Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blog Vacation

Nelson's Mama will be back in a few...

Monday, April 27, 2009

We got us some sisterly love

I made this series of pictures of the girls for our Christmas cards in early December. I know - don't they look cute? Don't be fooled...they were actually fighting like cats and dogs. What looks like a smile on Syd's face in the middle picture is really a grimace and of most of the time she was yelling "Mom, she's breathing on me!" and slapping Rea in the head.

Rea actually enjoyed the photo session; she got to invade Syd's personal space bubble and made the most of it by breathing hard and trying to lick her. As a result, this is the last picture I have of them together.

As I've mentioned before, I grew up without a sibling close in age, this constant fighting and bickering is something I'm just not equipped to handle. There does not seem to be any love between the two of them at this point and I simply don't get it -I'd really like for them sing a little Kumbaya, kiss, hug and be done with this mess. But apparently that's not how the rules of the game work.

During Spring Break we spent the day on an outing with guests. Syd blessed us with her presence because we were eating at one of her favorite places, Miss Mary Bobo's. Rea also chose this day to focus in on Syd with a laser like intensity, making her life a living hell. She mocked Syd and poked her, she followed immediately in her footsteps and even pulled her hair. If there is a little sister handbook of annoying tips, I think Rea studied it the night before.

I have to give Syd credit, because of our guests, she kept her cool...and believe me, she didn't want to, and it wasn't easy for me. Because it was more than a little embarrassing.

Later that afternoon, we were outside in the driveway just hanging out and Rea started up with her shenanigans again, I could tell Syd was about to snap. I stepped to Rea and very softly whispered in her ear:

"Your sister is fixin' to tie in on you and I'm NOT going to stop her. You've asked for it all day, when she beats the crap out of you DON'T come cryin' to me."

Yep, I got me some awesome parenting skilz....

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Well, Prom is finally over...and I think we all survived.

It was whirlwind day of hair appointments, soccer games and picking up flowers.

At 1:00 Syd went across the street to have her make-up done at the home of one of her closet childhood friends. It was like Grand Central Station: Moms, prom girls, extra girlfriends, dates, dates Mom's, lots of cars, dogs, cats, brothers, make-up, curling irons and hairspray. And I didn't want to miss a second of it.

Of the nearly two hundred pictures I took yesterday - the vignette below is my favorite. After every hair was in place and all the making up was done, Syd and Emma wanted a picture together. We were on a TIGHT timeline. Syd ran home, put her dress on and Emma dressed quickly too. We had a quick photo session outside and quickly parted ways.

I looked up to see Syd trip-trapping down the driveway in her orange heels - that girl was making some time. Her dress was a-flyin', legs were flashing and I think she even made the traffic stop.

Syd & Emma all gussied up...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Sweet old Shell

Shelley didn't make this trip to Kentucky with us, we only spent one night and travelling in the car is tough on her and the other occupants. She's still beautiful to look at, but her halitosis and flatulence are something beyond compare.

I kind of hate for her to miss a trip to my Mom & Dad's, when she was a younger dog she was in her glory there. It's a little like doggy nirvana - more land to run on than you could ever want, squirrels to chase, dog buddies to play with, kids to bark at, water hoses to obsess over, tractors to herd and a couple of cats to torment.

Shelley always stays with Janny & Ronald when we travel - even up to a month at a time. She makes herself right at home and always seems completely at ease. When we first moved to this neighborhood and had a much smaller yard, I worried that she was going to be very unhappy. I don't think it would have taken a lot of begging for them to have opened their home to her.

Shell was in the backyard when we got home Sunday and I made it in the house without her knowing - when I walked back outside to get my bags and spoke to her she did not know me.

My heart broke into...

Shelley has lost her hearing and apparently now her sight is going too. Once she got closer and got a good whiff of me, I was officially welcomed home.

(On a funny note - just let me say, trying to get the attention of a deaf dog for a picture is a bitch.)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

In which I proffer house-keeping tips...

So, yesterday I confessed that I have given up ironing. I guess you could say that I’m in ironing recovery, because I could relapse at anytime. Just thinking about it too hard makes me want drag my ironing board down the stairs and get my trusty Rowenta out. I tell you – there is just something therapeutic about taking a garment or pillowcase that is all wrinkly and transforming it to perfection. I know you think I’m sick, but there it is.

