Tuesday, November 16, 2010

This pretty lady in our neighbor's yard has been showing off for several days now, but last night's rain finally prompted me to grab my camera and take her picture. She really didn't deserve to be photographed on such a gray and rainy day, but such is life and I just couldn't bear not to capture her beauty before the rain beat all of her beautiful leaves to the ground.

I love autumn – the crisp temperatures, changing leaves, sitting out by a bonfire and pots of good fall food. Chili, homemade vegetable soup, white beans & cornbread, comfort food that simply warms the soul.

Fall is when I get to pull my sweaters back out, throw on my polar fleece and wear my Uggs – things that make everything right in my world. Autumn is when retailers and restaurants finally quit trying to refrigerate the entire free world and I can cease searching for a place with outdoor dining and stop dressing like an Eskimo when it's hotter than Hades.

To say that I love fall is an understatement, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's my favorite season – that'd be a little like choosing a favorite child. Now wouldn't it?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Christmas Red clashes with Autumnal Orange

I've bemoaned the fact before, but I'm just going there again - what is wrong with people that just CANNOT wait until after Thanksgiving to put up their Christmas decorations?

There is a huge house that I pass in my daily comings and goings and the very second that the final fun-sized Milky Way is handed out their door those folks are slapping up garland and decking the halls with over-sized bows and lights.

I wonder if those people have ever heard of a place called Plymouth Rock, some tough and hardy colonists called pilgrims, and the original Americans - Indians?

Monday, November 1, 2010

All Saints Eve

Halloween was great this year - it's my favorite holiday and a great reason for kids of all ages to dress up and act silly, spend time with friends and play outside in the dark.

These two geriatric ladies escaped from the assisted living center and were begging for candy at the door!

Nelson was a good Doo Be and got to go trick or treating too!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Third Monday

Today was Third Monday at the First United Methodist church; that's when all of the ladies Circles join together for their monthly meeting, then have lunch. I've always wondered if Third Monday is a local thing or a Methodist thing - but those ladies are serious about their third Monday of the month.

Anyhoo, I cooked lunch for the Third Monday ladies today and it's something that I truly enjoy doing, we had Chicken & Cornbread Casserole, Green Beans, Baked Apples and Rolls. They are always so sweet and complimentary, I think many of them live alone and no longer cook and particularly enjoy a "home cooked" meal.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Fall Break around these parts and I haven't been worth shooting; Rea has been gone on a church mission trip, Danny left me and went out of town for work and I've been home - completely ALONE. Sadly, they both found their way back and have returned with dirty laundry and have commenced to messing up my house again. I kid, I kid...I might have missed them just a tad.

I took the chance while they were gone to drive down to Chattanooga and visit with Syd and do a little shopping; we had a nice time though she doesn't appreciate my "feel your way around" method of getting from point A to B at.all. That girl is GPS dependent; and there is going to be hell to pay if that thing dies on her one day, cause she's not going to have a clue as to how to get home. I'm thinking we may have to wean her off of it...

You'd think after all these years that driving I-24 over Monteagle would get old, but I still get a little thrill out of it - guess I'll never grow up. And trust me, I would NEVER want to see anyone get hurt or be in the way of those big trucks, but is it just me or would somebody else like to see a truck run into one of those run-away truck lanes? Just sayin'.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Confessions from a Non-Hoarder

I don't know about you, but I've become more than a little intrigued with the reality shows about hoarders. I've got my Nameless DVR set to record both "Hoarding: Buried Alive" and "Hoarders" and watch them with equal parts of morbid fascination and repulsion – it's little like driving by a horrible car wreck, I just can't resist the temptation to look, then wonder why I'm totally mortified by the scene.

The homes and the people on those shows are seriously my worst nightmare and I catch myself holding my breath as I watch; I don't know how those family members don't manage go completely postal and rush in armed with corn scoops and a plethora of lawn sized trash bags and do a cleaning intervention.

I'll admit that watching those hoarding shows has compelled me to do a little house cleaning of my own – specifically closets and drawers. I like clean surfaces: kitchen counters, tables, washer & dryer and desks. The downside of this "need" of mine is that I often shove whatever offending clutter that is lying in my eyesight into the nearest drawer or closet and I'm here to tell you that it's not always an efficient system.

So, I've been taking a few minutes here and there and cleaning out some of the spaces that I'm the worst about shoving stuff into. Today, it was the laundry room closet. I bagged up some old towels to donate at church, organized all of the "fancy" shopping bags that get saved, refolded all of the cloth napkins and got all of the first aid items back into their basket home.

I'm guessing that I might also need to do something with the bank statements, bills and church newsletter from a month ago that I discovered amongst the cat food and the plastic grocery bags. Ahem.

