Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reason # 958 Billion That I Hate Walmart

I know, I know...I haven't posted in centuries. Either my life is busy or my life is boring. I'll let you figure out which is the truth.
So, today I went to Walmart to pick up mulch and lawn bags, certainly not a complicated errand. Except that it's Walmart. Ugh! I eventually find the aisle with trash bags - and I say eventually because nothing is in a logical place and there are no actual employees to ask. There are two shelves full of various size kitchen trash bags, but none of the ultra sturdy lawn bags I need. I figure they must be in the garden center, so I head that way to get mulch and bags. I get five bags of mulch (and on a side note...there was an employee in the garden center. He didn't offer to help me, but he did stand and watch me lug 5 huge bags of cypress mulch onto the cart. Do you know how much wet cypress mulch weighs? I'm not the tiny thing I once was, but I'm also not likely to be mistaken for a female weight lifter anytime soon. Geez Louise, offer a girl some help!)
Where was I? Oh yeah. So I go to the garden center check out and ask where the lawn bags are because I cannot find them. Mr. Walmart informs me the lawn bags are in hardware. Actually, maybe sporting goods. No, hardware close to the sporting goods. 'Cause that makes sense. What kind of crazy people would put yard care items with the yard stuff?
So, I leave my big cart of mulch and trot over to hardware/sporting goods. I cannot find bags anywhere in the area. I finally pass an employee, wandering through hardware, and ask about the bags. "Ugh, I don't know...what kind of bags? I don't know if we have those. You can ask Brooke. She knows that stuff". Brooke. Of course. Because I know exactly who Brooke is and where to find her. I do eventually find a woman who may or may not be Brooke. She also does not know where the lawn bags are, but she does know that kitchen bags are in the middle of the store. She suggests I look in the garden center for lawn bags. Very helpful.
After 20 minutes of attempting to buy stupid bags, I pay for my mulch and drive to Target. I walk to the trash bag aisle ( and was stopped by an employee who offered to help, though I already knew where to find trash bags in Target) and there they were, trash bags of all strengths...including the super ultra tough lawn bags. I grabbed a box and was out of there in five minutes. Yay Target. I heart you much!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gender Differences

Prince Charming leaves for camp tomorrow and needed some new towels. I mentioned this as we were about to leave the house and he decided to stay home. I almost asked if he was sure he didn't want to pick out his towels, but Little Runner Girl had to be somewhere, so I didn't. Little Runner Girl hopped in the car and said "Prince Charming's not coming?" I said "No, I have to go buy him some towels." Little Runner Girl rolled her eyes and said "I would want to go so I could pick out my towels. Boys are so weird." Apparently, towel color and design are not exactly a big deal to almost twelve year old boys.
Of course, I am sure there are some girls that age who don't care either. I just don't happen to know any. But here is what really made me laugh...Prince Charming called me while I was at the store. "Hey Mama? I need another bathing suit, too. Will you get one while you're at the store?" I guarantee a girl would never wear a suit she didn't pick out for herself. Boys. They are weird.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Lake Water