While I’m spilling my guts about domestic tasks, I’ll also tell you that I LOVE to hang clothes out on a clothesline. The wash cloths have to be together, the bath towels together, the dish towels together, the unmentionables together and on down the line. Standing outside on a beautiful spring day and hanging up clothes is therapy, just like ironing; but the by-laws of our neighborhood prohibit clotheslines of any type, so I am denied this therapy.

One of my other greatest pleasures of life - sheets dried on the line. OH THE JOY!

Happily, I have found an alternative. Some time back on another blog (The Pioneer Woman), she posted how she had a difficult time getting all of the sheets changed on the SIX beds in their guest lodge, (in addition to the beds in their house). Her solution was to put the sheets on the bed WET. Now, this set off a firestorm on her blog, people were commenting left and right, as if she had said she had peed on the bed or something. People were shaming her, predicting botulism (not really, just thought that sounded good), moss, fungus, mold, mildew and everything else in between.

Well, I decided to try her wet sheet method. Let me say right now, that this probably WILL NOT work for you unless you have a front-load washer. They use a lot less water than top-load washers and then the RPM’s they use at spin cycle is enough to launch them into space. My clothes come out of my washer practically dry anyway.

I then throw the sheets in my dryer on WRINKLE RELEASE for a few minutes, take them and put both the fitted sheet and the top sheet on. I don’t tuck the top sheet in at this point – I leave it loose and I turn on the ceiling fan in the bedroom and within 3 hours or so the sheets will be dry. I spray the pillowcases with Downey Wrinkle Release, give them a sharp snap, lay them on a flat surface and flip them over in an hour or so.

Since I only buy 100% cotton sheets, the best part of this sheet method is that they dry nearly wrinkle free (yippee). Plus they smell and feel as close to outdoor sheets as I’m going to get.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obsession Confession

I used to clean house as a hobby - I would spend hours and hours scouring counter-tops, picking cracks with toothpicks. A tidy house is important to me and I still own an arsenal of cleaners and special brushes that I can whip out if I need too. But, interpeeps, once I started staying home and this house became my FULL-TIME JOB, I got over some of my predilections of cleanliness. The fun just kind of went out the window - cleaning was no longer an escape from reality, it was my reality. And damned if it didn't get old.

My Rowenta iron and I used to be tight too - I ironed everything that wasn't nailed down. I could iron with the best of them, my Granny and my Mama taught me right when it came to ironin'. For years my girls did not leave the house for school without every stitch of their clothes ironed. I creased their jeans, I ironed T-shirts...I even ironed knit shorts.

My ironing obsession didn't stop at their clothes and mine, I also starched and ironed our pillow cases - I love the way they look, feel and smell. I've even gave sheet ironing a whirl, cause I really hate wrinkled sheets, but I failed at that, it's like wrestling an octopus. Thanks to my Mom, I'd even discovered the joys of liquid starch and have used it to starch and iron king-size duvet covers, dust ruffles, tableclothes and the like.

Anyhoo, in November 2007, I had hip surgery...and my ironing obsession came to what I thought was a temporary halt. I had things ironed up in advance, enough, I thought, to get me through. But my recovery took longer than I thought and the plus side is: I've never gone back to ironing. Me and my Rowenta broke up. Oh, we rendezvous every now and then, but I've learned to wear a T-shirt that hasn't been ironed and Magic Sized. I can now wear jeans that don't have the pockets pressed completely flat. Syd & Rea go to school like all of the other kids - in clothes that have been folded from the dryer and not pressed within an inch of their lives.

But, I've still got it. I can starch a dress shirt nearly as good as the cleaner (but don't tell Danny).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another trip home...

Danny, Rea, Nelson and I made a quick trip to Kentucky this past weekend.

Our old hometown is surrounded by acre after acre of tendable farmland; tobacco is a big cash crop, but acres of row crop dominate. It's beautiful in the spring, the wheat is a vibrant green that is beyond description, then a little later in the summer, the soybeans come up and are a deeper green, almost black. I love to see the corn when it's about a foot or so tall; as you drive along the highway and look closely, you can see straight down the rows.

