Wednesday

For the Girls. . .

For those who have said my blog is "estrogen heavy" or "chick intensive" I say, "You ain't seen nothin' yet!"

These things are weighing on my mind today:

Where have all of my sundresses gone? When my kids were small I had quite a collection of sundresses that I LOVED -- we would leave the pool, I would shower off, throw on my sundress, and I would look like I was actually dressed!! AND they are much cooler than pants or shorts, I think. I must have gotten rid of all of them when I couldn't fit in them after gaining what Phil called "the Abilene 25" (did EVERYONE gain 25 pounds when you moved here?) I think I need some sundresses!

What do I do with my hair? I have somewhat long hair, and VERY thick hair. I like it that way, as evidenced by my commitment to spend 40 minutes to one hour per night for a week combing lice, their eggs, and their corpses out of my hair as opposed to cutting it off. Troy likes it this way, as well. I think. The only time he has ever mentioned a preference for my long hair was when it was short. He won't remember this, but, yes, it's true. Once the temperature hits 90*, though, I start seeking creative ways to put it up. For the pool, a ponytail is always okay, but for other things I would like to look like I didn't just come from the gym. About once a month I wander into the "hair accessories" aisle and think one of two things: 1) "What in the world do you do with THAT?" or 2) "They want 6 bucks for a rubber band?" Then I walk away.

I need a new swimsuit. Thing is -- I don't want to go shopping for one! Who does? But it's a necessary evil, so off I go to shop for something that costs more than any pair of shoes I have ever purchased and I'm not really crazy about how it looks on me so I need to buy something also to cover it with. Crazy, this need for swimwear. But it is an actual need. Not only do I spend 5 days/ week at the pool in the summer, I also teach swimming lessons, so it's a work expense! No, I can't teach your child/ nephew/ cousin/ neighbor this summer. I'm already booked! Maybe next summer! Book early!

Okay, that's all the "girl things" out of my system for a while. Maybe I will return to thinking actual thoughts one of these days.

Tuesday

Oink and Roar

I have no idea if this is true, or a creation of photo-shop software, but it's very cute. My friend Judy, were she ever to raise pigs (and those may be the only animals she hasn't ever raised) would dress her piglets in tiger skin.

In a zoo in California , a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs.

Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth. The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve. After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment.

Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only "orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger .

Monday

Mike Teavee

Thanks to Stephanie for pointing me to this poem. If I can find any printer paper, it will be printed and taped to my closed television cabinet:

by Roald Dahl

The most important thing we've learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don't install
The idiotic thing at all.

In almost every house we've been,
We've watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone's place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)

They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they're hypnotised by it,
Until they're absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.

Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don't climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?

IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!

'All right!' you'll cry. 'All right!' you'll say,
'But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!'

We'll answer this by asking you,
'What used the darling ones to do?
'How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?'

Have you forgotten? Don't you know?
We'll say it very loud and slow:
THEY… USED… TO… READ! They'd READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!

The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!

Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching 'round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it's Penelope.)

The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There's Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-

Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.

Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells,
the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They'll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.

And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts.
They'll grow so keen
They'll wonder what they'd ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!

And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.

Sunday

Television De-tox

I grew up on television. Lots and lots of sitcom re-runs. Laverne and Shirley were some of my favorites, along with WKRP in Cincinnati and of course The Brady Bunch. I wish I had watched a lot less television. Friends that I know that didn't watch television growing up always seemed to be more well-rounded individuals than me: playing sports, sewing, reading, etc.

I remember when Troy and I went to purchase our first television (as opposed to the hand-me-down from my family) I was adamant that I didn't want one of those HUMONGOUS televisions in my home. "Something that sucks out your brain cells anyway should not occupy that much of your wall." It was 27"!

My educational background as well as my listening to all of the current news kept me aware of all of the horrors: "Increased television viewing linked to speech delays in children." "Increased television viewing positively linked to childhood obesity." And, there's always the violence and moral decay, of course.