My friend Knight Errant recently posted his memories of a lake that was part of both of our childhoods. His memories are beautiful. Most of my memories are rather mundane.
My father grew up in a very small town near the lake, only the lake did not exist during his childhood. A dam was built in 1964 and the lake was born. Strangely, I have more memories of Brooken Mountain (which isn't much of a mountain) than I do of Lake Eufaula, though I am sure we spent far more time at the lake.
During my childhood, spotting the lake meant we were nearly at my grandma's house, nearly at the end of our long imprisonment in the car. Grandma's house had chickens, cows, the occasional sow and piglets and, when I was very small, a horse. I loved taking the kitchen scraps out to the sow, watching the piglets tumble over each other when she stood up to eat. I loved climbing to the very top of the hay bales in the barn, loved the sweet soft eyes of the cows, loved riding in the back of the truck to the feed store because the lady there always gave me candy.
There were also things I didn't like about visiting Grandma's house. I didn't like collecting the eggs. I don't know why, but the chickens scared me and I thought it was very unkind of us to steal their babies. (Bizarre as it may seem, I was not bothered by watching my Grandma kill chickens, a rather freaky process.) I also didn't like being sent down into the cellar to get canned goods. The cellar combined two of my greatest fears...being underground in a small space and spiders. Ugh! The third thing I didn't like about Grandma's house was the lake.
Actually, the lake was fine, as long as I did not have to be in the water. I loved playing along the shore while my Daddy fished, finding treasure...hooks and pop tabs. tackle and bottle caps. I loved picnicking and napping in the sun. I loved riding on the front of my cousin's bike, feeling like a big kid because we were allowed to go out of sight of the grownups. I learned to skip stones on that lake, caught fish, chased butterflies, watched people jump from the bluffs. There was only one problem. Lake water. You can't see to the bottom of the lake. Especially if you're a little girl who needs thick glasses to see anything. And if the little girl reads far too many stories about sea monsters and Nessie and evil merpeople, has a wicked older cousin who tells her gators live in the lake and has a vivid imagination? Complete terror. And doesn't a wooden dock, with it's
shadowy water and slimy posts seem like the perfect place for a lake monster to make his home? Of course!
My most vivid memory of the lake? I was about eight years old. We had gone swimming off the dock, jumping as far off the end as possible to avoid the lake monster's lair. I don't know how long we were in the water, but when it was time to get out, I wanted to stay in the lake. Why? Climbing up the dock was far more frightening than staying in the open water where I could possibly escape. I finally worked up the courage to climb up, but my heart was racing, waiting for the slimy grip on my ankle that would pull me to a watery grave. Something brushed against my thigh and I jumped up onto the deck and started running. I can picture myself, wet braids flying, running for my daddy who was shouting "Don't run!" Of course, my feet slid out from under me and I fell backwards into the lake, scraping my back and leg on the dock as I fell. I truly don't recall how I got out of the lake the second time. I think my uncle may have handed me up to my Daddy. No surprise, this incident did nothing to dispel my fear of lake water. In fact, I do not remember ever swimming in that lake again. My sister would swim while I would stand at the edge of the lake, splashing water on myself to cool off and then retreating to the safety of dry ground.
I do wonder now if Knight Errant and I ever saw each other. I was the skinny little girl in a bikini and braids, riding a bike instead of swimming.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Monday evening I was leaving Vacation Bible School when a mom came up to me and said "Oh great. You served red Koolaid. I can't believe you did that. It makes Sneaky Pete (her son) so hyper". I told her that if I had known, I would have served him something else and would be glad to give him something else for the rest of the week. "Oh, no. It's no big deal. I'll just have to deal with him being crazy at home". I found the whole situation quite irritating for several reasons...
#1. I have known this woman since she was a child. She was an obnoxious, violent, tantrum throwing brat. Her children behave exactly the way I remember her behaving.
#2. Sneaky Pete's issues are not due exclusively to red Koolaid. She knows this, I know this, everybody she knows knows this. And if they were, I am exactly the person to understand and help.
#3. Even children who have been diagnosed with some type of disorder or disability need discipline. Her kids really need discipline.
#4. (And this is really the point of my post) As a parent, it is my responsibility to make sure my child doesn't eat or drink things she shouldn't. And to also educate my child and any adults caring for my child.
Little Runner Girl happens to be allergic to red food dye. (Yes, same stuff as in red Koolaid.) Actually, it would be more accurate to say she has a sensitivity because red dye isn't life threatening to her. It just causes her to loose her mind. Which might be funny except that it is hard to find the humor in the situation when your toddler seems to need an exorcism.
Once we discovered this, we made sure to avoid exposure as much as possible. We read food labels. We told anyone who took care of her. We helped her learn which foods she could and could not have. (You would not believe the crazy things that contain red dye. Vanilla icing. Waffles. Chips. Read some labels. You'll be amazed.) We brought special snacks and drinks for her to parties, sleepovers, soccer games, VBS, etc, etc. Yes, it was a pain. Yes, it would have been nice to send her off without ever giving it a second thought. But here is the kid, my responsibility. I made sure that anyone entrusted with her care was aware of the situation and people were very understanding. No one was ever offended when Little Runner Girl brought her own juice or treats to a party. Her friends were sweet and very understanding.
The only person to ever say anything unkind was another child with special dietary needs. This child, Pudge, told Little Runner Girl she was weird for drinking water instead of Koolaid at a party. Right around that same time, Pudge's father wrote an editorial in a local magazine complaining about how unfair it was that his child had to follow certain restrictions to her diet. His solution was to force everyone else to follow the same restrictions. He even wanted other parents to make sure that party favors weren't in any way tempting to his child. Strangely, the favors Little Runner Girl got at Pudge's 10th birthday party contained more of the restricted item than I have ever seen in any other favor bag.
Prince Charming has two friends with life threatening food allergies. These wonderful mothers have given other moms food lists, provided their own treats and educated their children. One of these moms has to provide absolutely everything her child eats, or eats from, anywhere he goes. She brings utensils, plates, cups, etc. She has to bring his personal toaster to sleepovers. No it isn't convenient, but this is her kid. She can't expect everyone else to have completely uncontaminated cookware. So she does what she has to because she loves her kid and his well being is ultimately her responsibility. Unfortunately, I know another child with life threatening allergies whose parents seem to think mentioning the allergy to one adult in the school office should be enough.
Fortunately for my family, Little Runner Girl seems to be outgrowing her problems with red dye. And she understands the connection between what she puts in her body and how she feels later and, at the ripe old age of fourteen, knows exactly what to look for on labels. But until she is on her child, my responsibility.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


