Friday, June 29, 2007

Ode to a Friend

I got a phone call today from my dear friend, Dick. Do you have friends that you may not speak with for months, even a year or more, but after one phone call it's as if you had spoken all the time? Dick is one of those people for me. I met Dick when I was 18 years old. He was the sweet, handsome, suave manager in our department that all the girls had a crush on. Dick and I clicked immediately and would banter back and forth during the work day. He became a good friend to me and I knew he'd always be there for me if I needed him. That was over 25 years ago. Every once in a while, as he did today, he checks on me to make sure I'm OK. I truly appreciate and cherish him.

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Memories of the Ice Cream Truck

I was reading Crazy Aunt Purl's blog entry about her arch nemesis - the ice cream truck. This brought to mind summer memories of going insane as a child when you heard that horrible tinkling music coming down the street. "Please, Mom, can we have some money for the ice cream truck!?" (Sometimes my mom would beat us to the truck!)

We grew up without air conditioning in the hot and humid South and the ice cream truck was like a shining beacon of all things cold. My childhood's summer nights were filled with being restless while trying to find a way to be cool. I remember having a box fan at the foot of my bed and sleeping upside down to be as close to it as I could. I would flip the pillow over and over again until I fell asleep so that I could have a few moments of coolness on my face. I know it's hard to believe in this age of air conditioning, but there were things that I loved about those summer nights. Outside my open window was a beautiful crepe myrtle tree that I could, and would, spend hours looking at, loving how it swayed in the soft breeze. I loved the smell of the night air and the sounds that filled it -- crickets, cicadas and frogs.

But I digress, let's get back to the ice cream truck. My favorite treat was the Cannonball. It was served in a plastic cone and filled with orange sherbet. At the bottom of the plastic cone was a gumball, hence the name Cannonball (which I have come to find out is now called a Screwball). And, if I wanted to break out of my Cannonball rut, I would either get a Neapolitan ice cream sandwich or Firecracker Popsicle. Firecracker Popsicles had stripes of red, white and blue and made a total mess! I also liked Push-ups, another orange sherbet treat. Remember how hard it was to get those things started? We would push the stick on the bottom against the kitchen counter or on the front steps to force the ice cream out. Occasionally I would get a Drumstick. This was a concoction made up of vanilla ice cream in a sugar cone topped with chocolate and nuts. This would melt so fast in the summer heat would end up licking ice cream off of your hand. Such good times!
We don't have an ice cream truck that comes through out neighborhood, but don't feel too sorry for us. We can walk to 3 different place to get ice cream or walk to the jiffy mart to get something yummy out of the freezer case. Of course, after writing this, I've decided that I have to take Monkey Boy out for ice cream today!
What was your favorite frozen treat?

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Photog Friday - Yes and No


"Yes and no are very powerful words. Mean them when you say them. Respect them when you hear them." - Michael Josephson


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Thursday, June 28, 2007

Note from Monkey Boy

You've may have picked up on the fact that Monkey Boy is a unique and creative child. To give you an example, I present the note. When my friend, Sexy, and her family were here this past weekend, we adult types were up late talking. Around 1:00am, this bear came bopping down the stairs from the 3rd floor loft, where Monkey Boy and his friend were 'sleeping':

I've heard of tying a note to a rock or brick and throwing it. We've all seen movies where they tied a note to a pigeon's leg or to an arrow, but I bet you've never had a note delivered to you via flying bear!

Here's the note:


If you can't read it, it says, "Mom, we can't sleep ... Can we do something?" In case you were wondering, the answer was No!

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

We are family!

Reggie and Gigi will be here Friday. Wahoo!!! Monkey Boy and I are so excited that you would think that Christmas was here. The rest of the herd will be here on Saturday. This is the time of year for our version of a family reunion at Jekyll Island. These folks may be my soon-to-be ex's relatives, but in my heart I've claimed them as my own people. In honor of their visit, I thought that I would share photos of previous years with you.
This is how we hang out at the beach. We truly suffer, don't we?! I know that Gigi really appreciates her tush being displayed in this manner!