My children have grown up on somewhat limited television viewing and were 6 years old before they knew you couldn't rewind (puh-wind, they called it) every show on television (well, now that we have DVR I guess you can). They had a library of videos they were allowed to watch and would watch one 30-minute video per day before nap time. As they have gotten older, and we have expanded our channels, they are becoming more and more couch potatoes. As the weather gets hotter, the temptation to stay in the cool and sit on the couch is overwhelming.

Starting Monday -- the TV will be off in this house for the week. When I told Troy this idea, he said, "I think that's great." I could tell by his enthusiasm that he wasn't aware that I meant COMPLETELY off -- for him, as well. We're going to start off summer figuring out what we can do other than sit in front of the box that sucks our brain cells out.

I plan on having a "No TV box" that will include playing cards, puzzles, magazines for all ages, and library books. Maybe even a jobs list! :-) Something that will stop the whining!

The sad part is that I realize that I must give up my blog-reading for the week, as well. I will check email, and I will post here, but *sniff* I will not be reading your blog. I had to remove my "Bloglines" logo from my toolbar so that it won't be there, taunting me, that I have new blogs to read. They must wait.

Today I made a list of things I would like to or need to accomplish this summer. Interestingly enough, "read more blogs" and "watch more television" wasn't on the list. So, I won't be commenting on your blog, and I won't catch up on any re-runs I may have missed (I confess I'm recording something for later!) Hopefully in a week I'll be a rested, creative woman!

Saturday

Play Ball!

Allow me one more baseball post. Today was the last game of the season. 2:00 p.m. in Abilene, Texas. A balmy 96*, winds approximately 25 mph. Basically go preheat your oven to cook a frozen pizza then open your oven door and you have the general feel.

I just wanted the game to get here and be over. Enough baseball, already. We played Thursday evening, the last day of school, and it was a disaster. Most of the kids stood in the outfield waiting for the ball to wander into their glove. I didn't imagine this game would be much better, although I knew the team we were playing would at least get us a win. The coaches for the other team are unbelievably nice gentlemen that hate to take anymore family time from the players than the games already take, so they don't get into the whole practice thing too much.

By the end of the 2nd inning, we had quite a solid lead, so our coach benched our best players and scrambled the outfield to give kids opportunities to play new positions. It was a great experience for our guys and the other team was able to get quite a few hits. They even made it to the 9th batter -- our little league has a rule that only 9 batters can bat in one inning. However, if the 9th batter gets a hit (as opposed to striking out) the ball is still in play until either the batter himself has been tagged or home plate is tagged with the ball. (Please don't ask for more details -- I barely understand it).

The other team's little 9th batter was a little bitty guy named Bobby I had seen the coach working with for batting practice. The coach was SO encouraging, and would call him, "Bobby, the Bob-ster!" Bobby approached the plate with much trepidation, but eager. His first swing was when the ball was about half-way to home plate. The coach was still so encouraging and I really don't remember much other than Bobby got a hit. I don't remember where he hit it, but Bobby kept running. He was like Forrest Gump -- not to be stopped. One of our outfielders tagged 2nd base before Bobby got there, but didn't tag Bobby. Bobby kept running. Bobby ended up getting a home run and hitting 2 runners home. The little stands -- both sides -- erupted with cheers for Bobby.

With tears in her eyes, Bobby's mother told our coach that is the first time all season Bobby has gotten a hit in a game. What a way to end the season. That's what it's all about.

Friday

Home from the Library

One of the things I am proudest of in my children, as well as thankful for, is their love for the written word -- both to read it as well as write it. They both are well-known, at least at their grade level, for being "reading fools" -- always going WAY over the recommended number of books read for the 6 weeks, or AR points, or whatever. Obviously, I'm a proud mom. Not for the recognition it brings to them now, but to the places it will take them now as well as later.

