borrowed from Steph
Kari backed into the counter and grabbed her arm this morning. Her face screwed up and she muttered "Verdamnt!" under her breath. This made me start giggling.
Kari: "Mom, stop laughing. I hit my funny bone."
Me: giggling away
Kari: "Mom! It isn't humorous."
Me: giggling harder
Rick: "No, it wasn't your humerus. You hit your ulnar nerve...."
Me: on the floor laughing by this point
Perhaps I needed more sleep last night, but this whole event just struck me funny.
Nana is in her 85th year. Physically this has been one of the hardest years of her life.
Her cataract surgery last September went wrong and she almost ended up permanently blind in one eye. The specialist she saw after her surgery was so hopeful that her vision could be saved, Nana kept her spirits up. The specialist was correct, and now Nana was 20/30 vision in that eye.
Then came the big "C" word. Cancer. Breast cancer. Nana opted to have her entire breast removed. She wasn't interested in reconstructive surgery, because -- as she put it -- she was not going to be getting any sex any time soon. Her surgery went well. But no one told her that she would be having nagging pain for months afterwards. She doesn't like the prosthesis -- it rubs her scar wrong. She does like what it does for the fit of her blouses though. Perky breasts on an old woman. She loves that aspect.
I hadn't heard from her in a few days. Not even the cute little emails that she and her cronies pass around. Not a one. So yesterday, when I knew she'd be home after her hair appointment, I gave her a call.
Nana sounded horrible. Her voice was raspy and tired sounding. She told me that she had been to her primary doctor earlier in the day about constant nagging pain, weight loss, lack of appetite. Her doctor is concerned about slow internal bleeding.
But being Nana, she was upbeat. "Don't worry, 'Lizabeth, I'll be okay. This has just been a bad year for me. But it's almost over. Next year is going to be better."
I hope so, but Nana knows so. She said the hardest part about being almost 85 is that she still thinks of herself as in her 30s.
Gotta love a thirty-something grandmother.
My grandmother Helon was one of those women who would never be termed beautiful. Striking or handsome -- yes. Glamorous even -- when she wanted to be.
In her high school yearbook, someone wrote that Grandmom always looked as if she had just stepped out of a bandbox, even on nasty hot days, even after exercising. Someone also mentioned that Grandmom's fashion sense was instinctive. All I know is that for the majority of the years she was in my life she always looked just so, seemingly without effort. Her closet was filled to the brim with clothes and shoes. She even had wigs and hats. Her costume jewelry would be sighed over today.
My great-aunt Marie, Grandmom's sister, has told me several times that if you told Grandmom something, she never forgot it. I know that my father and my brother have inherited this gift. They forget little -- if anything.
Sometimes I look in the mirror and see aspects of my grandmother's face. Most of it is in my expressions, but the resemblance is there. Genes -- you know. She and I also share a mental disorder -- bipolar disorder.
Whenever I hear thunder, I think of sitting her lap and her cuddling me close. She'd whisper, "It's okay. That noise is just the angels bowling." Sometimes the angels weren't bowling, instead God was rearranging the furniture in heaven.
Grandmom would love her great-grandchildren. She'd understand Rick and his sometimes odd ways. She'd be able to give Kari fashion advice and share secrets. She'd be delighted with Michael and his toddler silliness. She'd cuddle Coley.
Grandmom would love my house too. It's yellow -- her favorite color.
Oh, am I ever ticked off!
I spent hours this morning editing photos and uploading them to my brother's photoblog. Everything was fine and dandy until I did the final publish. Somehow it was hacked. B astards!
Cannot believe someone would do this. Why? It's just a little personal site that my brother wanted me to set up for him.
Off to pout.
My brother recently went to Alaska for the wedding of one of his best friends. Kirk shared his favorite photos from the trip. This one is my favorite. I just think it's sweet. (And no, that is not my brother.)
and out of the gloom...
Yesterday just plain sucked. Brian took his site offline. Bob's is currently unavailable. Laundry was out of control...
This morning I opened my email and found a note from Mansi. Well, this made my day. I enjoy reading whatever she writes and was sad when she stopped blogging back in February. Every so often she'll email me an article that she wrote or I'll stumble across her somewhere else.
This is her latest, and this is some of her poetry.
J&P sent me a bulb catalog and it actually contained bulbs appropriate for zone 10b. I'm amazed... delighted... ecstatic... jumping for joy. I think I may order some and then plant them throughout my garden. Fragrant Oriental Lilies.
The downer is seeing all the beautiful tulips, irises and daffodils that I cannot have.
Handel bloomed today. Pretty little blooms beginning to climb up my wall. Louis-Philippe didn't want to be outshown, so he's in the final flush of summer color. Last week he was so covered in blooms you could barely see any leaves. Prosperity and Clothilde have massive sprays. Gorgeous. Just gorgeous.
an eeyore sort of day
I'm having an "Eeyore day". A gloomy day. I find myself shrugging a lot and sighing, "Oh well."
I slept in -- mistake number one. Guaranteed to make me worthless and lazy and totally without any energy to accomplish anything today.
The temperature was already at 91 at 10:30 am. Who wants to do anything when it's already this hot and humid to boot?
Rick locked the cats in his room with him last night. The cats couldn't get to their litterbox. Need I say more?