And Rea, the strap to your trumpet case…I remember now where I put it.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Did I mention?

One of the major life events that I kinda, sorta let slip by during my blog hiatus was the fact that my oldest daughter graduated from high school.

Then left for college. Yeah.

We're all in the process of adjusting to college life - some of us better than others.

First Syd. Well, dorm life is not her cup of tea. She's an old soul and always has been; so the noise, the hub-bub and the messy roommates are truly trying for her. Syd is enjoying her classes and making great grades, however, the jury is still out whether she'll go postal on her roomies.

Rea, on the other hand, is living the high life. The first night that Syd was gone she showered in her bathroom, used the shampoo that she had left, rummaged through all her drawers and the closet and wore her sister's clothes to school the next day. I keep finding things in Rea's room that she has taken from her Syd's room - and to keep the peace I keep RETURNING them to their rightful place.

After an initial sadness, Dan and I are fine - especially since Syd is coming home EVERY weekend. She's very unhappy in her dorm, so as soon as class is over on Friday morning, she hits the road is back here by 11:15.

Then, she and I spend time together doing what has become "'our" thing - we cook.

It's become our mutual ground, something a few years ago that I worried that we'd never find...and it's a wonderful thing.

Friday, September 17, 2010

As you were...

I'm not necessarily what one would call a strict rule follower, I like to have a little wiggle room and I think a prime example of my rule flaunting would be my extreme failure to obey the speed limit. I think sometimes we get so caught up in some rules that we lose sight of the big picture.

However, when it comes time for school drop-off and pick-up, I am a stickler for RULES. Because, you see, I feel that those rules are there for a really, really good reason and that would be to keep MY child and YOUR child safe.

But, the person in the BIG GRAY CAR at the middle school doesn't think those RULES are important, nor, does she think they apply to her.

Each afternoon, the BIG GRAY CAR waits in the line until 3:00 on the nose, then drives by the rest of us morons, stupidly waiting in the line and proceeds to the very front of the building, where she stops in the middle of EVERYTHING and blocks the entire pick-up process...school bus and all. Once she reaches the front, she waits, sometimes briefly, sometimes as long as 10 minutes for her Sweet Baby, to come out of the building. Once Sweet Baby comes out, she darts in and out of the traffic and hops into the BIG GRAY CAR and they zooooom off into the sunset.

Morning drop-off isn't off-limits to the BIG GRAY CAR either; just two days ago when I arrived to drop Rea off, there was the BIG GRAY CAR, blocking the front drop-off line - just sitting there with the it's back passenger door standing wide open, forcing everyone to drive around.

And as if that's not enough, last Friday, Syd met me at Kroger and we'd both parked in the same aisle and as we left, there was the BIG GRAY CAR! When I was trying to back out the BIG GRAY CAR nearly rear-ended me. Then, the BIG GRAY CAR backed around so it could go out the wrong way in the parking lot and nearly hit Syd HEAD ON!

And just in case you are wondering how I always know it's the same BIG GRAY CAR...the front passenger window is busted where someone's head has gone through it. Oh. Yeah. She's a GREAT driver, exactly the kind of person you want whipping around not following the rules.

Several parents (including me - twice) have reported the BIG GRAY CAR to the administration of the middle school. But, apparently there are more burning issues at school than traffic safety (things like exposed flesh and non-regulation water bottles, you must address those things PRONTO), but hey, let's leave the little kiddies to battle the 2000-pound missiles on their own.

As you were, BIG GRAY CAR, as you were...

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let’s make a deal!

Once upon a time, a long time ago (well, maybe it was just in the spring, but you get my drift), Rea decided that her life would not be complete without a ferret. That kid launched a no holds barred assault on the entire household, she researched those playful little rodents up one side and down the other, complete with a seven page manifesto explaining just exactly WHY she needed a ferret.

Rea pestered her Dad into taking her to the pet store so she could peer at them in their cages; she searched for pre-owned ferrets on Petfinder.com and then eventually in an effort to prove that she was responsible enough to care for one, she made arrangements to ferret sit for our neighbors while they were on vacation.

So, one beautiful spring afternoon, Pavol, a geriatric, diabetic, ferret became Rea's roommate for a week; the old weasel proved to be pretty laid back – quiet, gentle, polite and spent 95% of his time sleeping in his little red hammock. But, friends. That ferret STUNK like nobody's business, the stench met your nose at the front door and it was overwhelming. And if the smell wasn't problem enough, Oscar and Vivi spent the entire week lurking outside Rea's door just waiting for the chance to make a snack out of Rea's guest.

I tell you all of that to simply set the stage for the part where we became Evil Parents. Parents that absolutely, positively refused to allow Rea to have a ferret – and any passing interest that I may have expressed in ferrets in past was OVER.

