Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Not much to say today

I had to work this morning with some of the little nippers. They are funny little people for sure. Picked up all the kids. Saw my oldest sad again, but her heart was mended by a precious group of kids in her choir. Fed the kids, got a surprise and unwanted haircut that I am still not appreciating. I am now sitting, feet up, watching Glee. I hope to stay up to watch Tabatha Takes Over. This is my life, or lack thereof.

Here is a cool picture my son drew with the paint app on the iPad. I think he has a next generation Pollock-esque feel to his work:

Have a good night...I'm just aiming for the weekend at this point.

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Monday, January 30, 2012


I don't have a good title for today. I just don't don't. We took our little guy to the allergist today, had his little sinuses panned and scanned. Another round of super duper antibiotics for fourteen days. What must that do to his little body? I can only pray that Dr. E can find the magic cure for him. He takes the meds like a champ and I am so proud of him.

I had a sad girl come home from school. We almost had a full month without mean girl drama. What a sweet time that was. She is building titanium skin and scar tissue on her heart, but I can only pray these things will make her an even better person as she grows. I feel more and more each day that this whole lifetime of hurt will grow into her ministry when she is an adult. She will be there to stand up for others and do for others what was not done for her. Yes she has a tender heart, but we would not want it any other way.

Every time we bandage her up, we hope that we put the pieces back the right way...we hope the damage isn't permanent. God has big plans for that girl, big plans...I just hope she remembers it does get better.

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Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weirdness at the ranch...

I had a run of the mill day. Went to church and heard a sermon by our conference's candidate for Bishop...blew the roof off in my opinion. Went home and had lunch, did laundry, sewed up some more creature bodies and had a little cuddle and read time with my Grace. Then I went to a parenting class, partially as training for one job and partially as continuing Ed for another job. Because I listen better when my hands are busy, I made this:

I know my 3 readers are getting sick of these things, but I find them fun and satisfying...especially because they come together so quickly. I figure they can accompany a gift card for a baby gift or something. They are multiplying quickly, like tribbles, so I'd you don't hear anything from me for a while.....

After sitting through my training, which was entertaining, I came home to the family. The hub needed some new rompers, so he and the brood went to search for new ones. Apparently someone had fun with the little footies you put on if you don't have socks. Can you guess which one?

HAHAHAHAHA!!! He looks like some sort of stunned alien...the cutest stunned alien ever! The way my kids find entertainment, well, I just love it! Please don't judge the lack of finished flooring, the big strip of industrial masking tape and my messy bulletin board. Our kitchen continues to be a renovating work in progress.

The alien is tucked into bed and his handlers are reading. I am preparing to watch my show. Not an exciting night, but one of contentment. Sigh....

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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Fun stuff

Today we spent a few hours celebrating the big guy's birthday today. It was a fun time as usual, with lots of good food and laughs. We really got wild as you can see:

One of the most popular parts of the day was the scavenger hunt that my incredibly creative mom created. When we were but mere twinkles in my parents' eyes, they used to do some entertaining. One of the activities that was used as an icebreaker/distraction until all the guests arrived and dinner was served was a scavenger hunt. I realize that this term can include many different scenarios. Youth groups running from door to door, asking to take a Polaroid picture of someone's antique bowling ball, trying to get everything on the list and be the first to return to home base. Mom's hunts were always more sedate but sneaky. You are given a list of items to find and you try to be the first to finish. You look around the room for the items that are "hidden in plain sight" as Dad says. Check it off your list, but tell no one...don't give anything away. Here is a very rough drawing of an example area in the family room and how things were hidden:

The girls have been begging for a hunt for months, so they finally got their wish. With lists in hand, they were chomping at the bit to get started. The boy wanted to be involved as well, but doesn't read yet. Leave it to Mom, she had planned for that possibility:

He had his own clipboard with the items to be found around the room. All he had to do was check off items as they were found. Is that the coolest thing or what?!?! She showed no mercy with the items. Some took me a good half hour to find. Great way to exercise the brain.

It was great fun for a great day and I can't wait to do a hunt for the kids when they have friends over. I am grateful for my family and for good days like today. How blessed we are!
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Friday, January 27, 2012

Emotional day

Weeellll....today is my father's 70th birthday. 70th. Wow. I can't believe it. He certainly doesn't act or look like it at all. I guess that biting wit and sarcasm really do keep you young, along with lots of walking and gardening and never sitting still until nighttime shows come on. I have been so blessed to have this man as a father. Not many people have the wisdom and patience to deal with the likes of my brother and myself, but he kept us straight, kept us honest and never let us ever go away from him without an "I love you.". I can't wait to see him tomorrow, give him a big hug and then sit back and let the laughing begin. My earliest recollection is crossing the street without permission when I was in preschool. We had been playing in the sprinkler in our swimsuits. When he called me back across in a very stern voice, I sashayed across like some little brat and bit him on the stomach. Needless to say, that did not go over or end well. He had more restraint than I deserved on more than one occasion. He has taught me hard lessons and has been my biggest cheerleader. Happy Birthday, Dad!

On a completely different note, my favorite show ended tonight. Our family's appointment television night was Friday at 8pm. Chuck Bartowski and his group of friends and coworkers have entertained us for a long time...not long enough in my opinion. The show's run ended tonight, but not before I shed several tears. The kids were ticked we didn't let them watch it all, but they are sick and need the sleep. Thanks to the magic of DVR, they can watch it tomorrow. Shows like that don't come around too often. Unfortunately, when they do they are often under appreciated and in danger of cancellation every year. Give shows like this a chance. You won't regret it it.

Hopping off the soapbox and heading to bed. It has been a long day and will be a longer one tomorrow. Night all...

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not so fun the next day, is it?