To kick off our summer we made a trip to the library. It wasn't quite as eventful as Grace Sadler's trip to the library yesterday. This morning I was eating breakfast and thumbing through the paper while Ashley and I were discussing that she really wanted to get to the library today, especially before I have to drag them up to work today for a few hours. On the front page of today's paper is our branch of the library, with Grace Sadler's car smack in the middle of the children's section. She hit the accelerator instead of the gas and, thank goodness!!, only one other person was in the library at the time. He saw her coming and jumped out of the way. No one was injured, but the children's section is now a total mess and most of the books are either behind the circulation desk because their shelf was damaged beyond repair, or blocked off because there is still so much glass in and among the shelves. It is a total mess that makes me appreciate our library personnel that much more. Riley was very disappointed, though, that the books he wanted were all blocked off.

I got a book about journaling as a spiritual practice. It made me so excited to read and to write. I want to make sure my summer days all include some of both. The first summer I was a member at my pool, I didn't know ANYONE there, so I would take a book and it was my total sanctuary (even if my kids were fighting, they were too far away for me to hear them! :-) Now, my pool is my social sanctuary, and that's fun, but I have no reading time blocked out. I must make an effort to make time for that.

When we got home from the library, I reached to get all of my books, and paused to look through the book on journaling. After about 5 minutes I realize that, not only am I sitting in my car in the garage sweating while I read, but both of my children are also sitting in the car in the garage sweating while they read. We're hooked!

Thursday

Where Am I?!?

School is out, and baseball season is winding down. Days at the pool, swimming lessons, camps and vacations are ahead of us and will be over all too quickly.

Tonight, evidently giddy with the freedom that comes from showing off your final report card, the kids, again, want to have a sleepover (just with each other). Actually, they did ask about the neighbors again, but I told them that may be pushing their luck!

After dinner we had this conversation:

A: Riley, do you want to play a game of Life?

R: (so excited!) Yes!! I was just about to ask YOU that!!!

Me, to Troy: Do you feel as if you are in a parallel universe?

T: Absolutely!!

A: What are you all talking about?

Me: Who ARE you, and what have you done with my children? What is that -- being polite to each other?!?!

A: What MOVIE have you been watching?

Me: Evidently the one I thought was my real life!

Tuesday

A Casual Observation

I remember, all too well, the end of school as a teacher. I remember that I had to try REALLY hard not to knock over kids on the last day of school as I made a break for the parking lot. I think I even remember actually growling at some poor Xerox repair-man when I rounded the corner into the copy room, probably to copy something that, Please, Lord, would keep my 21 squirmy-worms occupied for 7 minutes, only to see the copy machine's guts strewn hither and yon.

I confess that I HAD forgotten. I had forgotten the tension, the stress, all coming to a head. More than anything, I had forgotten that many teachers, probably myself included, believe themselves to have a license-to-be-grouchy from about May1-31. I forgot until this week, when I began trying to collect papers for work that I gave the teachers 3 weeks ago to complete. I have tried to pick them up earlier, but got no response, or "Oh! We'll get to that soon!" Now I'm getting, "It's the end of school!" "When did you give me those?" "I'm trying to pack my room!!"

I smile, nod sympathetically at how impossibly unreasonable I'm being, and scoot very quickly away. Maybe next time I should walk in throwing chocolate in front of me.

Sunday

Church Wardrobe

The hot topic of last week in blogs I read was what we wear to church. Denise, Steve, and Phil all touched on it (I think someone else did, too, but I'm drawing a blank). Well, my kids thought we had evidently gone super-casual at our church.

Today at church a young woman several rows in front of us appeared to be naked while seated. Well, I was fairly confident that she WASN'T naked, but both of my kids pointed out at different times the lady looked naked. When we stood to sing, it was obvious she was wearing a very cute halter-style sundress, but she had long hair and the part around her neck was hidden by her hair. So, yes, when she was seated and we only saw her bare shoulders, she could have been in her bath towel for all we knew.

As we stood for one of our final songs, I realized that Riley, surrounded by people much taller than he, had never caught a glimpse of "naked lady" until he purposely leaned WAY across me and muttered: "She's not NAKED -- she's wearing a dress. What a rip-off."

Saturday

Saturday lamentations

It's Saturday, it's 100*, and it's the first day the pool is open. What in heaven's name could I lament about?

