Friday, April 23, 2010

I Don't Have That Kind of Time

So, I've been reading a lot of style blogs lately. I'm trying to find ways to punch up my current wardrobe or mix and match new things because we're on such a tight budget. And the thing I'm noticing on almost all of them is purses. As in more than one. As in people have more than one.

I mean I do have more than one, but I don't switch them out on a daily basis. Hell, half the time I can barely remember to grab my purse as I head out the door, much less have time to transfer all my crap into a new one.

What about you? Do you swap out your purses? I'm curious.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Bubba's baseball team won their first game tonight 6-5! They looked like a completely different team than the boys who took the field on Saturday. They looked like a team.

But Bubba, well, Bubba often lives in his own little world. As the team was running off the field, whooping and hollering, Bubba ran toward us exclaiming "Man, we've lost two games!"


"We lost again," Bubba said.

"No you didn't, Bubba. You won!" we corrected.


"Why did you think your team was so excited?"

"Because the game was over?"

Ah, well. Despite his seeming excitement that the game was over, he is truly having a great time. And I'd rather he be his clueless little self than the little boy on his team who winds up in tears after every strikeout.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Wish in One Hand....

Every day I have to walk behind the art school to get from the parking deck to my office and vice versa. Now that the weather has warmed up you can usually find some of the art students, paint and clay bespattered, lounging around.

One day last week there was a girl out there, her blanket spread out on the little grassy hill behind the building. She was sitting there, elbows on her knees, dress pulled up to maximize the sun exposure, cigarette dangling from her fingers. And y'all, it looked like Heaven. Now, I don't smoke so it wasn't that I was jealous of. It was her freedom.

She had no where to go, no one to whom she was responsible. I mean, of course this is purely conjecture on my part. She could have five kids waiting on her at home for all I know. But she just looked so free.

And for the first time in ages I wanted to go back to college, to those heady spring days when we'd find a sunny spot on North Campus to take a nap read for classes. The feeling of the warm sun on your bones, knowing that you could stay there as long as you want, with only the passing voices of other students to disturb you.

Don't get me wrong, I love my family. But if I would love to have just one of those afternoons back.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Haiku: Play Ball!

Back when I first started blogging there was a blogger (or two?) who started a meme -- the Friday Haiku. I loved it, for one because I always knew what I was going to post on Friday and two because I loved the challenge of fitting whatever I wanted to talk about into the strict Haiku format.

I don't know if the Friday Haiku is still a "thing" or not, but I'm going to start doing it because I think it's fun. I had planned to write today about Bubba's baseball practice last night and I'm still going to do it, just in haiku.

Warm metal bleachers,
making thin lines on my thighs.
Bees buzzing my ears.

Ten eight year old boys
run hither and yon to catch
balls just out of reach.

Dust clouds follow them.
Dirt and grass on skinny knees.
Sweat trickles on brows.

Eager to learn rules,
soaking them up like a sponge.
Perfecting their skills.

Mom, dad, sis, watching,
cheering while offering tips.
"Get your elbow up!"

All American.
Baseball, Mom and apple pie.
So proud of my boy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

My Secret Shame

So, I feel like it's been kind of All Doom and Gloom All the Time around here lately, so I decided to shake things up a bit. I've decided to post some things that I'm slightly ashamed of.

One thing you need to know about me is that I'm kind of a music snob. I will secretly judge you if you like certain singers and bands. I live in a town that is full of awesome music. REM and the B52s got their start here. This is where great bands are born. But.

Miley Cyrus' "Hoedown Throwdown" makes me want to crank up my radio and dance in my car.

There. I said it.

Also? I don't hate Justin Bieber's "Baby."

Whew! That's a relief to get that off my chest! Woo, this feels pretty good...I think I'll keep going.

I like cheap beer. I don't mean like PBR or anything, though I have been known to drink it. But I do like Michelob and Coors. (AndreAnna, please don't scoff. I get enough ridicule from my husband, the beer snob!).

I like mariachi music. It's weird I know. I can't help it. I also like cowboy yodeling.

I like Grease 2 better than Grease 1.

Sometimes I listen to XM's Kids Place Live even when the kids aren't in the car.

I think Adrian Brody is kind of hot. Actually, I think he's really hot.

In a related note, I have a thing for guys with big noses. You know what they say...big noses, big....tissues! LOL!

They say confession is good for the soul. What's your dirty secret?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We've Got Spirit, Yes We Do

About a year and a half ago, I took one of my Libraries' regular donors to lunch in an effort to get to know her better and to find out why she gives. It's part of my job.

We hit it off and had a great conversation. She's much older than I, has grandkids in fact, but because we are mothers we could still find plenty of common ground. She is somewhat estranged from her daughter because of their rocky relationship during her daughter's teenage years. Her daughter was very headstrong, knew what she wanted, and didn't see why she had to bend to the will of her parents.