I have absolutely nothing to write about at the moment. Or maybe I just have a wicked case of writer's block. Yawn.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


They met at a Christmas party. He wasn't dating anyone special. A buddy had offered to fix him up with a girl, but she didn't sound like his type. She was dating a few different boys, but none of them were special.

He had grown up in the country and loved country music. She had grown up in the "city", a small town near Amarillo and loved jazz. Jazz was playing at the party and, with his usual lack of tact, he said "Who's stupid music is this?" She said "It's my music. And it's my house. I like it. If you don't want to hear it, you don't have to be here". He turned to look at this sassy girl and fell. Hard. She had beautiful blue eyes behind her thick glasses. She was little and curvy and the cutest thing he had ever seen. She liked big, muscular guys. This guy was ridiculously skinny, but he had laughing green eyes and a wicked grin.

His buddy told him later that this was the girl he had wanted him to meet.

They went on a total of three dates that December. He had been cordially invited by the United States Army to become a soldier. He was going to be leaving for basic training right after New Years. He proposed on their third date. He said he didn't want her dating anyone else while he was gone. She said she didn't want him dating anyone else. He said "Well then, I guess we should get married." Not romantic, but it worked.
She had to break a date with another boy later in the week because they got engaged.
Their marriage wasn't perfect, but it was still wonderful. They had two little girls. He had a career as an engineer. She had a career making their house a home. Most of all, they had each other. The two truly became one.
Two months before their 43rd wedding anniversary, she left him. Sat down in his chair, put her feet up, closed her eyes and left him. And left their girls and their sons-in-law and their grandbabies. And left a gaping hole in the lives of everyone she knew.
It has been one year, two months and six days since she left. His girls have told him it is OK if he wants to start dating. He says she was it for him, his only love. He goes to church, to the doctor, to visit friends and family. He is doing alright for a man walking around with only half of a heart.
He still misses her every day. He still wears his wedding ring.
So Happy 44th Anniversary to my Daddy. I wish Mama was here to celebrate with you.


So, my children were bickering this morning, as usual. I don't even no what it was about, but it ended thus...
Prince Charming said "It was a rhetorical..." Little Runner Girl interrupted and said "That wasn't even a question!" To which Prince Charming replied "You didn't even let me finish. It was a rhetorical phrase!"

Friday, June 5, 2009

Diamond State

I had a fairly magical childhood. It wasn't perfect. In fact some of it was not good at all, but I always knew I was loved. Both of my parents were affectionate and fun and found lots of ways to make everyday things special.
When we moved to Arkansas in the late '70s, it was almost like moving to a different planet. Having lived in Houston for as long as I could remember, I had quite an adjustment to make. My parents made a real effort to point out the beauty around us.
Early one morning, days after moving into our new house, my Daddy called me to come outside. He was very excited to show me something. There in the grass was the most incredible sparkle. "Come look" he said "it's an Arkansas diamond!" We walked closer and closer, the sun glittering on this diamond in our yard. Finally, I laid down in the grass to get a closer look and my Daddy stretched out on the grass beside me. All these years later I still think that is what made it so special, that he would stop getting ready for work to lay in the grass with his child. Even up close, the light was incredible, the shine nearly blinding. The diamond, of course, turned out to be dew. "But it's just as beautiful as diamonds" my Daddy said "and God scatters them in our yard every morning for us to enjoy."
I was a lucky, lucky kid!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Why I Don't Like Oreos