Kari forgot to close the hall gate behind her. Toby ran back into Rick's room and did his business there instead of asking to be taken outside. I'm thinking of throwing a bunch of litter in Rick's room. Hey, the animals obviously already believe it to be there.
Ants are everywhere. Whenever we have a dry spell here during the summer, the ants begin swarming inside. They head to the kitchen and the bathroom... wherever there is water. Getting rid of them is impossible. You can't believe the ads from any bug eliminating company. No one can get rid of those little sugar ants. Forget it.
And there's a pile of laundry to put away.
Due to hosting problems the BKO Lounge is no more -- for now. I'm very sad. I'll miss chatting with my fellow lizards, trying out their recipes, reading their view of whatever the current hot topic is.
Rick's latest writing attempt. I'm not even sure I can correct all of his errors. banging my head against the wall
Not to beat a dead horse, but I do wish telemarketers would leave me alone. Completely.
Last night I asked one to please remove me from his call list and to never ever call me again. Not even 2 minutes after I hung up, he called me back. According to him, I didn't give him a chance to explain how great deal he was offering me. I asked to speak to his supervisor. This time he hung up on me.
This morning I've had 6 calls in the past 30 minutes. When I answer the phone all I hear is static, so of course I hange up. The last time I waited until someone came onto the line. I asked if she had been the person calling me over and over in the past 30 minutes. She replied in the affirmative. I then asked if she could come up with a reason as to why I kept hanging up. After a pause, "You don't want to talk to me." Bingo! I told her to remove my number from her list and to never call back.
I truly despise all these time-wasting phone calls from telemarketers.
Michael, Kari and I headed up to Sarasota today to meet Kim and her 2 girls. Michael was excited about seeing Jordan. He adores Jordan. To put it mildly. Originally the plan was to go to the Selby Botanical Gardens, but the weather has simply been far too hot. Not mild. Broiling. We're putting that visit off for a few months.
We found ourselves at the Ringling Museum of Art and the Circus Museum. The kids were not happy with the art museum. Perhaps they simply are not old enough to appreciate the works of such artists as Rubens, El Greco, etc. Michael did enjoy looking at the "people." He did want to know why they were busts, what happened to the rest of their bodies?
Lunch was outrageous. Basically $6 for a grilled cheese. What?!? The sandwich would have been better with mayo, but they just grilled the bread with cheese in the middle. Normally I despise mayo, but grilled cheese sandwiches seem to require it.
After our bellies were full and our thirst sated, we strolled over to the Circus Museum. I itch to totally revamp that museum. It could have been done so much better. We did pick up extra postcards to send to friends around the country. We probably should have picked out more though.
Out of the a/c and back into the sweltering heat of the grounds. Kim and I wanted to see the rose garden. We both have visions of rose gardens in our future yard plans. Since we live in Florida, we can get blooms year-round. I loved the rose garden.
Concrete figures and pillars surrounded the rose garden. Many were the same. This one caught my eye. Perhaps because it was one of the few backed by roses.
Michael and Jordan had fun running up and down the paths and searching in the crushed shell path for whole shells. They would have filled their pockets if we had let them. We did manage to sit them down for a brief moment to snap their picture.
I had seen many of the various types of roses there, but there were a few that were new to me. Perhaps because I normally am not drawn to orange roses. This was Kari's favorite. Wish I could remember the name.
Kim and I will be getting together again in the next few months. We still have to see the Selby gardens, the gardens at the Edison home, Muncy's Rose Emporium.... Told you we are rose nuts.
Twenty-five years ago my classmates and I went on a field trip to tv station 13 in Maine. We even had to learn the station's jingle. We sang it in their lobby. They taped it and used it on the tv. I still remember the silly song.
Thirteen country is your country
We were supposed to whistle too. I refused to whistle. So not ladylike.
Robert, who was born and raised here, just stuck his head in the doorway to inform me that it is "f ucking hot out here." Really? What an absolute shock!
It has only taken him 36 years, 11 months to realize that summers in South Florida can only be described as brutal. Sure the sun shines in a bright blue sky. Sure we have frequent rainstorms. Sure everything generally stays green. But there is no way around the high humidity and temps in the mid- to upper- 90s.
When I saw the recipe for this over in the Lounge, I had to make it. First, it's always hot here and a variation of an old favorite sounded like something good to try. Second, my two older children are doing projects about Egypt. Rick is researching the Spinx. Kari is exploring Egyptian mythology and the role it played in the daily lives of the ancient Egyptians.
So if you like limes and are up for something a bit different, here's the recipe:
1/3 cup sugar
1 - 1/2 cups of water
Slice off the tips of the limes, quater them and remove visible seeds. Place them into a blender - rind, pith and all. Add sweetener and 1/2 cup of the water.
Blend in 30 second pulses until the lime bits are the size of a half rice grain. Dilute to taste and adjust sweetner.
Make this in small batches and serve as soon as possible.
(recipe is courtesy of Bob the Corgi)
hot, sweaty, frustrated
Weekly cleaning time! I really don't want to be inside. I want to be outside soaking up the sun, puttering in my garden, watching Michael play in his sandbox, listening to Kari giggle with her friends. Rick would be inside, but he would pop out occasionally, just to check on us.