Cousins playing together.

The annual Motown Concert. Yes, that's the ocean you see behind us.

Uncle 'Wedgy' and Monkey Boy hanging out by the camper.

Monkey Boy and Big Al playing horseshoes.

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My Words, Your Book

I was just on Amazon searching my name to see which of my books are still for sale. You may know that I was once an author. Technically, I'm still an author, but I haven't had anything new published in about 5 years. So anyway, there I was looking at my books on the computer screen when I saw my name displayed in association with a book I didn't write. Amazon has this new, cool feature that allows you to search for terms in some of the books they sell. There was an excerpt attributed to me in another author's book. It was a book about how to get started in computer consulting. In one of my previous lives, I was a major computer consultant for Microsoft earning the big bucks (so not me now! Now I am Mom.) Anyway, this other writer quoted me. I don't think that I've ever met this person and I don't remember being interviewed for a book, but the book is almost 10 years old so I may have forgotten. According to the bio provided, she worked for CompuServe (this was one of the major Internet access providers in the olden days.) and I think she lifted my comments from an online forum. This isn't illegal since she identified me by my name and gave me credit for the quote, but it has me weirded out. How strange is it to think that you are out there somewhere in print and not even know it?

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Southern Things

South of the Gnat Line had an entry that originated at the the Whistlestop Cafe Cooking spot where she added some of her favorite things/quirks about being Southern. I'm going to add a few of my own:
  • Here in the South during the summer, we determine whether you got a good parking space by how shady it is, not by how close it is to the location you are going.
  • Properly raised children in the South may refer to an adult by their first name if they prefix it with Miss or Mr. For example, "Miss Terri, may I have a Coke?" or "Mr. Reggie, can I pet your dog?"
  • We consider the state bird to be the mosquito.
  • We believe a business conversation should be eased into. We don't jump into the main topic until we've discussed the weather and/or fishing and/or hunting and/or how your mama is doing.
  • We have an unabashed love for the veggie (vegetable) plate. I didn't know this was a regional thing until I tried to order a plate full of veggies in Chicago and they made fun of me. The items on a veggie plate are really any kind of sides, including starchy ones. An example of a veggie plate would be mashed potatoes, fried okra, mac & cheese and green beans with a roll, biscuit or cornbread. Yummy!
  • You may be asked, "Who are your people?" We are trying to figure out much of an outsider you are.
  • We say 'thank you' . . . a lot! We will do something for you and then thank you after we are done.
  • Southern males have a uniform: polo shirts and khakis. A variant of this is the button down shirt and khakis. They can wear this uniform anywhere: work, church, weddings, football games, etc.

I bet Reggie could add a few more of his own!

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Monday, June 25, 2007

This is just sad

My computer geek score is greater than 100% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

What does this mean? Your computer geekiness is: Step aside Bill Gates, Linus Torvalds, and Steve Jobs... You are by far the SUPREME COMPUTER GOD!!!

Is this sad or what?

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The Inheritance

I was talking to my friend, Sexy, today and we were discussing the sub-human known as her ex-husband. We were talking about what he has done for her son other than, as she puts it, donate sperm. She asked me to come up with one other thing. After a long moment of silence, she triumphantly declared her point made. I then managed to come through at the last moment: her son's inheritance. What is he to inherit? Moon property! Yes, you heard right, her ex-husband has invested in real estate on the moon. Imagine that reading of a will: To my son, I bequeath my real estate holdings on the barren rock known as the Moon.

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Unusual Sleeping Spot

Something I never expected to see: Someone sleeping in a Starbucks. It just seems bizarre to see someone sleeping in a place the air is thick with caffeine! And we're not talking about closing your eyes to rest. This guy was snoring and snorting up a storm!

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I've been doubled tagged!

