Wednesday, December 31, 2008

An exchange with Rea

Nelson's Mama: I have to go to Wal-Mart(s)...
Rea: I WANNA go!
Nelson's Mama: Not unless you clean up your room.
Rea: Oh crap.
Nelson's Mama: Sorry, but that's the deal.
Rea: I'll just order on-line.

Our Maytag Man ain't lonesome...

Neptune has been bitching about SUDS sporadically for three weeks - I blamed it on Danny at first. You know how it goes; he decided to wash his annual load of clothes and didn't know how much detergent to add, so I figured he had put too much in there for Neptune to digest and perhaps he was feeling a little full or bloated. But he just kept ON and ON about the SUDS. This time he would finish washing his load, would then play his little song and then tell me that he had ENDed and then say SUDS! Just exactly is THAT supposed to mean Neptune?

And then, on Christmas Eve, as we were packing up the entire contents of our house into two vehicles to go out of town, I was desperately trying to finish up some laundry. Neptune took it upon himself to tell me that he was finished with a load of towels, but that there were SUDS (well, excuse me). I noticed when I took them out that they were heavier than usual, but didn't realize that Neptune had left them so wet that it took them THREE HOURS TO DRY!

Today Maytag Man took Neptune's innards apart once again (we are closing in on twenty times), and there, lurking inside was two battered quarters. I know it would be a really good idea for SOMEBODY to check the pockets of the jeans before they put them in the washer, but SOMEBODY always forgets to do that. And the most regrettable thing about this situation for Maytag Man is that he never, ever leaves his change in his pockets. Ummm...Somebody else does.

Neptune must now have new innards – they are pretty much shot, all of the quarters, nickels and pennies have chewed them up. Maytag Man and I can't remember if this will be the second or third innards for Neptune, we just know that if Neptune were a horse we would have shot him by now.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


My niece Leana-san got this fancy silk number from Janny for Christmas.
My Mom bought the outfit as a gift for LeeLee, but also as a bit of a surprise for Harmony, her maternal grandmother. While both sides of my family are Kentucky tobacco farmers and moonshiners as far back as we can trace, Leana can claim more exotic blood. Harmony (or more correctly Halmoni as I learned from Google) is from Korea and that’s who Leana can thank for her beautiful dark hair and eyes.

Harmony has taught Lee Lee to count to nine in Korean, (“I know not why she didn’t teach to me to count to ten”). And Janny and I amuse ourselves by asking Leana to identify body parts in Korean…and yes, we become very juvenile about the parts we want to know!

Leana is learning to like many Korean foods; she loves kimchee and gim, whatever that may be. She love, love, loves sesame oil and names many other things that I can’t begin to remember or spell.

I’m really glad that Harmony is teaching Leana about her culture, it’s not something that she did much with Leana’s mom. I guess maybe when she first came to live in the U. S. it wasn’t something that seemed important. Maybe now that she’s older and more comfortable here perhaps it easier.

I just think it’s cool for Leana.

Monday, December 29, 2008

You basket thief you...

About three years ago I was out just before Christmas doing some last minute shopping and I spied a really cute basket that I couldn't go home without - I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I just knew I had to have it. I'm not a huge shopper, but there are a few things that I have a weakness for and baskets are one of them (books and electronics are the others). Go figure.

That evening when I got home, I made the mistake of putting the basket down on the kitchen floor and Vivi found it immediately; the basket has been "Vivi's basket" from then on. It has a soft bed inside and stays just below the oven, where a heat vent blows out. She loves to curl up inside it and would spend all of her time there except for one large problem.

A while back, Ben decided that HE liked Vivi's basket and as you can see, he's waiting not so patiently for her to get OUT of the basket. And when Vivi saw me with the camera and hopped out to say "Hey!".

Well, see for yourself...

What Ben doesn't quite get is the fact that he's about five pounds of cat too much for Vivi's basket.

I'm always surprised at how gracious she is about sharing her prized basket. Maybe she just knows he's old and cold?

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Birthday!

I don't know how many of you have a best friend - I mean a true best friend. Someone that you could call from a pay phone in jail and know that she would probably post your bail (or might even be in jail with you), or would come get you in a strange city if you had car trouble. In today's vernacular she's my BFF.