When I was a kid, like probably most kids in this country, I liked Oreos. Crunchy chocolate cookies. Creamy filling. Tasty stuff.
I'm not exactly sure how old I was when this happened, but I would guess ten or eleven. I was spending the night with Queen Elizabeth (a.k.a. my oldest friend) and Double Stuff Oreos had just come out. (I think. I don't remember ever having them before. And the weirdest thing about this story is that Queen Elizabeth's mom was always baking so these may be the only store bought cookies I remember ever seeing at her house. Hmmmmm....)
Anyway....we were the only ones up and we found a huge unopened package of Double Stuff Oreos on the table. We got out the milk and a couple of big glasses and proceeded to eat. The entire package! With glass after glass of milk. Bleh! To this day, Oreos gross me out. Oddly enough, I do like Cookies and Cream ice cream. But I always pick out any huge chunks of Oreo.
On a side note...Queen Elizabeth has no problem eating Oreos. She's tougher than I am.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What Not to Say to the 911 Operator

About 11 years ago, when the Saint and I moved into this house, I did a foolish thing. This will not surprise anyone who knows me. I was in the kitchen with the loaded dishwasher open, bottom rack pulled out. I was arranging some decorative items in the space above the upper cabinets. While standing on a swiveling bar stool. Wearing socks. Gosh, what could possibly go wrong???
Predictably to anyone with two brain cells, I fell and my hand collided with the silverware tray in the dishwasher.
(My friend Dr. Doctor, upon hearing this story, just rolled her eyes and laughed. Thank goodness she wasn't in the ER that night. She would have made me stitch myself up on the grounds that I should know better.)
I stood up to find blood pouring down my arm and dripping from my elbow. I screamed like the completely calm and non-hysterical person I am and brought the Saint running down the stairs. We both assumed I had landed on a knife. He called 911 and said..."My wife stabbed herself. It was an accident." To which I am sure the 911 operator said "Yeah right, buddy."
No surprise, the police arrived first. The ambulance guys waiting down the street told our brand new neighbors that they couldn't come up to the house until the cops had "secured the scene". Nice.
Of course, by the time the cops arrived, I had stopped gushing blood and calmed down enough to laugh at my own stupidity. The female officer there to help me with what the police thought was a domestic situation failed to see the humor in the situation. She was not amused.
After the police decided I wasn't in imminent danger from a crazed husband, the Saint took me to the hospital where I got several lovely stitches in the middle of my left hand. It turned out I had landed on the corner of the silverware tray and not a knife. Dr. Doctor helpfully pointed out later that a knife probably would have gone all the way through my hand. Ouch!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Freak Show

Riverfest weekend...the biggest freak show in Arkansas.

A creepy drunk guy walked up to our ice cream booth and asked Little Runner Girl and me "So, do you both go to (Little Runner Girl's high school - we were wearing shirts with the school logo)?
"No, I'm her Mom" I said.
"Oh, so I guess that means you aren't in high school?"

Another drunk guy tried to pick me up with the oh-so-groovy line "I don't know what's melting faster, me or the ice cream." Hawt.

And then there was the very bizarre guy who went on and on and on about getting fired from LR Waste Management. He kept asking how they could fire him since he owned stock in the company. He had been digging through the trash behind the ice cream cart. Every time he found something recyclable, he held it up in the air to show I have no idea who. He then walked over to the cart, put his unwashed hands on the door handles and said "Everything is recyclable, you know. I just have to teach that to LR Waste Management. I have the only truck that can do it all, you know." Well, OK then.

A great deal of money is spent at Riverfest, often by people who don't look in a position to be spending it. Call me judgemental, but I think some of these people might be better off spending their cash on things like dental care. Or soap. Or clothes they didn't buy ten sizes ago.