We had a friend spend the night last night. Before you give a great big gasp, YES it was on a school night. One of G's friends stayed with us while her parents went out of town on a very important trip. Needless to say, getting three girls in the same room to go to sleep was difficult at best. Lights were out at the appropriate time, but sleeping did not commence. They finally did, but the hub and I knew the morning would be brutal. G is not necessarily a late sleeper, but she is a consistent one. She usually is the first to fall asleep, the first to conk out in the car. If it came down to it, I could reinstate the nap and she would be the most compliant. Needless to say, when the call came in from the substitute school secretary, I was not shocked. The mixture of exhaustion, sinuses that are draining like a faucet and "absolutely disgusting" cheese sticks that were a main course choice(don't get me started)for lunch made her a cruddy candidate for learning much during the afternoon. So I took her home at noon. No TV was allowed, which was not a big hit since we don't allow it during the school week anyway. She did her remaining class work and then we sat down to read some Henry Huggins. The next thing I know, my arm started getting heavy...a strange pressure holding it down. The girl was slumped over, sawing some serious logs. Yeah, another victim of "Sleepover Hangover". All three of the heartbeats are in bed. The boy, after a long day, grabbed his newly sewn bunny, and was out in less than three minutes. Oh here is his new bunny, Brian:

The girls have come down with a couple questions, but I think they are down for the count. Fingers crossed.

I have watched my favorite Thursday show and am nearing the end of my day as well. Have a good night's sleep...I sure hope to as well.
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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wish I knew how to proceed....

We have had an extra little heartbeat with us recently. I will admit, I am often uneasy when we have extra people around. Kids can be so cruel these days, well even when I was young. I had a friend come over during Christmas break in elementary school. We had a sleepover, talked about secrets and had the best time. When we came back from break, I learned that she had called all my friends and told them my secrets and had instructed them not to talk to me. So, I have a few issues. Also, have so many friends who are just naturally superfun moms. They have art activities and gourmet snacks and kids crying their eyes out when they have to leave and go to their own homes. I never feel I can measure up. I feel I have the lamest house around. Therefore, my children have suffered from lack of play dates. Recently, we had a friend come and go to church with us. Now let me be clear, I am in no place to judge anyone. Just because I grew up in church doesn't mean I need to force it on anyone. This occasion happened out of logistics sake. After a meal and small group time with people their own age, the child came up to me and asked if they could come again to church. I said, "It is certainly fine with me, but you will have to ask your parents. I don't know your schedule. I'll be glad to bring you any time.". Upon speaking with their adult and asking about future visits, it was clear the answer was probably a "no" based on the child's reaction. It broke my heart. I understand there are a million different reasons why the answer could be negative. The sadness lies in the fact I have grown up loving church because of the exposure I had as a child. I learned to love the stories, the music, the fellowship. I have several friends who were not blessed with similar experiences. While church can be a great place, it can be a cruel one also. Doctrines can be cruel and exclusive, people can be unfriendly and divisive and leaders can make cruel decisions based on changes in family dynamics or difficulties in financial or legal areas. I can only hope and pray that, if not our church, another church will be able to share that excitement with people who have had negative experiences in the past.

I don't want you to think I am preaching a sermon at all. I just saw the excitement in the child's face and heard about the fun they had with friends. I am so glad that my kids have a place to go away from school, where they have great friends to share with, worship with and do things for others with. I want everyone to have a chance at that. Night all...

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I know, I know

I am a weirdo..we've established that. I don't know why I do the strange things I do. I don't understand why strange things bother me, but they do. There is one thing in particular that bothers me more than just about anything. That thing involves a certain sound. That sound is licking,or I should say the sounds of licking and general chewing. Why? Weeelllll....I don't know. Maybe it is because I had relatives with a pet who had severe skin allergies. These allergies caused that animal to lick her skin. Constantly. Like it was her profession. Glurg. Just thinking about it makes my skin crawl. My father and brother caught on quickly that this was a major pet peeve. So naturally they took advantage of that fact and used it for their amusement. The reverent silence of a moment would be broken by the sound of lips smacking together. Looking around, I would see them standing together with evil glints in their eyes, waiting to see me crack. And I would. I wish I wouldn't get so grossed out, but I do. Our poor dog knows to go hide when she has to groom herself. I have to make her stop when I am around. Either that or I leave the room. I know I KNOW!!! I am an awful person. I had a classmate who would sit across the table from me in middle school and, with an open mouth, enthusiastically eat her food and clean the food out of her braces while smacking and having the partially chewed food fall on the table. Gluurg. I have a fairly strong stomach, except for masticating and pet licking.

Why, you ask, do I think of this subject to chat about tonight? Well, I was watching the latest "Little People Big World" special this evening. They were showing Zach talking to his dad. In the background the cat was licking, with great gusto, right in the shot. I kept thinking, um can't they get the cat out of the shot? Just for a second? It just distracted me. I know, that is really pathetic.

Maybe I need to go to therapy about it. My poor husband can't eat grapes around me half the time. "I'm sorry I am a loud grape eater!", he has said more than once. I am a horrible wife and person. Forgive me for my horribly, picky ears. I'm working on them. I can eat with other people, so don't be paranoid. Just don't decide to groom yourself in front of me...gluuurg.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Monday, Monday....

Woooo did that alarm clock start talking early this morning...while the mini monsoon raged outside. S was so excited this morning. She had new patrol duties starting today. Working in the office has been one of her top choices and she finally got it. Personally, I am glad that she won't be outside during the frigid morning. Sadly, she will not be on the side where we pick up anymore. Sure I could switch sides, but I am too OCD and a creature of habit AND I don't want to be that mom who follows her baby everywhere. It has always been nice to pull into the pick up loop and get a glimpse of her face. I can get a pretty good idea on whether the day was a thumbs up or thumbs down by one glance. Oh well. It is these little things that move me along in the baby steps towards letting go...a little bit.