But no. Housework calls. That and Robert doesn't want me out there doing anything in the yard until all signs of my beestings and wasp stings are history. Could be quite a while. I still have swelling in my knee from last week's encounter with the flying and armed insects. My right thumb is swollen and numb from yesterday's run-in with a ticked off wasp.
That's why I'm inside. Hot, sweaty and frustrated.
After I mop the floor, I'm going to make Bob's Egyptian version of lemonade.
Rick's writing is horrid! Simply horrid.
Must remember to email Beth later today.
My first love was a farmer's son. Alan Fogg. Dark brown hair, big eyes, quiet. He usually wore button-down plaid shirts with navy khaki pants and bucks. He parted his hair to the side, short and neat.
I remember the first time I noticed him. Brenda, Andi and I were sitting around talking about going to Elizabeth's house after school or maybe they'd go with me to deliver newspapers. I looked across the playground and there he was.
He was standing just a bit apart from the other boys. He turned, saw me and smiled. A slow smile that reached his eyes and overflowed with joy. My breath caught, my heart stopped. I was in love.
Alan was one of the first people I met when we moved to Indiana. He was just another kid in my 4th grade class. We were acquaintances. I bonded with Brenda, Andi and Jody (a boy who helped me deliver newspapers on Wednesdays, because the papers were too big for me to carry by myself.)
But something happened over summer break. I'm not sure what it was. Whether the change was in me or in him or both, but he caught my eye and held it for the next year and a half.
Alan and I would talk quietly on the playground, pass notes in class. He even held my hand. Being around him made me feel calm, liked, loved, accepted. We'd get mad at each other, but it was never a big deal.
Moving to Kennebunk ended my first romance. The gentle romance. The one that involved friendship and holding hands.
Alan's lips never touched mine, but his memory follows me to this day. All the way from 7th grade thru 12th, I avoided relationships that could involve exchanging a kiss. None of the boys I knew could compare to my memory of Alan.
Last night I was going thru some of my old school papers and came across Alan's picture and one of the notes he wrote me. As I was sitting there smiling, Robert came to the bedroom door and smiled in greeting.
A slow smile. Just like Alan's.
7:00 am Walk Toby.
8:30 am Walk Koa. When Koa is being walked by his owner, I absolutely love him. I do. Walking him myself is another matter. The puppy has no leash manners whatsoever. He pulls, yanks, tugs, drags whomever is walking him. He hates to heel. He believes that a loose leash means the slack must be taken up and that a taut leash means he is doing his job. WRONG! He was not appreciative of my informing him of this. Oh no. He was so insistant that he was the boss that I had to prove to him that I was top dog. Koa is quickly learning what "Loose, Koa, loose!" means and that my shaking his leash means that he had better ease up.
9:30 am Finally getting to eat breakfast. MIL calls. Dad IMs. SIL IMs. Kids decide to argue over who is going to choose what to watch on tv. TV privileges are lost for the rest of the day. Remote is hidden.
10:00 am Discussing with Rick what is expected of him while homeschooling. AGAIN!
10:20 am Walking out the front door with all three kids... on our way to the library.
10:21 am Robert running to frantically inform me that Rick has a psych appoint at 10:30 am.
10:22 am Kari and Michael are in the van, ready to accompany Robert on his errands.
10:45 am Rick arrives at the docs.
11:30 am Dr. H sets up his next appointment and asks that I call to discuss Rick with him. He also has something to add to Rick's lesson plan -- a unit on mental health, complete with project. Rick is not happy.
11:31 am I call Robert to let him know that we will meet him at the library.
11:40 am One huffy husband is royally ticked off, because he claims to have been waiting for 25 minutes.
11:45 am Begin filling out the paperwork for a library card for myself. Michael decides that he should talk at the top of his lungs. I guess that would be yelling, huh. Michael also decides that he doesn't want to sit patiently for the 2 minutes I need to fill out the very simple form. He leans back in his chair, flips it over, wails, runs around the table.
12:10 pm I finally get my library card.
12:12 pm We walk over to the children's section to pick out books for Michael and Kari. Michael pitches a fit because they do not have any Thomas the Tank Engine books for him to read. He decides that he doesn't need to read any stinkin' books. He wants to play with all the puzzles. Kari wanders off to find books about Egyptian gods and goddesses and myths. Rick is trying to locate books about the Sphinx.
12:27 pm Two children down. One to go. We climb the stairs to where the adult or "real" books can be found. Rick jumps on one of the computers to continue locating books. Michael speed reads. All of a sudden he leaps up, grabs his crotch and yells, "I have to pee NOW!" The hunt for the bathroom begins. The librarian points me in the direction of the nearest bathroom. Of course it is the men's room. Did she not notice that Michael is a wee lad and needs someone to accompany him? I have to run and get Rick, who is highly displeased at the interruption. While they are in the bathroom, Kari and I go to get the books that Rick had listed. Michael came sprinting towards us, past us, around the shelves. After tackling him, we had to go on the search for Rick who has mysteriously disappeared. We went everywhere looking for him. Just I was starting to panic, he magically appeared. Brat.
12:53 pm We check out books.
1:08 pm We arrive home.
1:10 pm Walked Toby.
1:20 pm Watched Koa drag Rick across the Ridge. Very humorous.
2:00 pm Tried to write a supportive email, but the words just wouldn't come.