One always sees quite the fashion show at Riverfest. 300 pound women in size 4 shorts and tiny tank tops. 300 pound men wearing no shirts at all, but lots and lots of back hair. Shudder. And then there was Matrix Boy. Head to toe black (which could have worked had he known how to pull it off) topped off by a too long black coat. The coat had slits cut up the back and had about 5 inches dragging the ground. In the rain on Sunday, with mud and water splashing up from the flapping coattails, the effect was far less dangerous, sexy punk and far more pitiful child caught in a car wash. Everyone he passed was laughing, including the barefooted redneck woman with (I wish I was kidding!) a total of four teeth in her bottom gums. You know you look stupid if the toothless people are laughing at you!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

How To Go To Target with Your Firstborn at the Wheel

Little Runner Girl has been driving almost every day for several weeks now, just long enough to think she knows what she is doing. So, after I back the car out of the garage (because I like my mirrors attached) Little Runner Girl takes the wheel. She is quite giddy with the knowledge that tomorrow is her very last day ever at the school she has attended since Kindergarten. She is talking a mile a minute and also driving. We pull out of the driveway and up to the intersection...
"Turn left, Sweetie."
Right turn signal goes on. "Wait, where are we going? Target? I don't know how to get there."
"I'll tell you, but you need to turn left."
"What? Oh, left." (Says my left-handed daughter!)
Through the neighborhood to a larger street. Stop about fifty feet before stop sign and then roll slowly up to it.
"Turn left here. But look first! LOOK! OK, you can go. Go. GO! NOW!" (She wasn't quite committed to turning. Halfway out into a major roadway seems an excellent place to stop and ask questions?)
"At the next street, turn right. Right. Turn right. Turn. Slow down slow down slow down. GET IN YOUR LANE!!!"
"Sorry. But that guy was still pretty far away anyway." I give her the look of doom.
"Listen to me little girl or you won't be driving my car."
"OK. Sorry. I'm being careful. Why is it only 25 on this street?"
"Because people's front yards are facing this street. 25 is fast enough."
"But it's so slow!"
"Slow down slow down!"
"What was that!!!???"
"Speed bump! Slow down!"
"But I don't know where I'm going."
"Not knowing where you're going is NOT a reason to go faster."
"Why do they have to have so many speed bumps on this street?"
"Perhaps so teenagers don't fly through here going fifty?"
"OK, this intersection is tricky. Pay attention. You have to watch the oncoming traffic because there is no arrow. After we turn, get in the right lane."
"Why can't I just get over while I'm turning?"
"Because you can't change lanes in the intersection."
"Why not?"
"Because it's illegal and this guy next to us might not appreciate it."
"I think he is gonna go straight anyway, so why can't I just get over."
"Because it's illegal."
"But why?"
(And I am suddenly reminded that my 4 year old with her endless whys is also the 14 year old driving my car!)
We turn and switch lanes rather abruptly, immediately after leaving the intersection. And then she slams on the brakes. Driver behind us flashes lights and tries to figure out which lane the child is going to use.
"Get over, get over, get in the right lane."
"Is that OK?"
"I'm telling you to get over. Why would it not be OK?"
"I don't know."
We pull into the parking lot in the left lane.
"Honey, get into your lane."
"But there aren't any lanes."
"Sweetie, just because there aren't lines doesn't mean there aren't lanes. The other people driving can't read your mind. Where are you going?"
"I don't know? Where should I be going?"
"To find a place to park. Down there."
"Why so far down there?"
"Do you really think you need to park next to other cars?"
"Ummmm...probably not. Should I park now?"

My father always says he didn't have grey hair until he taught me to drive. I'm beginning to believe him.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Miracles and Wonders

{I have struggled with posting this for several reasons, not the least of which is the fact that human language doesn't begin to cover the way I feel about my children. But I also want to be certain I am sensitive to other parents. I have friends who have dealt with the devastation of infertility, friends whose children grew in the wombs of other women, friends whose children have learning disabilities, friends whose children have special needs, friends whose children will always be children in a sense and a friend whose child may never make it into adulthood. I cannot imagine the journeys they are walking, but I see in each of those lives a miracle, a place that can be filled only by them and a world that is richer for their presence.}

Having babies was not the simple thing for me that it should have been, or that I at least thought it should have been. This isn't really a post about that, but it is useful background information.