I am happy to report though, that d├ętente was achieved and this…

was the compromise.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hello, again…

So, I guess a few of you have missed me and have been beginning to wonder if I've fallen off the face of the earth. I'm not sure what to tell you about my bloggy absence, except to say that life just got in the way of the words; a lot has gone on in the last few months and while I didn't deliberately walk away from My Boy Nelson, after a bit, it just seemed like the wise thing to do.

This spring wasn't one of best we've ever endured (though, we've had much worse, believe me). I had shoulder surgery in April and was pretty much out of commission and leaning heavily on Syd, who in turn was trying to finish up her senior year in high school. Rea was walking through the final part of her seventh grade year and experiencing the woes of middle school and my heart ached for her.

May brought the loss of my dear friend, Joanne; how do you sum up someone's life in a blog post? I tried, but I simply couldn't find the words to describe how I felt. We all miss her…

After weeks of physical torture therapy, it became obvious that something wasn't quite right with my shoulder and I had a second surgery in July (Boy howdy, that was fun). I am glad to tell you though, that it is MUCH better now – not 100% - but good. Usable. Tolerable. Bearable. None of those words applied prior to July.

Dano is steady as ever; my friend, my partner, my punching bag and my soft place to fall.

I've got lots to tell you and will be posting again soon.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We Are Nashville

"If you live outside of Nashville, you may not be aware, but our city was hit by a 500-year flood over the last few days. The national news coverage gave us 15 minutes, but went back to focusing on a failed car bomb and an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. While both are clearly important stories, was that any reason to ignore our story? It may not be as terror-sexy as a failed car bomb or as eco-sexy as an oil spill, but that's no reason to be ignored.

The Cumberland River crested at its highest level in over 80 years. Nashville had its highest rainfall totals since records began. People drowned. Billions of dollars in damage occurred. It is the single largest disaster to hit Middle Tennessee since the Civil War. And yet…no one knows about it.

Does it really matter? Eventually, it will…as I mentioned, there are billions of dollars in damage. It seems bizarre that no one seems to be aware that we just experienced what is quite possibly the costliest non-hurricane disaster in American history. The funds to rebuild will have to come from somewhere, which is why people need to know. It's hard to believe that we will receive much relief if there isn't a perception that we need it.

But let's look at the other side of the coin for a moment. A large part of the reason that we are being ignored is because of who we are. Think about that for just a second. Did you hear about looting? Did you hear about crime sprees? No…you didn't. You heard about people pulling their neighbors off of rooftops. You saw a group of people trying to move two horses to higher ground. No…we didn't loot. Our biggest warning was, "Don't play in the floodwater." When you think about it…that speaks a lot for our city. A large portion of why we were being ignored was that we weren't doing anything to draw attention to ourselves. We were handling it on our own.

Some will be quick to find fault in the way rescue operations were handled, but the fact of the matter is that the catastrophe could not have been prevented and it is simply ignorant beyond all reason to suggest otherwise. It is a flood. It was caused by rain. You can try to find a face to stick this tragedy to, but you'll be wrong.

Parts of Nashville that could never even conceivably be underwater were underwater. Some of them still are. Opry Mills and the Opryland Hotel are, for all intents and purposes, destroyed. People died sitting in standstill traffic on the Interstate. We saw boats going down West End. And, of course, we all saw the surreal image of the portable building from Lighthouse Christian floating into traffic and being destroyed when cars were knocked into it. I'm still having trouble comprehending all of it.

And yet…life will go on. We'll go back to work, to school, to our lives…and we'll carry on. In a little over a month, I'll be on this website talking about the draft. In October, we'll be discussing the new Predators' season with nary a thought of these past few days. But in a way, they changed everyone in this town. We now know that that it can happen to us…but also know that we can handle it.

Because we are Nashville."

-Patten Fuqua


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Sunday, April 11, 2010

This, That and The Other Thing

I'm happy to report that the ant situation is under control, but it did require a visit by the new Bug Man. I wasn't home when he first arrived, so poor Syd got the honor of hearing about all of his chemical preparations. She fled to her room after I got home, so I got to hear exactly where he sprayed all of his goodies and from whence all those pesky little critters were invading our home. Man, that dude is some kind of serious about his job.

Syd's Senior Prom is coming up in a couple of weeks and alterations on her dress are finally finished. We ordered it months ago and against our better judgement, ordered the size the dress shop recommended. When it got here I knew immediately that it was too big. But, since it was a special order there was no returning it. So, we took it to a good friend, who also happens to be an awesome seamstress, and she worked her sewing magic and took nearly four inches out of the back bodice of the dress, basically resizing it. Now, looks like they are set to go - all of the other plans are in place. Limo, dinner reservations, flowers and tux.