Rhonda and I have been friends since we were sophomores in high school; the picture above is the first one we exchanged that year in Biology I as our journey as friends began. As fortune would have it Rhonda began dating and eventually married Don, one of my closet grade school friends.

Our friendship has endured over twenty-five years of marriage, two kids each, long distance and more than a kerfuffle or two. Some of most fun times in my life have been spent with Rhonda. We even have a special pact or two that I'm not even going to tell you about because you will make fun of us.

But seriously, Christmas babies always get overlooked - it's tough sharing your special day with the Baby Jesus. I know I'm guilty; instead of two gifts I always buy Rhonda one bigger gift, in all of the Christmas rush I forget to send her a birthday card. I try to remember to call and tell her Happy Birthday on Christmas Day...

But, I sometimes forget: so, Happy Birthday "Dhonda", I love you!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

O Tannenbaum

TA-DA! I just wanted to prove to you that we finally did get our tree done. While I don't particularly enjoy putting it up, I do have a small weakness for ornaments and have a tendency to buy them after the Holiday season starts and keep sticking them on the tree.

I can't tell you how much I would like let go and splurge on Radko blown glass ornaments - I lust over them each year, but have visions of the cats climbing the tree (as they've been known to do) and all of the overpriced glass being smashed to bits. Oh, well.

Although she looks very pretty, Shelley was not happy to pose for this picture. In her younger days she was quite the model, happy to do my bidding for most anything. Nowadays she reminds me of an old lady at a rest home - petulant, stubborn and so contrary.

Enjoy the tree - other wise all of our cussing, wailing and slinging snot will have been for naught!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Birthday Twofer...

Things are going a little crazy around here, I won’t bog you down with the details, because, hey, I am absolutely positive that you have your own dose of holiday crazy to deal with. But, IN all of the holiday crazy I forgot a special birthday on Monday and now today I have another one.

In a way, it seems fitting though that I’m doing one post for both birthdays though – because they really are a two for one, bookends if you will. I’m talking about Danny’s parents: Bob-Bob and Shirley.

Bobby and Shirley were both born in 1939 and graduated from high school together (check them out on the top row, Shirley on the right as secretary, Bobby as vice-president). Their 50th wedding anniversary is fast approaching and they raised two wonderful sons.

They have been so good to me through the years: kind, generous, understanding. I feel fortunate to have them as In-laws, my girls are lucky to have them as Grandparents.

I love you both…

FYI: Want to further complicate this scenario? Check out the second row from the bottom, very last guy - that's MY Dad.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Sick Days

When my girls were little, I kind of enjoyed it when they were sick. Doesn’t that sound all weird and demented? And I know all of the Moms out there reading are going “Well, I always knew she was a bad Mother, but that just proves it” and are probably already flipping through the phone book for the number for CPS or dialing 9.1.1.

First, there a few caveats as to the type of sickness I’m talking about – we’ll exclude any vomiting or diarrhea, because I just don’t like bodily functions. I’d like to the fever to stay under 103 (my children run hot, so I don’t get excited till I see triple digits and pretty high ones at that). Also, we definitely want to steer clear of the hospital stays. We’ve been there and done that on more than one occasion and IT IS NO FUN.

But when the girls were much smaller, they were very pleasant sick children, so easy to please and much sweeter and loving than in day to day life. I think it was a combination of them being under the weather and having Mom’s undivided attention.

To be clear, I NEVER wished for my girls to be ill, what Mother would want that for their child? But, on the occasion when Syd or Rea would get sick, it always seemed to happen when I was being pulled in many different directions. And suddenly, my priorities became so apparent to me. Work would be there tomorrow. The laundry would just have to wait, and if the house didn’t get straightened up that day, well, so what.

Those days were a little like snow days, everything just had to stop for a while. It forced me to slow down, take and breathe and just hold and cuddle a little girl who just wanted her Mommy.

Think less of me if you will - but I enjoyed it.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Pulling out my soapbox

"I ask for the privilege of not being born...until you can assure me a home and a master to protect me, and the right to live as long as I am physically able to enjoy life."

