Thursday, July 31, 2008

WOOHOO! School is back in session!!!!

I just had to get that out of my system! Now, that’s better. Okay, I was really ready for my girls to start back to school today. I’m ready to reclaim my house – I’m sorry, but it’s MY space during the day. Most of the time I’m here ALONE, just me, two dogs and three cats, and while that's a lot of critters, they DO NOT TALK BACK. And usually, they don’t drag out EVERYTHING DAMN THING they own and leave it in the middle of the floor. They also don’t leave TV’s blaring all night long; or invite tons of friends in to eat chips and salsa; leave empty Coke cans everywhere; or leave their Wave-Board in the driveway. They don't write with sidewalk chalk everywhere; or find a boyfriend who has a hollow leg. (Sound familiar Mom?); or get mad because I dare ask "Where are you going in that spiffy blue car"? The critters and I, we have a workable arrangement, you know what I'm saying??

Now, I know Nelson sometimes forgets and has a little accident in the floor. Neither Syd nor Rea do that (that I know of). And every now and then he invites Scout and Trooper in through the pet door, but they don’t stay long, and they NEVER have chips and salsa.

I’m not much on the reptilian gifts that Oscar is so fond of and the southern short tailed shrew (Google it) that someone brought in last week was seen briefly, but has never been found. There have been two partial frog carcasses in the last three weeks, (I think they were a love offering from Vivi). But I'm willing to overlook that because, overall the felines just don't cause me that much trouble -a little hair here, an accident there and their attitudes are GREAT!!

And, Shelley, bless her heart, (it’s the South I have to say that), smells so bad anymore, that it’s becoming difficult to give her affection, but she's happy and she NEVER talks back!

And the whole menagerie, always loves me, no matter what!

But then came Monday, I had to drop Rea off for Sixth Grade orientation. I watched her walk up to the principal and introduce herself and I had a little lump in my throat. And as I pulled away I cried. I came home to MY SPACE, with my menagerie, and I thought: "Where in the world did time go? How is is that my baby is starting middle school?"

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A trip to the doggie spa...

Today was spa day for Shelley and Nelson – they go every two weeks for their beauty treatments. Looking beautiful and smelling nice isn’t high on their list of priorities, Shelley particularly thinks going to Sadie’s Snips is something akin to torture.

Sadie’s Snips is located in the neighborhood just next to ours and when the weather is nice we take Shelley and Nelson there on the golf cart. They both LIVE to ride on Danny’s lovely, red cart and somehow the humiliation of being bathed, groomed and pampered just seems a little less if you get to ride there and back on the CART!

So late this afternoon, Shelley and Nelson were ready, they were finally beautiful and much better smelling and Rea and I ran over to collect them.

Rea is learning to drive the golf cart, and while there were a couple of incidents this morning when I sucked air through my teeth, the trip this afternoon was quite uneventful; she did a really good job. She parked RIGHT in front (where I told her to); right there by the gate and in we went. And boy, was everybody HAPPY to see us!

We got all of our business, tail wags, licks and greetings out of the way and I went out and sat down in the passenger side of the golf cart. Rea was going to pilot us home, but she was trying to wrangle Nelson. Shelley still had some other “business “ to finish and when she was done she hopped up into the floor of the golf cart and…PLOPPED her PLUS SIZED Sheltie self onto the accelerator!

Shelley and I went from zero to TOP GOLF CART SPEED in a nanosecond and went STRAIGHT through the gate of a wood privacy fence. We ripped that sucker COMPLETELY OFF THE HINGES! All I could do was scream “OH! OH!, OH!” Rea hung onto the side of the cart DRAGGING HER FEET trying to stop it!!

Once we slammed into the fence it knocked Shelley off of the accelerator – otherwise I don’t know where we would have ended up! Poor Millie the boxer, was inside the fence, she will probably be marred for life. That dog was some kind of upset!

And sadly, Danny’s beautiful, candy-apple red golf cart is no longer pristine. It is imperfect. It has been fouled. It is blemished. It is scratched, the headlight is broken, a cowling is cracked, a fender is scratched and the windshield is marred.

But you know the wonderful part? I DIDN’T DO IT! THE DAMN DOG DID!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Something to Celebrate!

Dang girl, when did you get so old???

Today, Leana, my niece turns the big number SEVEN!


Happy Number Seven Leana – I love you very much…

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Changes

Today was our second Sunday at church since New Guy started, and frankly we wouldn’t have gone at all except Rea was on the schedule as an acolyte. We didn’t get our act together in time to get someone to take her place; so we got ready and went at 10:00.