At the time, Punkin was only about 2 years old. And while I already called her "my spirited child," she was pretty much a normal 2 year old. There were tantrums, but they weren't anything out of the ordinary. I confessed to her that I have often hoped that my daughter will be spirited, strong-willed. In my mind I'm picturing a daughter who goes after what she wants and isn't afraid to try new things. A daughter who puts her friends before her boyfriends and herself above all else.

"Woo, be careful what you wish for," my lunch companion laughed. I laughed with her.

I'm not laughing now. Seriously, y'all. I think she might have been a genie of some sort and granted my wish. A spirited daughter? I've got it in spades!

My mother likes to say that I came into the world with my mind made up on every subject and I think this is one of my (few) attributes that Punkin received in her genetic code.

Y'all, she wears me out. She has to be in control of every situation. If you tell her to brush her teeth, she just has to do this one thing (whatever it may be) first. Or if you tell her to get dressed, it's "But I need to give you a hug first." Come here? "But I need to...whatever." It's always something and it's maddening. It's like SHE has to prove that she's the boss of her and she will do what I ask, but only on HER terms.

And frankly, I don't know what to do. Do I force her to bend to my will and do what I say when I say it? Or do I lighten up? I've tried giving her control in other areas and it doesn't seem to help.

Any suggestsion? Or does anybody know the name of a reliable gypsy who can reverse this curse?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

It's All in How You Say It

Thank you all for your responses. I would like to have emailed you all back, but most of you have your Blogger accounts set up so that you can't get email responses. Get on that, people!

Anyway, I felt like I was losing my mind, so it's nice to know I'm not crazy. Or if I am, at least I'm in good company! A friend brought me a fortune cookie today that said "Tomorrow is a new day; you should begin it well and serenely." And I will. On 10 mg of Lexapro.

In my post yesterday I started to say that I felt as "mean as striking snake," which is common southern expression. It's pretty self-explanatory I think. And that started me thinking of some of my other favorite expressions. Now I know "Bless his/her heart" is a favorite example people use of the Southern two-facedness (it's a word!), but I have to admit I'm not sure I've ever actually heard anybody say that. But here are some I have heard:

He's grinnin' like a mule eatin' briers.

She's madder than a wet hen.

He's happier than a pig in shit.

If the good Lord's willing and the creek don't rise (for the uninitiated, that means that you'll do something you say you will if it's at all possible).

Save your confederate money, honey (said when I wanted money for something and I wasnt' going to get it).

I know there must be hundreds of others but my brain has gone on strike and so what started coming to mind are some of my family's sayings. I had an uncle whose commanding officer in the army used to respond to requests with "not only no but hell no." I heard that one quite a bit growing up and I'll be adding it to my stable of responses once the kids are a little older.

My mother was a probation officer my whole life and so if something was a mystery we always said "it's a misdemeanor to me." If something was missing it had "absconded from supervision."

Mr. Daddy has added "pig bitin' mad" and "fruit loop frenzy" to our immediate family's lexicon. Together he and I have bastardized a line from Fargo, one of our favorite movies, so that whenever a decision needs to be made and I'm leaving it up to him I say "It's your deal, Wade."

It's like a family's secret language. Do you have one?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Madame Queen: Up Close and Personal

Back in September? October? I went to see my doctor because I just wasn't feeling like myself. My patience was *this* thin. I felt angry and hateful all the time. Sometimes my arms felt so heavy that I didn't even want to lift them to do the most menial of tasks. I could barely walk up a flight of stairs without feeling completely overwhelmed. I had a sneaking suspicion that I might be depressed.

See, I've dealt with depression before, so I recognized it's signs. In college it was brought on by a couple of bad relationships and my inability to take care of myself emotionally. This time I think it was a couple of things: 1) Our financial situation and 2) my stress and worry and frustration over Punkin's behavior issues.

All I knew was that I didn't like myself very much, didn't like the mom I was being, so I made an appointment with my MD. He suggested that I try an antidepressant, Lexapro, for a while and see how I felt. Now, I'm not a huge proponent of taking medication and I try to avoid it if possible, but I believe that sometimes your body's chemistry gets out of whack and my MD confirmed that prolonged stress can do that to you.

So, I started taking the Lexapro with the plan that I would see him again in March and if I was feeling better that I would come off the medication.

I've been off the medication for a week now. And slowly but surely I can feel my patience stretching thinner and thinner. All weekend I was like a rubber band about to snap. Mr. Daddy and I bickered at each other all weekend and I just felt MEAN.

And this morning I WAY overreacted to something Punkin was doing and I made her cry. In a bad way. And I hated myself for it.

Surely I can't be reacting to the lack of the medicine in my body already? My doc said it would probably be at least a month before I started to notice anything, if I noticed anything at all. Am I just imagining this? I hope so. I don't want to be this way. I dont' want to be that woman. That mom. I don't want to be snappy and impatient.