Another small feline briefly made it's way into my life today, the story is complicated, heartbreaking and a just a little more than confusing to me. As you can guess, the outcome for this kitten wasn't positive...I wasn't surprised, but still very sad.

You could tell by this kitten's appearance that it was probably a stray as well, it had the smell of the outdoors to it's fur and was most likely left to it's own defenses.

This kitten, just like the yellow kitten, should never have been born. People, adults, should have stepped up, acted responsibly and had their pets SPAYED and NEUTERED.

If they had done the right thing, there would have been no long faces last week over a yellow kitten; and there would have been no tears today over a kitten that never had a fighting chance.

Stepping off my soapbox now.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Oh! Mama, please, pretty, please...

Look at these cute little gingerbread ornaments I bought at the Wal-Mart(s) the other night. We brought the bags in the house, sat them in the floor and began unloading them and that's when Nelson spied the the little men.

I took them away from him a couple of times and before I knew it he had nabbed one of them and had run, run as fast has he could to his lair and laid claim to a gingerbread man.

Well, I kinda sorta had plans for the gingerbread men, because, in fact, they are gift card holders - they have a small slot in their backs for a card. And while I only paid two bucks a piece for them, I didn't fancy the idea of him annihilating the cute little guys.

So, I took them away from him and hung them on the tree. [Yes, I know that you are surprised to hear that we finally have a tree, but you know, we wanted to savor every last moment of the holiday season, so in that vein, we took our sweet time about decorating our tree, there was no sense in rushing it.] I thought the tree would be a perfect place for them - out of sight, out of mind.

A little bit later I could hear Nelson barking and growling like he usually does when his very favorite, super-duper, orange, ping pong ball is trapped under the couch. This is where I found him:
He had discovered the gingerbread men on the tree and he begged and he pleaded and that little dog cried for nearly forty-five minutes for those stuffed gingerbread men.
I got worried that he was going to climb the Christmas tree for them; eventually I took them off and hid them. I gave him treats and a new piece of rawhide, but he still was not happy - by this time he had realized that there was a small herd of fuzzy, stuffed lambs on the tree and if he couldn't have the gingerbread men, well then, he'd just take them

Thursday, December 11, 2008


There have been some sad faces round these parts - sad furry faces, grownup faces, teenage girl faces and little girl faces. The yellow stray kitten has found a forever home AND IT ISN'T HERE.

Oscar and Vivi did the Happy Dance and I'm very certain that Lucky, the cat next door, where it was looking much more likely Yellow Kitty was going to end up breathed a very deep sigh of relief.

Nelson was really rooting for him - he wanted him to stay here or at the least at the home of his pal's, Scout and Trooper.

I did have a name in my back pocket, just in chase. I always do. He was destined to be...Shadrach.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Danny had warned me that Fed-Ex was bringing another box...

I feel like that I’m pretty prepared now for most anything. The boxes of buckshot in the mailbox that outweigh a small child; then the ten pounds of gunpowder on the front porch at the height of the summer heat was pretty good.

I am convinced that he is paying the UPS man under the table because even he tries to hide Danny’s packages from me…if the garage door is open he slips into the garage and puts the new reloading supplies right by the re-loader.

But, today. Oh, internets, today takes the cake. Who do you know that receives a stuffed bird from Fed-Ex? My bet is NO ONE.
And his only response to me…don’t let the cats get it....

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Hey! Scrooch over...

Many mornings when I go up to wake Rea this is what I find - Ben loves to sleep with her and he always steals her pillow!

Ben loved Rea from the very start - and as I look back at this picture, I wonder if he realizes that big, grown up girl whose pillow he steals is that same sweet baby he snuggled with all those years ago?

Monday, December 8, 2008

We still don't have a Christmas tree...

But it's not for lack of effort.

Yesterday afternoon I heard a rustling in the attic that sounded like a whole herd of squirrels gone mad and not long afterward, Danny came dragging the Christmas tree down the steps. So, apparently we were going to put up the tree...

Now, this is the expensive Pre-lit tree that I bought year before last, that I just knew was going to solve all of my Christmas decorating issues, but didn't pull out last year because I'd just had hip surgery. Last year we stuck up a little skinny tree and I hobbled to Wal-Mart(s) and bought just enough decorations and lights for it. Chelsy came and helped me (actually I pretty much watched) decorate it and I provided the wine.