Things were very different this morning, our sanctuary is being renovated, so church was held in the gym of the Family Center and there will only be one service until the sanctuary is completed. I liked that part – all of the early people were there, all of the late people were there, a complete church. Sometimes it’s as if we are two separate churches, early people/late people and never the twain shall meet. We also sang several old, songs this morning (more than usual). I can’t remember the names of all of them, I lost my bulletin, but my formerly Southern Baptist husband was blown away by the fact that we sang the first and last stanzas of songs this morning – a Methodist no-no with previous pastors.

New Guy was shoeless again today. Basic black, Gold Toe socks only. You see, he said on his first Sunday that our sanctuary was “holy ground” and that he wants to respect it and all of those who came before him and by not wearing his shoes in there he is being respectful. I understand, (I suppose) how, the old, historic sanctuary might be “holy ground”; I’m just not with him on the church gym thing – that’s got me just a wee bit puzzled. And if the sanctuary is such “holy ground” why isn’t everybody barefooted?

New Guy preached today. Then he PREACHED some more. Then he PREACHED and PREACHED for THIRTY. MINUTES. Now, I know other denominations are used this, but we are not, we are spoiled, we are used to a 10 minute or possibly a 15 minute message, then things are tied up nicely with the Benediction and we go on our way with hearts “strangely warmed”!

So back to Rea and her acolyte duty, she and her partner had done a good job, their candles lit well and they took their seats. After New Guy had PREACHED for an eternity, new people transferred their memberships; Rea and J got up to extinguish their candles and were standing facing the congregation waiting for the Benediction. The postlude has begun, New Guy is still talking, they have taken a few steps toward the back and then he just says “YOU CAN GO NOW!” NO: Let The Lord bless you and keep you. NO: The Lord make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you. NO: The Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. NO: Amen.

And everyone just swarms out of their seats and overwhelms Rea and the other acolyte. They are standing there holding long, FLAMING brass sticks and I am horrified. I have visions of some little old ladies hair going up in flames! Thankfully Rea and J had the presence of mind to blow their flames out, I was really proud of them!

I guess the part of where an acolyte is supposed to take the light of Jesus Christ out into the world where believers are called to serve just didn’t happen today.

And all God’s people said AMEN!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

'Tis a Gift...

I’d like to share something today that truly touched my heart.

The Father –in-Law of a dear friend is facing some tough medical challenges and is in the hospital following surgery. She and her young daughter went for a brief visit today to check up on Pappy.

As they stepped out of the room following their visit, my friend could see her husband, Pappy’s Son, coming down the hallway toward her. Swinging at his side was a large, metal bucket and she could not figure out what in the world he was doing in the hospital with this BIG, METAL, BUCKET.

You see, Pappy has a small garden that he loves to piddle in. He especially enjoys growing tomatoes and peppers; he always seems to have extras to give away (I like that part). This hospital stay coincided with the ripening of his first tomatoes of the season. Son didn’t want him missing out on that – so, he went out and picked them all, then loaded them up in a bucket and brought them to him in the hospital. (He also remembered to include small paper bags for giving the tomatoes away).

Those first tomatoes of the season are now lined up on the windowsill of the hospital like beautiful bouquets - prettier than any flower. Pappy can enjoy their beauty and share them too, just like always.

Such a simple gesture, but can you think of anything sweeter?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Meme

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Wow, how your life changes…I was living in Mount Juliet and still working at Deloitte. Our girls were six and barely two, and Syd still loved Rea in those days. We had a wonderful nanny, Betty, who stayed with our girls while I worked and she was like a grandmother to them. We still miss her.

Favorite Snacks
Dove Chocolate
Chocolate Covered Raisins
Chex Party Mix

To Do List
I keep a To-Do list on a steno pad and I even write things on it that I’ve ALREADY done just so I can mark them off.

I still have the same Bosca calendar that I’ve had since I was pregnant with Rea (so it’s nearly twelve years old). I just buy new refills for it each year..You can only write in it in PENCIL – no INK allowed! Danny bought me a Palm Pilot once and I used it for a while, but I really missed the pencil to paper action of my calendar!

Places I Have Lived

Bad Habits
Not planning my meals and then eating a candy bar
Talking more than I listen
Not using sunscreen

5 Random Things People May Not Know
Is there anything left?
I like to sleep with the TV on.
I am not afraid of bugs, frogs or spiders.
I check the last page of books when I am reading them to see how it turns out.

