Monday, March 31, 2008

Memory Lane Monday - Prom

Spring is here, though you couldn't tell it from the temperatures. Spring arrives and young woman's fancy turns to thoughts of....prom.

Back when I was in high school, it was the epitome of social success if one was invited to prom before one was a junior or senior. And even though I had friends who were part of the "in" crowd and I had a measure of popularity, I wasn't an "it girl" by any means. Yet somehow, I managed to score an invitation to the prom all four years in high school.

First off: Freshman Year.

This year was probably the strangest of all. I went to prom with a boy, a senior named Brian that I barely knew. In fact, I don't think I had ever spoken to him before he called to ask me. I only knew him because earlier in the year he had been in an accident and had broken one of his vertebrae and had walked around school in one of those head mobilizing cages that was screwed into his skull. So yeah, he stood out.

He had a mutual friend call me to pre-ask me. I told him I would say yes and then when the real call came I did. It didn't matter to me to that I barely knew him. He had a crush on me and wanted to take me to prom. I was a freshman with a big head and starry prom eyes, so I said yes.

Next mission? To Find THE DRESS! I had the perfect dress in mind. I wanted BIG. I wanted POOFY. But most of all? I wanted a hoop skirt. Yes, my Scarlett O'Hara fetish was in full force. I had been watching Gone With the Wind every year on television since I was child and had not yet been able to fulfill my hoop skirt fantasies. I mean, it's not every day that one gets to wear a hoop skirt, even in the south. Unless you're in the pageant circuit, which I most definitely was not. (Not that I didn't want to be, but my mom wouldn't let me. But that's another story). Or unless you were a re-enactor. Or a museum docent. But I digress.

My mom and I went on a search. And in a tiny little store in a neighboring town, I found it. It was one of a kind. To be sure, there were no other dresses like at the prom.

And being my first prom, I had to have my first real "up do," right? I went to my hairdresser, whom I trusted, though she was known for her heavy hand with the hairspray. I always used to want to ask her "Did I come IN here with my hair this stiff and poofy? No? Then what makes you think I want to leave here that way?" She worked and slaved and teased and sprayed for ages. When she was done I was left with a hair sculpture that swooped all my hair to the right side of my head, completely exposing my left ear and not doing much to hide the right one.

I hated it. First of all, it was the ears. She didn't hide my ears of shame. She practically shone a spotlight on them, what with all the baby's breath she had wedged in there. Plus, her "vision" and my "vision" had not meshed in the slightest. I had wanted a simple twist. Perhaps even a bun, with a few loose tendrils hiding my ears framing my face. What I had was a hard, twisted mass of hair, a few gajillion bobby pins, and a boatload of baby's breath.

And no time to wash it out.

So, I went to prom with a guy a barely knew. With stiff art hair. All night I stared longingly over Brian's shoulder at my new boyfriend who was there with another girl. Could you get more teen angst-ty? I think Brian was a little peeved that I didn't stare into his eyes during a slow song and fall madly in love. At least I didn't ditch him before the prom so that I could go with my new boyfriend, though perhaps in some ways it would have been kinder. And Brian was a nice guy. I could have done worse (and often did!).

Just like Scarlett...I never knew what I had until it was too late. I bet Scarlett never would have stood for that hairdo, though.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Home Sweet Home. And Internet. And Television.

Haiku Friday

Boxes almost gone.
Settle in. Let's get comfy.
This is our new home.

Posting from my own
computer. Ahhh, heaven, right?
And so much faster.

The cable guy will
hook us up on Saturday.
Connected again.

You Know You're Old When....

The other day, as we were driving home from school, Bubba piped up from the backseat.

"Mommy, you have to be 18 years old to vote for President. Did you know that?"

"Yes, Bubba, I sure did."

"And Mommy? I think you have to be 18 to BE President."

"Well actually, Bubba, I think you have to be 35 to be President," I replied.

"You'd be DEAD by then!"


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Happy Birthday, Mama.

Today is my mama's birthday. I'm not going to reveal how old she is, though she probably wouldn't care. My mother has never seemed to be limited by her age.