Forgive my digression; back to this Christmas, once the Pre-lit tree was assembled, it no longer LIT. AS in BLACK. NADA. NOTHING. DEADER THAN A DOOR NAIL. None of Danny’s tricks worked, he changed fuses, wiggled bulbs, he exhausted all of his efforts to make this pre-lit tree LIGHT UP, but it won’t.

So, we thought the smart thing to do will be take the lights off of it. We both got a pair of wire cutters and started to work. Should be fairly simple – right?

Oh, my friends, how wrong we were. It took us TWO AND A HALF HOURS to remove the lights from the Pre-lit tree. Those people in China or Taiwan or wherever were very serious about their task of tree lighting. By the end of this job, Danny had a blister, both of our hands were cramping, our arms were raw and we had decided that we would probably rather sucker tobacco than remove lights from Pre-lit Christmas trees.

We now have a tree up, it is unlit and undecorated; we ran out of time because of Lessons and Carols at church last night. I’ll be working on it today, adding nearly $50 worth of lights that Syd went after, to our Un-lit Pre-Lit Tree.

Oh the Joy of the Season.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Kittin' Sittin'

Today was our second day of kitten sitting - and it's been fun. This little guy has tons of personality; he and Nelson have forged a pretty good friendship.

This is the first time that Nelson has been around a cat that is smaller than him and he doesn't quite know what to think. He likes to chase Vivi and Oscar and always pushes his luck with them, but you had better believe when they have had enough he turns tail and runs - crying all the way!

I wish this picture was better for you, but the battery in my big camera was dead - they were wrasslin' by front door. The kitten never missed a beat with his purring.

The funniest thing though, when the kitty gets tired of Nelson he jumps up on the dining room chairs - Nelson doesn't understand that he's not the same size and keeps doing the same. It reminds me of an overgrown kid trying to ride a tricycle or, he keeps whacking his head.

Poor,dumb dog...

Thursday, December 4, 2008

We have a house guest today....

Our neighbors rescued a kitten from the cold last night, actually, I think the story is that another neighbor picked the kitten up at a church parking lot and then suckered this neighbor into taking the kitten. Wherefore, today, I am kitten sitting...

Honestly, nothing makes me go more weak in the knees than a kitten - especially yellow ones with a huge purr and this little guy, well, let me tell you, he's the real deal. But, the inn is full here and he simply can't stay, as much as I'd love for him to. The feline contingent held a quick vote and Vivi and Oscar black-balled him immediately. Ben was all, like, hey dude, whatever, that's his style, but the other two puffed up like he was some kind of serial killer.

Syd likes the yellow kitten and wants to eliminate a black and white cat to free up a cat spot; and she's not picky about the means of elimination either, rehoming, dropping, euthanasia, burlap bags...she's a real sweetheart when it comes to those two.

But, Nelson, has been completely fascinated by the little guy. He's followed him around the house all morning with his nose shoved up under his tail, and as you can see above, he's making sure that his nap doesn't get disturbed.

I'd love to keep the kitten as a pal for Nelson - he seems like one of those dog like cats.

However, as much as I'd love to have him, we are full to the brim. He goes back to the neighbors this afternoon, if you or someone you know would like to give him a wonderful home, let me know and I'll get you in contact with right person.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

So, about the tree...

There is no tree yet, and I don’t know when I’ll get around to it.

I just have hard time getting all worked up about putting that much effort into something that basically Danny, me, Syd, Rea, two dogs and three cats are going to see. Oh yeah, those people that drive by my house are going to see it, but are they really going to know if it has ornaments or not?

Santa isn’t going to see it, we’re never home for Christmas, never have been. My girls have never gotten to sleep in their beds on Christmas Eve – don’t know what it’s like to get up in their own house on Christmas morning.

We drag in from out of town, tired and there, waiting in the living room is a lonesome Christmas tree. The last thing you want to do is tackle that thing – so it’s hard to even get the enthusiasm to put it up in the beginning.

Ho, Ho, Ho.