Friday, February 27, 2009

Relatively Speaking

I was looking for a picture to go with my previous blog entry...I think I need to add these to go with the entry. Note the pie and coffee being consumed by my great-grandpa Charley and my grandpa by the window...

Green Acres

This City Slicker has been thinking about farms lately. I have been in a funk ever since the cows outside our housing development vanished...a deeper funk when surveyors were spotted...deepest funk now that the trees are being chopped down and thrown into large piles of trash. I miss the sound of the cows' moo as the sun was setting and the air was still.

My great aunt had a dairy farm in Missouri and I have the best memory of being able to take a pitcher out to the big holding tank for the milk (I am sure this is not the correct farm terminology...but I am not a country'll just have to forgive my ignorance) It was so fun to take the pitcher scoop, it in and take it back to the breakfast was so cold and had the best taste to it. (I am pretty sure I could never drink it again since I have been drinking skim for 20 years and even 2% tastes like straight cream to me)

Aunt Myrt's farm was so interesting...a very old house (no a/c, horrors) with an attic and we got to sleep up there. This is an adventure for a kid who has never lived in a house with stairs! Late at night, you would hear the hunters and the dogs barking...another adventure, the bang of a gun...This was when I was glad my dad had to sleep in the attic too! (Grandma and Grandpa had the guest room downstairs)

There were trees on the farm with hanging vines for swinging and my younger brother made good use of them. I was a priss so I played spectator.

Coffee was always being consumed by the adults, no matter how hot it was outside or what time of day it was (I think the same could be said for my Aunt Joanne's farm in and adults at the kitchen table, all hours of the day)

Aunt Myrt always had lots of pies, lots of chocolate for my dad and the lattice topped cherry pie. I guess you need pie to go with the coffee...

Now I see the beautiful farms with the tilled earth or the grazing livestock being turned into housing developments...There aren't anymore farms in our family and I'm kind of sad my kids are going to miss out on this childhood experience.

The Tooth Fairy

The eagerly anticipated loss of a tooth occurred on Saturday morning. H had been wanting this tooth out for quite awhile. Thankfully, her sister, reached in and pulled the little tooth out for her. H was quite excited and upset because she had lost her tooth fairy box (it's very possible I threw it out because it had become pretty ratty). I made her a new box with some scrapbook paper and she was so excited she ran off with it before I could add ribbon to it. There were times during the day I had no idea where the box was and knowing H, this would become a huge drama when bedtime came and it was time to put it under her pillow. Alas, the box was found and placed in the proper place. H had even written a sweet note to the tooth fairy thanking her in advance for the trouble of coming to visit her because she knows she is very busy.

I debated over coins or a nice dollar bill (one friend suggested a "get out of trouble card," perfect if you knew H but she wouldn't quite get the value of such a card). To the horror of this mother, her little darlin' announced she was hoping for a whistle from the tooth fairy (this idea comes from a Little Bear story). This tooth fairy had no whistles...this tooth fairy only had cash.

Morning came and the box was opened...H was okay with the cash but did mumble she was hoping for a whistle...The tooth fairy is going to start stocking up on whistles. There are more teeth and another little person who will start losing his teeth in about a year...God bless the Tooth Fairy, please.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Uh Oh

Last week, I had lunch at this funky hip little restaurant in Downtown Nashville. Okay, just the word "Downtown" should conjure up a clear image in your head for the staff and funkiness of this little gem. It was chilly chilly chilly that day so I ordered hot tea to warm up. Here came the Organic Breakfast Tea...I took a little sip and Wow! Come to Mama, Baby! Where have you been all my life floated through my brain. Pathetic, no? I am so excited about the tea, I send an email from my phone to my email account so I won't forget the name...I kind of felt like Ross in Friends when he called his answering machine...Never mind, I digress.

On the way home, I stopped at Whole Foods Market to buy gluten free indulgences for my celiac daughter, just so she would know she was loved. (Okay, there is a chance I will use any excuse to go to a Whole Foods store, what's your point?) There in the tea shelf was my tea. Heaven. Then I looked at the price for 15 bags of the heavenly concoction...I needed to sit down. Okay, just one box and I could use one bag a day and I would have two weeks of the next best thing to heaven. was gone by Friday.

I looked up the tea online and went to its website...Score! I can buy the stuff online and not drive to Tennessee! Problem, still expensive. Now I am mulling the purchase around in my head, thinking thinking thinking...Sunday, I run into my tea buddy at Church. Miss Emma and I discuss the futility of saving the good stuff for special is short and someone else just might to get to use your good stuff. I decide to splurge...back online I go. I decide to go with the 100 bag option since really...that would only be fifty cents per bag (I can justify anything!)