Oh yeah, My Boy Nelson has a new look! What do you think? I love the new banner and the fresh colors. The Design Girl freshened up the old blog and I really like it - a few of you have already noticed and I appreciate your comments!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Thursday, April 1, 2010

They're marching one by one...

Lord have mercy, the ants are about to pack us off. We've been stomping, smashing, swattin', drowning, spraying and setting out traps for days now and I think those little devils are going to win yet.

Every spring when it rains we start finding a few ant trails coming into the house - but always in the oddest places, never where I would expect, like around FOOD. They come into the half bath and into the laundry room and occasionally they'll find the cat food. But, this year...they are on the kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, upstairs, downstairs, basement (oops, don't have a basement), crawling out of my computer, I even had one crawling ON ME!

We have a Bug Service and in the past, I would have called them and Glenn, my wonderful Bug Man FOREVER, would have run by and sprayed the house and the ant problem would have been solved.

But the Bug Service has moved Glenn to parts unknown and left me with a new and VERY ANNOYING Bug Man. I want Glenn back. I miss Glenn.

Glenn didn't feel the need to call me the night before to tell me he was coming to spray the outside of my house the next day - he just showed up and did his job. He was small, slight man (about my size in fact), a man of few words, a former Marine, but he knew his bugs and he didn't take any guff off Nelson.

Nor did Glenn feel the need to KNOCK on my door the next day and interrupt me while I was still in my jammies and drinking my coffee to tell me that was he here to spray the outside of my house. [Dude, you called last night, after eight years I recognize the truck]. Glenn, also never felt the need to KNOCK on the door AGAIN after he was FINISHED spraying the outside of the house to me a blow-by-blow of every pest and vermin that he had run across under the house and in the yard.

I also didn't have to explain to Glenn when our account was past due - he completely understood that the Bug Service was completely inept at properly apply funds even though we pay through AUTOMATIC DRAFT. Talk about creative accounting.

So, I'm either going to have to suck it up and call the new Bug Man, live with the ants or find a new Bug Service.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break

We've been on Spring Break around these parts and the weather has been rainy, windy, cold, snowy and blustery, exactly what every child and parent wants from a two-week break in March.

Although the weather didn't cooperate, the timing was great for Rea, she really needed a breather from middle school (and so did I). She spent a couple of days in Nashville with a friend, then I picked her up and we drove north to the Bluegrass state, where she got loved on by both of her grandmothers. She may already be 5' 6"and look all grown-up and act happy-go-lucky most of the time, but she's still part little girl (and even has feelings) and lately some things have really cut her to the core and nothing quite soothes the soul like a grandmother.

Instead of blogging I've been caught up in March Madness – we had tickets to the Final Four and were bound for Indianapolis but after Kentucky lost to West Virginia those babies went on eBay. It was a tough loss, but what a season…I'm not going to complain (unlike someone else around here). I haven't watched Wildcat basketball in forever and to get to enjoy this incredible year after such a dry spell was wonderful!

I've also been reading – my old addiction before blogs. In the last week I've read House Rules, by Jodi Picoult. The Girls from Ames: A Story of Women and a Forty-Year Friendship by Jeffrey Zaslow, The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein and am nearly finished with Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout. They've all been good reads and I'd recommend every one of them.

Today found us back to our usual grind; Danny to work, the girls back to school and me back to being a scullery maid. I also spent a good bit of the day wondering how Rea's day went and hoping upon hope that it was better than before the break, when she learned the hard way that "no good deed goes unpunished" and that pretty girls don't know that "pretty is as pretty does".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Blue Mist

I grew up immersed in Kentucky basketball and really thought I knew the depths and breadth of what their loyal fans would do for their team. I was kidding myself and was totally blown away at the SEC tournment this weekend - the Sea of Blue completely took over the city of Nashville and it was something to behold.

The thing that I most enjoyed about the tourney was the camarderie among the fans. Since we had tickets for the entire event we sat in the same section from Thursday through Sunday and got to know our seat-neighbors quite well. We greeted each other each morning, one guy was the offical jacket holder, another was dubbed the official section "cheerleader", Jacob, who was 6, hung in for the entire 4 days, high-fiving all 3-pointers and enjoying ice-cream from a certain fan for being such a trooper.

We shared cabs from the hotel with fans from Somerset and Fort Thomas; had our bar tab picked up by fans from Louisville and parts beyond. We even made friends with Missisippi State fans at the hotel. Every line we stood in, be it the bathroom, the popcorn or drink line UK fans alike would say "Where are you from?".