I forgot to share with you something interesting. In fifth grade, the kids are required to do 4H. Not sure I quite understand it, but whatever. So far, she has done a speech, several Christmas crafts and, her latest, a collection. We struggled as to what to choose. She collects a whole lot of office supplies, but that makes for a pretty lame collection. So it was kind of neat that when I was messing in my sewing area, she started going through my button box. I have my grandmothers' buttons, random found buttons and a mess of buttons that I won in a lot off of eBay(long story). She found several that were quite unique. And there was born the collection. She found some in her great aunt's collection. She found some new ones as well. After having been given one as a gift, she and her Nana made some button rings. I thought it was pretty cool. She didn't put all that she wanted, but just enough to show her interests. Here was the display of her collection:

I was pleased with her work. She's pretty neat that one.

Well, off to sew the other arm on my poor little creature. It looks awfully pitiful. Then bed. Night all...

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

Not much to say

Hope this finds all 3 of my readers well. I am currently watching Downton Abbey on PBS. I love it! But then, I love all Masterpiece programs. The dynamics involved in a British Manor house are fascinating.

I worked this morning for my boss, even though she hates for me to call her that. All I have to say is, they don't pay her enough. God bless her for what she puts up with on a weekly basis.

In the totally random department, my G came in to me after having washed her hair. It had dried for a bit and I was shocked. What was once long and straight and THICK and silky, looked like this after being trimmed and thinned:

The picture is dark, but that hair had all kinds of curls. I loved it! It is so neat that someone in this family has some life to their hair!

Have a good night and I hope to report something extra funny tomorrow.

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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Rain and blah

We woke up to TN monsoons today. Good grief, when the rain wakes you up before the thunder does...you know you need to check the basement. Luckily the basement held fast which, if you know our history, was a big deal. G woke up with a gross nose and a wicked cough. So there went our plans for a movie with the cousins. With little babies involved, we didn't want them to get any crud. We instead had a day of sloth. G used the Neti pot then would lay down then blow her nose then lay down the wipe her eyes and then lay down again. Lather rinse repeat. I made another weird bunny, this time out of a knee sock. Weird looking, but the kids are fighting over it.

I am still working out the arm situation. I attached the arms per G's request today. The next one will be another experiment. Not high art, but fun and soft and squishy for kids. Next I will perfect faces...maybe.

Off to go snuggle up with some children for a little bit before bedtime. Night all!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Camp out night

Tonight we had the Mother-Son "Camp Out" at church. The boy was so excited, he couldn't hardly stand himself. He had been looking forward to it for so long, this week seemed like an eternity. We got to church and he set out our sleeping bag and we set to work. We made a pine cone bird feeder with shortening and birdseed. Then we made crosses with two sticks with God's Eyes holding them together. Then the boys started getting crazy so, mercifully, they announced dinner. Games followed, then roasting marshmallows and songs by a little pretend camp fire.

I love to spend time with that boy. He is the funniest thing. I wish that I had the ability to let go a little more and let him just be a boy...and not worry about it. I am still a work in progress, but I don't want to ruin him. Even though they are stressful, I thank God for evenings like these that give me a chance to celebrate my son. What a blessing he is!
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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tutorial for today

I make weird creatures. That is kind of my fun, mindless activity. As the only granddaughter, I felt a great weight of responsibility for carrying on my Granny's sewing of bears and bunnies. That has branched out into strange little creatures and sock animals. They make a great little gift if you need something to go with a gift card or a sweet little treat to take to the hospital when greeting a new baby. My kids love them too. Here are the directions as best as I can explain, which is not great. I hope you have fun!

I hope this is a bit clearer than mud. Have fun! Been a long day and I am a goin' to bed!
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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I needed that!

It has been kind of another rather blah day today. I sat in a two and a half hour meeting, which is torture for wiggly me who can't sit still. My son, once again, contracted what I have decided to call his "Wednesday Night Psychosis". The tough love had to come out right after dinner was over. I informed him that after the rough day he'd had that he lost his chance at going to the mother son "camp out" on Friday. Well, that did it. He turned into a complete puddle of devastation. Luckily, about five minutes after I gave him the news, the hub showed up to save the day. It has been decided that he can earn the camp out back, but it is going to take some serious work. I may make him sound like an awful child and I don't mean to do that. He is almost five and I need to remember that some days. He is one of the cooler kids on the planet. I know. I'm biased.

After getting home and getting the monkeys in bed, I finished sewing a new creature, watched some American Idol and the my weekly dose of Modern Family. My gosh, that is the funniest thing on television. I know lots of people won't watch it because of their opposition to gay people or gay marriage or whatever it is...get over it. Sorry, that's just my opinion. It can be a bit blue in places, but no more than any other sitcom. I think we woke the kids up at one point from laughing so hard. It brightens up my night after dealing with the "psychosis".

I have yet to put a face on this thing, but here it is:

Socks are fun things to turn into weird things. This is my life. Night all!
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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Three words: Celebrity Wife Swap

Today has been one of those "It's raining and I can't get motivated so I'll take a nap" kind of days. I did get some laundry and picking up done. I took a treat to a friend who had a bad start to her morning. I looked for a night stand to replace my husband's crappy one...no luck. Nothing of excitement to talk about, really. I was trying to join to the movement and have my blog blackout in protest of SOPA and PiPA tomorrow, but I am not that savvy. I do have my little black band up there in place. As a limited computer knowledge person, I had to do a lot of reading and asking to figure out what all the hubbub was about SOPA. After finally understanding what the implications are, I realized that I needed to make my opinion known. I do hope the whole 15 who read this on a daily basis will educate themselves and form their opinions based on informed opinions. Good grief! I've never given my opinion on such a thing....what is happening to me?On a completely different note, Celebrity Wife Swap is even better than the original. Tonight's episode was not as crazy as last week's episode with Flava Flav. I do have to say that Tina Yothers looks quite interesting with the jet black cut. Next week looks to be an entertaining train wreck with Mick Foley and Antonio Sabato Jr.. Who? A wrestler and a model. Let the antics begin. Why domI watch? Maybe in a sick way it is nice to know that the rich and famous screw up more than I do...that their money truly doesn't help their parenting skills. Oh well. Tabatha Coffey, my favorite girl on TV, is on and I want to see how her takeover goes. Have a good one friends and I hope to have a funny story soon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tale as old as time....

