizing myself for not feeling as loving as I think I should
* being upset that others don't tune in to me as much as I tume in to them
* working so hard to be tactful and considerate that I suppress my real feelings

TWOs as Children Often:

* are very sensitive to disapproval and criticism
* try hard to please their parents by being helpful and understanding
* are outwardly compliant
* are popular or try to be popular with other children
* act coy, precocious, or dramatic in order to get attention
* are clowns and jokers (the more extroverted TWOs), or quiet and shy (the more introverted TWOs)

TWOs as Parents:

* are good listeners, love their children unconditionally, and are warm and encouraging (or suffer guilt if they aren't)
* are often playful with their children
* wonder: "Am I doing it right?" "Am I giving enough?" "Have I caused irreparable damage?"
* can become fiercely protective

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

"Wondering if we had spent our living days well ..."

Good golly, life seems extra busy these days. And I'm spinning my wheels most of the time. Ugh.


Hey, look what I ate on Sunday:

I didn't eat the whole thing, but wow. The few bites I DID eat were pretty darn good. I attended a lovely shower for Brandy and Adam and the new baby in Charlotte on Sunday afternoon. They got a truckload of beautiful gifts. I'm sure they're trying to find a place to put them all now.

And let me just take a moment to say that I adore my daughter-in-law's family. A warmer, more loving group of folks you will not find anywhere. They always make me feel welcomed and comfortable. It really makes me wish we all lived in the same town.


Happy Birthday to my sister Kay! (Speaking of another person I wish lived closer to me.) She's 47 today, and I send her all my best wishes for a HEALTHY, happy year ahead. I wish she could take some time off to do something for herself. She works seven days a week at two jobs, and her time off work is spent getting ready to go to work the next day. I worry about her health, and I worry about her happiness. I hope someone makes her smile and feel loved on her birthday today.

Happy Birthday, Sissy. I miss you.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"Gonna see if I can't unwind ..."

Aww crap, I'm home again. As expected, the week at the beach FLEW on seagulls' wings. Also as expected, my kid put up some vacation pictures faster than I did.


What I Did After My Late Summer Vacation:
I drove my husband to the ER on Sunday night after he crawled to the car, unable to stand or walk. Yeah, he threw his back out while doing some yard work. There was talk of doing an MRI today, but his doctor settled for an x-ray. It showed no damage to the disks or vertebrae, so we're calling it muscle strain for now. He's all dopey on Vicodin and Flexeril, the lucky dawg.


We did have a marvelous time with The Gang at the beach. My sister Kay and her kiddos Josh and Beth were there, along with my Mom ... Adam & Brandy, Emilie & Jud, and me & Jimmy made up the rest of the crowd. We all took turns cooking and cleaning the kitchen, which made for a really nice vacation. The weather was perfect, cool and comfortable humidity ... except for the day of rain on Thursday. And some of us even claimed to enjoy the forced "stay inside and do nothing" of that whole business, although I was not one of them. I totally enjoyed the sunshine! The beach was uncrowded, the house was huge, and the company made me smile all week long.

Oh here, let me let the pictures do the talking ...

First evening ... everybody (except the photographer and Beth (who was probably off sending a vital text message) outside on the main level porch/deck:
On the first evening, the house next door was the site of a beach wedding. My goofball husband pretended he was the Secret Wedding Photographer and hid in the sea oats for a few snapshots of strangers:

The Mother of my Soon-To-Be-Born Granddaughter, looking especially pretty:

Everybody enjoyed the pool:

Niece Beth and I, enjoying a late afternoon walk by the ocean. (Is she texting again?!?)

View of the Cherry Grove Fishing Pier from our "front yard":

We had so much fun at Medieval Times:

Nephew Josh and Jud, hobbling back home after being maimed on the Killer Skimboard:

Em, relaxing on the beach while Jud tried a little surf-fishing:

The week's motto: "It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere":

A group shot before heading home again:

Thanks for the memories, y'all.