Best of all, we spent the weekend with two really special people that we don't get to see very much. It was a great time and I'm ready for next year!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


I'll admit - occasionally I wonder why I still shack up with this guy. Especially after he shot me in the ass with that gun you see him holding, let me tell you it smarted.

But, after twenty-eight years we're still clicking along and he still makes me laugh more days than he doesn't. When things are going downhill in a hurry, Dan is my go-to guy - I always know that I can count on him and so can my girls.

I'm a lucky girl and I don't tell him that often enough.

Happy Birthday and belated Happy Anniversary...

Friday, March 5, 2010



For years I watched my Dad do this funky little deal with a broom – I have no earthly idea who taught him to do it, could be he learned it as a boy. I've never asked, but maybe I should have. He taught me to do it as a kid and I thought it was my parental duty to pass this skill down to at least one of my children.

After I taught Rea to do Ronald's broom trick, she wanted me to show a friend – so I did. And all was well. Or so I thought. Around Thanksgiving my arm started hurting at night, but I believed that I was just sleeping on it wrong. Then on New Year's Eve, once again a broom trick demonstration was in order and that was the coup de grace, I felt a distinctive little pop that I thought was a bad muscle pull and my arm and shoulder haven't been the same since.

I found out on Monday that I have a torn ligament in my shoulder (and not just any ligament, one that only 4% of patients manage to screw up) – not exactly what I expected or wanted to hear. I was keeping my fingers crossed for a cartilage tear or some such thing; a repair that could be done with laproscope, but it seems that this will have to done with open surgery and that will add to my recovery time. Oh, goody.

Needless to say, after having arthroscopic hip surgery three years ago, I'm not looking forward to this. I thought they'd fix my hip right up and I'd just bounce back to my old self within a couple of weeks, but it was a sweet forever before I felt human again and I hobbled around like an old woman for six months; it was as if my whole body had been completely insulted. It was after I found out they had actually cranked my hip OUT OF SOCKET to fix the cartilage that I understood why it took so long to heal and finally feel like myself again.

I've been trying to find the bright side to this surgery – the silver lining, if you will and I'll tell you I haven't had much luck, but I have come up with a couple of things. It's not life threatening, and that's such a blessing, secondly, there won't be a walker or crutches involved this time (just let me say for the record that a walker is so humiliating) and lastly, the thing I'm holding on to most of all.

At least I'm not in middle school.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Growing up is brutal - especially for Mom

I had a friend in Nashville who described her high school years as hell – so bad for both she and her Mom that each afternoon they went shopping for a new outfit for her to wear just so she could face the new school day. She was beautiful, smart and charming and I just couldn't fathom how someone like her could have struggled so with her peers.

While my middle school and high school years weren't always smooth sailing; I don't recall them as one of the hardest seasons of my life. During that time, I forged a few lasting relationships with people whose friendship I value above all others. Those days were not perfect and had their share of ups and downs – which are inherent while kids are learning to navigate their way through life.

Those ups and downs don't hold a candle to what my girls endure today – and I'm totally feeling my friend's mom's pain and could jump on that shopping band wagon to soothe myself and possibly gloss over some of the hurts Syd and Rea get handed each and every day. My girls are not always innocent parties in the daily kerfuffle's that go down – but during my school days, I always knew who had my back, and who didn't, loyal friends that I could trust in the trenches of war; no matter what.

But, things don't seem to work that way now; expectations for loyalty only seem to apply to dogs.

I never expected my girls to always be on the outside looking in – excluded for being who they are; not accepted for being unique, beautiful, funny and different in her own way.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I know that I keep saying that I'm going to blog more – and I really want to, but honestly, I've holed up in the house like a hermit to avoid the cold and will do almost anything to keep from cleaning up, applying make-up and putting on something besides yoga pants and Uggs and leaving the house; that doesn't leave me many opportunities to find interesting topics.

And while I'm confessing, I'll just tell you straight up, my standards are slipping. There a few days, here and there, that slip by that I absolutely refuse to shower – because there is one thing that I hate and that's getting C.O.L.D and if I'm all snuggy and warm and haven't set foot outside all day nor broken a sweat, I just don't see the point in getting all wet and cold. And for the record, shampoo does too count as facial cleanser, just sayin'

Nelson has even joined me in my hermit-ness, preferring to spend most of his days sleeping in his basket or on the back of the couch. He rarely ventures outside and save for their early morning wake-up visit for a little breakfast; Scout and Trooper are spending most of their time inside snoozing too. Those crazy Shih Tzu's aren't offering me much material these days either.

Some New Year's Eve shenanigans involving a broom have left me with a bum shoulder; I'll fill you in on the details when I know more – but let's just say that my orthopedic guy and I were already on a first name basis and it's looking like we may be exchanging Christmas Cards before I'm through with this. My achy shoulder has just been another excuse for me to hide in the house and huddle on the couch with Nelson and my good friend – the muscle relaxer.

