Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback #1

Just a small town [boy]
Living in a lonely world
[He] took the midnight train going anywhere
Just a city [girl]
Born and raised in South Detroit
[She] took the midnight train going anywhere
- Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

That's how I've always sung it.   I love songs that mention Detroit.   It's where I spent the earliest part of my childhood.  I think Eminem is Mr. Suburbia compared to me even though he's way more 'hood than I am.   (kidding)  I mean, really, 8 Mile?!   I grew up further South below 5 Mile. That means nothing to you if you haven't lived in Detroit, of course, but basically it means I lived in a not so nice neighborhood.   
I wasn't afraid of it though.   At least not until one afternoon after school my 5th grade year when I received a threatening prank call.   But it was the only time any violence had been directed at me personally.   Those were the days before caller id and unlisted cell phones.  

But we had good neighbors.   We knew nearly everyone on our street.   The Andersons, The Randalls, Dorothy (don't you dare try to sell fundraising candy to Dorothy - her husband is diabetic!), The Apostolopolises (Rachel was their daughter and oh! how we loved to say that last name - Apostolopolis!).   There were more of course but can't remember them all.   Terence Anderson, across the street, had a bunch of cousins that lived close by - Toot, Poochy and I can't remember the other one's name.  But you can't forget names like Toot and Poochy!  Especially since that was the same year Mattel came out with a toy named Poochie.   

It was a fun neighborhood in spite of a drug bust and the house on the corner being burned every Devil's Night. We often rode our bikes to the nearby park and walked a couple blocks to the corner store for candy.   We climbed trees to get on the roof of the Andersons' garage and I listened to "We Are the World" in Rachel's upstairs bedroom.  

We were blessed with parents who did what they could to keep us in a private school run by our church so that we didnt' have to attend the pitiful public school in our district.   I only spent one semester at Vetal. (I think that school has been closed and I can't remember if this is how to spell it.)   My grades plummeted from A's and B's to barely C's and D's.   I don't remember Mr. Nelson teaching.  What I remember about that semester was him listening to headphones at his desk, that we had a rabbit for a class pet, eating lunch in our classroom, making a paper mache puppet in art, that Reagan was President and that I was the minority as the only white child in my class.  

When you're a child, though, you just aren't aware that life is different in other places.  Your life is your life.  That's just how it is.  And you're happy with it.  And we were.
We were happy.

This post linked up to Flashback Friday at Mylestones.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Capture - Color

Beth wanted us to capture some color this week.  Preferably outside.  That was tough.
   Red has been my favorite color for a long time but nothing red spoke to me today.
 Today I was drawn to the blues.

When my camera friend and I went outside in search of more color all that could be found was Georgia red clay.
And then I looked at what I had on my feet.
My new favorite ($15) shoes.
Isn't green a neutral?  ; )
And just a quick F.Y.I.:  if you even consider getting these order 
them in wide; that band is pretty tight along the top there.

It's been a long week and I have a feeling I'm going to need more of this next kind of color also.  
This kind of color is very therapeutic.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Date Night Unwrapped

Friday was our date night.   Brian bought tickets to Eddie's Attic for the performance and dinner.   Eddie's Attic is  "a popular live music venue for aspiring and accomplished performing songwriters".  It's very cozy so I wouldn't recommend it for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia but if you don't mind rubbing shoulders with people seated at the next table then definitely rush over to see a show.

We left a little late from the house and got quite turned around when we got downtown.  The first group was scheduled to start at 8:00 and I was hungry and turn into Grumpappotamus if I haven't eaten.  I was doing remarkably well at keeping my cool but suggested that we just forget about The Attic and find somewhere else to eat before my Jekyll and Hyde transformation took place.  We called Eddie's and asked if we could get our card credited since we weren't going to make it and they said it wasn't a problem at all.

 But only about 3 minutes later we found a road that was part of the directions and easily found our way over to the venue within 10 minutes.  They still had our reservations sitting at the desk and were so sweet about getting us seated.   The first group was only on their 2nd song so we hadn't missed much.  