My Cousins tend the land on either side of my parents - one brother tends on the north, the other on the south. On Saturday afternoon, the south tending Cousin rolled in with a tractor, a disc/spray-rig thingy, pick-up truck and three tanks of anhydrous ammonia.

Now, this post is a little like my tobacco posts from back in September, you Kentucky people that read here are are so very used to tanks of ammonia, and quite likely have followed one or thirteen down the road today and cussed it and wished it would get out of your way.

BUT, around these parts - they are QUITE unusual. The longer I sat there and looked at those tanks on Saturday and thought about if I'd ever seen such a thing here in Tennessee. Well, I couldn't.

And I have to be honest with you - I've always known that those tanks had ammonia in them and if you were downwind of them, Look. Out. But, tonight I've had to go to Wikipedia to find out exactly WHY farmers go to all that trouble to haul those "nurse" tanks (I learned that little tidbit tonight) up and down the highway then, hook 'em up behind their fancy tractors and drag them around in circles.

Boys and girls, Anhydrous Ammonia supplies nitrogen for crops - specifically corn and wheat. Apparently this is a super-efficient way to fertilize, the ammonia is injected into the soil where it can bond at the "root zone of the plant". Whoa...

Most recently though, anhydrous has become most valuable in the illegal manufacture of meth. These huge tanks will simply vanish into thin air...who'd a thunk.
And something has just struck me as I've been working on this post, the South Cousin is tending the land that was our Great Grand Father's. Wonder if he ever ponders how different their lives and methods of farming are?

Deep thoughts like how many mules this job would take? And exactly what would those mules would think about a "nurse" tank?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Eating a little crow...

Kinda sorta, but not really (but I have before and it doesn't taste good AT all).

Rea re-thought her soccer decision. After Spring Break was over and everything settled down and all the players were in place, she found out that there were two boys on the team that were exactly her age.

When one of them asked at school why she wasn't at practice she came home and reconsidered.

Guess he doesn't read my blog...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Do you...

I don't have anything else for you today, so I poked around on the web and found this. I saw this on Politico or Huffington Post or something like that last month and thought about sharing it then - I decided today was the day; it's just too good to keep under wraps if you didn't find it for yourself.

The laughter of the crew in the background is priceless...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Lost and Found

Way back in January I lost my good cheaters. They were prescription glasses and although they were a bit catty-whompussed from where I had slung them out of my Tahoe and promptly stomped on them, I much preferred them over the dollar store variety that I had laying around.

The last time I had my glasses on was at Rea's birthday party - we returned to the scene of the crime and searched high and low. We went through a lot of the trash, dug through all of her gift bags and peered under the seats of my Tahoe. My cheaters were gone, though I couldn't blame this loss on a place called the Twinklin' Star.

Fast forward to the funeral on Wedneday.

As I pulled into the funeral home, I decided that I needed to freshen up my lip gloss, so I preceded to dig through my Mary Poppins purse, unzipped the side pocket, pulled out my lip gloss...AND MY GLASSES.

And to answer your first obvious question. YES. I've been packing the same purse since January 18th. Guess this discovery doesn't reflect well on: a) my beauty routine b) my short-term memory skills c) search and recovery skills or d) my sense of fashion.

Monday, April 13, 2009

A whirlwind trip...

I drove up to Kentucky last week to attend a funeral. My Sister-in-Law’s father passed away unexpectedly. So, I went to the funeral and then stayed over and spent a little time with my family. [Can I just say right now that I got very lucky when I got Maine for an in-law - she’s one of those thoughty kind of people, if you know what I mean. And best of all, she has a great sense of humor!].

Danny and I left our hometown in 1985 - and it was a heady time. Great things were in store for us and we were excited about spreading our wings and moving to Nashville. But it was still hard, not only had we both grown up there, but our Kentucky roots ran deep, and for many generations. Leaving that behind wasn't something that we did lightly.

So as you might imagine, leaving to return to my home is always a bit bittersweet. I do it without crying now, but it's always a little hard. And I always leave a tiny piece of my heart behind - especially at Kentucky Lake.