Nelson and I will update soon!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Apparently during the dark hours of the night, some wee rodent was captured and partially consumed by some feline resident of the house.

Nelson discovered what remained of the victim (a tee tiny rump and a nub of a tail) wedged underneath the wheel of a plant stand in the dining room.

Now, nearly TWO HOURS later, he's still convinced that rodent parts still remain on the wheel of the plant stand.

For heaven's sake dog - GIVE IT A REST!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The age of majority?

Syd turns eighteen today - I've tried not to spend the morning reflecting on where those years have gone, but it's inevitable that my mind goes back to those first sweet hours the day she was born. We'd waited a long time for a baby and she was perfect. [Who am I kidding? What Mom says their baby isn't?] She had TONS of black hair, arrived looking as if she'd been tanning already and loved to snuggle. I was in heaven.

Had I known that she was going to projectile vomit EVERYWHERE for the next year or so, my enthusiam might just have been a tad less.

Somehome, Syd has mananged to survive all of our parenting snafu's and is now entering adulthood as a quiet, reserved, witty, shy, smart, beautiful, intelligent, practical, pragmatic, young woman.

Although I feel like our job as parents is far from over, she has reached adulthood - in a legal sense and I sincerely hope that we've done a good job of preparing her for life. Because, today she became able to do some Very Important Stuff like: sign a contract, serve in the military, vote, serve on a jury, and be arrested as an adult.

I feel like we've covered the basics points of life - please, thank you, laundry, driving, errands, getting up and getting to school on time, crossing the street and a checking account.

But somehow, when they gave us the baby handbook at the hospital it was missing a section on all this Very Important Stuff that we should have talked about long before today.

We need to get busy - we've got lots of makeup work to do.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Hello, My name is Nelson’s Mama

I am a Nose-Spray Addict.

I have been addicted to nose-spray for 19 years. Then, thanks to an intervention staged by a nurse practioner a few years back, with the help of steroids and the grace of the Lord Almighty, I've been in recovery and nose-spray free…until recently.

But sadly, I seem to have fallen off of the nose-spray wagon and am back to my old ways of late; I'm having a really tough time avoiding my old friend, the lure of the spray has just been too much for me and I've succumbed .

I truly thought I was past the days of paying $8.00 dollars for a bottle of nose-spray at a gas station, or that I would never again share nose-spray with someone else [yes, sprayers share – we are no better than heroin addicts – willing to stoop to unbelievable lows for that next fix].

But this week, I knew that I had officially fallen, relapsed – it hit me squarely in the face when I willing and knowingly ventured outside at 4:00 AM in nothing but a short-tailed gown and my Uggs to retrieve my purse from my Tahoe, because it contained my ONE and ONLY bottle of nose-spray.

That my friends, is desperation

Friday, February 5, 2010

Life Lesson

It would be prudent to remember that just because a vehicle looks like yours, the automatic door thingamajig just might not unlock the doors.

You can stand in the drug store parking lot and pull on the door for a SWEET FOREVER and it's just.not.gonna.open.

Lest you want to look like a fool, I'd suggest checking a space or three to the right.

For what it's worth...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A snowy weekend

The snow that arrived on Friday was a great excuse for me to hibernate over the weekend – I have all the makings of a hermit these days, taking any excuse at all to hunker down in the house and refuse to leave.

I think that’s one reason I don’t really mind winter, I feel less guilty about being a housecat; I can cozy up with a great book or my computer, put something good to cook on the stove, get into my comfortable sweats, hang out with my favorite people, my favorite Tzu – crank up the fake fireplace and all is copacetic in my world.

I didn’t even stick a toe out the door until Sunday afternoon and that was done under protest – Rea returned from a church trip and had the gall to suggest that I leave my cozy nest and come pick her up.

For some reason she balked at my suggestion that she walk home.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I was perusing through the multitudes of pictures that we have, searching for something that I thought I had, but ultimately did not...and came across this picture of Oscar.

One would think that a cat who had gambled so many lives in just one single game of chicken would be a tad... just a tad...more grateful.

But, alas, he is does not feel one tee-tiny bit of thanks for our snatching him from the brink of death. He stalks around here demanding food, yowling and scratching to be let out, tormenting Vivi and terrorizing My Boy when the mood strikes him.

Then, in the wee hours of the night he slinks into our bed and snuggles, cuddles and purrs.

And I forgive him all over again.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Honey, do you smell something?

If you ask me, I think My Boy is pretty much one of the cutest dogs ever - hands down. Sorry, but it's pretty hard to deny when you look at that face with the black bandit mask and his expressive face and eyes. You just have to admit that he is pretty darn adorable.

