Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going to the Wal-Mart(s)

In my small town, Wal-Mart(s) is a necessary evil of life – there just aren’t many options available when it comes to stocking up on paper towels, English peas and bottled water. I'm all about Target, but it’s over 40 miles away, and I stick pretty close to home most of the time. I also don't get into the bulk store groove; I can’t quite wrap my mind around investing that much in paper supplies that I just might need financing to purchase and an addition on my house to store. So, every week or so, when I’m running low on supplies, I suck up, grit my teeth and go to Wal-Mart(s) and when I do I always check out the retaining pond that’s at the far end of the parking lot.

The retaining pond and that end of the parking lot has been and endless source of entertainment for me for quite some time (what can I say, I’m easily amused). Flocks of Canadian Geese hang out there and people feed them, puppies are for sale on occasion, people sometimes fish. And in the winter there are huge flocks of seagulls sitting in the parking: isn’t it funny how they all scatter and fly up when you drive through them really fast? I’m not saying that I’ve done that…umm, I’ve just seen it done…

And the Crowning Jewel of our Wal-Mart(s) parking lot is the retaining Pond. It has a medium sized willow tree, a half submerged shopping cart and was circled by the ever present Bradford pears. And ‘lo one day I noticed that all of the Bradford’s were laying on the ground, hacked off, leaving stumps about a foot or so high. The stumps looked really odd, gnawed they did, and then I noticed a HUGE pile of rubbish and brush in The Pond. And it hit me, that it wasn't just a pile of brush, it was A BEAVER DAM!

BEAVERS HAD COME TO WAL-MART(S)! Welcome Wal-Mart Rodents!

From that day forward I always made it a point to drive into the Wal-Mart(s) lot from that entrance. I would drive slowly drive by the pond, scanning the surface for a beaver. MY EYES WERE PEELED.

INTERNETS, I have faced much ridicule from my family in my quest to see a beaver at Wal-Mart(s). But I have been steadfast in my position, that one day, I would drive by to see one of those little fellows backstroking across that pond.

But, sorry to say that has not happened, and today when I went to Wal-Mart(s) to purchase yet more dog food and cat food, I noticed a pile of new Bradford pears waiting to be transplanted. A row of new shrubs had already been put in – does the landscape crew know something that I don’t? Perhaps the beavers have been; annihilated?

Here’s what I think happened, I think those ungrateful little rodents packed their bags and relocated to SUPER TARGET.

Monday, November 24, 2008


I’ve had a bit of bloggers block lately. There are lots of things I would really like to blog about, but in the words of the SNL Church Lady, I just don’t think it would be PRUDENT. The funny, inane things that I usually notice are being crowded out by the heavier things on my mind; so, I’m just going to write what pops up and run with it.

Nelson is behind me with a towel that he has absconded. Now, he’s digging at it like he is possessed. Then again, maybe he is…

I have to go to the dentist at 10:00 – I am getting my teeth cleaned. I don’t like going, but am so much better than I used to be, having braces as an adult got me over a lot of my dental phobia. I still get nitrous oxide for cleaning though. I could do without it, but they don’t know it and I’m not telling them!

Nellie Olsen is alive and well. My dark heart sure wishes Half-Pint would once again lure her to the shady part of the creek where the leeches live.

I am dreading putting up my Christmas tree – it is not something I enjoy. Bah Humbug.

I went to get my haircut the other day, when I got there I started digging through my purse for my cell-phone. I just knew I had it when I left the house, was positive that I had dropped it in my purse. I dug and dug and came close to turning my purse upside down in my car and told my friend Jo so. On my cell-phone – I was talking on it the entire time. How sad is that?

Scout and Trooper just blazed through the cat door – they were in the house a grand total of 1.5 minutes, long enough for Trooper to make a doggie deposit by the back door. What is that dog’s deal?

That's all for now...

ETA: Back in 2007 we changed our phone service over to AT&T - one of the features that apparently was part of the "bundle" was voice mail. One small problem was that we didn't know this and it snuck in and sniped our trusty answering machine. This went on for months...and it continues to attempt a coup from time to time. About two weeks ago I finally figured out how to retrieve those messages from that mailbox; so if you left us a message, say, back in July of 2007 - maybe you better call back.

Over and out.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Farewell...Old Friends!!

Well, this morning some really nice gentleman from church came and picked up our old couch and loveseat. We donated it to Parish Nursing; an outreach of our church which provides assistance to families in our community.

But, I hope that my donation remains anonymous, because that couch had been seriously loved. It had been a part of our everyday lives for over eight years, it had been slept on, climbed on, peed on, puked on, walked on, clawed and probably things that I had not even been privy to. I was honestly hesitant to donate it; I was so ashamed of how it looked and frankly, of how it smelled. When you have furniture that has survived eight years, two kids, two dogs, a plethora of cats, plus two hamsters, there is just no way to account for how it will look in the end.