I know it's been a few days since I've posted. I had company over and was a tiny bit worn out. Reggie even called to check on me, assuming something was wrong since I hadn't posted! During this hiatus, I was tagged by two wonderful ladies, liv at Madness, Madness I Say and Terri at Terri, Terri Quite Contrary, for the following prestigious award:



I am so excited about this. I first want to thank liv for writing one of the nicest things ever about me. I actually cried, but in a good way. And then Terri tags me and writes more wonderful things about me! I'm so blessed. Thank you both so much. Of course this means that two of my favorite bloggers have already been tagged. However, I am going to share five more with you. These talented ladies in turn get to tag 5 female rockin' bloggers:
  • Crazy Aunt Purl: This lady is so down to Earth that you just know you would hang with her if she lived in your hometown. She's a Southern girl who was transplanted to L.A. She's survived a divorce, creepy guys on the bus hitting on her and embarrassing moments at yoga class with her wit and humor and soon will be a published author. I've pre-ordered her book.
  • Idiosyncrasies of a Gemini Mind: I heart Ali. She is such a stitch. She's feisty, sensitive, funny, smart, sentimental, and everything a chick should be.
  • Mason-Dixon Knitting: This is actually a blog shared by two ladies, Kay and Ann. One is from the North and the other is from the South. They are now successful authors and through their blog take you on the fun ride that is their life.
  • What Now?: Ellie Bee is who I want to be when I grow up. She's a warm, caring person who nurtures all that she comes in contact with. She is a doctor, a mother and an amazing person. She shares her thoughts and her heart with honesty and openness.
  • South of the Gnat Line: I love this lovely lady's unabashed love for the South.
I also want to encourage you to visit my nominators' blogs. If I could pick a sister, I'd want her to be like Liv. She's a roar, not a whisper. And then there's Terri. Terri has become such an important part of my day. She shares so much of her life with us in the blogging world that it's like she's that friend you talk with on the phone 2 or 3 times a day. Thanks guys!

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Friday, June 22, 2007

Photog Friday - Pretenses


“When your soul quits taking refuge in the pretenses and stops being a fugitive from Spirit, it will catch on fire and serve as a beacon lighting the way to your calling, your destiny, to being completely and entirely you.” - John Renesch

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Tiki Lounge, pt. 2

Here's the final installment about the Tiki Lounge. This the bedroom/den area, which is connected to the bathroom I showed you in my earlier post. This really has turned out to be a perfect place for kids to hang out. Monkey Boy and his friend K-man have already thoroughly enjoyed it. It has everything a boy needs: video games, a tent, plenty of places to sit or lounge, Legos and more. Let's start with the scary 'before' picture. This was being used as attic storage.
And now for the after. Look at the spiffy daybed cover I found. I added lots of pillows. Check out the back one. It's actually an inflatable raft!. It's one of those that feels like fabric bonded with rubber. If I had to buy a pillow that large it would have cost a mint but I got this for $9! And I figure it gives the kids back support and another thing to lay on the floor and can be used when building pillow forts. I also recovered the chair in a blue nautical map fabric Monkey Boy picked out. And, of course, what boys' hang out space would be complete without a tent! I found a bulletin board shaped like a surf board (which Monkey Boy has personalized with his graffiti) and added some more of the art pieces that I bought the other day. I also hung a clock that looks like a crab and added one of those goofy novelty lamps that looks like an aquarium.

We also have a zone for Legos. I brought these out of Monkey Boy's room, where they had be residing on the floor. All areas of the room have been inspected, utilized and praised by the boys.

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I'm doing better

Just wanted to let you know that I'm doing better. After curling up in the fetal position for a while yesterday I shook my mood off and got back to cleaning for my company that's coming in tonight. Of course I'm a little behind but I should have it done before they get here. I only have one more room to vacuum and dust. Before I finish that room, I have a Monkey Boy story to share:

I had Monkey Boy helping clean the kitchen this morning when he asked me why we were cleaning. I explained to him that when you have company coming over, you clean the house. He asked why and I asked him if he would like to visit a dirty house.

"I guess not." he said. "But do you think they are going to buy this?"

"Buy what?" I asked.

"Buy that our house is always this clean!"

Wretched child!