In August of 1994, Little Runner Girl made her surprise debut, ten weeks ahead of schedule. {I have typed and retyped for the past 15 minutes and realized I am still not capable of talking about that time without crying. So I will just skip it.}

One of the complications of prematurity that Little Runner Girl suffered was a brain hemorrhage. This isn't unusual in preemies and it has a particular name (that I can't remember) that is usually shortened to initials. [In fact, nearly everything involving preemies is shortened to a set of initials. I don't know why. To save doctors from hearing parents mispronounce Latin? To make the words as small as the babies? To not freak the parents out anymore than they are already completely freaked out?] As brain hemorrhages go, it was fairly minor. One learns quickly in the NICU to be thankful for the minor version of the Very Scary Thing, because it could be oh-so-much worse. Still, it was a brain hemorrhage. Bleeding! In her brain! Aaaaagh!

One of Little Runner Girl's doctors told me that if she had any problems or complications due to the bleeding, they might not be apparent until she was older.

Life with a preemie is one long series of worries, especially early on and there were certainly more urgent problems facing my baby during her toddler and preschool years than her future GPA. I was semi-obsessive about checking her development even after the pediatrician felt she was progressing nicely. Even so, I never realized that I had been holding my metaphorical breath until the first time she took a standardized test. And I was blown away by the results.

The Saint swears she has reverse brain damage. She received national recognition for her score on the ACT test in 7th grade. Her standardized test scores are wildly above average for her age. And today, as we sat watching, our baby girl was named salutatorian of her 8th grade grade class. I think she is a miracle. I know, I know...I'm her mother and I am supposed to think that, but I really, really do think so. Not only have my worst fears not materialized, my wildest dreams for her are coming true. And I am so very, very thankful. And I'm proud, but not in a "look what I did" kind of way. Because I had nothing to do with this. We were given a gift, one we certainly did not deserve. In fact, I know other parents far more deserving of such a gift. There are no words to describe how blessed I feel to be chosen as this child's mother.

And here is the most important thing, despite the fact the Little Runner girl is being awarded for her intellect. In my heart of hearts, I always wanted my kids to be smart. I couldn't imagine it not mattering to me. But here is what I learned during those hours by the isolette, those hours of praying please, please, please just let her live I don't care if she can't ever walk, I don't care if she can never say Mama, just please, please, please don't take her from me. Nothing in the world will rearrange your priorities as quickly as not knowing whether your baby will live or die. I learned that none of the things I thought were important mattered. Smart or not, strong or not, good at school or struggling, running or never even walking...I loved her. I loved her then, I love her now and I will love her always, no matter what and completely beyond all reason. And I know that is easy for me to say from this side of that hill, but it truly is what is in my heart, the one I'm wearing on my sleeve.

Enjoy the children in your life, hug your babies if you can. They are all Miracles and Wonders.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Angel Kisses

This is totally random and I have no clue what made me think of it...
Years ago, when I was teaching preschool in New Mexico, I had an aide named Virginia. Virginia was a sweet girl with tons and tons of freckles.(And considering that I probably have more freckles on one arm than most people have on their entire bodies, I know what tons of freckles means.) One day a little girl asked Virginia what she called "all those spots" and Virginia told her they were angel kisses. At nap the little girl asked me to kiss her hand. I did and she said "NO, Miss Angel! Make kisses on me like on Miss Virginia!"

Monday, May 4, 2009


I've returned, my darlings. Did you miss me? No? Well, don't tell me. I need to hang on to my illusions.
So, the latest entry in my list of things I never expected to explain to an eleven year old boy:

While coloring Easter Eggs, Prince Charming dropped the same egg several times. Annoyed, he dropped the egg in a cup and said "This egg is such a douche bag!!!" Dead silence at the table, though I could tell my Daddy was about to have a stroke trying not to laugh. I said "Son, do you have any idea what a douche bag is?" "" So I explained (using the very accurate anatomical term hoo-hah) because I believe in being honest with my children. And because I knew it would be a long time before he used that word again after he knew what it meant.
Poor child!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Snack Time

As I was getting snack ready for the aftercare kids today, some of the older classes were walking down the hall to the parking lot. I don't why, but the preschoolers love to watch them leave, like it's the Primary Wing Parade or something. They wave and comment like they're expecting the big kids to throw candy.
Anyway, the kids are hungry by that time of the day and have snack on the brain. Today, a big kid said "Bye, Mrs. ______" to one of the teachers in the hall. Italy turned toward me with the most delighted look on her face and asked "Is her name really Mrs. McSnack!?"
Hmmm....she is really sweet.