The food was very good and the music was amazing!

iTunes sell music

I'm so glad we didn't give up and even more happy that I didn't grouch at Brian at all.  We're on the same team, after all, and I don't want to ruin the time we get to spend with eachother by complaining.   I'm thankful that I didn't let that moment pass me by.  Being selfish and unkind would certainly have ruined it.   But instead I "held onto [that] day with thankful, peace-filled hands" and "embraced all that [that] day had to offer."  Because it certainly did have A LOT to offer!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Just a Little Bloggy Business to Attend To

My husband is my HERO!!!!    After being frustrated for days from fiddling with DISQUS and trying to figure out how to patch this new Comment Format into my blog he with one simple click figured it all out for me!   He now wants to be known as "The Blog Master" and wants me to address him as such all day tomorrow.  Which I will do gladly.

Anyhow, I have a new comment format and I am going to love it and hope that you will too!   You can leave a comment as a guest but it really only takes the quickest little moment to register with DISQUS and then you don't have to mess with it again and it will make commenting that much easier and quicker.  With DISQUS I will be able to reply to your comments and you'll be able to reply to other commenters as well.   It will actually be like a real-live conversation! 

So, please, comment away!!!   Let me know what you think of it.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Ode to a Goat

It's so quiet in the house right now. Which should be helpful to me as I write this post...

But it's not.

I don't really know what to say about today.

We had to put the dog to sleep this morning. I feel guilty because I wish I felt worse about it than I do but I would be lying if I said I was heart-broken.

You see, back when we were first dating - 14 years ago, Brian and I traveled to Florida to get Toby from a friend of mine who claimed she couldn't keep him anymore. (Likely story.) He was a pretty dog and he got along with cats and he was very sweet.

Look how cute he was in 1996! He was such a good back-seat driver.

And I like dogs. Really, I do.

But after having him for about a week we discovered that he was really a goat in disguise.

His favorite delicacies were underwear, pantyhose, paper towels, money, plastic food storage containers, etc., etc..

And that animal's bowels could pass just about all of these things easily.

Too easily, in fact. Messy. Messy. Messy.

Well, Brian and I got married the very next year and moved into an apartment in Knoxville where the pet fee was nearly as much as our monthly rent. So, guess who "inherited" the dog?

That's right. My poor mom. And she's been cleaning up the messes for the last 13 years. I'm so sorry, Mom. Truly, I am.

And even though we have lived in a house and not in an apartment for the last 10 years , Mom has kept the dog because I am a lousy daughter and did not want him back because, quite frankly, I didn't want to be cleaning up after him. You understand, I already have my hands full with these children I've given birth to.

Well, the mess has gotten much worse over the last few days and he had eaten hardly anything at all in about 3 weeks. He was terribly thin. And, at the ripe old age of 105, he was having much trouble getting on the bed and has lost a lot of his hearing and eyesight.

It was time.

But the kids have gotten attached to him and I am not looking forward to having to tell the boys (especially Parker). Anna was a little upset when I told her but she seems to be taking it all in stride. And Landon, of course, doesn't really understand what's happened.
My mom, however, may throw a little party in honor of his passing even though I know she'll miss him too. ; )

So say a little prayer for Parker that he'll take the news okay.

And that he won't start begging for a new dog for at least a year.

May 1995 - January 2010
We really will miss you.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Phew! I'm finally done with this quilt! Don't misunderstand. If I had worked on it every day, like I said I was going to, then I would have had it finished by October. But life happens and I'm lazy. I also get so frustrated that I am always spending more time looking for my quilting tools and supplies than I actually get time for sewing! It's inevitable, as soon as I decide I'm going to sit down and work on it I discover that I can't find:
a) the thread
b) my thimble
c) the cutting mat or
d) scissors.

Then after 30 minutes of tearing the house apart for one of these items I will sit down and within 5 minutes either:
a ) a little person asks for a drink
b) a little person asks for a snack
c) a little person needs help with the potty or
d) I bend the needle I'm working with.

So I have to get up and, naturally, I put my needle, thread or scissors down somewhere else and we start the whole process over again.