2:28 pm Rich calls to let me know that the a/c repairman is on his way.
2:58 pm My MIL calls to ask what Rick wants for his birthday. (family party is Saturday) I have to get her off the phone quickly, because the repairman had to be able to reach me to say, "I'm here! Let me in your neighbor's house, so they can have cool air once again."
3:00 pm Mr. AC Repair calls. I sprint down the road to let him in. Koa starts barking his
head off. The cats flick their tails at me and huff. I settle down on the couch to read the tv guide. Mr. AC Repair then calls me over to explain all that is wrong and to let me know that the entire unit doesn't need to be replaced, just the coil. I nod my head to show that I totally agree. I then tell him about our a/c unit's woes. Why? So he will know that I know who to call about the prices of parts and can replace it myself or with Robert's help. I refuse to let Rich be gypped.
3:23 Back at home. Rich calls to ask what was going on with his a/c. I tell him.
3:30 Rick and Michael fight. I intervene.
3:52 I sit here and ponder my day. I wonder what else it going to happen today, how many more arguments my children will have, how Rick will react to his quizzes tomorrow, how I can plan my parents' anniversary party from here while my brother is in Alaska and his wife is in Charlotte and Robert is working.
I wonder where in the world I hid the remote.
don't you wish you could go too?
The dragonets get their braces on 21st August. Oh they are so not looking forward to this. I am though. No more buck teeth for the two of them, no more huge gap between her front teeth or having teeth behind teeth for Kari.
The empty wallet will suck though.
Once upon a time going to the movies was a regular event for me. Now, with 3 children ranging in age from 13 to 3, going to the movies is an occasional event. Besides Robert and I don't always agree on which movie to see.
Recently we have been making lists of our favorite movies. Movies we'd like to have in our DVD library. Some we already have. Some are hidden in the closet waiting for Robert's birthday.
Cool Hand Luke
Terminator 1 & 2
When Harry Met Sally
Indiana Jones (all of them)
Life of Brian
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Because my brother is in it:
Oh there are lots of others, but the youngest dragonet is demanding attention.
definitely not mind improving
Since I've been reading so many of the texts selected for Rick's homeschooling, my brain is burned out. I have far too many dates, definitions, famous people, great books and artworks floating thru my brain.
Romance novels. Reading them will flush all knowledge from my brain. At least temporarily. No, I do not want to discuss Gilgamesh or how civilization began to develop 24/7 all this week. I want to have some downtime.
my last nerve
Toby has plucked my last nerve. He has irritated me beyond belief. And he knows it.
When I get mad at him, his tail tucks itself between his legs and Toby makes a run for the dining room table. He hides underneath. We refer to this as going in his cave.
I informed Mr. Toby that if he continues to jump up and try to snatch food off of my counter/the table/out of my hand, he will find himself living outside. Since he likes his air conditioning and comfy bed, I'm hoping that he will listen this time.
What did he do now to tick me off? I was shucking corn last night and setting the freshly cleaned ears on the counter. Toby thought fresh corn was a great idea and took off with an ear. I wasn't happy. When I pulled the corn out of the pot after cooking it, I put it in a serving dish and put the dish as far back on the counter as it could go. Toby still managed to grab a piping hot ear of corn.
Much to my children's glee, I chased the dog thru the house, tackled him, grabbed the ear of corn and loudly berated him. I was angry. Toby was banished to his cave.
While we were eating our dinner of pork chops, corn, blueberry rolls and fruit, Toby crept out of his cave and went and grabbed one of the ears of corn that had been set aside to wrap and freeze.
You'd think he'd learn his lesson, wouldn't you? He'd been yelled at, chased, tackled and banished. He'd lost the corn that he so obviously found tantalizing. But no. I have to have the world's dumbest dog.
This time he was spanked, banished to bed and I haven't spoken to him since.
The silent treatment.
Lots of my online friends sent Rick birthday wishes yesterday. Rick loved them all. His favorite was from Steph -- he was excited because he has actually met her and could put a face to her name. He was puzzled by Sue's use of the word cronies. He read it as crones, "Mom, are you old enough to be considered a crone?" Made me laugh myself silly, but I did explain that the word she used was cronies. He checked Karan's several times. She was smart enough to use the word teenager -- something that he regards as a grand achievement.
But the prize for the best card goes to Tony, a fellow lounge lizard. Tony was brilliant enough to use an F-14 Tomcat photo in his note. Rick immediately pointed out to me that someone else out there understood his email address.
Rick enjoyed getting birthday wishes from Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Australia, Massachusetts, Maine, New Jersey, Washington, Hawaii, New Hampsha, Alaska, Florida -- oh just everywhere.
Thanks for the smiles that all of you put on his face yesterday. Amazing how two simple words from so many people could make one person so happy.
so what's in your wallet?
I hate that commercial and soon I will despise the orthodontist.
Rick will get his braces on at the end of August and will wear them for 2 years. Before the braces are put on, he will need to have 3 teeth pulled. How to break that to him...
Kari will also get her braces at the end of August, but she will get to wear them for 2 1/2 to 3 years. Yes, her teeth are majorly messed up, her bite is off, she has teeth behind teeth. She gets to have 4 teeth pulled. She is fully prepared for that, but she won't be losing the teeth she wants to lose. On the plus side, Kari has no wisdom teeth. Not a one. Isn't that great?
