Sunday, August 30, 2009

Oh, Lady Luck.

She’s a cruel, cruel mistress sometimes.

For years and years Danny has dreamed of going to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship Game and lo and behold if he didn’t get drawn for tickets this year! He’s already got his hotel reservations made and is even daring to dream that his Kentucky Wildcats could make it to the Final Four!

For years and years Danny has dreamed of returning to the Masters and watching is idol Tiger Woods play and lo and behold if he didn’t get drawn for tickets this year!

Lo and behold if Danny’s Masters tickets and the NCAA Championship game aren't on the SAME day.

Lady Luck has a twisted sense of humuor too.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Pigs & Doughnuts

Isn't it interesting what can jog the oddest memory from your childhood?

Ever since that flock of flamingos swooped in on us the other day, I've been thinking about something that now seems so funny to me - but as a little girl - seemed absolutely the WORST thing in the world that could have happened to anyone.

Near our home, was an idyllic sounding street called Meadow Lane, and on this street lived a lady who had decided she needed to shed a few pounds. To do this, she joined T.O.P.S., which stands for Take Off Pounds Sensibly, or something to that effect.

Way back in 1969, T.O.P.S. employed a unique "motivation" technique that involved a painted pig. And we're talking a BIG PIG - close to 7 feet tall - wearing a gaudy, red polka dotted dress.

And apparently, if you gained the most weight that week, you had to put the BIG PIG in your front yard for an entire week.

Meadow Lane Lady must have had a run-in with the doughnuts or something, because one morning that BIG PIG showed up right by her front door and it stayed and it stayed. I would nearly break my neck trying to see that BIG PIG when we would drive by - I was fascinated...and mortified for her!

Each time I drive by and see another flock of those flamingos around town, I remember that BIG PIG and think of Meadow Lane Lady. I now know that she was "in" on the joke - as a kid though, I remember thinking that mean people had snuck into her yard and put the BIG PIG in the ugly dress there just to be mean!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

You've Been Flocked!

We woke up one morning to a surprise flock of flamingos on our front lawn. We thought maybe they'd come to join the pair that Rea had bought at Walgreen's last year.

It's funny, the girls and I didn't know that the musuem was kicking off a fundraiser involving trailer trash birds and had spent the better part of a week tormenting Danny with them.

Each afternoon when he came home the flamingos would greet him from a different place in the yard - and he would stalk out there and yank them up and hide them in garage, then we'd find them again and repeat the process.

And then - whadya know! We got a whole flock!

It cost us some moula to have those long-legged birds removed from our yard - but it was fun scheming about whose lawn they would roost in next.

Monday, August 24, 2009

What to do, what to do...

During Syd’s seventh grade year the middle school stopped having traditional parent-teacher conferences. The school implemented a "spiffy" new program called Student Lead Conferences, which required Syd and me to return to the school after hours and sit awkwardly in a classroom with other parents and students, and pretend to examine her current grades and a selection of tests and papers, while her homeroom teacher hovered around. Productive huh?

I went along with this charade for most of the year, until one particular conference when an unsuspecting young boy was brutally tag teamed by his parents. His tears and humiliation were a tough thing to witness, and I don’t know who was more uncomfortable – him or Syd. I wasn’t privy to the conversation that evening, but I’m willing to bet that it involved privileges, grounding and lots of other things that shouldn’t have been discussed in that classroom, in front of his peers.

I never went back for a Student Lead conference during Syd’s tenure at the middle school and when Rea started there last year, some five years after her sister, I continued to politely ignore the scheduling requests.

I explained to Rea why I didn’t like to go and she agreed that she didn’t want to participate and we’ve been going about our merry way until today, when some teacher informed Rea that it was MANDATORY that I attend the Student Lead conferences.

And now, I’m having a bit of a problem with that word: MANDATORY. The word mandatory means that the powers-that-be at the middle school have commanded, required or inferred that this Student Lead conference is compulsory. They’ve said that I don’t have a choice. That I am unable to make my OWN decision in this matter. I don’t recall reading any such thing on any of the various manious papers that I’m was forced to sign under duress at the beginning of the school year. So I really don’t see how, I, a 47 year old adult can be forced to attend said conference against my free will.

I don't have a thing against conferences or a problem with hearing about my girls. In fact, I’d love to have a good old-fashioned sit down with their teachers – I think that would be time well spent. I miss those brief one-on-one sessions with them; they were a great source of information about how they were doing in the classroom both academically and socially.