But last week when I crossed the Tennessee state line, she welcomed me home with open arms; it was as if she was trying her best to impress me with her prettiest sunshine. The redbuds were a riot of color along the interstate, the wild cherries were blooming and the dogwoods were just beginning to turn.

I think loving two states must be like loving two kids - you find room in your heart for both of them.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Today is the first year anniversary of My Boy Nelson, this is my 225th post!

Writing a blog isn’t something that I ever expected to do – and if it hadn’t been for Jo’s challenge and encouragement, I don’t think I would have ever taken the plunge. But she believed in me and so here we are today.

There are so many things I would love to write about on My Boy Nelson. Sometimes those things absolutely stymie me and cause me to be completely unable to write about the inane or light-hearted things you expect. I read many blogs and believe me, there are tons of great writers out there and they are SO talented - they are transparent about their spiritual lives, politics, friendships and relationship problems. Often times when things are heavy on my heart and mind, I wish that I too had the courage to be as open as they are.

However, I fiercely want to protect the privacy and dignity of my family and friends and have avoided (or hope I have) throwing anyone under the bus. It hasn’t been because I haven’t wanted to – it’s taken great self control. I tell you this because, sometimes I do write about these things. But as you could imagine, putting them up on my blog could get very complicated, so I just keep them to myself.

I knew that I loved animals- always have, but I didn’t expect them to be the dominating theme of My Boy Nelson. A time or two along the way, I made a conscious effort to write less about them and post fewer animal pictures. But then, I thought about it and I decided that was WHO I was…if that was what I gravitated toward, then so be it, that’s how My Boy Nelson would evolve. If that was what touched my heart and inspired me – then that’s who Nelson’s Mama was.

I also realized that My Boy Nelson is really my electronic scrapbook. You see, I don’t like scrapbooking. I LOVE the supplies – I think the books are cool, those scissors really rock and I want all of the stickers, the paper, the die-cuts, you name it. But, I CAN.NOT cut the pictures. It kills me. I am also paralyzed by the commitment it requires to put them on a specific page. What if I change my mind about where I’ve put a picture? What if I fail to accurately capture the whole story I’m trying to nail down on a single page? I think the thing I've really liked about my blog is the old cliché that a picture really does paint a thousand words. I love the back-story of a single photograph; and I want to tell you that story.

Often this feels like a one-sided conversation – with me doing all the talking. I know you, the readers, are out there, because I have a Statcounter. I can tell when you log in and have a pretty good idea who most of you are. I love it when you comment – it validates what I’m doing and saying. You’re a pretty mute bunch though and just about the time I’m ready to hang it up, I run into someone at the grocery or you’ll comment on something that has hit home with you and I’m ready to keep plugging away.

This has been a wonderful journey and I'm glad you've taken it with me.


Nelson's Mama

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Channeling some Martha...

Rea has been invited to go on vacation with a friend this summer. She'll be travelling to Chesapeake Bay and spending the week at J's Aunt's beach house - it sounds like a blast.

But, I've got to tell you - this trip is nearly three months away and J's already sent the packing list. I'm a little worried for Rea and me.

Here's the packing list:
  • All of your bathing suits
  • Around 12-14 T-shirts (3 need to be nice, the rest just need to be 'nock around shirts)
  • One bathing suit "cover up"
  • 5-7 pajama pants
  • One pair of church clothes
  • One pair of jeans
  • 5-7 pairs of shorts (it gets REALY HOT up there)
  • 12-14 pairs of underwear
  • I don't know if you wear any, bras we probably don't need them, we will have our bathing suits under our clothes
  • One or two Capris
  • And a fleece jacket
  • Socks
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Hairbrush
  • Ponytail holder (rubber bands) LOTS! You will need them
  • Head bands
  • Shampoo, we can share
  • Pillow
  • Blanket
  • Ipod
  • DS
  • DS Charger
  • DS games
  • Cell phone
  • Cell phone charger
  • Drawing note pad
  • Couple colored pencils in a bag
  • Portable DVD player if you have one, I have one
  • Movies, all mine are boring LOL
  • Conditioner, share that too
  • Sunscreen, go to like, Wal-Mart or somewhere and get the small kind, we will have LOTS of that also
  • Hair clips
  • 3 or 4 flip-flops
  • Tennis shoes
  • Clogs (we have been wearing them since 1st grade, if you still don't know what they are, just call me)
I hate to break it to J, but I don't think my child has 12-14 T-shirts NOR 7 pairs of pajama pants!