Today, I am thinking about the trail I am about to embark on...even more expensive tea...I am starting to understand what caused our American Revolution (still can't justify their dumping such wonderful stuff into the Harbor)...Perhaps, I could get two boxes of tea and use one box to fund my new addiction. I could stand outside Starbucks in a trench coat and whisper "Hey, Buddy" to the potential customers...I could sell each individual bag for $1 and the customer could just get some hot water from Starbucks...They save money, I make money, I can buy more tea...everybody wins.

Buh Bye Tazo, Hello Mighty Leaf!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Great Day

This is going to be a great day...I just received an email that my cute new shoes are on their way to me, I am about to go read for an hour before the rest of the house i.e. people demand my attention. I am going to lunch and a movie with my favorite oldest daughter...Life is good.

I just read what I wrote and realized...I don't have very high expectations in life...I bet a really good day would read that my favorite oldest daughter and me were having lunch in Tuscany, I would be buying Italian shoes, drinking wine, and reading a book on the balcony...maybe in a few more years when H and M are's something to aim for...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

H and M

I love my children, I really do...but one child, H has a really strong personality and there is this one quality that drives me absolutely nuts...H always (and I mean ALWAYS) will want what someone else is playing with, carrying, reading, looking at, etc. She is really good at getting the desired object away from the other child...she is very persuasive and can convince the other child that she is actually doing them a favor...if that doesn't work, she will offer the other child the opportunity to share, and if all else fails...she'll just take it! This just drives this Momma NUTS!!! (I keep telling myself there is a career path for a person like H...I'm just not sure what it is...her incessant talking sometimes makes me think she will be a politician...I digress)

There is purpose to my sharing this characteristic of my little darlin'...Yesterday, we made a trip to the Zoo. The first animals we stopped to observe were the elephants. They were just coming out to play since it was a chilly day and we were very excited to be their first guests. The first elephant that wandered towards us found a stick to play with...I noticed the second elephant looking at the first elephant with his stick and joked that the elephant's names were H and M because this reminded me of watching my children play....Imagine my amazement when the second elephant sidled up to the first elephant and manipulated the stick away from him. Elephant number one didn't get upset, he just wandered off to find another stick...just like my M. Elephant M (as I am now calling him) found a stick and started playing with it...Elephant H dropped his stick and headed over to wasn't 30 seconds before H had M's stick. I was mesmerized by this point...My children had morph'd into elephants right before my eyes...and so it went...M would find something and H would take it. Fascinating. I wonder what the elephants' mom does when her children display this "slightly" selfish trait...I could use some wisdom right about now.
You will notice in both pictures H is on the left and M on the right...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Call me "Kermie"

It's not easy being green (still not talkin' environmental...still talkin' stomach bug)...the laundry doesn't go away, the children don't stop fighting, people still demand to be fed...There has to be a better way for a mom to get sick. I am thinking there is a reason my great-great uncles all lived on one could just shuffle the kids off. My dad once told me that he and his brother would start at one end of the road and work their way took a week to stay at each great-uncles' home. My grandma must have been delighted for the respite. I could use 8 great-uncles, a few cousins, some aunts and a grandma right now...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting the Boot.

Last night was Girls' Night. Once a month a group of us get together to celebrate that month's birthdays. It is a night to kick back sans spouses and kids and enjoy friendship. Facebook has been integral to most of the women (stay at home moms for the most part). Facebook keeps one from feeling isolated from friends at times when it just isn't convenient to call someone...say 10 p.m at night...At 10 p.m., you can log on and see what happened in your friends' days. It is great...but there is a downside, when friendships go careening sideways and off course.

Last night a friend told me about a lovingly concerned email she sent and the unexpected result when it was not received well. The person felt criticized and defensive. The friendship now has a strain and there is a white elephant in the room every time a friend suggestion is received.

It amplified the need to really know someone when we email them...without the eye contact, the voice inflection, the body language, or just knowledge of some one's personality, we can encounter an angry response like we never imagined. The Facebook/MySpace reaction when one is angry is equivalent to giving one the forbidden finger and that is called "deletion." That deletion without explanation is a doozy. I have heard that some people even put these deletions in their status updates..."Today I was deleted by ___" or "I'm in a bad mood and I am deleting friends" (true story). I recently read something wrong and responded and I got deleted. Ouch. I told my daughter and she shook her head in a spirit of camaraderie...She said something to someone, it made them angry, she got deleted...

I am old and I am not sure if I am up to this new form of communication. I love it when it goes well but when it goes bad, it's bad.