Today was a holiday, MLK Jr Day, and the kids were home. There is always a guilt about what is the proper observation protocol for this day. On Veteran's Day, we make sure to pay tribute by flying flags, having parades and thanking a veteran. On this day, I talk to my children about Dr. King and his life and legacy. I don't spend the whole day in reflection and I feel guilty about that. I feel as though we might look out of place at the parades or walks downtown. I worry that my intentions might be questioned. I feel bad about thinking that. It is a vicious, stupid circle that I allow myself to start. So because I didn't know what else to do, I got the kids up, made them Ebelskivers(yum) and took them to see a movie. I am not a huge Disney Princess fan, but rereleases in 3D combined with a Sisters in the Spirit event made it a must. I cried, as I knew I would, at all the obvious parts. I still would love to know how Robby Benson came to be the obvious choice for the role of the Beast. Jerry Orbach's Lumiere is still wonderful. On a completely different note, I am going to put a picture of yet another basement find. Why I have these things, I don't know. But I do.
I loved the A-Team, I loved his cereal, I loved his cartoon, I loved him on Conan and I love his voice work. He's a class act. I pity da fool who disagrees. Night all....

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Frozen and lacking inspiration

I have just finished watching tonight's episode of Downton Abbey....love it. In a shocking, almost cruel turn of TV channels, I am now watching the Golden Globes with Ricky Gervais. While I must admit he is a gifted writer, I must say, what an enormous, insecure tool. I love The Office and Extras and An Idiot Abroad, but why does one have to be so blue and horrid. I have an acquaintance who would say that I only find him offensive because he's a militant atheist and I am a Christian. I resent that idea. As a Christian, I want everyone to know the love and excitement that I feel about my beliefs, but I have no Ill will towards atheists. It just becomes annoying to be the easy target all the time. Oh well, those Evening Shade season 1 DVD's from Netflix are looking pretty good right now. And after that last speech, I think Meryl Streep was too drunk to give her acceptance speech.In my cleaning of the basement phase 72, I found several things that I photographed and will sharing with you over the next few days. Here is one of them and I will leave it for you to ponder
This was my idea of a clothing list for Christmas when I was in high school. All I have to say is: Bugle Boy pants.Night all.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Overeaction? Nah

I have been blessed with good friends during different seasons of my life and those good friends have been kind enough to stick with me for many years. My friends from childhood, from college and from adulthood add spice as well as the Starsky to my Hutch. A wealth of stories from our adventures are waiting to be told and some have been put in the vault forever. Here is one that should be in the vault for sheer silliness, but I am changing the names to protect the participants.

When I was fresh out of college, my brother and I lived together in an apartment complex that seemed nice on the exterior. They talked a big game, but it was run by upscale slumlords who didn't do a great job of screening and background checking people. We were on the third floor and our second floor neighbors were a bit on the shady side. There was a lot of odd hour activity, strange smoky smells, loud fights and then a huge Doberman appeared. Every time I had to walk past that thing on the way up to the apartment it would bark with such intensity, I would have to hold on to my bags extra tight so as not to drop them out of terror. My brother made up with the dog by slipping pieces of bologna through the gate slats and giving it drinks of water. After a year or more, my brother left to go to Alaska for a job there and I was living by myself in the apartment. Not having a roommate or an attack dog myself, I was a bit nervous. My saving Grace was my friend, S, who I've known since middle school. She had previously lived in the same complex, but had recently moved out to one of the cool houses downtown. We still talked and socialized. She lived with a roommate who was a little different and had been having "guests" stay over, so a few days earlier she started staying in my brother's room until we found an apartment together. As a grad student, she also did a lot of house sitting, so she was always doing something exciting. This particular weekend, she was house and dog sitting for a family out in the west part of town. Remember all these things.

One night whilst sitting in the apartment watching some sort of exciting television show, I heard a ruckus down below....wow, a poet and I didn't know it. Men yelling profanities at each other, a woman screaming, noises that sounded like physical fighting. I was freaked out and called my friend P, who was also my brother's friend and had always checked on me in my alone state. While the phone was ringing, I heard POP POP POP POPPOP!!!! Gun fire. P answered and I said, "P, there are people fighting and shooting guns in the parking lot and I am scared!". "Well, what do you want me to do about it? Come over and get shot? Call the police if you are scared!". Click. Nice, right? I call the Brain, who lived in VA at the time. "What do you want me to do out of state? Keep your head down and your door locked. You need to find a new apartment! Love you!". So, I just rode it out, rocked myself to sleep in the fetal position and was glad to see morning come. I called S the next day and told her about the drama. We agreed that I would save some the really exciting parts for our activities the next night and rang off. The evening of our activity, we had a nice dinner and may have seen a movie or a concert. She came up to chat for a while at the apartment and then left to go to her sitting job. It was summertime and I am a sweater, so I went to take a shower. I locked the recently installed by my Uncle David chain lock and went to my room. With the water on, it was hard to hear much, but I started feeling like I had heard something. I froze in fear. Then a huge pounding came on my door, feverish pounding. I tiptoed to my doorway and peeked out into the main area to see if I could see the front door. i knw, stupid. What I saw was the door open and a hand desperately trying to unlock the chain. This is where I almost wet myself until I realized it was S's arm. Since she was living with me, I had given her my brother's key. I unlocked the door and she ran in, slamming the door and locking it quickly. "I heard the guys out there again. They were yelling and fighting and screaming. I got into my car and when I went to start it, there was a sound like a gunshot and then my car went dead. I think they shot my car! So I waited and then I ran for it back up to the apartment!". We could still hear the chaos in the parking area and were torn as to what we should do. We decided it was safer to pack a few things for me and make a run for it to my car, heads down, and stay at her house sitting house. We ran like Falk and Arkin in the The In Laws (Serpentine! Serpentine!) and we got in my car. I had forgotten my glasses, which I usually wore to drive, but we pressed on. The rain was pouring, I think I was wearing an outfit comprised of half day clothes and half pj's. I would have let her drive, but at the time she didn't drive a stick so it was all me. Night blindness runs in the family. I don't think I have that, but I'm getting there. With the rain and the glare of lights and the highway construction and my lack of familiarity with that part of town, it was the blind leading the blind. But we got there in one piece to the house/dog sitting house and took a large sigh of relief....until. The dog she was sitting was a beautiful and enormous Dalmation. He was happy and sweet and great. He came to greet us at the door covered, from head to toe, in hives. Covered. Poor guy was a trooper, but we didn't know what to do. It was now 11:30 at night and we couldn't very well call the owners on their trip. So, we checked him over, prayed it was nothing bad, and went to bed. The next morning we got up and tried to decide what to do about the injured car. Her parents were coming in to visit some relatives and meet at the Barrel for brunch. She called her dad. Here is the conversation. "Dad, my car is dead. I think someone shot it." "Where would your car get shot?" "In the parking lot at the complex(explained past events).". "I don't think your car for shot.". "I'm not sure, Dad.". Her car had been stolen twice previously and had been shot up and abandoned in the projects, so she kind of had a reason to go with this line of thought. "I think your battery has an issue.". "I don't know.". "We'll see when I get there.". So we did her dog duties, cleaned up and made the bed and then made our way back to the crime scene to meet her dad. When we got there, he was standing by the car, shaking his head with a big smile on his face. "Your battery blew up." "That can happen?", I said. "Yes, look at the stress marks on the hood of the car. It was a good one!". Sure enough, when we lifted up the hood, the evidence was right there. Everything then got cleaned up and a new battery was purchased and installed. They went on to the Barrel and I went on to my Granny's house.