CDs I would want if stranded on an island:
Ronnie Milsap
Three Dog Night
Jimmy Buffett
Bonnie Raitt
Selection of Classical stuff

What I'd Do if I Were a Billionaire:
Buy a beach house
Pay off loved ones and friends debts
Give money to my church
Give money to medical research
Set up trust funds for my children

Anybody else want to play?

Monday, July 21, 2008


This picture is from a postcard of our church – the card is postmarked 1943. I found this card on eBay one day while playing around, and I fell in love with it instantly, just like I fell in love with our church when we moved here eight years ago.

The deed for the property to our church dates prior to the Civil War. The current sanctuary was completed in 1889 and has dark gothic style beams that stretch possibly forty feet to their peak; they are adorned with curls and knobs, all probably hand-crafted. A row of stained glass windows run down the south wall and on beautiful Sunday mornings, the sun shines in just a bit – not too much, and it’s wonderful to see. I love to sit there during service and wonder about all of the people who have worshipped there before me, about the beautiful brides who have nervously walked down the aisle or about the tearful families that have sent their loved ones home.

Since we are Methodist, part of the ebb and flow of church life is a new pastor every few years. Bro. Jim had been with our church nine years; a long time for a Methodist pastor, and the entire time that we have been members. But it was time for Jim to move on, so now we have New Guy – and New Guy is not a Pastor. He’s a PREACHER. And New Guy grew up a different flavor than Methodist and you can hear it in his tone, cadence and pitch. New Guy wants to PREACH to you from the pulpit, and PREACH from the steps, and PREACH from the other side, and back to the pulpit to PREACH some more! WITH NO SHOES ON (Gold Toe socks only, thank you very much).

So, quite frankly, I’m ebbing right now. This New Guy - he and Jim are like comparing apples and oranges, oil and water, loud and soft. I know that I shouldn’t be basing my church and spiritual life on one person, it’s not New Guy’s job, I have ownership too, but this transition has really put me in a funk!

I want the quiet back, the thought provoking sermon, the stillness, the gentleness, the kindness. I felt that Jim was truly a pastor, or shepherd to his “flock”, he was there guiding us with a kind word and a gentle touch and a word of prayer. And Jim was my friend.

Right now I feel like New Guy just wants to PREACH, that he doesn’t really want to know me or the others in his “flock”. I’m hoping in time that I will get to know New Guy too and possibly come to like him, but for now…I'm still playing hooky on Sunday morning, wondering when I'll get back in the flow of things.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In which we are STILL painting...

My Boy Nelson really wanted to help paint today - we shut him out a couple of times but somehow he managed to nudge the door open.

I didn't learn my lesson yesterday and had left the lid laying in the floor AGAIN.

There was a Stellar Blue trail of doggie prints through the room....

Friday, July 18, 2008

In which we paint....

Syd and I have been doing some redecorating lately. What was fomerly Rea's room and the adjoining bath that the girls shared, is now the Guest room and Syd's bath. Guests will share that bath with Syd when they are here overnight. Both rooms are now Appletini Green (like my Adirondack chairs) and are VERY bright. That is what Syd picked out, so if you come to stay ovenight you might what to pack your Ray Bans.

Now we are painting Rea's room Stellar Blue and the bath Sail Blue. These rooms are equally as bright as the Appletini and the sunglasses recommedation also applies!

I must say that Syd has the makings of a first class painter; she doesn't like to cut-in, so I do that part. But she tapes off, rolls, (which I don't like to do), takes down hardware and puts it back up, is good to run to the paint store and pick up supplies and has generally been TONS of help. She has made this job so much easier.

Syd also had to rescue me a not so bright moment I left the lid to my paint can laying on the floor. As I was crawling around to paint the edges of the room, I somehow managed to SWIPE both of my FEET through the paint on the lid. Paint was on the bottom of one foot and paint was through the toes of the other...all I could do was lay on the floor with my feet up to keep it from dripping on the carpet.

Finally Syd brought me paper towels, but did a lot of tsking and wondering out loud about my mental health and her future.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Ronald!

Today, Ronald, my Dad turns 69. (I must digress here and explain, when Syd was a baby and we started the grandparent name search, I asked my Dad what he would like to be called – I was quickly and gruffly informed that “Ronald suited him fine”, so Ronald it was!)