And yes, I've always called her Mama. At least until I got older and started calling her Mom, and occasionally mother, if i was irritated or dismissive, which I often was during my college days. I kind of miss calling her Mama, though she probably doesn't. There were times when we were growing up when she would say "Don't call me Mama anymore today. Just call me Harry." And we would. For about a day. After that we could go back to calling her mama. Can we all get an amen for that idea? I can so relate.

I had to do a post about her because there is no other individual on earth -- other than my children who came along a good while after my "formative years" -- who has helped make me the person that I am today.

I've mentioned here before that my mom was a single mother. And we were always close, except for that brief, angry "I know better than you" period in late high school and early college, for which I now formally apologize. As a mother myself I realize now how difficult things must have been for her at times and I can now appreciate the sacrifices that she made for me and my brother. Becoming a mother, and especially being a mother to a daughter, I can now fully appreciate all the hopes and dreams she had for me.

But today, today I'm going to list all the things that were and are awesome about my mother:

My mother never made me feel like anything was more important than I was. Not in the "the world centers around me," kids-are-the-center-the-universe kind of thinking that seems to prevail today, but she enjoyed spending time with us. The housework could wait. A picnic could not.

My mom put together some fantastic birthday parties for me as a child and made really original, amazing cakes. Over the years she rented a truck and took us all to a state park for a hayride and cookout, rented a bus and took me and all my friends to the skating rink, she took us to the zoo, she took us all camping, and hosted uncounted sleepovers at my house.

My mom is reader and she read to us a lot. She also read to my friends. At all of my sleepovers my friends would request that she read the same two stories every year. Her stories were probably what they looked forward to most.

My mother gave me the gift of music. Growing up there was always music playing in our house. Some of my best memories are of staying up late on Friday and Saturday nights, sitting in the kitchen while my mom washed dishes, listening to Bob Dylan, Cat Stevens and Simon & Garfunkel. She plays the piano and also plays the ukulele, which I think is so fun. At a church talent show in the late 70s, she played the ukulele while she, my brother, and I sang Ghost Riders in the Sky. She also taught me the song about the fox, one of my favorites as a child and which I in turn have taught my children (to my occasional chagrin after they have requested that I repeat it for the gazillionth time!).

My mother is not afraid to try new things. At the age of 37 (the age her mother was when she died) she took up running. She won a 5k race in her age group a couple of months later. She took bellydancing for a while. More recently she took up the shot put and has medaled at several different senior competitions. She was also recently featured in a local women's magazine about women and sport. I've saved the magazine because I want Bubba and Punkin to see it when they're older and appreciate the kind of woman their MeMe is.

In short, I think my mom is pretty cool.

Recently my mother told me that she thought I was a good mother, which I appreciated beyond words. What she doesn't realize, though, is that I'm simply trying to be like her.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Technology Free

Since last Thursday, Mr. Daddy and I have basically been living technology free. No television. No internet. No phones. Well, we have all the accoutrement, but no service. And to tell you the truth, it's been kind of nice. We go home. We cook dinner. We play with our toys -- well the kids do. No television zombies, no telemarketers interrupting our dinner.

But also? No blogging. While I have definitely missed reading your blogs, I have missed mine, too. I've read blogs sporadically at work -- on my lunch break and such. And I've blogged a few times here, but it really hasn't been the same. I feel like I'm missing out on so much. But to tell you the truth, having a break has been kind of nice.

Tomorrow the television and internet installer is supposed to hook us up, literally and figuratively. And then, hopefully, we'll be back in the swing of things. But maybe we can take some lessons we've learned from the last couple of days -- we CAN survive without television -- and make some changes in our life. Right, Laurel?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Heart Attack on a Stick

So, first of all, last night I slept in my own bed. As Mir so aptly put it the comments, it's a miracle! And it was heaven.

But then, THEN, we woke up. And we had to rush around like mad people, looking in and around and amongst boxes for clothes, shoes, an Easter basket, the #$*^*$#) trash bag (forget the can, just find me something to put some trash in!)

As I'm walking out of my bedroom, I hear Punkin crying. It's not hysterical crying, but it's not quite her usual whine either. There is a slight note of urgency to it.