Rea got all sentimental about the old couch and loveseat – she didn’t want them to go. But, then she never wants me to give anything away, she wants to keep everything. Every old stuffed animal and toy that has ever entered her life, Syd may have gotten Danny’s OCD gene, Rea got his packrat gene.

The new couch and chairs came on Tuesday, and I am not loving them yet. They are leather (see bodily functions and pets above), and, even though I measured, they are JUST TOO BIG for the room. And, the darkness of all the leather, WOW. It's way different than it was on that little bitty swatch in furniture store versus how it looks on this BIG OL’ COUCH and TWO CHAIRS.

And one more thing, Ms. Furniture Saleslady, I have ice-water in my veins. LEATHER IS TOO COLD.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Get on the stick kid

Monday morning, at approximately 7:40 AM, Rea’s gym shorts were suddenly, irrevocably – too short. This, bombshell, was followed by much wailing and gnashing of teeth and meltdowns by both parties involved. I’ll admit right here, right now, that I lost it. How is it that those short became too short all at once? That she hadn’t bothered bringing it up before now? And that she wanted to tear the house apart for a pair of soccer of shorts that have been missing in action for months? And due to this series of events she was once more…late to school.

Some time back I lamented about Syd getting her driver’s license and ditching Rea and me. I’m sorry to say that things aren’t improving and somebody is going to have to step up to the plate. Syd inherited an OCD gene from her Dad and little did I know that she had been pulling me and her baby sister along all these years.

Left to my own devices, I do well enough. I like to plan, be on time (or close enough), but when you throw Rea into the picture. Heavenly days…getting her focused and somewhere is like the proverbial cat herding scenario. She watches bugs on the wall, stares into space, gazes at the television and if she tells me “Hold on” one more time I do believe I JUST. MIGHT. SCREAM.

Sooo, yesterday afternoon, Rea and I had a bit of a come to Jesus meeting. I resorted to a piece of paper and a schedule of sorts. I know – most people have schedules and such, but I’ve been fortunate enough not to work and I really like to do things by the seat of my pants, but hey people, the writing is on the wall, what worked with Syd is obviously not working here. Once I tried backing out of the picture, stopped picking out Rea’s clothes, riding herd over whether she had brushed her teeth and her hair, things simply fell to pot. So, she and I hammered out a time for homework, bath, practice on that INFERNAL TRUMPET and a bedtime. And most importantly, laying out school clothes for the next morning.

Hopefully, what will come of this schedule is that Rea will get to school on time. Maybe, just maybe, our mornings will be smoother. There will be enough time for some wall gazing, and soccer shorts meltdowns and the boy who absolutely refuses to scrooch over and let Rea into her locker. Because, one more tardy and she gets to eat in isolation.

Oh yeah, do me a favor please, if you see my adorable eleven year old wandering aimlessly, would you kindly point her in the right direction and remind her she has someplace to be?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Oh, Divine Dishwasher.....

How I worship Thee.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

To Old New Friends...

Three years ago this November, Danny and I were getting ready for a business retreat with a group of people that we were just getting to know. There were two couples among the group that were friends, but at that point in our lives, I would still have called them good acquaintances. And I will tell you that I was very apprehensive about that weekend. We were set to spend two days in a remote bed and breakfast, with no television or phones, in a very small town. Danny was scheduled to be in meetings most of the evenings and all day Saturday and even part of Sunday morning. There were planned activities for the spouses…but I was sweating, I was worried about what clothes to take, how everyone was going to fit together, what we would do. That was a lot of time to spend with people that you simply didn’t know. I was concerned, to say the least.

Just this morning, we got home from our third retreat; and we had a great time. But, the best part is, I didn’t think a thing about going this year. I threw some clothes in a suitcase and I was looking forward to seeing my old new friends. Those people that I was so worried about, that I didn’t know if I would fit in with, worried about where or if I would find common ground with…well, we did. We are all very different, have very diverse back grounds, some of us spend time together outside of this setting, some not at all, but it worked out.

And I truly enjoy their company.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Well, I just got back from my first trip to Chicago. Let me just step up and say – damn, it was COLD. I just don’t think I was cut out to live there; that wind just cut right through and it’s early November, winter hasn’t started handing the good stuff yet. I suppose you acclimate (and accumulate appropriate clothes as well), but I believe that I’ll continue to enjoy the balmy winter of good old Tennessee.

Danny and a group of guys went for work and I tagged along; a fifth wheel of sorts. I wanted to do some Christmas shopping since they were staying in a hotel right in the middle of “Magnificent Mile”. I went to Saks and Macys. I went to Nordstrom’s and Neiman Marcus. I went to Filenes Basement and Forever 21. I walked my legs off. My back hurt. I’m exhausted. I barely bought anything; I am still in sensory overload. Why is it that when you go intending to shop ‘til you drop that you can’t find anything you want? Why is it that the voice of reason takes over?