Mr. Daddy reminded me this morning that I am in control of my responses. And while I think he's right to a certain degree, some of this feels beyond my control. It's almost like my body and my brain react before I have a chance to tell it to calm down. But I don't WANT to go back on the medication. So I'm going to try to up my exercise. I'm going to practice deep breathing. I'm going to try to walk away from stressful situations when I can (read: PUNKIN!).

Anybody else ever been through this? Any suggestions?

Friday, April 9, 2010

It's Guaranteed to be a Bestseller

So, after yesterday's somewhat serious post, I thought I would lighten things up a bit.

In the past, I think I've shared some of Bubba's artwork with you, but he was pretty young at the time and his skill as an artist has improved quite a bit. I keep meaning to share some of his more interesting pieces with y'all, but we've put our scanner away and I've just been too lazy to get it down and plug it in.

Lately, Bubba has also begun creating his own little booklets. He's created several, but the one I'm going to share with you today is one of my favorites. Now, keep in mind that I'm really not sharing this one because of the artistic skill involved, but more because of the storyline. The kid has got more imagination than he knows what to do with.

I now present to you "How to Be a Hymotist (sic)"

The End.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Keep Your Politics out of My Social Justice

Warning: This post has some religion in it, but don't be skeered. I'm not a judgmental Christian.

The Bible warns Christians about not bragging about their good works. It even goes so far as to tell you not to let your right hand know what your left is doing, so I hesitate to write about this. But it's on my mind so I'm going ahead.

I also hesitate to write about this because it's going to be somewhat political and I usually do not discuss politics unless I'm almost 100% certain that the person I'm talking to has identical or similar views. However, something happened recently that really made my blood boil and I also find that I'm becoming more and more comfortable stating what I believe. If it makes someone else mad, well, then, that's THEIR problem.

My Sunday school class has recently begun a Food to Kids program with the elementary school my son attends. There are some children in his school who do not have food to eat on the weekends, and frankly, that just breaks my heart. I can't imagine what the lives of those children must be like, but there is no reason that children in the United States of America, children in my own community, should go hungry.

Now there are some people out there who would scream that it's not my job to make sure those kids eat. What are their parents doing? Are they working? If not, are they even trying to get a job? You know what? I don't care what their parents are doing. I mean, yes, I hope that they are trying to work, trying to support their families. But ultimately, what matters to me are those children. They can't help it if their parents are in an unfortunate situation. They are the innocents. They have no control over what happens to them.

Conservative talk show host Glenn Beck recently made headlines (and isn't that really all he's trying to do?) when he said that if your church preaches social justice that that's really just another a code word for Nazism and communism. Really, Glenn? Really?

Because see, the Bible says that Jesus said:

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me."

"Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?

"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:35-40)

I didn't see anything in that passage that mentioned communism or Nazism. In fact, I didn't see anything regarding politics at all. All I saw was about showing kindness to those in need.

Hell, even if you're not a Christian, putting some good out in the world can only help, right?

A couple of weeks ago, I went to a parent breakfast with Bubba. As part of the program, we played a game using some practice questions for the upcoming standardized test they're going to have to take. Some of the kids' parents weren't able to attend, so the teachers asked the parents who were there to help out. There was a little girl at our table that I helped who broke my heart. Her hands and her face were dirty. Her hair wasn't combed. Her clothes weren't clean. I can't get that little girl out of my mind. So tell me Glenn Beck, am I a bad person because I want to help her?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Indecision, Much Like Indigestion, Is Painful

So, again, I'm not dead. Only my creativity. And maybe it's still there?

I'm just not sure what's wrong with me. Well, at least when it comes to writing. Lately, I've just felt paralyzed. It's almost as if every time I even think about writing, my brain just shuts down, like I don't even want to TRY to think of something to write. Except that's not even explaining it properly. I'm not sure I can explain it.

And this is doubly weird because I recently received some very good news in regard to my writing. On a whim I entered a flash fiction contest and late last week I received an email that said that my entry had made it past the first round of judging, beating out at least 200 other submissions! What I submitted is actually what I hope will be the prologue or the first chapter of a book I want to write.

So, great news, right? Right? And you would think that I would have taken the adrenaline rush I got when I read the notification email and run with it and wrote at least 1,000 words, right?

Well, you'd be wrong. I haven't written a stinking word since then.

I don't know if it's fear that's holding me back or what. Am I afraid of the work? Failure? Success?

Today my friend Esme gave me some advice, advice she originally got from Mir: there's no such thing as writer's block, only writer's indecision. It's sort of like staring at a buffet and not being sure what to try first.

So, today I'm jumping back in with both feet. I'm putting words on the page in hopes that more words will follow.