Instead of telling you about my Dad on his birthday I’m going to tell about one of my favorite “inventions” of his in celebration of his special day.

Daddy doesn’t like to throw things away and always seems to find a second life for almost anything. I had a doll as a child, Baby Magic I believe was her name, she had a motor that propelled her arms and legs. When Baby's appendages went caput she was disemboweled and her motor was used to create a car for me. Old washing machine motors became air compressors and pea hullers; old lawnmowers became go-carts and the list goes on and on. You just never know what will show up as what…

One weekend we arrived from Nashville and there sitting on the patio was this unusual looking contraption: The tank from a toilet was sitting atop a wooden platform and there were two small steps of about six inches leading up to the platform. The top of the toilet tank was missing and the tank was full of water. Attached to the bottom of the tank was a water hose.

My Mom was sitting on the patio when I spied this thing:

Me: What in the hell is that?
Mom: Don’t you know a dog waterer when you see it?
Me: Obviously not.
Mom: You mean to tell me you don’t have a toilet tank/dog waterer on your patio?
Me: No, Guess I'm not lucky like you...

Earlier in the week Daddy had replaced one of the toilets in the house and couldn’t bear to see the tank go to “waste”. SO, he built a platform with a small set of steps, mounted the tank on top of the platform, attached the hose to the bottom and VOILA! Maggie, the Rottweiler now had continual fresh water! When the level got low; it automatically refilled, if you wanted it completely refreshed, you simply FLUSHED. The steps helped Maggie reach into the tank! And you haven’t lived until you’ve watched a 110 pound Rottweiler daintily climb those steps and drink out of that tank.

I’m not sure what became of the Maggie's water bowl, I don’t much think Mama liked the way the waterer looked on her patio, I think maybe it might have clashed just a bit with her patio furniture, ferns and all those impatients. That toilet tank was just a LITTLE hard to disguise.

Monday, July 14, 2008


I was an only child for twelve years of my life - when my brother was born I thought he was the neatest thing since sliced bread. Seriously! And while we've had our ups and downs, like all brothers and sisters, I honestly cannot relate to the CONSTANT bickering of my girls these days.

EVERYTHING is a turf war, there is NOT A KIND WORD to be had between those two. I was so lonesome growing up, I would have given anything to have had a sibling, that it completely baffles me that they aren't friends, even for brief moments of time.

Today Rea and I were driving home from Kentucky, whizzing along the interstate and she pipes up and says: "This is an awesome day, I'm riding in SYD'S car, listening to SYD's CD's and wearing SYD's sunglasses!"

You see what I mean? A day made AWESOME because she knew her sister would care!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Fun at Grandma's

Things have been quiet around here this week, Rea has been in Kentucky spending time with Danny's parents. She's had a busy week of hanging out with cousins, staying up late, running amok and probably not bathing.

I talked with Grandma Shirley last night; we were making plans to procure Rea (do we meet halfway, do they drive the four hours here, do I drive the four hours there, blah, blah, blah). She told me then that she had asked Rea if she was homesick and ready to go and she replied "No, just dogsick". Now I know where we rate.

On a sidenote, remember that I told you sometime back that Grandma Shirley had severed her pointer finger in a run-in with a tablesaw. We won't go into the ins and outs of A) why a Grandma feels the need to use power tools and B) if that need is so overwhelming why she doesn't exercise safety precautions. But it seems that she and Bob-Bob may be losing all of their little toys.

Yesterday Bob-Bob decided to gnaw a hunk off HIS finger, which then required some repair work with stitches. So now Danny's brother Darren has threatened to confiscate all of their power tools. Maybe we need to schedule some sort of Black & Decker intervention? A Dewalt detox? Perhaps we could enroll them in a power tool remedial class?

They don't really seem to mind that they keep lopping off fingers and hunks of skin, but at this point we are beginning to look at nursing homes. It won't be long before before all of their fingers are gone and they'll have nothing but NUBS.

I wonder if they've been letting Rea saw? I think I need to make a phone call!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

New transportation?

Danny has decided that he wants to sell our golf cart and buy a Vespa. I think they get close to 50 miles per gallon and they look really snappy and all European; I’m just not convinced that I want to run errands in my Southern town on a Moped.

Sure, I know that all those celebrities have their Vespas and look all cute and stuff (like Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos), but I’m just having a hard time imaging myself with my Wal-Mart bags strapped on the back. I could take Rea to school and back, it's only a mile and a half or so, it would save a lot of money. But I KNOW, that Syd would not cotton to accepting a lift from me on my scooter, that would not be COOL.