We spent one afternoon at the Field Museum peering through the glass at the poor unfortunate stuffed animals. They really bummed me out. Oh well. I did like the Egyptian exhibit though; those mummies were pretty cool, but just a tad creepy.

An interesting aside that I first noticed at the Field Museum and then later at Midway Airport is that there are no restrooms to be found. Now, facilities are available, BUT, all of the signs read TOILET. Is RESTROOM a Southern thing? Is toilet a Chicago thing? I have been in lots of other big cities and don’t recall toilet VS restrooms, maybe I just wasn’t paying attention. Granted I don’t rest much when I go in to use the toilet – and that word is more descriptive of the room and its function, but, don’t you think it sounds so, well, crude?

And every store, restaurant and hotel that I went in had huge revolving doors. Some fancy wood, others brass or polished chrome. But my favorite was the completely clear Plexiglas one at Forever 21; it defied my attempts to determine the exit, wherein I walked FULL-FORCE into said glass. It’s hard to maneuver into a revolving door when you are having a hard time standing upright. I don’t know what hurt worse – that huge knot on my forehead, or my dignity!

I had a great trip, ate some really good food, but am glad to be home.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Blue Lightning - Undefeated!

I know that soccer season is over for most of you - but Rea had one more game bright and early this morning. The Blue Lightening had to face a formidable opponent over at Rogers field:

They challenged the parents to a match - and the old people brought their A-Game to town!
Complete with a few illegal maneuvers when the ref had his back turned! Hey, when your lungs are burning and you feel like your legs just might fall off you do what you must.

We had them down 3-0 at the half, but just didn't have the legs to hang with them; they beat us in the end. But it was a nice ending to a great soccer season, the best Rea has ever had. She was honored to receive the award for Most Improved Player.

Now what I want to know is how many parents will seriously consider going to the emergency room tonight.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Siesta Time...

Caught Nelson taking his afternoon nap - this is how he always looks when he sleeps. I don't know why he doesn't keep his tongue in his mouth, but he doesn't look very dignified.

I tried to get him to open his eyes and look at me, but he was too tired. Maybe I'll get that shot another day, he's hilarious when he wakes up - he doesn't get his tongue put back up, his fur is shoved all to the side, he has a wild look in his eye and generally looks as if he has been pulled through a key-hole.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gee, Oscar that's awful sweet of you...

But, I could have done without the shrew sacrifice on my kitchen floor. Honest.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My Other Brother

Jay brought Chris home from school one afternoon in the sixth grade – he got off of the bus and stole our hearts.

Chris and his Dad lived with his elderly grandparents; the sweetest, kindest, cutest people you could ever imagine. How I wish that I had a picture to post here of Papaw. I still smile when I think of him. He was a small man with a shock of thick white hair, cut in a flat-top. He always wore a pair of crisp overalls and had a twinkle in his eye.

Over the next couple of years, it became more difficult for Mamaw and Papaw, who were already in their late eighties, and for Chris's Dad, who was in poor health, to manage the daily logistics and other issues that are inherent to a middle schooler. So, gradually he began spending more and more time with my parents and Jay.

Then the summer just before he turned fourteen Chris moved in and never left…although he never left the hearts of his Dad, Mamaw, and Papaw. Oh, how they loved him too. We are so lucky that they generously shared this young man with us. And that my parents, Jay, and in small ways from afar, Danny and I, had the opportunity to get to know and help Chris.

Because we all came to know that it is in the giving, offering help, that you are the one that actually receives the gift. Mom and Dad got another son. Jay and I got the brother we thought we would never have. We love Chris totally, completely, unconditionally - he is one of us. Don’t ever forget it.

Happy Birthday Christopher Dale. I know they would all be so proud of you.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Good Morning Sunshine!

Man, was I glad to see the sunshine when I opened my eyes this morning!

I know that I am probably the only person in the central time zone that was ready for the time change – but I absolutely, positively, HATE to get up in the dark. It is just wrong. I like for the sunshine to wake me…and when it’s still dark (and not to mention cold), I just don’t move so well.

And I’ll just be honest here for a second, I kind of like it when it gets dark early. I know, the days are shorter and it’s no fun driving home in the dark, but we just seem to settle in better. Kind of like chickens I guess. Things quiet down much earlier than summertime, homework gets finished on time, we get our jammies on and get all snugged in; everything seems right with the world.

Looking back, perhaps it’s the fact that one winter my Mom read each and every Little House book to me, while something good for supper simmered on the stove. Maybe that’s why I still love the dark, early winter afternoons. I can put something good on the stove, pull my girls and Danny close and pretend that the craziness, slights and madness of the rest of the world just doesn’t exist.