Friday, March 13, 2009

How Bizarre!

I often say that my city has two degrees of separation instead of six and this week I had another of those moments. While taking attendance for track, I noticed a rather attractive man sitting in the bleachers. Grey hair, handsome face. He spoke to me and I turned to face him and Oh! My! Goodness! I knew this guy!
I was not kidding about the two degrees. My dad's best friend is distantly related to this guy. A friend of mine is his cousin. I was also vaguely aware that a girl on the track team was related to him, but I figured that was also a distant relationship. Ummm, no...this guy is her father. Her long absent, wild living, just moved back in with his mother father.
So? So. This guy also happens to be the title holder of My Worst Date Ever. Ever ever!

Once upon a time, I was a very silly fifteen year old girl and quite fond of Cute Boys. One day at church, my eyes wandered over to discover the cute grandson of a very prissy Church Lady. After church, he asked for my number and I was quite pleased to give it to him.
Our phone conversation that afternoon was slightly bizarre. As an adult, I can make the educated guess that he was probably stoned out of his mind. Even so, I agreed to go out with him for dinner "at a very nice restaurant".
My first memory of this date is the overwhelming, wretch inducing scent of Stetson. Dude had not only bathed in the stuff, he had apparently injected it directly into his blood stream. Ugh!
We headed for the "very nice restaurant" which turned out to be...Denny's. Or possibly IHOP. I don't actually remember, but I thought it was completely hilarious that he considered it a nice restaurant. Nothing wrong with Denny's or IHOP but they don't exactly scream romantic dinner to me.
At our table, Dude told the waitress I wouldn't need a menu. He ordered a salad for me because "that's what chicks eat". He ordered himself the pancake house version of a steak while I sat there in stunned silence. And then began a sight that has remained etched vividly into my memory for all of these years....
Dude had the most repulsive table manners I have ever seen in my life. To this day!!! I know, I've seen some nasty manners. So have I. People, I eat lunch with 3-year olds at least four days a week. They could honestly have provided Dude with etiquette lessons. I have truly seen chimpanzees eat with better manners than this guy.
He wrapped one arm around his plate like he thought I'd steal it, hunched over like a caveman, held his fork like a shovel and proceeded to eat. And talk. Mouth wide open with food actually falling back onto his plate as well as SALIVA! And he grunted while he ate. GRUNTED! Like a hog at a trough.
It was absolutely so far beyond disgusting that words are inadequate. I did everything I could to avoid looking at him and ate absolutely nothing. And then Dude complimented me for not eating because "those anorexic chicks are sexy and you could stand to lose a few pounds". I may have weighed a whole 90 pounds at the time. Such a cow!
By this point, I had decided to feign bubonic plague or malaria or anything to get Dude to take me home already. Instead, he took me to his very nasty apartment "just for a minute" to meet his family. His family who did not actually live with him. Dude then informed me that he could tell I really wanted to be alone with him. He attempted to kiss me which I managed to avoid by sitting down rather quickly. Dude continued to blather on and on about himself. Suddenly he knelt down on one knee, said we were really great together and asked me to move in with him. Even better, I could drop out of school, get my GED and get a job waiting tables. At the ripe old age of 15! To make the offer extra sweet, he said I could live with him until I turned 18 and then we'd get married. Isn't that just every girl's fantasy?
My plague/malaria combination suddenly became urgently fatal so I walked outside and told him I really needed to go home. Immediately.
Dude drove me home, talking the entire time about our delightful future together. I made it to the front door in record time to avoid another kissing attempt, but he was right there with me. He grabbed my arm, leaned in to kiss me (so I thought) and LICKED me. Like some kind of mange infested dog. I so wish I was kidding.
And there you have date with a complete nut job.
I intend to spend the rest of track season as far away from Dude as possible. And I'll be praying he has absolutely no recollection of me. Please! Please! Please!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Scenes from My Day

Today in preschool: Curly Locks and London were sitting next to each other, quietly coloring. Curly Locks is occasionally a bit of a drama queen and is certain to inform everyone if the world is not going according to her plans. The peace was suddenly disrupted by Curly Locks wailing as if her heart had been ripped from her chest. I rushed over to see what tragedy had befallen her. She looked at me, devastation written on her face and said "London took my crayon!" Oh dear! The horror!
I tried to look very stern while asking London to return the crayon. London, who was quite indignant, informed me she never touched the crayon. At which point Curly Locks chimed in, still slightly pouty, and said "Well. Well, maybe she looked at it!"