Netflix is my BFF. Today? Not a good day...did Netflix let me down? Nope. I spent the afternoon with my queasy stomach watching one of my selections. I would tell you which one but y'all already know that my queue is filled with everything BBC. Every now and then a PBS or HBO mini-series might crop up but after studying my queue...I discovered I am a closet anglophile. It is only appropriate that Netflix name the "I want to rent" list "queue."
My very first rental was John Adams...and neither Netflix nor John Adams disappointed me. Netflix was quick to deliver and JA was spectacular.

My best friend, Netflix, is saving me again...I broke down and ordered something not for me but for my son. He has turned into a Star Wars lunatic...and he has never even seen the movie. I thought it time I think of someone else and share my Netflix. My altuistic act has turned into a lifesaver. It is now babysitting my children on a night when I need to just sit still and not move...sudden movements will make greenness...bad, very bad (and this isn't the environmental kind of green...although it could be become an environmental issue.)

I saw Star Wars in the dark ages. It was a big event. My oldest brother took me and his girlfriend to see it in Westwood. I have no idea if Westwood is still THE Place to see new releases but it was then. I liked the movie...that is saying a lot for a non Sci-Fi girl. (Maybe it was just Hans Solo and Luke Skywalker?) Boy, the world has changed since I first saw Star Wars...there were no video recorders, no DVDs, 5 channels on the TV, no cell texting, no cordless home phones...we were attached to the wall in a place where the whole family could hear a conversation (and if a boy called, everyone knew), no answering machines...(OMG!!! How in the world did we survive and have a social life?) And most importantly, in the Dark Ages, we didn't have Netflix...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I have a two year old house...nothing should go wrong...except I have a 5 year old and a 7 year old who do not understand the concept of taking care of the things we are blessed with...So tonight, my 19 year old had her first foray into home maintenance. Her hair is now wet with water from the toilet tank. It gave her a severe case of ick. Why was she fixing the toilet tank via cell phone with her dad? My children somehow think it a good idea to climb on the tank and this caused a leak. Why, you may ask were they climbing on the back of the toilet...Who knows? They could be vertically challenged or perhaps a monkey in the rainforest perched in a tree being played by the toilet tank...I doubt they will ever confess. Enough toilet imagery, let's get down the meat and bones of this blog...inevitably, when the man of the house goes out of town something goes kaput. Why is that? Let's review:

- Once,when we lived in Georgia, termites appeared 45 minutes after the husband leaves on a TDY. My favorite part of this story was when the exterminator asked if they had "swarmed" yet? Done what??? He explained a termite swarm...We closed the door on my daughter's bedroom door and she stayed with me in my room until the exterminator could do his job.

- We once had a cat, the coolest cat ever, well, second coolest cat ever...He followed me home one night while I was out walking with the neighbor ladies...I may have fed him, he may have forgotten to leave...I liked the cat (even with my allergy, I liked the cat) I came home around 7 p.m. and the cat hadn't been fed yet...he ran right in front of the car when the garage door opened and I was pulling in...What does the world's most squeamish woman do when she has just run over her cat and her husband is gone on business??? Sit in the car and cry...for at least 15 minutes...and then calls her neighbor, her deacon from Church...Good news here, the man used to do taxidermy...Not only did he clean up the cat, he buried him.

- Husband leaves and 3 hours later, our lovely daughter decides now would be a good time to fall off the diving board and hit her head on the side of the pool. (We established I'm squeamish right?) Fortunately, I had an extra towel that day and even more fortunately, I stayed calm. My daughter got stitches...she wasn't so calm.

Next time, we can discuss the mouse, pneumonia and a fish, snakes, computer problems, hitting a curb and flattening the tire, Roo's 3 car/boat/trailer accident...

These are just a few of the many many stories that this travel widow could tell...but Scrubs is on, my husband is gone, and duty calls...I need a laugh.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Tie Your Shoes

I have absolutely nothing amazing to write about but I do have another lesson to share for those who use treadmills. (Fortunately, I was not the one to learn this lesson, I am usually the one doing stupid things) Ladies and Gentlemen before you get on the treadmill, make sure your shoes are tied...double tied. You know the commercial where the guy on the treadmill goes backwards and falls? The poor girl flew off the treadmill (she was running at a pretty good clip) and landed face down, spread eagle on the floor when she tripped over her shoelace. It wasn't pretty.

That's today's lesson.