I walk into her room to find her flat on her back on the floor, arms and legs flailed out, her 4 ft tall white bookcase looming over her. About a foot from squashing her like grape.

I quickly assessed the damage -- there didn't appear to be any, unless you count Punkin's mental state. To say that she was a little freaked out would be an understatement. Fortunately, the bookshelf was empty and our glider rocker and a couple of boxes were in front of it and kept the bookcase from landing on her.

After a quick scolding and a lecture about why we don't climb our bookcases AND a hug, we all went on our merry way. Well, maybe not merry -- there's too much crap everywhere for anybody to be truly merry. But hey! All that crap saved mah bay-bay, so I guess it's not all bad.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Guess what, y'all? We got all our furniture put in its rightful spot last night. If all goes as planned today, I just might get to sleep in my own bed tonight.

And THAT my friends, is cause for celebration!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

This Too Shall Pass

Hello all! Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I know that things will straighten themselves out soon. It's just that things have not moved at all like I had anticipated -- but really, when do they ever? I just have to say that after months of drought, WHY does it start to rain when I'm trying to move? Our house? Is surrounded by red mud. Red mud, you ask? Why is it red, you ask? See, that's another crazy thing about the south. Our mud is red. It has so much iron in it that it's like rust. And it's red. And it stains everything. And the carpet in our new house? Is white. Yeah.

But I digress.

If the workmen finish up today, best case scenario is that we will be sleeping in our own beds (surrounded by boxes!) by Wednesday night. Woo hoo!

Although my dad and step mom have been great -- my dad fixes gigantic meals and I will therefore be gigantic myself before we get out of there -- it's hard for 4 adults to live in one house. I'm just ready to be in "my" space again. With my stuff. In my bed.

Okay, enough of my whining. Enjoy your day!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Just a quick update:

Truck loaded on Thursday.
Old House Cleaned on Friday.
Holy Hell Look out for the Tornadoes on Saturday.
Moving Truck unloaded on Sunday.
Stuff NOT put away in new house -- just thrown in wherever it will fit.
New House NOT ready to move in yet because of all the #$*@(%">#$**(% rain!
Living in my dad's basement.

Good times. Good times.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

This is the day...

D-day. Or moving day, if you prefer.

See you next week. Hopefully....since we still haven't arranged for internet service!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Confucius Say....

Have truer words ever been written? It's Wordless Wednesday, y'all.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Almost Rurnt

What is rurnt? Well, that's Southern-ese for ruined. But it has a whole different connotation than just simply ruined. "Rurnt" is past hope. Completely rotten. Spoiled beyond belief.

And Punkin? She's just about rurnt.

Punkin is generally a very sweet girl. She's got an amazing sense of humor for a child her age. She knows what to do to get a laugh. She has a million-watt smile and every now and then she gets this devilish gleam in her eye that lets you know she's up to no good. And she loves her Bubba. Whatever Bubba's doing, Punkin must do it, too.

But the child has a stubborn streak a mile wide. And she's so dern independent that I can hardly stand it. On one hand I love the fact that she's independent, because Bubba would still let you dress him from head to toe while he just stands there slack. But Punkin? Not even when she has both legs in one leg hole of her pull-up. "No! I do it!" Fine. Great. But when I have to wait an eternity while she climbs up into the car -- quite a feat, I must add -- and wait some more while she contorts herself to fit into her seat, well, then it's not quite so great. And she won't let you help her. Not even a little boost up. "NO! I do it! You can't do it!" All day long, that's her refrain.

Punkin is "my spirited child" -- complete with air quotes, which really just means that she's just this side of rurnt.

I've decided that if my current job ever falls through, I can definitely find a job somewhere alligator wrestling. I've completely mastered a modified fireman's carry that keeps all important body parts out of the path of flailing limbs and biting teeth.

The child is practically impossible to punish. She thinks everything's a game. Every night after bath I have to chase her down to get her dried off and her pajamas on. Then I chase her to dry her hair. Then I chase her to brush her teeth. It's always a game.

I've tried asking nicely. "Punkin, come here please."

I've tried the three second warning, "Punkin, you better get in here by the time I count to three!" (which always worked on Bubba, I might add).