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Darkness

I hate soon-to-be ex. I hate that he still has the power to hurt me and send me to a dark place with just one word. What was the word? His bimbo's name. He called me by his bimbo's name. Me, the one who gave birth to his son, the one who was married to him for 23 years. How can he make a mistake like that?

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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tiki Lounge, pt. 1

I wrote about the arduous task of cleaning up and redecorating the third floor bedroom/loft a couple of days ago. I'm making it into a kids guest room/den with a tiki/surf/beach kind of motif. We built this space out years ago and really haven't used it to it's potential. We had been using this mostly for storage and I finally got motivated to make it more usable.
Since Rick asked for pictures, I'm sharing some now, including the scary 'before' picture which illustrates the nightmare of me going through boxes to decide what to keep and what to give to Goodwill (on a side note, my mother has informed me that she's changed her last name to Goodwill). Don't judge me people. Remember that I'm a woman in the middle of a divorce who is dieting. I will turn mean on you!
I got the bathroom finished last night! Now it is a very cute, beachy spa-like bathroom:


My challenge has been how to add art to this area, as it's built into the eaves and has short walls. On the only tall wall I put a collection of three items, staying with the surf theme. I really wanted to add more color to the room so I let Monkey Boy pick out a skimboard he liked and used it as art over the tub. We have a big whirlpool tub in the bathroom and no shower because of the short walls. I figure even if this gets wet, no big deal, the board is designed to play with in the surf!

I picked up this little painting at a local gallery and hung it in the bathroom. I think it's so cute!


Happy Birthday, Reg!

Tomorrow, June 20, is Reggie's birthday. I knew all of his blog sibs would want to visit his site and wish him a happy birthday.

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Martha Stewart Gene

I have been accused of having the Martha Stewart gene. I cook. I decorate. I do my own small home repairs. I garden. This gene seems to have gone into dormancy in the past couple of years but is now showing itself again. I'm turning the attic bedroom into a kids guest room which we have dubbed The Tiki Lounge. It's going to have a tropical/tiki/surf motif. I dragged Monkey Boy to the fabric store to get fabric to recover the cushions on one of the chairs in the Tiki Lounge. Surprisingly, he wasn't enthused about the outing but when I explained that left unsupervised I would pick out a girly print, he decided to go with me. After threats of making him go to dress AND shoe stores with me if he didn't stop whining, we finally agreed on a fabric with a blue mariner map print. I'm feeling very Martha right now!

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The "Date"

Monkey Boy cracks me up. A few days ago I scheduled a play date for him and his friend and her cousin to play putt-putt. We have a course about a block and a half from our house. I told him, "I made a date with Miss Alex to play putt-putt Thursday." Cool, no problem.

Later, when we were walking over to Alex's house to pick up the girls, Monkey Boy asked in a very quiet, concerned voice, "This isn't a real date, is it?"

"No, baby. Mom was just teasing you."

"Good. I'm not ready to date yet."

Have I mentioned lately how much I love this kid?

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Final Report of the weekend

All in all I've had a pretty decent weekend. Here's how the remainder went:
  • Went to church. I walked rather than drove. It was a great morning for walking.
  • Walked by the Subway after church and picked up my favorite sandwich. Ate sandwich on front porch.
  • Worked on attic bedroom. Took 10 boxes of stuff I didn't need to Goodwill. (I'm in a big purging mode right now.)
  • Took a break and went over to the storytelling festival (Sea Island Heritage Festival). They had some awesome food booths there and I got yummy fresh lemonade and fresh sweet potato bread.
  • Worked more on attic bedroom.
  • Made Philly cheese steaks for dinner.
  • Watched Terminator 3 on TV.
Soon to be ex is gone again for a couple of weeks. Wahoo! I'm pretty proud of myself for staying busy and having a good weekend.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