Again you ask, why would you feel the need to tell us this story? Don't know. It was a wild night, full of weird stuff. I can never look at a door with a chain lock the same way, because I keep waiting for a hand to pop out of it. And, I don't care about the stress marks, every time I tell it I will still believe that someone shot her car. Makes us both feel better about our mad serpentine dash into the night. Now that is true friendship....

Friday, January 13, 2012

Random musings

I have been in the basement deeply entrenched in "Operation: I don't want to be the subject of an A&E show" this week. And last week. Sigh. It is sad that there is enough stuff in there that I am still culling. But we have forward progress, so that is good. Yesterday I bundled up to donate about 3 kitchen garbage bags(the tall ones)of material. There was every type and color of fleece, there was jersey material, cotton, cotton/poly blends, muslin, terry cloth(I kept that), silky stuff, shiny gold stuff, stuff with dogs and trees and snowmen and flowers and swirls and little girls. It was freeing to know that my loss will be someone else's crafting gain. Oh, there are still plenty of quilts, material and projects to keep me busy for a long time. In this process, I have found some interesting things:1- I know I'm a big girl with geeky tendencies, but I think I was a pretty cool kid back in the day.2- I got autographs from both Darth Vader and Boba Fett when they came to the mall. Autographed pictures. Don't be too jealous.3- What does it say that I had a collection of Welcome Back, Kotter trading cards? it says point #2 for my coolness...4- I want to open a business just so Tabatha Coffey will come give me advice...and give me her hairdo.5- I have enough wrapping paper and gift cards to supply the whole family for my sweet cousin G's party tomorrow. 6- When someone who's old enough to know better talks like a preschooler so they get a reaction from people, um, please stop. Anna Nicole cornered the market on that. We have enough film in the country.7- I ordered and used a Pillsbury Dough boy throw blanket. It was warm too!8-I wish people in the hood would realize that dogs cannot survive this cold. I don't care if they are covered with hair. They are dogs. They will die outside.9- I am beyond relieved that I did not find a mouse while cleaning. 10- When you ask a child to sort sort something for you, you might as well be asking them to rip Ponge Bob's square pants off and shove them down his thrown. Met with horro and disgust.I feel much better about the situation down there and don't feel anxious. Now the crushing weight of the promise of bears and bunnies is in its place. Oh well.......

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not gonna get much sleep tonight...

We have a dog. A great, crotchety old woman dog named Cosby. A yellow lab who will be 14 years old in April, Cosby is a funny and frustrating animal. She is a lot like my grandmother was in her final years, very routinized and disturbed when that is disrupted. When people come to stay with us and sleep in our TV room on the sleep sofa, she cannot stand to miss a thing. She gets up every 2 to 3 times a night and want to play, go out or be fed. My poor father, who has trouble sleeping anyway, takes the lion's share of the wake up calls when he is here. Tonight, she decided to to start barking as soon as the last light was clicked off downstairs. Pretzels did no good. A chicken flavored arthritis pill did no good. So next thing I know, Brian is carrying her up the stairs and my father is following with her bed. Dad is perfectly willing to deal with her, but we can't deal with her. So, the roaming lab is now up and down and circling and whining and sniffing and snoring all in the little space next to me. If you hear a cry of exasperation in the night, just snort, turn over and adjust your blankets. It is just me getting gassed by the dog as she turns around four times in a circle before she lays down for the seventeenth time on her bed. I, again, will be a delight tomorrow. Feel free to mock me...you might get quite a show. Have a good night. I'll be watching Nanny reruns or back to back Top Gear episodes on BBC America on Demand. That's how I roll.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Possession in the church?