Adorable or not though, sometimes My Boy simply does not smell, shall we say, like a rose. That little dog can pack a powerful stench, especially right before his bimonthly trip to the doggie spa. Nelson does quite a bit of "off-roading" in our empty lot, plus other plain old dog busyness, he also suffers from skin allergies and CONSTANTLY scratches. All of these factors together greatly contribute to his general stinkiness.

It had only been a week since his last trip to the doggie spa, so last night when he came running into the bedroom and jumped up on my legs and I caught a whiff of something VERY unpleasant, it caught me a bit off guard. The longer Nelson was in the bedroom, the STRONGER the unpleasantness became and it very shortly became apparent that this ODOR was not simply a matter hygiene.

Nelson had been the victim of a drive-by SKUNKING.

Great, it was 8:00 at night, he HAD to have a bath and we HAD to figure out a way to cut the scent of eau de pole cat. I knew from a friend that our vet recommended Massengil Disposable Douche [Don't ask, I've Googled it and it's all over the web.] as the best remedy to remove skunk from a dog Since I didn't feel all warm and fuzzy about going to Walmarts and buying a cartful of douches and failed at persuading Danny to do it either. We jumped to Plan B.

I filled our bathtub with water and added a gallon of white vinegar and socked Mr. Nelson in to soak. After a good bit of soaking, we drained the tub and then lathered Nelson up with the Paul Mitchell shampoo (oh yeah, he's stylish like that) Janny got him for Christmas.

[As a side-note, you'd think someone that's being going to the groomer EVERY TWO weeks since they were a little bitty puppy would have a clue that they were not going to drown, melt nor go down the drain and would refrain from crying like a baby. Just sayin']

We drug Nelson out, dried him off and he smelled...better.

I think we got off lucky this time. The skunk who was traveling through our neighborhood just gave Nelson a shot across the bow, let's hope he learned his lesson and leaves those black & white kitties alone from now on.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Another year

Yesterday Rea became a teenager - thirteen years years have slipped through our fingers and I honestly don't know where it went. It doesn't seem that long ago that we were at Baptist Hospital in Nashville, welcoming our new daughter into this world. A new baby that looked so much like her sister at the time, but was completely unique and marched to her own drum.

Happy belated Birthday my sweet, quirky, exasperating, kind, messy, thoughtful, beautiful, wonderful, one-of-a-kind, true to herself girl!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I’ve had a bad, bad morning – nearly three hours wasted trying to pay for something online using PayPal. I learned the hard way that my debit card is attached to an old but blocked account because my Dearly Beloved is a gun-runner and now banned from eBay for life for selling goodies that go with firearms.

In the middle of talking to Paypal IN INDIA, I also discovered that I was no longer able to log into my email account. It didn’t like anything I did – at all. And let’s add insult to injury that the Personal Secret that it kept refusing to accept was “Your Favorite Pet”. That’s right: Shelley. So I also cried this morning because as I‘ve tried to enter her name over and over trying to reactivate my Hotmail account.

Now, in the midst of all this brouhaha, Danny and I have had a disagreement over all these ins and outs and after several terse phone calls – are no longer speaking. It might have a little bit to do with the fact that he revealed that HE changed my email password at some point and I had to apologize to the Hotmail representative I’d had on the line for twenty minutes. Just sayin’

And, this three day migraine is starting to get just a tad old.

But, as I was thinking about my crappy day, I was also thinking about the people in Haiti – about how menial my problems were, that I had so many things to be grateful for. Simple things, like a bed, clean water and something for dinner tonight. And even my Dearly Beloved.

Text “disaster” to 90999 to donate $10.00 to Compassion International.

Text “Haiti” to 90999 to donate $10.00 to the Red Cross.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Aisle 13

Rea and I had to run by Walmarts on our way home from school Monday afternoon. Oh, the joy - fate and poor planning resulted in two trips to America's retail mecca in just as many days. I'd managed to hole up in the house from Thursday 'til Sunday and now...I was there again.

As I pulled into a parking spot, Rea spotted a very unusual couple walking toward the store. Now, I'm not sure how many of you follow peopleofwalmart, BUT, interpeeps, these folks were straight off the pages of that blog. Rea and I nearly broke our necks trying to get out of the Tahoe to catch up with them so we could take their picture.

We lost them after they got into the store, but a bit of good detective work on Rea's part soon located them in the granola section. From there they moved on and picked up a six pack of beer and after that they wandered aimlessly about the store.

Unfortunately, after much stalking, giggling and almost getting caught we were unable to get a good photo of the couple and will not be making our own personal submission to peopleofwalmart.