The weekend so far

Notified soon-to-be ex that he has to start acting like a parent when he has Monkey Boy for the weekend. After a somewhat rocky start, I managed to take control of my day. Here's the exciting play by play:
  • Slept late in spite of the person who called the house 4 frickin' times this morning and hung up. These types of calls seem to only happen when you know who is in the garage apartment. Coincidence, I think not.
  • Went to see the movie, Knocked Up, with friends. I didn't care for it. I thought the dialog was unimaginative and the premise unbelievable. It felt like a straight guy tried to write a chick flick.
  • Got lunch out.
  • Hung out at Starbucks and started knitting a cap to send to the Dulaan Project.
  • Ran to the grocery store to get a couple of things for dinner. Ran into a friend and caught up on local gossip.
  • Got home, unloaded groceries and walked on the beach.
  • Fed and walked Marco, the psychotically needy puppy.
  • Made vegetarian chili for dinner. Yum!
  • Watched Sleepless in Seattle on TV. I love this film.
  • Sat on front porch and finished hat.
  • Caught up on reading blogs and downloaded a couple of new tunes for my iPod.
  • Time for bed!

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Rules

Next weekend, my friend, Sexy (I keep linking to her site thinking that she will be shamed into writing more often!), is coming to visit me. She travels as a package deal so this visit includes her husband and 4 kids. Monkey Boy and I are way beyond excited about seeing them again. However, I'm thinking with that many kids in the house I should set some rules. Here's my first draft:
  1. Do not play anywhere near the big screen TV. Throwing/slinging things at or near the big screen TV or generally being too near to the big screen TV will result in a time-out in the penalty box otherwise known as the ugly uncomfortable couch.
  2. No fires.
  3. No actions that could result in bleeding or broken bones.
  4. Pants must be worn in the common areas. No nads on my furniture!
  5. If you have a problem with someone, deal with it yourself and without inflicting pain. This is a tattletale free zone.
  6. DO NOT take my last diet Coke.

I think that pretty much covers it!

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Photog Friday - Life

"We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us." - Joseph Campbell

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Thursday, June 14, 2007

What should I do this weekend?

One of the [many] disadvantages of having the soon-to-be ex use the garage apartment during his visitations with Monkey Boy is that it allows him to be a total slacker. He kind does dad stuff at his own convenience. I need this to end. I need a break. So I have to have a 'come to Jesus' meeting with him and let him know in no uncertain terms that he's in charge of Monkey Boy when he's here on the weekends. This means getting him up, getting him dressed, feeding him and generally entertaining him.

Some of you divorced moms understand how hard it is let go of these tasks. More often than not you get a child back on Sunday night that is dressed in the same clothes he was wearing Friday night when he left, who has not bathed, is hopped up on sugar and insane from lack of sleep. But I know I have to let go, for my own mental health.

So I need to plan activities for myself for the weekend. Of course, I'll be going to see the new Fantastic Four movie. I think I'll wait to see the Nancy Drew movie until next week. Monkey Boy has hinted that he wants to see it but can't publicly admit that he wants to see it because he's a 10 year old boy. So he needs me there to say that I made him go in case he runs into friends. Here are the other options:
  • shop: I need to pick up a couple of twin mattresses for the new kids guest room I'm making out of the 3rd floor. Of course my shopping will not be limited to mattresses.
  • read: I have a pile of books about 3 1/2 feet tall to work through. I would read at Starbucks to be near to a source of caffeine and to avoid soon-to-be ex.
  • knit: I want to finish the blanket I'm making for Monkey Boy so that I can start a new project. Again, I would do this at Starbucks for reasons listed above.
  • go to beach: I could work on my tan, read and check out the boy toys.
  • 2007 Annual Georgia Sea Islands Festival: featuring storytellers, singers, exhibitions, displays, arts & crafts, musical groups and traditional coastal cuisine & desserts. This one is actually a must-do on my list.
  • drag some friends to Mudcat Charlie's: seafood and boats. What more could you want?
  • go to library and work on portfolio for teacher interviews: I want to be ready with lesson plans and stuff during my interviews.
  • drive down to Daytona for day to check out the big flea market there: I love flea markets and this one is supposed to be huge.
  • hide at a friend's house: This is my backup plan.
What do you think? I'm open to suggestions.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