Well, there's much, and it all boils down to a big pile of nothing, other than I believe the root of my griping is that I am currently living a life I detest. I don't detest the whole of my life, but when I see other people running non-stop from activity to activity, exhausted and grouchy with each other because the schedule is lord of the house, I hate that kind of life. And now I'm smack in the middle of it. Much of it is temporal -- end of school frivolity coupled with end of school projects at work -- but I have been running on empty for too long.

I miss the peace of being so close to the Father. I miss the joy of knowing that surface things and surface problems vanish within a blink of an eye. I miss the patience with unloveable people that comes from being in the presence of holiness. I miss the gentle answer that turns away wrath instead of the inflammatory answer that fans wrath into flame.

"I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will make rivers
flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert
into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs." Isaiah 41:17,18


Send your rain, Oh, Lord.

Friday

Brilliant Post/ Beautiful Thoughts

Stephen Bailey doesn't have a clue who I am, but he currently has some brilliant thoughts on his blog. A must read.

Thursday

Back In Action

I know, you've missed me horribly, and I've missed you as well. Bloglines says I have 103 new blog posts to catch up on. It may be a while!

I went to Austin for a conference this week, and was reminded that there are many things specifically "female" that I am not:
  • I do not enjoy traveling (to the restroom, on an elevator, shopping) in packs. I'm really okay alone.
  • I actually like being alone. A lot.
  • I do NOT feel the need to fill any silence with talking. Silence and solitude -- in WAY too short supply.
  • I don't mind deciding where a group of women should eat dinner. Otherwise, we could spend all night saying, "I REALLY don't care -- you decide."

I'm very happy to be home and got home in time for a little league baseball game. It wasn't pretty, but it's over! And so much to catch up on -- laundry, work, and blogs! See you around!

Monday

Mother's Day for Me

I wrote the following yesterday, but it seemed so fluffy compared to the trauma of Momma bird. The thought remains:

When my kids were younger, all I wanted for Mother's Day was to be away from them. A day to be "the old me": who did not know who Barney or Little Bear were (we didn't even have the Wiggles yet), who could finish a meal without anyone (including herself) screaming, who could walk across a room without tripping on a small toy or small person, and could leave the house without 20 minutes of prep work. I do not have that strong desire anymore, and the old me is slowly emerging, having been softened, stretched, and transformed by the Diaper Days.

This Mother's Day I find myself marveling at the precious souls that I have been entrusted with, housed in those beautiful freckled bodies with the smelliest feet on the planet. I feel awed by the privilege of being "Mom" to these two, and overwhelmed by the responsibility of leading them in His way. This Mother's Day, more than anything, I'm so thankful to be a mother.

"I can't think of another career more challenging and satisfying than to pour my energies into the daily task of making order out of chaos, music out of noise, communication out of babble, purposefulness out of purposelessness, pointing chubby little wayward feet gently toward the Path, lighting ignorance with knowledge and confusion with understanding." -- Brenda Sawyer

Sunday

As the Nest Turns

Our precious little hanging plant guests have had quite a traumatic day. This afternoon Troy heard an awful commotion and noticed a tail sticking out of the nest with the eggs -- that had grown from 2 eggs to 5!! Then he noticed it was a blue and white tail -- evil blue jay! Troy banged on the window to make the blue jay go away. We were all afraid to go upset Momma bird anymore, seeing as how she was standing guard, hopping from the top of the plant hanger to the wind catcher next to it, twirling in the breeze. Occasionally she would peer down into the nest, I presumed to be sure the eggs were still safe.

Tonight I did a head count and egg count in the nests. It did not take long -- I was greeted by two empty nests. No eggs. No baby birds. Now I know that poor Momma bird was peering into her nests wondering, "What in the world just happened?!?!?" Sometimes this whole "way of the jungle" thing stinks.