I've included Rea's photo for your viewing pleasure, sadly, you cannot see that the "gentleman" is sporting a plastic leprechan hat and a black t-shirt with a snazzy slogan that can't I recall.

I really loved the lady's ensemble with it's matching yellow cropped sweatpants & headband. She also had sunglasses that she never removed, black hightop sneakers and her hair was in "hinky knot" as my Mom would say.

Wonders never cease...

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I could kick myself. Missed this gem on the way home from the beach last week...

From http://jesusneedsnewpr.blogspot.com/

Friday, January 8, 2010

Christmas Bounty

My parents put out a big garden every summer. Janny would actually prefer that it be much smaller, but for some reason my Dad just can't seem to contain himself. A couple of rows of corn magically transforms into, I don't know, ten? A few tomatoes to eat on, usually ends up into well over fifty plants and then, next thing you know, they're hiding vegetables in every vehicle that comes on the place.

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love it. Because, I'm nothing if not a country girl and my favorite meals involve vegetables straight from the garden. They generously keep my small side-by-side freezer full of pole beans and corn to get me through the cold winter months.

But this Christmas, my brothers and I got a special Christmas gift. Janny and Ronald canned extra tomatoes, tomato juice, pasta sauce, sweet pickles, my favorite plum jelly, squash relish, ripe tomato catsup and pickled banana peppers for each of our families!

My Dad even made the cute wood carry boxes so I could transport all of my goodies home.

I have strict instructions to return all of the jars so they may be reused. Mom even suggested that I return them in the boxes. I promise to return the jars, but I'm not making any promises about those cute boxes!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow Day - NOT

Last night Rea watched television with bated breath as school after school around us closed in anticipation of the Great Blizzard of 2010. She even slept with her pajamas inside-out, flushed ice cubes and put spoons under all of our pillows!

However, our school never came across the TV screen. We didn't get the early morning phone recording. It was not meant to be, as usual, the poor children of our fair city were "cheated" out of a snow day. I don't know how he does it, but I think the School Superintendent must be a steely-eyed poker player - cause he plays some pretty mean odds. Once again he gambled and this morning we woke up with nary a flake of snow on the ground and while every district within 75 miles of us is closed.

I'm wondering now though if his gamble is going to come back and bite him this afternoon - it's been snowing pretty good for a while now - not a lot, but some of the roads are beginning to cover and I suspect that it may get slick and slushy by the time school is out.

Suppose the odds man thought the whole day through? At 3:15, a horde of inexperienced high school drivers are going to hit the snow-slick, slushy roads and head home.

That, my friends, is a scary thought...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


My Boy is back home after a long fifteen days away. He's quite fat and sassy though - he settled in and made himself quite at home with his Grandparents and I think there were a few long faces - furry and otherwise - when I pulled out of the driveway with him.

Nelson and I skedaddled on out of Kentucky this morning early, I wanted that 200 mile drive behind me just in case those predictions of snow they had been talking about for two days came true.

Today the drive took me three hours, but we've had the unique pleasure of driving it in bad conditions and it stretching to nearly seven - I didn't relish the thought of that again. Especially alone with only a Shih Tzu as my heating blanket!

But, my caution and the kids dreams of snow may be for naught. The Winter Storm Watch and has now be downgraded to an Advisory - seems we may just have to endure more of this bitter cold with nothing to show for it.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


I am so ready so see this furry little face and hold his wriggly little body.

I don't think he's missed us as much as we've missed him.

After all, he's been hanging with his Grandparents, an eight year old girl who LOVES to play and another Shih Tzu.

And been dining on hot dogs and steak...what's a dog got to complain about?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Have you seen my mojo?

Hey Friends,

Hope this blog post finds each of you well, warm and settling back into some semblance of a routine. I don’t know about you – but I kind of miss the ebb and flow of my daily life. We’d been gone for ten days and I was ready to sleep in my own house and snuggle with my kitties. Nelson is still in Kentucky with his grandparents and his Uncle Gary, we miss him terribly, but from all reports, he’s living it up and making out quite well.

We left from Kentucky after Christmas, passed GO and drove straight to the beach and spent a week with friends in a wonderful beach house where we rang in the New Year with a shrimp boil. The weather was nice for a couple of days – cool, but good enough to walk on the beach and sit outside and read.

Several deranged souls participated in the “Wildcat Wash” on New Year’s Day. They claimed it was necessary to “Wash away the old, welcome the new”. I was a party pooper. I just couldn’t go there; it didn’t seem prudent to even stick my pinky toe in that water when I spend a vast majority of my time walking around looking like the Unabomber – indoors.

I’m searching for my blogging mojo; it seems to have been crowded out by something else. I plan on posting something each day for the rest January as I try to find it – I’m not sure where this ride will take us, but we shall see.