I've tried yelling, "Punkin, GET IN HERE NOW!"

Nothing. I always end up picking her up and taking her wherever I need her to be at that moment.

And then she flashes this smile:

And my frustration melts away. Well, most of it. Some of it.

Anyhoo, did you see that awesome shirt she has on? Here's a better look:

That, my friends, is courtesy of my good friend Karen over at The Rocking Pony. You can check out her etsy site here. This shirt is a new design that I requested, 'cause hey, girls want to be rock stars, too, right? She has tons of cute new designs. I've got my eye on several! Go check it out!

Anyway, I keep hoping Punkin's behavior is a phase. You know, part of the terrible twos. Let's hope it doesn't last too long or I won't be able to tell when puberty starts!


So, I had to work an event yesterday and didn't get home until almost 8:00. Had to scrounge up something to eat since no one had saved me any pizza. Bubba was appropriately outraged on my behalf. Punkin was already asleep so she didn't weigh in on the subject.

In other interesting news, our cat Rusty, who is mostly an outside cat is now an inside cat. Why you ask? Well, that would be after some THING took a big chunk out of his right hind flank. He and Mr. Daddy took a very expensive trip to the emergency vet yesterday for a flank shaving and some intravenous antibiotics. I would post pictures, but really, you'll thank me for not. Kinda' grody.

In other interesting news, we'll be moving this week. My blog posting may be a little spotty after about mid-week. We haven't made our minds up 100% about what we'll be doing for internet service -- I know! what are we waiting on?! -- but I will have some access to computers so even though I may not be posting, I'll still be reading YOUR blogs.

So that's my weekend in a nutshell. Not super exciting.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Haiku Friday - An Ode to Pirates

Haiku Friday

Oh, my sweet Adam
You made pirates cool long 'ere
Johnny come lately.

(Sorry for the rash of You Tube clips. I'm feeling very musical these days).

For more Haiku, visit Jennifer over at Playgroups Are No Place For Children and Christina at A Mommy Story!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

American Idle

I'm not feeling very creative tonight. I think I'm using up all my creativity at work right now. I've designed several invitations for upcoming events and am in the process of putting together our twice yearly newsletter. My brain is beat.

I forgot to mention the coolest thing about the Pilates that I went to yesterday. It's free and I did it on my lunch hour. A woman that I work with is Pilates certified and she teaches a class in the basement twice a week for employees. I've never been before but I've really been suffering with lower back pain recently and I think strengthening my core will help. So I went. And I'm going tomorrow.

Is anybody watching American Idol this season. I'm sort of half watching it --- literally. I'm only watching the boys. In all honesty I'm not a big fan of female singers in general and none of the girls have done much for me so far, at least in the clips I've seen.

I first watched American Idol the season of Taylor Hicks, Katherine McPhee, Chris Daughtry, et al. I think we can all agree that Chris really won that season. And I don't know if it's because that season was my first or if they were really that good, but the rest of the seasons have not measured up for me.

But this year, I've got an early favorite. Jason Castro. Did you see this last night:

That voice is just heaven. He's so different from anything we've seen on the last couple of seasons. And he's got such a hippy trippy vibe that I just can't help but like him. I'd kind of like to shrink him down and put him in my pocket and bring him out now and then during the day. I'd just put him on the edge of my desk and let him sing me a little song. His phrasing soooort of puts me in mind of Bob Dylan. I don't know how he'll fare once we hit the theme weeks (Bon Jovi, anyone?) but I can't wait to see how he does. Does anyone else have a favorite?

You CAN Teach an Old Dog New Tricks

So, the internet was out last night until almost time for me to go to bed. By that time I was too tired to even think about posting. I didn't think I was addicted to technology until last night. You should have seen us -- Mr. Daddy and I were like two junkies waiting for our next fix. Nervous foot tapping, walking from room to room, constant checking to see if it was back up. Pitiful.

Yesterday I tried something new -- Pilates! And it was fun. Well, not fun fun but when it was over I felt gooooooood. Looser. I haven't had a good stretch in a really long time and I was surprised at how tight my body was. I've seen what Pilates can do for your body so I hope it will do that for my body.