And in the category of Only in Arkansas: My fellow Target shoppers this evening included a spiral permed, peroxide bleached hillbilly with incredibly dirty children and a minor '80s era movie star.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


Under the category of Things I Never Thought I'd Do (a category which includes saying "No sword fighting in the house!" and explaining menstruation and not pestering your hormonal sister unless you want to die to a male child) comes signing model releases for my boy. Yes, he is adorable. Yes, his father takes wonderful, marketable photos. Yes, I enjoy the checks we receive from the sales of said photos. Even so, it's slightly bizarre to think of my boy as a "model". Just sayin'.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


One of my many, many quirks (obsessive toothbrushing, near psychotic aversion to drinking out of plastic or styrofoam, etc.) is the fact the I despise folding socks. I'll fold towels, sheets, sweaters, shirts...even underwear, but I hate folding socks. Fortunately, I am married to a very sweet man. The Saint doesn't mind folding socks, so he almost always does it. Whenever he comes across an unmatched sock, I tell him to toss it in the basket because surely the other one will show up eventually.
Anyway, over the last two days I have managed the near impossible task of getting all of the laundry in the house done. This evening, because my sweet husband built a wonderful, cozy fire for us, I folded all of the laundry including....The Socks! But then (cue the Twilight Zone music) I came across the basket of unmatched socks. An entire basket full of unmatched socks!
Oh! My! Goodness! How do we have so many unmatched socks? We have 59 unmatched socks (yes, I counted them 'cause I am just that kind of girl) pining away, missing their mates, in this basket.
Some of these socks are too small for my kids. I found one of my grandfather's special socks for diabetics. He lives in Texas now and I haven't done his laundry in at least a year. Some of these socks I don't recognize and have no clue how they got into my laundry. Maybe little Sock Goblins live in the washer and steal my socks and return other people's socks in their place.
Anyway, just thought you should know...I live in the Kingdom of Unmatched Socks. And I am The Queen!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Let me just start by saying that I realize I don't have the world's most normal name. Most people couldn't care less about my name, some people think it is pretty and some people think it is horrid. I'm always a little bit surprised by the people who truly loathe my name. It's not like I'm named Beelzebub or Gonorrhea or something truly dreadful. Even so, love it or hate it, this is the name my parents gave me and I am rather fond of it.
I also understand when people occasionally get my name wrong by calling me Angie or Angela or something along those lines. It happens - no big deal. But! But, but, but.....I know a woman, quite well, who insists on calling me either Angie or Angela. (I must confess, in the interest of full disclosure, that I find this woman extremely annoying in general. And she is married to the sweetest man, bless his heart.) Now if this woman were someone I just met or someone I rarely see, I would understand. The thing is, I have known this woman for 8 or 9 years. She and her husband have been to my house many times. We have worked together on several projects. We see each other all the time. She knows my name, she just won't use it. This evening, after telling her for the third time in an hour that my name is not Angela, she said "Oh so what!? Who cares? You can call me whatever you want."
I'm considering Jocephus.

Just Wondering...

Why do people say "good grief"? Is there some good part and I just haven't found it yet?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

I have to say that 2008 was not my favorite year. In fact, I can truly say that it was the worst year of my life to this point. I have hopes that this year will be much better and to start the year off, we had a wonderful evening with friends. Our friends Calendar Girl and the Friar had a Black Tie/Cheap Beer party. So, in the interest of new beginnings, I will attempt to do something new...add photos to this blog.

I think The Saint looks quite dashing in his tux! The tie is a special designer touch, don't you think? And aren't my fancy evening shoes gorgeous?

He Shoots! He Scores!

Prince Charming made his first basket of the season tonight!!! The game went into double overtime before our team finally won!!!