Nelson and Shelley would really miss their golf cart rides. While you can probably purchase baskets for Vespas and I could buy Nelson some goggles and a scarf a la the Red Baron (he would probably like it), I’m thinking that Shelley wouldn’t like the Vespa AT ALL. Where would she ride? She’s a Sheltie and they are a small breed, but let’s just say that she’s not a delicate little dog anymore, she’s more on the “plus” side. I’m afraid she might drag the roadway!

AND what if I needed to take a cat to the vet? Whew, can you just imagine! Vivi is just a little on the high-strung side, so putting her in a cat carrier and strapping her on the seat of a Vespa with some tie down straps might just set her ON edge. I’m thinking they might have to shoot her through the bars with one of those tranquilizer guns once we cruised on in the parking lot, otherwise someone might just lose a digit.

But lastly, I’m wondering about old Dano. I’m sure he would want to use the Vespa on nice afternoons to go to the skeet range. He has this new, great, BIG bag that he carries to the range; I call it his Skeet Purse. I think it’s a little like Mary Poppins bag for shooters – you just never know what might be in it. I just don’t see how it would fit on a Vespa, it’s too big for the saddle bags and it would practically take up as much room as a passenger on the back. I even think it could interfere with his balance...

But most my important question is this: Where do you carry your shotgun on a Vespa? Strap it on your back? Holster thingy on the side? Across your lap? How do you explain said firearm to law enforcement?

What to do, what do do….

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Dang, that smarted!

Tonight Danny and I decided to make a Sonic run in the Jeep, you know how hot it was today and a Blast was sounding like it might just hit the spot. Nelson really thought he needed to go too, so we invited him to ride along.

Nelson was SO happy that he was getting to go on a RIDE. He loves to get to GO, he was sitting in my lap, looking over the side of the Jeep as Danny slowly backed out of the drive.

Just as we neared the street I heard Nelson make a SNORT, which I thought was odd; then all at once he JUMPED and YELPED! And then Nelson’s terrible Mama remembered that she had left his invisible fence collar on him!

I quickly held him up over my head trying to get him out of range of the fence, but it didn’t work! Danny was so confused that he just STOPPED THE JEEP ON TOP OF THE FENCE!

I’m screaming at Danny to MOVE, MOVE and Nelson is YELPING, YELPING and our neighbor across the street and some lady that we don’t know is walking down the sidewalk and WATCHING this entire fiasco play out.

Finally, Danny backed out into the street and out of range of Nelson’s fence, but poor Nelson, his heart was racing, he probably thought he was being electrocuted.

When we leave in my SUV I don’t have to take his collar off, I guess there is enough metal on it that it blocks the transmission to his collar.

Nelson will probably think twice before he asks to ride in the Jeep again, don’t you think?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day!!

Our first neighborhood Fourth of July Parade!
Strollers, Bikes and fun hats!!
A Hot-Rod Cart!
Danny and My Boy Nelson!
Shelley loves to ride on the back of the cart!
Rea on her Waveboard!
Me, Nelson and Shelley, Have a safe and Happy Fourth!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Where's Woody when you need him?

Syd discovered this abomination in our freezer today.

What goes through the mind of an eleven year old that causes them to enact such an indecency upon poor Jesse?

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Happy Birthday

Frankie celebrates his birthday today – I have no memory of not knowing Frankie; our lives have been intertwined since birth. I could write all day on the ways that A) we are connected and B) all of the memories and fun times we have had together. However, the A part might take a Power Point flow chart, or at least a white board to keep everybody straight and the B part would take Frankie with his unique sense of humor to tell.

I will explain at least this much of our past – Frankie’s Dad and my Mom graduated from high school together in 1960. Lynn Grove High School Wildcats. They had been classmates for TWELVE years! Fast Forward twenty years, Frankie and I graduated together from Calloway County High School Class of 1980! Along with Don, we share the same last name, so we spent four years of home room together, besides being great childhood buddies.

Fast Fast Forward, Frankie and I both have two children – he two boys, me two girls. The two oldest are the same age, as are the two youngest. How is that for fate?

Although Frankie and Debbi (and a good number of our dearest friends) live a long way from us, we try to see them as often as we can. I can’t explain how we’ve managed to maintain the bond that we forged as children and through high school and beyond. I just know that Frankie is a special kind of friend that you don’t always have the opportunity to find and he is one of the truest pleasures of life.