This is NOT my House

I just want to say that the picture shown is NOT of my house. It is of a house a few homes down from mine. We had the tragedy of having a neighbor's house burn literally to the ground.
Monkey Boy and I were watching a movie on the Disney Channel when we saw some flashing lights and heard sirens. We looked out of the front door and our entire street was lined with firetrucks. I didn't even know we had that many trucks in the county!
After walking down the street to see what was going on (an activity that about 100 other people engaged in as well), I realized who's house was on fire. It belongs to a gentleman who owns a local restaurant. His wife was out of town and he was at the restaurant. This fire was major. The entire 3 stories of the house was engulfed in flames. I know these poor people lost everything.
I yelled to a fireman that the house next to the one in flames had full-timers (on this island we have two kinds of people, full-timers who live here year around and part-timers who are only here a few weeks out of the year) and that the couple who lived there were elderly and would need help getting out so they went to go get them. Monkey Boy and I ran over to another neighbor's house two doors away from the fire and got her and her baby to evacuate. Then we just watched the whole process.
I couldn't get over the amount of fire and that the whole structure was covered in flames. Later we checked on the people that were renting a historical home for vacation that backed up to the house that was on fire. One of the other neighbors had already taken them in for the night. Even now, almost 2 hours later, blue and red lights from the fire department and police are flashing outside my window. Poor Monkey Boy is totally stressed out and has asked to sleep in my room.
Something like this really makes you think, doesn't it?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Dulaan Delivery

As many of you know, I knit. I budget a couple of months a year to knitting for charity. Most of my charity work goes to the Dulaan project. The goal of the Dulaan project is to seek to inspire the generous spirit of the knitting community to help meet the urgent needs of Mongolia’s impoverished people. I have knitted for this project for 3 years now. This year I have 2 hats and 7 scarves to send. Check out some of these Dulaan photos. After seeing these kids, I may try to knit a couple of more hats really quick to include in my package before I actually send my stuff at the end of the month. Definitely scroll down and see the photos. They are pretty amazing.

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My Friends are Bored Looking at my Photos?

Have you heard of geotagging your photos? I hadn't and thought that it was an interesting concept. Check out the article about it in the NY Times (You may have to sign up to view it, but it's free):

Snapshots That Do More Than Bore Friends

Monkey Boy's New World

Monkey Boy's world has changed since yesterday's whine fest. Changes to his world include not being allowed to use electrical entertainment interfaces (Game Boy, video game consoles, TV, the computer) before 11:00am and having to have the following chores completed before 11:00am:
  • Water palm trees by front doors
  • Fill up water fountain
  • Water pots by front gate
  • Fill dog's drinking bowl
  • Make bed (he was supposed to be already doing this but I was slack about enforcing it.)

I'm thinking that I'll be adding to this list before the end of summer. I think he needs an afternoon set of chores, too. (Can you hear my evil mommy laugh?) The outdoor stuff has the side advantage of getting him dressed before noon. This morning went fine. I wonder how long it will be before the whining starts again? By the way, I've decided that whine = more changes to Monkey Boy's world. Let's see how long the behavior reconditioning takes. (More evil mommy laughter.)

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27 Skills for your kid

I thought that this was an interesting article for parents:
27 Skills Your Child Needs to Know That She’s Not Getting In School

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Sunday, June 10, 2007

A child growl

Here's my growl about children:

What is with them doing anything to help around the house? No matter how small the task, they act like you've just request that they begin a quest to the Holy Land and return with the Grail. It either turns into a negotiation for some privilege or item they want or it becomes a hissy fit or they pretend not to have heard you or some other tactic. And yet, they wouldn't hesitate to ask you to do something for them: drive them to the mall, have one of their annoying friends over for the weekend, take them to a movie that you need to self-medicate to be able to sit through, buy them stuff, etc.

Growl.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Rude Food

I've seemed to have become fixated on food this week as this is my second post on the topic. Check out this website: Rude Food. It has a collection of foods that are funny due to their poor choice of names. It reminded me of the time I followed a Bimbo bread truck through rural Mexico for 2 hours, giggling the whole time!

File under "What was I thinking?"