However, I personally don't happen to think that Student Lead conferences are constructive - and as an ADULT and a PARENT I have opted not to participate, because I CAN.

But, the biggest dilemma of all is making the right decision for Rea. Do I let her get caught in a battle of wills between me and the school or do I try to make nice and go to the conference and pretend to look at the papers and really play Tic-Tac-Toe?

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Cludder, Clutter, kendle or kindle of cats, 1801; a group of cats.

I think we've got that covered.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Ben & Vivi

Ben and Vivi don't always fight over the cat basket.

They have a pretty harmonious relationship as long as Ben remembers that Vivian has dibs on the the kitty basket AND that she doesn't appreciate being bathed.

I caught them lounging in the sun by the front door earlier this week; wish the picture was better, but every time I get close to Vivi with the camera she gets up and rubs around on it...I have to be fast.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Facebook Snafu

Okay. So, you know that I love Facebook. And mostly I'm a lurker; I hide out in the Facebook shadows and watch with wonderment at all of the things that go on there.

I'm slowly, but surely accumulating a respectable cadre of friends. I passed the 300 mark a couple of weeks ago - and when that happens that means that there's a pretty good chance there's somebody in the bunch that you just don't know that well.

Let's take for example, Teddy G. Over six months ago, Teddy G. asked to be my friend - we had lots of mutual friends, and we graduated in the same class in high school. I will say though, Teddy had the year of our graduation wrong, but I politely refrained from sending him a comment and correcting him. And we've been friends ever since.

I spent a good bit of time though, pouring over Teddy's pictures. Poor Teddy G. had changed...he seemed to be dying his hair. The brothers that he'd been close to growing up, were no where to be seen in any of the family pictures he posted, nor were they in his friends list when I scanned it. Poor Teddy's family seemed to have suffered a serious rift - I felt terrible for him.

Yesterday, Teddy G. posted something else and as I glanced at it, I finally realized that I.DON'T.KNOW. Teddy G. we did go to the same high school. He's absolutely correct about the year of his graduation. I do think it's entirely possible that he knows me.

But, when you friend someone and are THINKING it's Teddy D., and keep thinking it's Teddy D. for over six months, it completely explains why he might look just a LITTLE DIFFERENT.

It also makes complete sense now as to why Teddy D.'s brothers, Jesse and Andy, aren't in Teddy G.'s Holiday pictures.

Whew. I'm going to bed now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

A Toad Sighting!

Aren't you excited? Well, if you aren't then you dang well ought to be. Our toads are gone, I tell you they are G.O.N.E.

When we first moved into this house there was a plethora of toads - and that suited me just fine. I've always liked toads, nothing made me happier as a little girl than to have a toad to pack around in my pocket. Big toads, little toads, medium sized toads, I liked them all. And I didn't even care if they peed on me.

Our first few summers here, right at dusk, the toads would come out and sit on our driveway and sidewalk. They also liked to congregate on the sidewalk across the street under the street-light, waiting for the bug buffet to begin each evening.

When our girls were smaller, Danny and I would help them catch bugs and feed the toads on our driveway. I think we got a bigger kick out of it than they did - it was a fun way to spend a summer night.

Anyway, about three summers ago, I noticed that all of the toads disappeared.

Vanished. Into thin air.

I've done a little Internet research, trying to figure out where they might have gone and I came up empty handed. I'm left to draw my own conclusion and it's that the drought must have killed them. Now, I have no scientific basis for this conclusion, it's a pretty simple hypothesis based on two factors: It quit raining and my toads vamoosed.

So, back to my toad sighting tonight, Nelson and I saw a small one in the driveway! So, maybe there is hope for a toad re-population on the horizon!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Questions. And Lots of Them

"I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration."

I didn't say that - if you will recall, some lady named Hillary Rodham Clinton did.

How is it that questioning, debating and disagreeing with an administration was long as it was the previous administration?

I think I'm typical of many other Americans...I have LOTS of questions and concerns about the proposed Health Care Reform - and if the opportunity to attend a Town Hall meeting near me presents itself, you can bet your sweet bippy that I'll be there. With bells on.

And I'll go all of my own doing! Nobody from the GOP has emailed this old gal nor offered her a single red cent! Now, I'll try to mind my P's & Q's, refrain from screaming or cursing at anybody and try not hip check some old geezer, but methinks somebody is getting just a wee bit touchy.