Saturday

Mother's Day for Mom

My grandmother will tell you that my mother, aunt, and uncle were all raised Baptist. My mother (and probably aunt and uncle) will admit that she was raised being sent to the baptist church with her brother and sister, and every once in a while did actually make it to church. When my mom and dad began to date seriously, she wanted to figure out what that preacher at the Church of Christ my dad went to was talking about. So she dug into the Bible herself to figure it out. That is a typical response of my mom. She won't wait to hear what others have to say about something, and she doesn't want to rely on word of mouth. She does her own research about everything, especially her faith.

My mom has always been an academic, graduating from college in 3 years, then getting a Master's in Mathematics. (I don't know where I got my under-achiever gene, but no thanks on any of that). She was a "career woman" before there were just too many of those. She went to work full time in the early '70's. While there were times growing up I wished her to be a "normal mother" as I referred to full-time moms, her job allowed her to touch the lives of hundreds of college students.

Mom is now retired, when one should spend her days in the pursuit of her choice. So she takes my 95-year-old grandmother to the beauty parlor and Wal-Mart every week, as well as various Dr.'s appointments and lunch dates, she cares for a great-aunt who is in her late '80's, helps my grandfather (dad's dad) and his new wife, and loves the moments she gets to spend with each of my brother's boys, 3,5, and 7 years old. That each of her grandchildren KNOW her is her primary goal as a grandmother, and she sees to it that those that live in her town are well taken care of, and she makes a point to get 500 miles west of her town at least every other month, if not more often. She revels in her role as Nonna, while understanding the responsibility of knowing those little eyes are watching every move and little ears are soaking up every word.

I suppose it's typical to become a mother and THEN realize precisely how wise your own mother is. Most of the things that have made me realize that haven't come from my own children, but watching other people I know make mistakes and thinking, "Didn't your mother tell you not to do that?"

For instance:
1) Having a baby won't fix a bad marriage, and will put a strain on a good one. From the things I've said, obviously Mom wanted to be a grandma, but not at the expense of a little soul unsure of his/her place in this world. Now I know several little people spending weekends at different spots because their mom and/or dad thought a baby would fix their mess of a marriage. (I know there are all sorts of situations that make said situation preferable or necessary, but I still think it was darn good advice from my mother).

2) Don't flush tampons! My apologies to any gentelmen readers, but as I listen to tales of embarassing and expensive plumber's visits, I think, "Didn't your mother tell you never to do that?" Again, darn good advice!

3) Never, never, NEVER wake a sleeping baby. Enough said.

The most important thing I've learned from my mom wasn't from anything she said, but from her actions:

"Hide God's word in your heart."

My mother has memorized literally hundreds of isolated scriptures, and several other portions of scripture. I appreciate the way she believes we can never become complacent in our walk with the Lord. I am so thankful for her example of being a life-long student of scripture, allowing God to continually speak to her and transform her heart.

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Fair Warning

We've already established that there are times that loud noises do me in.

Riley had a 10 a.m. game this morning. Thankfully, I was able to sleep in a bit this morning, so I had not been awake long when Julio's family breaks out the breakfast tacos which smelled like an entire Mexican dinner. So that smell is grossing me out, our stands were in the sun, the speakers were BLARING "I feel Good!", small tantrum boy is doing his job (while dumping out my water bottle to play with it), and some kids below me were scraping rocks on the metal bleachers sounding like a chorus of maracas. I'm not happy.

Riley had a good game, despite being hit with the ball when the 3rd baseman threw the ball to 1st to try to get him out. But it won't overcome the barrage of sensory overload that continued to attack me throughout the game.

Off to seek silence and solitude. . .

Wednesday

Front Porch Friends

The fastest way to kill a plant is to say, "Here, Sarah, this is for you."

But my precious husband is an eternal optimist. I think every spring he buys some hanging plants and faithfully waters them. Then his job will take him out of town at some point when the temperature hits 100, and the plants are never the same again. They're in the trash by the end of June.

This year, however, we have company in my hanging plants. LOTS of company, evidently. I took down a plant to water it (must have been REALLY energetic that day -- I generally don't water) and noticed a tiny little nest with 4 tiny little eggs in it. I didn't get a picture of those eggs, but when the kids informed me they had hatched, I had to start a little birdy scrapbook for our new neighbors.