No more time now. Gotta eat my cereal before it gets soggy. There are few things I hate more than soggy cereal.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Foot -- A Thing of Beauty

But first, Chantelle at Photomommy tagged me with this What's On Your Refrigerator meme last week. It was really a bad time to catch me because here's what my refrigerator looks like:

This is the cleanest you will ever see my fridge. Normally it is covered in toddler and preschooler masterpieces, various interesting and not-so-interesting magnets, a calendar, the pre-K calendar, the Religious Education calendar, photos of nieces and nephews, and the Leapfrog Alphabet and Farm Fridge magnet sets. Among other things. Mr. Daddy cleaned it off and put everything into a box last week, but honestly I'm surprised it's stayed this clean.

Now, back to feet. I think Bubba has a, um, to put this? Let's just get it right out in the open. A foot fetish. There I said it.

Ever since he was small he's liked feet and all things foot related. He started out with a particular fondness for shoes, particularly my shoes, which freaked Mr. Daddy right out. Not that he wouldn't love Bubba if he were that way, but let's just face it, life is much easier if you're fall into middle of the spectrum in terms of what "society" considers "normal."

Here's Bubba in his early days. He's probably about two in this picture (please ignore the large white arm in the background).

But, he soon lost interest in shoes and went to the source of his true pleasure -- feet. He's become a purist, if you will. He loves feet, particularly his own. He loves to smell them and he loves to make other people smell them. He'll even try to sneak his feet under your nose.

"Bubba!! I don't want to smell your stinky feet!!"

"You already smelled it. You already smelled it!" he'll singsong, laughing hysterically and completely cracking himself up.

Occasionally when he's watching a movie or is deeply engrossed in a cartoon, I'll catch him with his leg pulled up rubbing his toes back and forth under his nose. At first we made a big deal of trying to get him to stop. Then we realized that, toddlers and preschoolers being the contrary bunch that they are, we might actually be encouraging the habit. You know, forbidden fruit.

So we ignored it. But the toe sniffing continued and continues to this day. I really feel for Bubba's future wife, unless he grows out of it.

It could be worse I guess. His uncle Ratboy (name changed to protect the parties involved) used to capture his own farts in a can and try to make his brothers smell them. Compared to that, a little toe smelling starts to look fairly tame, right?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

A Hard Habit to Break

When the weather starts to warm up and I start to see shorts and short sleeves that can be legitimately worn, my thoughts turn to....tanning. I know, I know. That's almost akin to admitting that you smoke these days, but old habits die hard. I don't do it anymore, but there's a part of me that still wants to.

I have Cherokee Indian in my blood and I've always tanned well. In fact, other than my nose and an occasional light burn on my shoulders, I've never really burned at all. As a teen, getting the deepest, darkest tan possible was my mission in life. And I could do it, too.

I used to lie out in the baking heat of my back yard, no water within miles, sweltering, dripping, getting faint with heat, all in my quest for the perfect tan. If it was really hot I would run an extension cord from the house and set up an oscillating fan by my chair. If I had a book, I could (and did!) stay out there for hours.

Once I went in search of some camping equipment my brother owned -- a foil blanket, used to conserve heat. I had the brilliant idea that if I "laid out" on that it would speed up the process. I never found it and it's probably a good thing I didn't. It probably would have cooked me through.

Every spring I would make my appointments at the local tanning salon, building my base tan, getting some color for prom. It's so much easier to wear bright spring colors when your skin has some color to it. There's nothing worse for me than peeling off those winter wools and blacks and seeing the expanse of fluorescent white skin exposed. And everybody knows that tan fat looks better than white fat!

BUT, the tanning days are over for me. As a child I did get a really bad burn on my nose one summer and now I have some permanent damage there. I feel like I'd be playing Russian roulette if I actually sought out damaging rays. That and the fact that Mr. Daddy uses my fear of actually losing my nose to keep me untanned. I still go out in the sunshine, but I slather on the sunscreen like a good girl. So, even though I'm hearing the siren song of the tanning beds, I'll just lash myself to the ship's mast and try to make it through the spring.

But if I blind you with my whiteness, don't say I didn't warn you!