Now the scary thing is the cost of these darn braces. Our insurance doesn't cover any of the costs. NONE! We get to pay $10,160 for the older kidlings to have straight teeth. Twenty-five percent of this is due at the first appointment. The entire balance must be paid within 24 months of beginning treatment.
So what's going to be in my wallet?
Not a damn thing, especially since our home owners insurance and our real estate taxes shot up.
Our middle nephew raced yesterday in Alabama. He opted to move up to the men's beginner class and out of the 16 - 18 y.o. group. Despite the move up in class, Ryan did really well. He placed 6th.
He's extremely pleased with his performance.
As of yesterday Ryan was still ranked first nationally in his age group -- the 16 - 18 year olds. He is just 16. His finish yesterday will help him maintain his ranking, since this was a national race.
happy birthday, rick!
Thirteen years ago, almost to the minute, I gave birth to my oldest child. A healthy boy -- 8 lbs/1 oz, 20.5 inches long. He came out screaming and madder than a wet kitten. Since he was born on a Friday the Thirteenth, all the doctors, the anesthesiologist and the nurses felt that he should be named Jason. Robert and I still laugh about that. We ignored their suggestion and went with Richard. Amazingly enough the delivering doctor, the anesthesiologist and one of the nurses -- they were all named Richard.
Thirteen years later, Rick is 5 ft tall, just shy of 100 pounds and is still a healthy boy. He gets madder than a wet tomcat when his younger siblings dare to invade the sanctity of his bedchamber. He loves his video games, chatting with friends online, drawing. He wants to go to Duke and one day be an architect.
I wonder what is in store for him this year. Can't wait to find out.
happy birthday to my blog
One year ago today I began blogging. What a wonderful way to vent to make note of little things that my children do to help me remember silly little things.
Thanks, Sue, for suggesting it.
Now I must run and free Frog from the laundry room. Binky has locked him in yet again.
My new mantra: bees are good for my garden...
After being stung about ten times while weeding, I'm having to convince myself that this is true. I have welts on my left knee, my left elbow, my right foot and my right hand. Baking soda paste is smeared on the welts.
Beautiful, just beautiful.
Last month Rick went to Duke University's football camp. Oh, excuse me -- Carl Franks' football camp. All the lucky campers had their picture taken with Coach Franks. All the lucky parents now may purchase the photo if they so desire.
Imagine my surprise when I opened the envelope with the order form and a picture of my son with the coach. It was not a picture of my son -- unless Rick has changed his skin color and grown about a foot and put on some serious weight. Rick is very tanned right now, but not that tanned.
Yup, had my giggle for the day, then went in search of the picture of my son. Yup, that's MY boy up there with Coach Franks.
I was struck last night about how much one of my friends has changed over the past 17 years. He still has a wacky sense of humor. He still is very family oriented. He still is one of the most stable, reliable people I know. He still loves sports. He still will debate me for long periods of time.
But he is now a devout Christian. Much much much more so than when we were in college. He ends all our conversations with "God bless you, Eliz."
What?! Does he believe that I am so far gone that I need saved, that God must be called upon each time we chat?
What happened? This is someone that I used to hang out with on a daily basis, that I used to go to parties with, joke around with. I dated him and we had -- horrors -- sex without the benefit of marriage.
So why does he feel the need to have God bless me? Why does he want to discuss God with me at every opportunity? I do not understand. He is not a Witness, so he doesn't go out in service and spread the joy of the Word in that way. He is not a minister. He is not recently converted. He has always been a practicing Christian.
I wish I understood this.
Wonder how far his jaw would drop if one time I replied, "Blessed be."
Mom gave me 2 pieces of brown plant matter for Christmas. Lovely gift, don't you think? Two dried up masses of something -- obviously plant. I knew what it was though and was delighted.
Last night I pulled out these blobs and filled up a bowl with water. I called Michael and Kari over and asked them what they thought would happen when I dropped the stuff into the water. Michael was convinced that they would get bigger and go from brown to purple. Kari said they would swell up and then fall apart. I dropped them in and told them to look in the morning to see what happened.
Michael came running up to me this morning. "Mommy, your stuff is broken. It didn't turn purple. It turned green. It was supposed to be purple."
Well, those brown dried out blobs of something or another have soaked up water and unfurled. They are changed from brown to green. What the heck are they?
Resurrection ferns. They grow along the limbs of the live oaks around here. During the dry season they are just brown matter along the limbs. But when it rains. Oh when it rains, the brown turns to a deep vibrant green that makes the trees glow with life.
Now I have to decide whether or not to dry them out again, to plant them in regular dirt or to place them in the crooks of my life oak saplings. But for the moment, they will glow in my bowl of water on my desk.
more on sleeping
When I was little and we'd go on trips, my mother would complain about having to share a bed with me. According to her I flailed around, kicked and pushed. I was the ultimate bed hog.
Robert complains not that I'm a bed hog, but that I insist on sleeping right up next to him. I snuggle, he moves. I snuggle closer again, he moves again. Eventually he is in danger of falling off the bed.
Not only am I a flailing, kicking, pushing, snuggling bed partner, I also have the added feature of talking in my sleep. This talking amuses my husband and children to no end. They will mention things that I chatted with them about five years ago. Personally I don't think this is fair. I don't remember it. I think they have made all the stories up.