Are they just so ugly they're cute? There were 3 in there last night, and still a little egg at the bottom. When the kids and I were looking at it, they thought all the ruckus was Momma coming home, so we got 3 little open beaks staring at us. All I got was a squirming pile of fluff today -- they looked like furry worms -- so I don't know if the 4th one has hatched or not.

Momma must trust me or something -- I thought if I took the plant down to get a picture she would dive bomb me. But she left me alone and I very kindly put her babies right back where I found them. I guess she knows another mother simply admiring newborns when she sees one.

I will try to keep you posted as they grow up. Sadly, they will fly away all too soon (hope it's before the plant dies or we'll be stuck leaving a dead plant hanging so they'll have a home!) Just like my own little squawking birdies. I wonder if a momma birdy has to listen to baby birds fuss over who is squishing who in the nest.

And in the hanging plant next door to this one. . .

Tuesday

Today

I found a lima bean in the console of my car. It was painted yellow with an 'H' on it. I thought a lima bean in the console of my car was ridiculous, but when I realized it was painted yellow with an 'H' on it, it seemed perfectly logical.

I took lunch to Riley today. McDonald's. Happy Meal, cheeseburger, with an extra cheeseburger. I got a salad, and showed Riley how to turn a grape tomato into a tiny little tomato-man who throws up. I'm pretty sure that makes me the coolest mom ever. At least the coolest mom today. Demotion pending, I'm sure.

Yesterday I got the first pedicure I have ever had in my life. While I love my beautiful pink toenails and my soft heels and toes, I really did not enjoy the experience. My feet are ticklish!

Today I am wearing my new pink sandals I bought for Troy to give me for Mother's Day. I may even wrap them up for me to open on Mother's Day. They look so nice with my beautiful pink toes, too. A happy that I needed in my day. My un-happy in my day is that they hurt my feet. Don't cute shoes always hurt your feet? What's that about?

Tonight we work the concession stand for little league. Everyone hates it -- it's like America's 2nd favorite pasttime to hate working at the concession stand. My little secret is that I love it. No, I don't have 2.5 hours to go make dinner for other people, but I love our little ballpark and all the nice people that come there. It's my own little slice of Americana that I would never voluntarily be amongst, so I'm thankful for my time to visit with little brothers and sisters, grandmas and grandmas, moms, dads, and neighbors who are out to cheer on their favorite little leaguer. So I have to flip some burgers and fry some fries. It's all good.

Monday

A Little Clue. . .

Just a little hint at why I have no time to blog currently:

Does it disturb anyone else that we live in a society that has some very common phrases that deal with treating lice:

"Nit-picky"

"Go over with a fine-tooth comb."

Just wondering. . .

Sunday

Question of the Day

Where have all the salt and vinegar chips gone? Didn't 15 different brands used to make them? Where are they NOW?

Okay, that turned into "Questions of the Day".

Thursday

Thoughts for Thursday

I can listen to my children argue about whether the clock said 8:05 or 8:06 for approximately 90 seconds before I completely lose it.

A tree in my neighborhood -- I'm guessing 4 feet in diameter -- blew over in the storm last night. The 18-inch diameter tree that blocks my satellite reception is still here.

Many have expressed concern with my sick stomach. Truly it isn't so bad to keep me from functioning. For whatever reason, I haven't had an appetite the last week or so, and that, coupled with a new medicine probably just turned my stomach a bit. I'm still migraine free!! After taking my migraine medicine my temples, jaw, neck, and shoulders were all sore as if they had been in knots for weeks and were finally loosening up. I'll take it!

If you don't know me well, I'm a somewhat healthy eater. I don't worry about organic this or that, and I'm great with preservatives, but I don't consider "chocolate" or "fried" a food group. The last year or so I have been especially obnoxious in trying to battle the 25 pounds of insulation my body piled on when we moved, flooded, and were sued in the same year.