Friday, September 14, 2007

"We'll make the great escape ..."

If I was organized at all, I'd take a picture of my dining room table right now. You should see the chaos. I've been piling things there all week in preparation for our vacation week, planning to pack and organize it all ... soon. So today's the day, I guess, since we leave in the morning.

This is the point in time when procrastination no longer feels good. The payback. The price. The overwhelming list of "things I need to get DONE".

There is a pot of gold at the end of the chores ahead of me ... and that is a (hopefully) long and stress-free week of ocean breezes, sand between my toes, laughter and time spent with family members we don't see often enough ... and all that jazz. And tonight, I have Dianne's Big 5-0 birthday party to look forward to!

But between me and the prize, I've got work to do, people. There will be no updates here from the ocean, although I will probably have Internet access since I'm going to the beach with my husband and my son. I just won't want to put down my glass of wine long enough to type. Hehehe.

So I'll see you on the other side. Hopefully I'll have a story or two to tell.

Oh! FYI, from yesterday's entry comments:
AWUAFEN? DYTTPOACP? = "Are We Using Acronyms For Everything Now? Did You Type This Post On A Cell Phone?" My kid, the smartass ... I love him.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

"The rest is still unwritten ..."

An Open Letter To My Son:

It was on this day, 27 years ago, that I first met you. (I was nine years old.) You were a beautiful little thing. And I was totally clueless.

Clueless about many things, the least of which was how much I didn't know. Whether my lack of maturity and knowledge damaged you in any way remains to be seen. You seem like you survived alright. But I hope you made it through to adulthood without permanent scars from my lack of experience.

We sort-of grew up together, you and I. My childhood was just a little bit further along than yours. From the day we met, you owned my heart and soul. We didn't have a lot of money or material possessions back in those early 80's days. We lived a very simple life. We spent our days together, just the two of us. We took walks. We read stories. We talked. And we were best buds ... at least until you were old enough to know that Moms aren't really supposed to be your BFF. Oh, but while it lasted, it was awesome.

When your sister was born, you learned to share your time with me. And you did it the way you did almost everything ... with very little fuss. You seemed to love having a baby sister around the house. You were so happy to help entertain her, and later the two of you became the best of playmates.

I was a very lucky Mom, that's the truth. I had two beautiful children ... both of them smart, sweet, healthy, and unbelievably well-behaved. Looking back, I realize with all honesty, that this had very little to do with anything I did. I was flying by the seat of my pants. And the two of you were teaching me everything I needed to know.

I've been button-popping proud of you since the day we met. From the funny things you said as a toddler to the crazy sense of humor you developed as you grew (you can make me laugh faster than anybody I know) ... from the days spent singing Sesame Street songs, and playing your plastic snare drum to your days on the Clemson drumline ... from your first tricycle ride to the day you parallel parked at the DMV ... so many cherished pictures in my mind. It all went by so fast. Too fast.

And now, in a matter of a couple months' time, you will be meeting your own daughter for the first time. I wonder when she'll realize that she totally lucked out in the "Daddy Department". You are going to be so incredible in that role. And I know I'm blessed to be able to be around to see some of it. Add it to the long list of things I'm so proud of.

I love you with all that I am. I hope, after you hold your baby girl in your arms for the first time, that you understand how big my love for you is.

Happy Birthday, Adam James. Thanks for letting me grow up with you.


"Find some inspiration...
It's down deep inside of you."

Some random YouTubeness that makes me think of you, on this day of yours:

There's a comment on this video at YouTube that says this game video is not from 2006, but from the Wake game in 2002. If that's true, you're down there drumming!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

"Take a cha-cha-cha-chance --- Birthday! ..."

Today is my daughter-in-law's 28th birthday, so this one's for her!

Happy Birthday, Brandy!!!
Since I can't top the gift you're giving ALL of us this year, I'm not even going to try. Hehehe. Dinner out at the beach next week is on me. (Well, it's on Jimmy ... but you know what I mean.)

I hope your day is as beautiful as you are.