Robert's current favorite conversation is about jello. Now why would I discuss jello in my sleep, when I don't even like the wiggly jiggly stuff?
Me: What kind of jello would you like?
I have discussed jello, politics, work, the kids, sex, books and real food in my sleep with whomever would listen. According to Rick I even throw in the occasional grandious hand gesture when making a point. He says there never is a point to what I say, but that obviously I still feel the need to underscore my words.
Yes, when I talk in my sleep, the whole family gathers around to hear what I have to say. Now why will they not do this at other times?
I'm exhausted. In fact I'm more tired this morning than last night at bedtime. My eight hours did nothing but add bags underneath my eyes and give me a headache. Why?
First, the dog: Toby wants to be reassured that he isn't at the doggie resort still. He comes over to the bed periodically and licks my feet, then he sticks his cold wet nose on mine and whimpers. Whimpers! I'm the one trying to sleep. I don't want to spend good sleeping hours petting the dog. I pet him anyway, hoping against hope that a few minutes of petting would get me a few hours of sleep.
Second, the cats: Binky and Frog are forbidden to sleep in our room at night. They disturb Robert with their purring and snuggling. Binky spent most of the night clawing at our door to get in. This didn't even cause a break in Robert's snoring. Frog meowed and jumped around and up against our door last night. He was trying to help Binky break into our room. Robert kept on snoring. I let them both in at 5am. THIS woke Robert up, and of course I had to get back out of bed and shoo them out.
Third, the husband: Robert snored for hours and hours on end. I poked him, prodded him, told him to roll over and shut up. He moved closer and snored louder. I swear.
The plan for the day is to go back to bed once everyone else is up. Since it is now twenty til nine, they are all getting tons of sleep. Hmmph.
nothing about nothing
Overheard in the grocers...
Him: Es ist nichts.
Her: Was ist nichts?
Him: Ich sagte, daß es nichts ist.
Her: Was ist nichts?
Him: Unser Kuß.
Her: Sie küßten sie! Das is nicht nichts!
Him: Es ist nichts.
Being me, I started laughing. All the nichts and then the nicht nichts put me right over the edge.
Them: Warum lachen Sie?
Me: Es ist nichts.
see what Steph made me?
return to real life
The first few days after a vacation is over totally suck. Totally. Who wants to have to clean, do laundry, weed, cook dinner for 4 other people who really don't appreciate it?
Post-vacation blues. I'm smack dab in the middle of them.
And I'm rewriting sections of a story that I wrote. Karan and Steph have read it. Karan made some great suggestions. All I want to do is work on this and play on the computer.
Robert is mowing and edging. He's making me feel horrid for sitting here procrastinating.
Carving a basket out of a huge watermelon and then filling it with various fruits used to be a big thing at our neighborhood picnics. I was always fascinated by this and wondered how in the world farmers grew them. I was such a clueless child at times.
This past 4th of July, Mom and I decided to carve our own basket. Unfortunately our watermelon came from the small, squat and strangely flattened side of the watermelon family. But we didn't care. We were quite happy with the results.
And I made a confession to my mother. Once a year I confess some childhood transgression, just to make her gasp, then giggle. This years confession was perhaps 30 years overdue.
Mom and Dad had some barbeque get-together party at our house in Pulaski. Mom carved a basket out of the watermelon rind and filled it up with balled fruit that had been spiked with vodka. She had a separate little bowl filled with cut fruit for the kids. All the kids were informed that the fruit in the basket was for the adults, the fruit in the bowl was for us.
Stephen -- one of my best friends -- and I didn't care. We wanted to taste the adult fruit. And we did. We'd casually walk by and pop a piece of spiked melon in our greedy little mouths. We'd look around carefully to make sure that the unsuspecting adults didn't notice our misbehavior.
Then we got just a bit too greedy and were caught by Stephen's mother. She didn't yell, didn't threaten, didn't tell my parents on me. She made a simple statement and that was the end of our sampling of the forbidden fruit.
"Kids, I think you've reached your limit."
Whenever we go on vacation I must bring home souvenirs. Little things that remind me of our trip. Recently I have been collecting handthrown pottery or handblown glass.
Last year was the year of the witch balls and my blue bowl from a little store in Kennebunkport. I have 3 witch balls and a calico friendship ball. Right now they are in the blue bowl. But just until I decide how I want my little hideaway in our room to be set up. I'm going to hang them in my windows so they capture the afternoon sun and send sparks of color spinning crazily around the room.
This year I couldn't find a witch ball to please me. I seem to have developed a fondness for the ones from Kitras. Oh well. Didn't matter. Truly. Behind the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis, NC, I discovered J & S Beaumont Pottery. Mom had to wait for what seemed like forever for me to make up my mind which piece I wanted. First I had to decide on a shape -- the fluted serving bowl. Then I had to decide which glaze -- solid, multiple. I went with the new moss/cobalt blend.
But I wasn't done. Oh no. I dragged my poor mother thru the antique stores in Hillsborough looking for a specific handled plate. It had to be a Currier and Ives in blue & white and look just like hers. Yes, I'm nuts. She found one on display with other plates from that group. I just wanted the handled plate.
Now what to do with my pottery...
and for president...