This quilt will be traveling to South Asia where it's much too warm most of the time to be snuggling up underneath it but it can be used as a soft place to play on the floor instead. ; )
Love you, S and Baby L! I can't wait to see you in the Spring!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I Want One!

I don't usually do this because I like this here blog to be my own space and to always be doing posts in order to win contests would definitely make this here blog into someone else's space BUT...

It's Saturday and no one will be reading this anyhow, right? And if you do read this then you absolutely must go to The Vintage Pearl and remind your sweetheart that MLK's birthday is Monday (and we could really all start a tradition of giving "Dream" gifts on this day because doesn't every holiday need some commercialization? {i know, i know, not a word})-{Oh! Look! It actually IS a word!} and Valentine's Day is quickly approaching and then there will be Mother's Day and surely some of you will be celebrating a birthday between now and May and, well, enough rambling...

I Should Be Folding Laundry is giving away $50 to The Vintage Pearl and I really want the Dainty Eclectic necklace with 4 hearts with L-O-V-E spelled out and 3 squares for the boys and a flower for Anna with their initials on each and a pretty little pearl to dress it all up! Gorgeous stuff - go take a look!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pop Quiz!

Do you have your #2 pencil ready? Have you brushed up on your Algebra lately? Well, ready or not, let's get started.

1. A mother has 4 children. The youngest child is 2 years and 11 months old. The 3rd child was born 19 months before the last child. The oldest child was only 16 months old when the second child was born on October 17, 2002. There are 33 months between the 2nd and 3rd child. How old is the 1st child in years and months?

2. Each child made an average of 4.5 wet and/or messy diapers each day for 3 years of each of their lives. How many stinky diapers did each child make? What is the total of nasty diapers made for all the children combined?

3. How many diapers has this same mother from question #1 had to change if she changed approximately 70 % of those smelly diapers?

It doesn't really matter as long as she sees a light at the end of the tunnel when the last child actually POOPS ON THE POTTY for the 1st time and has had on the same pair of underwear all day because he has not had even one little accident!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Birthday Celebration and Contest

I took this photo over the weekend when we actually got some snow and this is quite possibly the best picture I've ever taken! Which makes me very excited since I'm using my new camera. It just puts the Mona Lisa on my mind every time I look at it. I think it's his expression that does it. I love that you can count every freckle on his face (though you'd be doing that for quite a while) and that the green in the bushy background is the exact same shade of his eyes.

I heart this kid! He lives across the street from us and he's full of mischief but very sweet. He's our Eddie Haskel. Very polite and chatty but he's quite often getting himself into lots of trouble. Like accidentally setting his yard on fire last year! I think he's learned the lesson about playing with matches the hard way and all the kids in the neighborhood have too. ; ) He's a great kid and so are his older sister and younger brother. We love this family! Thanks for letting me use his picture, Melissa.

Ree Drummond and Donna Boucher are guest judges this week along with some other amazing photographers and I thought it might help my chances of winning if I posted a picture of The Pioneer Woman herself but I didn't get any of her that are quite as good as this one. But maybe if I get an invitation out to the ranch one day she'll let me practice my skillz on her and her gorgeous kids.

Hey! A gal can dream, can't she?

Friday, January 8, 2010

This Post is Sponsored By...

Chili - The Official Food of Snow Days.

A word of warning to all Yankees reading this post: I live in the South; things are different here.

The boys were sent home from school at noon yesterday even though the snow didn't begin to form in the clouds until 1:38. And by 6:45 p.m. most of the counties in the Atlanta area had called off school for today as well. Now keep in mind that we don't have enough equipment here to clean up the roads like they do in, say, Minnesota. Our average yearly snowfall in this area is 1 inch. Having a bunch of snow plows would be a waste of the taxpayer's money.

I like living here. Snow is exciting. It's not a nuisance.

Here, snow (even just the dusting that we received) gives us all a chance to unwind. Not that we really needed it since we've only been back to school for 2 days. But hey! I'm all for a snow day.

Brian called the patients he had scheduled for the day and told them all to stay home. This wasn't entirely necessary except that I REALLY needed him to go to the store to get a few missing ingredients for the chili I was planning to make for dinner. So much more important! I've been wanting to have our neighbors over for dinner since we moved in here.