I love my son more than I ever thought I could love a little boy. He is the light of my life, the apple of my eye and the laughter in my funny bone. He thinks of things that the girls never thought to do. The girls saw a chair, he saw a launching pad. The girls see a Hot Wheel, he sees a projectile to propel across the house. He runs and jumps everywhere, whether it is in school in the car in the bathroom.... I love it and soak it in. If he wants to plant a big kiss on me, bring it on. Hold my hand walking down the street? Yes please! I just want to know one thing. Why is it that when we walk in through the doors of church, he completely becomes possessed? On Wednesday nights, he loses his ever loving mind. He propels himself off of walls. Runs at full speed, screaming past the prayer room. I know I've discussed this before, but I am flummoxed. Is he possessed? Do the demons sense he is in a good place so they make him crazy? Or is it that Pastor M is like human catnip for my son. He smack talks about beating her at HungryHungry Hippos...he even told her tonight that she was "going down!" whenever she came over to try to win the game. And Pastor D is also completely fascinating to him. The boy is interested in any adult who has guts enough to take carrots and tater tots off his dinner tray and challenge him to retaliate. He and Pastor D have a secret language of gang symbols that they flash at each other during church. Pastor J and the boy share a love of Cheetos and the finer things in life. What more could one ask for? This all may sound weird. The boy does get crazy on Wednesdays and I really wish I could figure out the key to calm him down. But, I am so grateful that he feels so comfortable in that place. I had great ministers growing up, but I would never have felt comfortable joking with them in this way. Honestly, I don't think they would have felt comfortable either. We are blessed with three pastors who are so good to our family. They love to go to church and I am so grateful for that...even if the place makes my son crazy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Today was the boy's first day back to school after break. He was so excited to see all of his buddies...the three musketeers reunited at last. After being sick for so long, the day took a lot out of him. He still managed to ask lots of strange questions and do lots of silly dances. Love that boy. The family for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Knoxville was announced today. The show has energized our city and Paul, Ty and Jenny sightings are popping up all over the place. I would love, as I am sure half of Knoxville does, to stalk the sight. An impossibility, I'm sure, but the possibility of getting to tear up with Paul is very exciting. This evening was Sarah's very first speech contest out of school. She went to the Ag campus at UT and competed in the 4H speech contest. I'm not sure who was more nervous, but we both survived. I did not get to see her present her speech to the judges, but B recorded it and I can't wait to watch it. The boy had ants in his pants and was exhausted, so he and I walked around the building. After a meltdown from disappointment and sheer exhaustion, he fell asleep in my arms for a good hour or more while waiting for the speakers to be done. Four of her other friends competed as well, but they had to go to another room due to so many 5th graders in the contest. She did not place, but I am so proud of her. I had to write an essay for the Optimist Club in 11th grade and then read it at a banquet full of old men at the Ramada Inn. I puked in the bathroom before I had to go out there. S handled it with class and grace. What a girl!Tomorrow I go work with the babies at school. Here's hoping they don't eat me alive. They are a lively bunch. Happy evening to all....it is time to watch Conan and conk out. Jealous? :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Yet another weird story I can't make up...

I was born in Virginia, but raised in Northeast Tennessee. Where I grew up, we were known for being the birthplace of the plastic 2-liter bottle and a hot bed for June Carter Cash sightings. Not so much for our amazing choice in restaurants. We had the wonderful, and still there today, Pal's and Skoby's, which has now been turned into a teaching facility. Sure, we had an LJS and a KFC, and a Shrimper down the street from A&W. But if you wanted to get crazy, you went to Johnson City. They had a Bennigans, El Chico, Peerless and, for the seafood lover in you, a Red Lobster....among others. So for special occasions, we went to the JC to get some fancy grub. That, my friends, is where things went all wonky one evening for our family and friends.A little backstory: one of our familiy's dearest friends is my Uncle Sidney. He grew up in my hometown and was a colleague of my father's at VPI. He and his wife and family became some of our closest friends. After Virginia Tech, he and Dad both worked in private industry before going back into academia. Once he moved away, my mom would go every Wednesday to the JC to take Uncle Sidney's mother, who lived in a retirement community, out to lunch and to run errands. Uncle Sidney would come in every so often, stay with us sometimes and go see his mother and TCB. One day we decided to all meet at Red Lobster in the JC for dinner. My brother and I were thrilled. One, we didn't eat out much, two, uh, shrimp and three, a Roy Rogers and a Shirley Temple. What more could kids want? We all met, dressed in our going out to eat finery. I probably had some Docksiders on...don't be jealous. Some of us are just fashion forward. Cough cough. Wen we got there, they were in the dinner rush and led us to the lounge area where they encouraged people to relax with a few Lobsteritas while waiting for their table. We just sat there for a good while and did some major people watching. In the lounge, there were lots of walks of life represented. Rich, poor, couples, families, bikers and singles. My brother and I focused in on the bikers. Now, I feel I must clarify, I am not ragging on bikers. In that time, there weren't so any types of bikers. You didn't see Alton Brown "Feating on Asphalt" while riding around on his BMW bike. I have several dear friends who ride now...and if I weren't such a chicken about it, I would too. We had the Honda or Harley redneck, are they Hell's angels?, kind of bikers. They were there with their girlfriends, who both looked like Janice from the Electric Mayhem:

The men looked like the stereotypical Hollywood Hell's Angel. One looked just like the "Lone Biker of the Apocolypse", for all you Coen brothers fans out there, and the other looked like a mean and angry Mickey Jones.
We were all in the lounge for an eternity, or what seemed like an eternity to an elementary schooler who was hungry for shrimp. My brother and I watched the foursome knock back pitcher after pitcher of beer, all the while raising their volume level to that of a small roar. The ladies switched to fancy drinks with stirrrers in them. Finally, we all were shown to our tables. Here was the set up:
. We all sat down, anxious to eat. It had been a long wait. The "foursome" sat down and immediately ordered more pitchers of beer. We ordered our food, I getting my beloved popcorn shrimp. This was before I discovered the love that is the scallop, but they were good just the same. The "foursome" became louder and louder, using questionable language for a family dining area and questionable grammar. The reason I point out grammar is that Uncle Sid's mother was a former English teacher and sometimes chastised us for "murdering the King's English". Every time they threw out an odd sentence or profanity, she would remark how the profanity wasn't used in the proper context. This was very amusing to a kid, especially when it was an 80+/- year old woman discussing profanity use with me. The waiter went to the group and asked them to quiet down a bit, which was met with laughter and another order for a pitcher of beer. My brother and I couldn't help but stare and my parents kept telling us to not look in their direction. A girl server brought their food, which was two huge steaming and heaping plates of crab legs and two more pitchers of beer. They attacked the beer with great gusto, slamming their mugs together like it was Oktoberfest. And there the crab legs sat. "I wonder if they are going to eat?". Mom said, "Don't be rude. Mind your own business.". Then we started noticing how long the legs had been on the table. Five minutes. Ten minutes. Fifteen minutes. Then the "Lone Biker" noticed that dinner was there and went to have a crab leg. He noticed it was not the temperature he wanted it to be, so he called the poor little waitress over. He pointed out, rather loudly, that the crab legs were supposed to be steamed and they were cold. She skittered off quickly. Then he started very loudly expressing his opinion about the $@?&! quality of the service and the $&#>? quality of the food. The waiter appeared along with the manager to try and calm them down. The other man stood up, grabbed a handful of crab legs, broke them in half and shoved them at the manager, loudly expressing his opinion of their being $&(@/ cold not hot. The manager tried to explain that they were hot when served, but because they kept ordering beer, they had become cold. I think it was at that point that one of the adults at my table instructed us to be quiet and look at our food. Suddenly, a large bouncer type appeared and suggested it was time for them to leave. That is the point when, after throwing out multiple screamed f-bombs, the "Lone Biker" picked up the remaining platter of crab legs and threw it at the wall, shattering the plate and sending juice and bits of crab everywhere. He then flipped the restaurant off, grabbed his date from the Electric Mayhem, and exited the dining room. My father tells the story that he watched his children's faces as this was going on and saw all the color drain out of them. He can laugh about it now.Again, you must be asking, "Why on earth does she tell these weird stories?". I don't know. Maybe after all these years, it explains why I get twitchy when eating shrimp.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hey there

I have started writing this, but after having only 2 hours of sleep last night, I am becoming hysterically tired. The boy is some better, but still coughing and carrying around a bad ear or two. School starts tomorrow and I just pray it is a good start of the second semester.Have a great evening and I hope to be more coherent tomorrow.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The alien has taken up a new residence...

It has been another run of the mill day at the ranch. A trip to the Depot for the kids' workshop....they built a bank that looks like a house. I like the fact that they had us screw the bottom on, only to be taken off when the bank is full. We'll see how that goes.
Afterwards the boy, who has been feeling quite poorly the last, oh, month and a half, started rapidly going downhill. His sinus infection has spread the love and moved to his ear. How nice of it to do so.
After calling the doc and leaving a message, we waited all afternoon and evening for confirmation that they had called the antibiotic(noted earlier this week in his chart)in to Walgreens. Nope. So, when the heated rice bag lost its effectiveness for the 10th time, the hub called a friend of ours. Yeah, even we know people. The boy is now antibiotic-ed up and ear dropped up, so hopefully we will have decent sleep tonight. While I am so sad that he is sick and is in constant need of allergy meds of varying strengths and types, I am so grateful for his otherwise decent health. There are so many whose children deal with pain and hell every minute of their lives. I stand in awe of their strength and example. So I will deal with the alien who has taken up residence in my son's sinuses and ear and we will pray that he takes up residence in another county....in space.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Furniture shopping is hell....

I would like some new bedroom furniture. Do we NEED it? No. We have perfectly functional furniture. My grandmother won it in some sort of department store contest in 195?. Two twin beds, a chest of drawers and a dresser. We have a king sized Select Comfort, so the twin beds go together to make the king. All nice and solid and workable. But, they are not my taste. Again, grateful, but not a big fan of the style. We have had the set our whole marriage, almost 16 years. So when I got the bright idea of looking for new bedroom furniture, it seemed logical. New Year sales are pretty sweet right now, so why not? I have three good reasons why not and they are currently sleeping in their beds right now. As I have said before while we have relatives here, none of them are available to watch our children very often at all. The children, bribed heavily with a dinner out accompanied by their uncle, walked into a huge furniture store like little ducklings. It started out with promise, but furniture is such a temptation. They want to touch and climb on and lay on and move every single piece. After so many stores, those beds in there really do look inviting. S brought her iPod Touch and took this shot:
This was taken as we turned around to find the boy wanting so badly to pick a huge ceramic pig up off a dining room table display. Luckily he had not gotten a great hold on it yet. The kids also learned the stalking/predatory tendencies of the salespeople there. I know everyone has to make a living these days. I have just always felt like walking carrion with the vultures circling as soon as I enter. The lady who got to us first had pointed out where the bedroom suites could be found and told us to call if we needed anything. Twenty minutes, deep in what we thought were the bowels of the store,the lady shows up to find us. G, shocked at the sight of her says, "How did she find us in here? Do they have cameras following us?". I couldn't say no, because I have wondered the same thing. We finally did the customary dance with the sales lady. "Can you get us a price on this. Can we please get the dimensions. No, we do not finance things. We can't commit to buying until we see if we can fit it in the house. Yes, we'd love to take your card. Sure you can check on the other pieces, but we will have to buy a piece at a time. We understand they are in a suite. Thank you for your time.". So, needless to say, we didn't buy anything tonight. I have learned that with furniture, I have expensive tastes. So, we'll just have to save up for each piece, but that is okay. They'll just feel that much better when we get them....even if they are five gajillion dollars a piece.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I'm no Kane, but call Ripley 'cause an alien is a comin'