According to this, I should vote for Howard Dean. Seems he and I are in agreement on many topics. Hmmmm. Second choice, again according to the above, would be Kerry. Graham is at the bottom of the list of 12 candidates.
;) No, not really. I know why.
My parents will be celebrating their 40th anniversary in just under a month. Kirk and I have just started to make plans. Disorganized children that we are. Shhh!
Most of their dates meant that they were heading to the DAP for a baseball game and a hotdog. What could be more appropriate than having their 40th anniversary party at the new DAP? Kirk is going to see if he can rent one of the luxury boxes. We'd have all the area family to the game. To watch it in air conditioned comfort.
My only concern is that we'd have to find someone to sit in front of the box and yell, "He'll walk you." And there would have to be someone else to occasionally scream out, "We's better than he are!" Yes, these are things that my parents remember fondly about those long ago games.
Michael and his Kupa
Michael and my father, aka Kupa, have continued bonding. They continue to play little cars in Dad's study, but now Michael can tell you all about the characters painted on the car: Dick Tracy, Sam Ketchum(sp?), Pat Patten.
Michael follows Dad around the house, and Dad shares various tidbits of knowledge with my almost-4-yr-old. Tidbits just as silly as who Dick Tracy's cronies are. Did you know that the Duke football team won all their games in 1939? Really. What's Michael going to do with this information?
There are the impressions. Michael can now do a great impression of Marlon Brando in A Streetcar Named Desire. Hand held out pleadingly, "Stella!" Then there's his impression of Jerry Seinfeld, "Hello, Newman!" Michael hits that one dead on. Much to my Dad's glee.
And they dance. Dad dances like Fred Flintstone would have if he had been tapped to play the lead in Staying Alive. Can you imagine? Now Michael does the same thing with his own little twist. Picture the Wiggles meet Fred imitating Travolta. Quite amusing.
I shudder to think of what they'll come up with next.
some of my g-g-g-grandmothers
Frances Reid King
And the scary one... Sarah Ann Leathers
Katharine Blue was my first baby. I didn't give birth to her, but I alternately spoiled her rotten and scolded her for bad behavior. When I worked for the vet, Kate used to go to work with me. She'd walk behind me or hide in Dr. Doss' office. When I left there and went to the bank, she couldn't go with me. She'd sit at home and sulk. When I walked thru the front door at the end of the day, Kate would scold me. Loudly. Loud enough for the neighbors to hear and laugh about.
Have you ever been scolded by a 5 pound, fluffy blue persian?
Almost fifteen years later, Kate is still more kitten than cat. She loves playing with rubberbands. No matter where the rubberbands are hidden or how well, she will sniff them out in the middle of the night. The morning sun will shine on rubberbands that have been strewn up the stairs, across the oriental rugs, on the kitchen table and under the living room sofa. She's a cat obsessed.
Kate hasn't lived with me for about 7 years. She and Robert did not get along at all. If he left any items of his on the floor, she treated them as if they were her litterbox. Honestly. She'd wake him up in the middle of the night with her yowling. I don't think she liked sharing the bed with him. He took space that had been hers. Eventually Kate went to live with my parents and Spencer, their crotchety cat.
Spencer's orneriness never rubbed off on Kate, she just kept doing kittenish things. We talk on the phone regularly. Kate loves to talk. When I was pregnant with Michael, Kate carried around a christmas bow, just like she had when I was pregnant with Richard and Kari. Whenever I visit, she lets me know how displeased she is with our separation, but after a day or two, she follows me around and we chat. She lets me comb the snarls out of her coat. We play the rubberband game.
Despite her kittenish behavior though, Kate is getting ready to turn 15. Her fur isn't as shiny as it was even a year ago, but she is as fluffy as ever. Her eyes are still a deep pumpkin and as clear as ever. She's a stocky 6 1/2 pounds these days too. But she's almost 15.
I hope she has another good 5 or 10 years in her. Kate is a wonderful cat and a wonderful friend.
My grandmother, Helon, around 1918. Taken by her Uncle Lewis.
Adorable kid, wasn't she?
My father used to be a newspaper publisher. He had his own column and occasionally would write about me or my brother. This is something he wrote about me.
So maybe it was only kindergarten.
Wasn't that sweet? I'm still a daddy's girl too. And proud of it.
I'd like you to meet my great-grandmother Augusta.
wanna see pictures?
I uploaded some pictures from our trip to the Blowing Rock area over here. We had so much fun. I'd love to take the dragonets back up there some fall. Cannot believe that MY children have never seen or played in fall leaves or snow. They have never made a snowman or eaten snowcream or experienced a white washing. What kind of mother am I?
Oh bother, just go see my pictures.
the playgroup's new home
If you have a child who was born in October of 1999, please come visit the October 1999 Playgroup! We are a wonderful group of women. Really. We are. Sometimes we get sarcastic and petty, but hey, that happens in real life too.
Some of the women have been members of the board since our first trimester, others joined shortly after their child was born, others have joined more recently. Please come visit: October 1999 Playgroup.
Bet our children are just as amazing as anyone else's. ;)
how to embarass yourself in front of your mother
~or how your children can embarass you in front of your mother~
My dad was convinced that Robert had been sneaking into the kitchen and cutting off thin slices of Dad's hot milk cake. He was so convinced of this that he put an "Off Limits to Those Named Robert" sign on the cake plate. Last night there was so little cake left that Mom decided the sign could go, so she pulled it off.