Three and a half years ago!

Their boys were over here at our house playing in the snow and so I called Melissa and invited them over for dinner. We had a great time! With Melissa's help I was able to make these cute snowman cupcakes.

Anna woke up this morning so excited to see "SO MUCH SNOW" on the ground! "There's enough to make a snowman!!" Well, not exactly. And it is BITTER, bitterly cold I tell you! I think the temperature was around 15 degrees with a wind chill of one - yes! 1 degree! I don't care who you are: that's cold, folks. Cameron, Landon, Anna and I went out for a little while but there would definitely be no snowman making. Perhaps later we'll try to find something to use to slide down the hill.

I sent everyone in because it was just too cold to play but I stayed outside to take a few more pictures and this flock of geese flew overhead. They are high-tailin' outta here, man!

For now, we're staying inside next to the fire, playing games and drinking coffee.

I'm linking this post from last week up to You Capture at I Should Be Folding Laundry where the prompt was Winter.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Prestigious Award

Joyce gave me a blog award the other day. The Happy 101 Award. It's given to someone who brightens your day. What a sweet compliment! You're supposed to list 10 things that make you happy and then give the award to other bloggers who brighten your day. I didn't post mine right away; not because I couldn't think of anything that makes me happy but because I wasn't sure I could narrow it down to just 10 things! I don't want to overthink this so I'm going to try to list just the first 10 things that come to mind.

1. Trying on cocktail dresses. I adore dressing up and I love walking through formal sections in department stores. When I have time, I just like to try a few things on just for fun. It is a very rare event, indeed, when I would get the opportunity to wear such a thing but it just makes me feel special. In fact, one time I did this and found the most gorgeous little black dress and it looked incredible on. When I checked the price tag it was on sale but I didn't have the money for it at the time. But I kept going back to that store and even tried it on again. About a month later, I was in that store again (this time with money) and couldn't resist looking for that dress. Lo and behold! It was marked down to $60.00! It was originally priced at $180.00! I bought it even though I didn't have anything to wear it to but knew I couldn't pass that up. I've only worn it once so far to the opera but I know I'll get lots of use out of it. ... Eventually.

2. Mexican food. Oh how I love a chicken burrito and some queso and spanish rice!

3. Taking pictures. My grandfather teases me about how many pictures I take.

4. The beach! Any beach! But some of my favorites have been Bahia Honda State Park, Amelia Island and Palmas del Mar, Humacao, Puerto Rico.

5. Finding a great deal. See #1.

6. Music. I LOVE music. All genres. Well, except country or bluegrass and death metal. I went through a stage where I liked country music but after two years it started to get on my nerves. Sorry, y'all. Remember? I'm from Detroit originally and so it just isn't in my blood even though the rest of me has been Southernized.

7. Sleep. Glorious sleep. Do you think God will still let us take naps in heaven?

8. Doing something for someone else without them knowing who did it. Anonymity is a wonderful thing.

9. My big family. I can't imagine living in a quiet house. One day when the kids are all grown and moved away I'll just have to play videos of them running through the house to satisfy this part of me.

10. Blogging and reading all your blogs. What you write makes me very happy.

And so here is the 2nd part of this award: Passing it on.

I know I'm not supposed to hand it back to the one who gave it to me but...
- Joyce, your encouraging comments make my day!
- Joanne, I hope you never get tired of me saying that I think you're an incredible writer.
- June from Bye, Bye, Pie! The year 2009 will go down as the year I have never laughed so hard. And a lot of that has to do with the comments, too.
- Emily at Chatting at the Sky. For sharing your perspective and encouraging us to look closer.
- Bee. I know you've been busy and haven't been able to post much these last few months but when your name jumps to the top of my blogroll fireworks go off in my brain! Hurry back and tell us all about what's been going on.
- My friends, Barbara, Shana, Kristy, Laynie and Stephanie, I can't get enough pictures of you and your little ones.

Now my hands are sticky from copying and pasting all those links.