Took the boy to the doc today...again. They wanted to put him on a third round of antibiotic, this time 14 days, to kill any remaining anything in his little body. After I inquired as to what that will do to his body, the NP decided to try him on a kid's Neti pot kind of situation....don't worry, we boiled the water so no bacteria will eat his brain and kill him. Steroid nose drops and additional allergy meds. As a parent, it makes me sick to think of him being on all of that just so he'll stop getting sinus infections. But that is what the pediatrician and the allergist think is best. I will, however, invoke the mom's intuition when it kicks in. Except for shooting snot rockets out with impressive force and sounding like a carton a day smoker, he is in fine spirits. It bothers me more, I think. We took the kids to do "something fun" per their request and saw "The Adventures of TinTin". The genius of animators will never cease to amaze me. I did have a five minute period where I conked out and the hub had to elbow me awake. Embarrassing. Oh well, it happens. The movie was great and I am now going to have to search out the comics for the kids. I have battled a headache from Hades today. I think it is a combo sinus, stress, need to wear my specs kind of situation. At one point, before I found the ibuprofen, I felt like Sigourney Weaver was going to meet me with a flame thrower.
Three gel caps later, well I am writing so I guess the alien went back into a dormant state for a while. Tomorrow I hit the basement hard again and throw more family memories away. Better keep those gel caps close by...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wow, am I in the minority or the majority?

Today is day three in the pitching and tossing in the basement. It is an interesting place down there, but justso much stuff. It looks much better than it has, friend who visited during the tornado, much better. In my defense,my basement is the dumping point for other people's guilt. They cannot bear to throw away family items they o longer use or want, so they give them to me so I can use them or "Just get rid of them if you don't need them". What do I need with kissing owls or a Shaun Cassidy album that doesn't even have "Da Doo run run" on it? But, there is the fear that they will ask for it back....which has happened before. So today, we took four big boxes to Goodwill to make room so I could get at more stuff. The stuff that ate my time away today was the kids drawings and papers from preschool on up. It seems like a no brainer, but every little picture...little handprint turkey...they are all precious. I know they are just things, but the pressure to make sure each child has equal memories, equal things saved is very important to me. It doesn't have to be tons of stuff, but quality items. I threw away a large garbage bag full and it was terribly sad. Luckily, the kids were occupied upstairs and did not see what I threw out. That would make it worse. It is terrible to go in our basement, which is not creepy, and feel suffocated. Now, we have no dead animal bodies there. Everything is in a container on shelves. I am proud to say that I have emptied at least seven Rubbermaid containers, with most of that going to Goodwill or the trash. So if you hear weeping from the dungeon of our house, know I am doing good things down there. I just am doing what needs to be done. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hoarding Hokie? I think not!

It has been a long day, so forgive my less than polished drawing this evening. As Jenny the Jinx, I am sequestering myself to the upstairs while Brian is lunging on the sectional with the big screen cheering. After watching Hoarders last night, I worked for several hours in the basement culling the crap out of it. Made a dent. Not a huge one, but forward progress. Because of this, and the whole jinx factor, I am relaxing and watching my favorite Tuesday night man, Mike Rowe. Dirty Jobs for me, "Hokie Ball" for Brian. I just heard him yell at the TV, so I think I am in the right location at this point. Hope you all have a good evening. I am headed to bed, readying myself for another day in the dungeon. Have to emotionally prepare to sell the crib set. To me, that is an admission that there will be no more little Cook offspring and it is heartbreaking. Now to bed and the fetal position. Night all....

Monday, January 2, 2012

Day full of random things

With the hub home all week, we are spoiled by the fact that no one HAS to get up early. The girls have assumed a life of sloth, which I need to nip soon. They have been so busy and pushed thus far during the school year, I hate to not let them sleep. After letting them sleep a bit this morning, they ate, dressed and jumped right in to their thank you notes.
I come from a mother who insists upon thank you notes being written for everything. As an adult, it shames me to say I have not been as good about them as I should. Not that our words are profound, but it does make for such a sunny day when you get handwritten cards in your mailbox. After mailing 33 letters out that the kids worked on, we set about on our quest for new bikes for the kids. We have decided to buy quality instead of commercial decoration this time around. Everyone is fairly tapped out from Christmas, so our search was fairly fruitless. At about 1:30 or 2pm, we realized the kids' complaints of hunger were valid and decided to try out a restaurant that is popular and fairly new. Double Dogs is known for their extensive menu and unique kids' meals.

We realized that, though the food was fine, this was the wrong day to go visit this eatery. It is kind of two steps up from a sports bar so among the at least twenty screens playing, there were many bowl games on. Loud cheers and jeers and profanities were being liberally sprinkled throughout the place. The boy heard one too many f-bomb being thrown, so we got out of there. We returned home cold and tired. I took a little snooze and then woke up to the kids playing the Kinect. G gets serious about her turns:

After several exciting and sweaty turns, we all went up to get baths and ready for bed. We got involved in watching Hoarders, all of us, so I will be throwing out 3/4 of the contents of my basement tomorrow. Unfortunately, we made them all go to bed and then discovered that winter had arrived in a white way. Not like our family in WI, WV or PA, but exciting just the same.
Hopefully more will come tomorrow so they can play for a little. Although, from the chatting I still hear coming from the girls' room, they aren't going to be doing anything if they don't go to sleep. I am glad they do enjoy each other sometimes. They are so lucky to have each other. Keep warm tonight and sweet dreams...

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year....meh

I hope everyone had a wonderful New Year's Eve. We spent it playing Scrabble and watching the Twilight Zone and Moonshiners. The boy has been on antibiotics for 18 straight days now and started coughing like a carton a day smoker yesterday. Sigh and sigh again. So, instead of celebrating New Year's Day at worship this morning, we were quarantining ourselves. Because of this, I have had a lot of time today to think about resolutions. I think I need to have abound copy of all of my resolutions. Better health, better fitness, better attitude, better mother, better wife and sister and daughter and niece and friend, better crafter....and it goes on and on. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the thought of a whole new year in which to change your life. A new new year in which things will happen that will change me forever-I just hope for the good. My prayer is that I use this fresh start to make a fresh start for myself and be the best everything I can be. Happy new Year to all of you and I covet your prayers this year. I must get fit and healthy so I can be around for my children and see my grandchildren. I must...