I -- being an idiot and used to a child who plays with stickers -- stuck the memo on my shirt instead of the trashcan behind me. Kari thought this was hilarious. When she pointed it out to Rick, he started laughing too. Me making my breasts off limits to Robert is obviously something that my kids find hysterical.
Mom was horrified. "You mean they know what that would mean?!" As if my 10 and 12-yr-olds do not know anything about sex. They learned about the birds and the bees from me several years ago. And we're talking about my daughter here, the one who asked my brother if erections hurt.
Rick decided to defend me, his mom. He blurted out, "Yeah, it means no finger play for Dad tonight!"
OMG! And the ground refused to swallow me whole.
something every town needs
Dad's photoshop doesn't do the same things mine does. This is obnoxious! Hmmph.
what I do for fun
When I'm in Durham, there are tons of things that I like to do: go to Duke and see a basketball/football/baseball game, visit Sarah Duke Gardens, wander thru the cemetery, dig thru old photos at my parents' and musty tomes at the library. And of course, visit with my family.
Today was library day. I spent several hours pouring thru the city directories from 1887 thru 1919. I did thumb through more recent ones, but my goal for the day involved the oldest directories on hand for Durham.
I was on the search for the year the Kirklands first came to live in the city of Durham. I've narrowed it down to a time span of maybe 3 years, so perhaps I should be happy with that. I really need to hit the deed books at some point to see when a certain property was purchased here and when another was sold in Chapel Hill. That would be the quickest way, but I like my roundabout way better.
If I had gone the deed route, I would never have known that my g-g-grandfather on my father's father's side changed jobs every year. Honestly he did. Totally blew me away. Just didn't think that someone living and holding a job between 1887 and 1915 (when he died) would hold jobs with 16 different companies. Isn't that just odd? He was a salesman, a stockbroker, a grocer, a real estate agent, a developer, a bookkeeper, a clerk, a seller of dry goods, of shoes, of books... just weird. The funny thing is that his children all held jobs with the same businesses for decades. DECADES. One was with the USPS for over 50 years, another was a banker for 40 years, another was .... well, you get the idea.
Hmmm. Tomorrow Dad and I may go to the health department to get death certificates or something fun like that. The day after, weather permitting, Mom and I will spend several hours at the cemetery. Sick, really sick.
Dad and I trotted down to the DAP to buy tickets for Monday's game against the Toledo Mudhens. Nine tickets in section 200, behind the plate, under the roof, but 2 rows from the top. Kirk was extremely concerned about a foul ball hitting Coley. (He's a more paranoid father than I am a mother.)
After purchasing our tickets Dad and I checked out the bricks outside the DAP. There was a big square one for Eddie Neville, the Bulls winningest pitcher, and one for Crash Davis, if you have to ask I'll smack you. Dad said he purchased bricks in his father's name and one in Ed Swindell's name. We found them, and amazingly 2 bricks in his and Mom's names. He didn't remember buying those.
We had to coordinate our arrival with Kirk's and Gina's since we had their tickets. Dad had this elaborate plan worked out and it actually worked. The problem was the rain.
It didn't just rain little polite drops. Nope. Big fat in your face drops pummelled our cars. Dad, Mom, Rick and Kari were in Dad's Envoy. Robert, Michael and I were in the van. Kirk, Gina and Coley were in their Volvo. Robert was the communications expert. He chatted with Kirk via cellphone, then would relay his messages to my parents by rolling down his window and yelling to Mom. Quite humorous.
Michael and Kirk made faces at each other thru the windows and the pouring rain. Michael would laugh uproariously, which would egg my silly brother on and on and on... Somehow Gina manages to ignore more of my brother's silly behavior. How? I'm not sure.
Eventually the rain slowed enough for all of us to make our way into the DAP. Kirk and Gina took Coley up in the elevator. Ah, the perks of travelling in a stroller. The rest of us slogged up the stairs. Our seats were under the roof, but wouldn't you know it, the roof leaks like a sieve. Dad's handkerchief was used to dry our seats. We all plopped down and promptly began discussing what we wanted to eat.
There are too many options now at the ballpark. I almost miss the days when your choices were hotdogs, cracker jack and roasted peanuts. Now you can buy subs, chopped pork bbq sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, hamburgers, pizza, nachos, burritos, etc. Quite ridiculous. But the lemonade is awesome. My kidlings, Robert and I opted for hotdogs. Traditionalists at heart. My parents were thinking a bit healthier and went with subs. Kirk and Gina ordered burritos. Rick had one of those too.
The rain still hadn't let up and thunder was starting to roll. Coley's eyes would get big with each roll of thunder and then she'd laugh. A cute little baby laugh. But she grew tired of being passed from one set of arms to the next, the rain and thunder. She wanted her mommy and her breastmilk.
Just as Coley gets settled with her bottle and we all finished our own munching, the announcer came on and informed us that the game was post-poned until Tuesday night: double-header, 7 innings each game. We weren't too disappointed. We knew that the standing water on the field did not bode well for a game being played, but it was fun to get together and sit in a ballpark with the rain pouring down.
Only my family. ;) We love things like this.