Friday, February 6, 2009

Today's Lesson

Today's lesson is another one in communication. Yesterday I read something wrong and didn't ask what was meant (boy, did that blow up in my face.) Today I didn't hear correctly. I was on the phone when the neighbor girl Miss E came into tell on M. I sent M to his room for a timeout and set the timer for five minutes. When M came downstairs he asked if he had to ask forgiveness. I said "Yes, you kicked her." M replied "I KISSED her!" Oops. You know I should have wondered how his little leg could have reached her cheek. Today's lesson, listen carefully and ask questions...prevent miscommunication. Perhaps I should just put myself in a timeout, that would be 47 minutes for me since I am 47 years old. (Can I read a book?)

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Devil words...God words. I remember learning about these in Speech Communication waaaay back in my college days. Devil words evoked a negative feeling in the hearer and God words created a pleasant feeling in the hearer. Words...they create such powerful emotions, written or spoken they affect the listener or reader. Words are so easily tossed around without much thought and yet the person on the receiving end of those words might possibly remember them for the rest of her life. Words can build up or they can cut so deep it can feel like a mortal wound. It's funny how a word can really affect one person and have no affect on another.

I never really thought I had a "devil" word, today I discovered I do, it is "Whatever." To this hearer, it conveys a complete lack of regard for the person on the receiving end. It is like being told you don't matter and are not worth respect. I am glad I heard it today from an adult. It gave me pause. It made me think. What are my words saying to someone? Are they uplifting or hurtful? I guess there is a reason God tells us we will have to give an account for all of our words. The affect on a relationship can last a lifetime. Words are powerful.


Today I had an appointment on the other side of town. While at my appointment, my minded started drifting with different thoughts..."When I get done I can go to Fresh Market...I'm thirsty. OH! When I am done at Fresh Market, I can go to McAlister's and get some iced tea. I can see Rob." And then it occurred to me, Rob is not there. Rob will never be there again. I really hate when the mind has not caught up to reality. I don't remember how long it took me to realize my dad would never call again. He used to call every Saturday morning so when the phone would ring, I expected him...and then my brain would catch up and I would realize, he's never calling again.

Today...I miss my dad and there is no Rob, the world is a little sadder place.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My latest tag on Facebook asks all sort of questions about pregnancy and childbirth...25 questions I believe. Now who would want to know about my pregnancy and childbirths? They were torture. These stories should only be used on people that need to be persuaded to never get pregnant, like teenagers. Who wants to hear about sticking my finger four times a day for blood? Who wants to hear about a woman who was induced into hard labor and spent 48 hours in hard labor complete with morphine before a c-section? Is the author of this "Fun Mom Survey" crazy? Who wants to hear about watching Baby H get stuck over and over for blood? Who wants to hear about my spinal headache with M? Geez, women, let's keep our stories quiet so people will actually be foolish enough to think it is a great experience. If anyone knew the truth about pregnancy and childbirth, the world population would cease. Ladies, let's keep it a secret and not put it all over Facebook.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Care Instructions

Laundry time. Ladies, I know the sight of those two words just sent the blood in your veins pumping at high speed...I was looking at the care labels (not that I pay attention to them) and started thinking how nice it would be if people came with care instructions. If my little ones had care instructions they would look something like this:

M. Must lay on your left arm to go to sleep and will rub his foot against your leg until he drifts off. He is outgrowing his need for his four blankets but they will be required if he is exceptionally tired or doesn't feel good. If he gets cold at night, he will curl up against your back and run you off the bed. Must cut tags out of clothing, "They're itchy." Hide chocolate. Use chocolate to get him to take his medicine. If it is quiet, he is probably hiding under the dining room table eating ice cream out of the carton. Kraft Macaroni and cheese is his favorite food, don't take offense if you pride yourself on your cooking, just go with it.

H. Must have a story before bed. Requires multiple stuffed animals for sleeping. Needs an abundance of affection, prone to high jealousy. Loves hot dogs and pickles. Known to sneak crackers and chocolate into her bedroom. Wears some really crazy outfits and is known to wear a hat to bed. Requires lots of art paraphanalia. Sings behind closed doors. Talks ALL the time, even in her sleep.

L. Has two food requirements, chocolate and coffee. Coffee must be Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. Probably will not finish the coffee and will leave unfinished coffee cups all over the house (The coffee is more of a psychological boost...the smell and warmth of the cup is what she craves, she doesn't really drink it.) Requires many shoes and handbags. Needs a backup cell phone. Not a cuddle monster but requires constant back scratching. Keep her bedroom door closed or you will lose your sanity. Will get into your makeup and girly stuff without asking but will have a fit if certain Little People play with her shaving cream. Just smile. Known to fight with her little sister but is basically a wonderful big sister.

And if you have to do the laundry for these three, just remember, Dawn removes just about everything. :-)