I sat with Riley's class for Teacher Appreciation Week yesterday so that his teacher could go out for lunch. I went and ate lunch with Riley and he had a bag of Cheeto's in his lunch box.

"Mom, have you ever eaten Cheeto's?"

It was at this point that I knew my healthy eating has gone over the top. "Yes, Riley, they're some of my favorites! Do you mind if I have a few?" So we sat and munched on a bag of Cheeto's together. Riley reminded me that he was with Nonna (my mom) when she bought Mamaw (my 95-year-old grandmother) 2 big bags of Cheeto's at Wal-Mart. I decided that life is too short to go without Cheeto's for too terribly long. And when I turn 90, I'm going to live on Cheeto's and Little Debbie's oatmeal creme pies -- the best combination of lard and sugar this side of a Shipley's glazed donut fresh out of the frying oil.

In honor of my new attitude I had a Blue Bell Bombstick for snack today, and I think a corn dog is in my very near future.

Wednesday

For Roxanne

Pardon me while I wander back down memory lane to a spot that, as far as regular readers of this blog goes, only my parents and Roxanne will have been.

Roxanne is well known for being big on emotion. She doesn't do happy, sad, weepy, stressed out, or in love half-way. And thus it has always been. She also is the only person I know that can remember the minutia of both of our lives as accurately as I do -- sometimes more so (oh -- but Cody asked why I didn't get a red car while we were in Mathews' driveway showing it off to them). Anyway, we have a lot of history, much of which includes the roller coaster ride of high school.

Today I heard "Friends Are Friends Forever" on the local Christian radio station. That transported me back 19 years (okay, that number just made my crow's feet deepen by an inch). Roxanne and I graduated from a Christian school in North Louisiana. If you went to a Christian school in the '80's, then it was some unspoken rule that "Friends are Friends Forever" would be sung at your high school graduation. And sing we did -- Roxanne and I both altos in the chorus (as I age I'm becoming more of a tenor and in about 20 years I should sing bass with Troy!)

Then I realized -- I think it was 19 years ago TODAY that we had our Junior/Senior Banquet. You see, since we went to a Christian school, we didn't have evil dancing, like a prom, but we had very, very formal eating! There are many things I remember about that day -- less that I remember about the banquet. Okay, now I'm getting our junior year and senior year confused. Junior year I remember best. But my senior year -- as I think about it, I can't believe anyone would do this. I was "Miss OCS" and student body president -- and evidently completely undate-able. So I asked a previous years' graduate, Ricky Myers, to take me. Bless his precious heart. He left the morning after finals week and packing his dorm room, drove 8 hours, met his father in the parking lot who gave him a regular vehicle, not laden with belongings, and also gave him a rented tux, and then we proceeded to stay up all night with the frivolity (that I remember precious little of). Wow. I'm surprised he ever spoke to me again!

So that was my little selfish walk down memory lane. This time of year always does it to me. Seeing my own children heading into another grade, seeing kids I have known for years graduate from high school and leave home, and remembering my own high school years is all just a part of April and May for me.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes he’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through

But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
’cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

And friends are friends forever
If the lord’s the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
’cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
to live as friends.

With the faith and love god’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
’cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong.

And friends are friends forever
If the lord’s the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
’cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
to live as friends.

Tuesday

Decisions, Decisions

I finally got some prescription medicine for my migraines!! YAY!! A drawback, though, is that a side effect is severe nausea. Well, guess what one of the main symptoms of my migraines is? Severe nausea. So I currently feel as if I am about to throw up on my shoes at all times. Sometimes I feel like that while my head has wood screws through my temples and a railroad spike through my right eye, and sometimes I feel like that while my head is floating three feet above my body after taking medication. I prefer to float while nauseated, I think.

If you remember '80's music, head over to Kyle's blog and vote on some of the best songs of the '80's. Of course, U2 has his number 1 song (but he can't decide which song is number 1) so Kyle has got to be a pretty cool guy. Some of those songs totally take me back to the days of BRIGHT clothes and badly permed hair.
 
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