And Hello! What kind of problems are you expecting that you need that many pairs of underdrawers?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Random snaps from Bubble Day

This yellow Smiley is on Syd's car antenna - Danny's friend Marty willed it to her. It's an Of-ficial Mini-Cooper Smiley ball...I guess Marty felt it detracted from his masculinity. Hmmm...I need to think on that one a while.
I really like the contrast of color between Danny's car and the prism on the bubble; wish I had gotten the bubble in focus instead of the car. Oh, well...they were going by fast!

I love the expression on Syd's face here.

She's concentrating so hard on catching that elusive bubble...

Friday, April 3, 2009

Stealin' Kisses Wishin' He Was 21

Kyle turns 21 today - he's been jonesing for this day for a while.

Looking back, it seems like he was born a lifetime ago. 21 years is a long time ago and I was living a life that I can barely recall. In other ways it seems as if he should still be a little bitty boy.

Savor the ride Kyle, because Corey Smith is day your gonna say "Damn, I wish I was 21".

Happy Birthday...Be Safe...Love you always

(P. S. The picture has not been airbrushed.)

Got a great deal on pineapple...

Didn't know it was going to provide such entertainment for my twelve year old.

She snagged the fruit when I wasn't looking, took it upstairs, dressed it and named it Phil.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Let's go...

I’ve groused here before about the lack of decent shopping options in our small town. Oh, how the thought of being able to shop at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s on a regular basis makes my heart go pitter-patter. But, such is my lot in life and my best option is Kroger.

Most of you probably have a Kroger Plus card on your key chain or in your wallet. Danny & I both had ours from when we moved here nearly nine years ago. I know, I know - they wear out, but we were really attached to those cards. When they finally bit the dust, I just picked up new cards and never bothered filling out and returning the form.

You see, I have a bit of an attitude problem with Kroger and their little card – it irks me that they charge full price for their products and the only way you benefit from the sale price is if you use their card. And with our Kroger, there is no incentive to use the card. There is no gas station to redeem discounts and I don’t use the coupons on the receipt. Kroger tries to make this all warm and fuzzy, but let’s be real here. They want to know who is buying what, when and where…it’s about demographics.

If I forget my card and am lucky enough to get in the line of an older, experienced cashier they will often have a card and scan it for me. New cashiers will not scan a card and ask me to enter my phone number on their handy dandy keypad. They don’t know that I’m conducting a one-woman Plus Card boycott and as a result, none of my data is in their computer. I’ve had to pay full price for my groceries on several occasions.

Sometimes another shopper will offer their card – and I’m always willing to offer mine, because, hey, what do I have to lose. But, I always think it’s funny that some people won’t offer theirs, it’s as if they think they‘ll end up paying for my groceries too!

But, anyhoo, I tell you all of this to say that last Saturday I went to the grocery to buy a BUNCH of stuff – a WHOLE cart load and when I got to the check-out line, I realized that I didn’t have my card.

When the cashier asked for my Kroger Plus card I replied that I didn’t have it - and then very smugly entered a FRIEND’S phone number on the keypad!

DUH. Why had this never occurred to me before?

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Guess you have to take what you can get...

Danny has had a lot of things going on at work lately – he’s had lots on his mind. Things have been more stressful than usual and he’s been working longer hours.

Today though, Danny is doing the happy dance. His beloved Kentucky Wildcats have a new coach. He is excited and, people, let me tell you, I have heard EVERY.LAST.DETAIL. about John Calipari. If you need to know anything about him – just ask.

And if that wasn’t good enough – the Termite Man has been and completed our annual inspection and our house PASSED with flying colors. Danny lives in fear of our humble home being consumed by the dreaded termite. He’s convinced they are lurking in the walls to snack on our foundation; I think he must have nightmares about GIANT TERMITES. He’s always practically giddy when we get a clear report!

I guess the only way his day could get better is if he got to spend some time with me...ahem...shooting skeet.