And another thing. When did the White House get time to sit around and gather emails about things "that seems fishy" in this great big old free country of ours?

Don't they have an economy to fix?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Watering plants...

is really hard work.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I think I'm going to live.

The worst of my chigger infestation seems to be behind me. I had one spot on my right foot that festered up and gangrene was looking iminent for a couple of days - but all is well on that front now.

Life improved considerably when Syd showed with some Chigarid for me. She stopped in Walgreen's for some school supplies and thoughtfully remembered my chigger dilemma and brought some of this wonderful stuff home to me. I must admit that it threw me just a tad off guard - she's seventeen after all - I don't rate real high on her list. I finally drug the ugly truth out of her, she informed me that she was "tired of watching you scratch your ass". Alrighty then.

Some of you have offered several home remedies for my friendly little bugs. Vaseline, nail polish...KEROSENE.

Thanks for that little tidbit Ken, but I really don't think I want to pour a flammable liquid on my hoo-haw.

Just sayin'

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Random Acts of Kindness

We hear a lot these days about paying it forward and performing small acts of kindness for one another. Sadly, we don't often get to witness those small gestures of kindness or take the time to do them ourselves.

Today, I helped count money at Rea's school for their magazine fundraiser. For every magazine or $10 of sales they turned in, their name was entered into a drawing for prizes - they also could earn a trip to Opry Mills Mall on Friday.

As we were finishing up our totals for the day, a sixth grade teacher came into the conference room where we were counting and wanted to see the list for his class. There's been some good natured competition between some on the teachers and I thought he wanted to know his final totals; but he quickly glanced down the list and then pulled out his wallet.

This teacher - who's been teaching long enough to completely sick AND tired of fundraisers (and probably could retire) wanted to be sure that ALL of the kids in his class had a chance at the prizes.

Rea's school has really been focusing on "Character Counts". Seems to me they don't need to look very far for a role model.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Don't mind me while I scratch

I'm a country girl - and as a result - I've had more than my share of poison ivy, ticks, mosquito bites, deer ticks and even a pond leech or two.

But let me just say - right here - right now - that I have been blissfully ignorant when it comes to chiggers. Those little bastards are evil, they have made a five course meal out of my body, I even have chigger bites in places that it's not polite to blog about.

And to top it all off - I believe (and you can laugh if you'd like) that I have given Nelson chiggers.

Monday night was one of the longest nights that have I put in since my girls were babies. I ended up on the couch, scratching and digging at myself until I drew blood and then at about 1:00, Nelson began running around the house like a demon dog. He'd flop down and rub his face on the floor, then roll on his back, then turn over and scrub around and groan. He snuck out the cat door TWICE before 4:30. He ran from the couch to the chair to the ottoman and back ALL.NIGHT.LONG. I even gave him BENADRYL and it didn't help.

My friend Google and I have been doing a little checking today and while uncommon, chiggers are known to jump off of a person onto another. Chiggers bite dogs too. Nelson laid in my lap after I got home Sunday and then slept next to me that night. I am convinced that I have infested My Boy Nelson.

And from the way My Boy has been scratching, it looks as if those little beasts bit him where it's not polite to blog about either.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you

My Mom loves cemeteries - I seriously believe that I've been drug to every one in Calloway, Graves and Marshall counties. I've traipsed across fields, waded through poison ivy, tip-toed across graves that have fallen in and have been told a thousand times to be careful around headstones because I might get hurt.

Through the years though, I must say, that I've developed a passing interest in cemeteries too. They hold so many stories that I wish I knew.

I was home this weekend for a Family Reunion and we went for a quick cemetery junket to one of my very favorites - Asbury. We loved to go there in high school and turn off the car and then see who had the nerve to walk through the graveyard - I was never brave enough to go very far!
January's ice storm was brutally unkind to Asbury, many of the huge cedars are now broken and dying. Many trees are still down, someone has cut many of them up, but the logs are still laying in the cemetery, making it impossible to mow. For years the canopy of the trees has restricted the light and kept the undergrowth down; now with so much sunshine coming in, the grass and weeds are quickly taking over.

And while the goblins didn't get me at Asbury, the chiggers did...those weeds provided an impressive home for those little monsters.

I may need a plot at Asbury.