This morning a friend of mine who is landscaping his yard asked me to show him where a local nursery was that I like to go to. His wife had to go to a client's house (she's a decorator) and evil soon-to-be ex didn't show up for visitation this week so between us we had 3 male children to deal with. The morning started out fine until the topic of breakfast came up. I'm used to going out with girlfriends who if they haven't eaten by 9:30 skip breakfast and have an early lunch. Apparently males cannot do this. All 4 men folks started whining that they were hungry. Fine. I'm thinking McDonald's drive-thru for biscuits. Quick, cheap, minimal hassle. Wrong! The men folk decided they had to go to a buffet (which they find amusing to mispronounce in the way you would Jimmy Buffett's last name.). Not just any buffet, but the Golden Corral. If you haven't been 'blessed' to go to one of these places, I can only described it as what a buffet would be if Walmart managed it. Arrgh!

After the kids were through filling up on bananas, bacon, eggs and ice cream, we finally got to the nursery. This place is amazing. It's about 4 acres of wall to wall vegetation. Their quality and prices are awesome. So I told the kids to run around and count how many kitties they could find (this place is crawling with kitties) thinking this would entertain them for at least half an hour. 5 minutes later the whining began: "It's hot.", "I have to go the bathroom.", "I'm sweaty.", "Is it time to leave yet?" So my friend drives the kids to the jiffy mart to let them use the bathroom (there were ants in the port-o-potties and the young males freaked out) and they come back with candy, slushes, toys and more whining. I stayed at the nursery so I had my clump of plants picked out. My friend gets the 2 trees he had been looking for. Have I mentioned that at this point it's high noon and 96 degrees with a heat index of 105 degrees? Joy. We load the truck with the help of the whiny tribe and finally get out of there.

Seriously, what was I thinking?

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Photog Friday - Beauty


"Beauty puts a face on God. When we gaze at nature, at a loved one, at a work of art, our soul immediately recognizes and is drawn to the face of God."
-Margaret Brownley

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

You may blog too much if ...

... your child is in the shower and sees a flash from the next room, he panics and thinks that you are trying to sneak a photo for your blog! (I was actually seeing if I could a take a decent photo of myself like Crazy Aunt Purl does all the time.)

Summer Boy


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Sea Turtles

My travel plans have been greatly curtailed this summer due to the fact that Monkey Boy is in the summer production of Peter Pan. Original summer travel plans:
  • One or two weeks at Michigan house
  • Few days in Tampa at Busch Gardens
  • Visit Mom and Dad PeachPod in Mississippi
  • Go to Charlotte for a week
  • Go to Atlanta a couple of weekends
Travel plans now:
  • Go to either Atlanta or Tampa for a weekend
  • Visit Mom and Dad PeachPod in Mississippi
So plan B is some 'mini' vacations in the area. A couple of weekends ago the new Georgia Sea Turtle Center had a preview opening and Monkey Boy I went over and checked it out. Our coast is one of the nesting grounds for sea turtles. Sometimes the turtles get injured by boat props and this center nurses them back to health so that they can be released again. This place is great! I'm not going to try to convince you that this is comparable to the Smithsonian, but for a small town in South Georgia, they've done a really good job. They have a small interactive learning center that does a good job presenting information about turtles and their environment. Behind the learning center is the turtle hospital which is a barn with a lot of large tanks. Monkey Boy both really enjoyed this outing. It takes about 45 minutes to an hour do this museum, depending on your level of ADD.


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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

3 year old Artist

You have to go and watch this video. It's amazing!
http://presurfer.blogspot.com/2007/06/3-year-old-finger-painter.html

What the World Eats

Rick posted a link to this cool photo article on what the world eats. It fascinated me. First, it really points out how much more industrial countries pay just to have their food wrapped in plastic. The Japanese, Americans and Europeans seem to have this need to have their food presented in a brightly colored plastic packaging that adds tremendously to their food costs.

This got me thinking. When you see the food of the Japanese family, almost every piece of it is wrapped. What does Japan do with all this trash? They're just a small island. How do they deal with this stuff?

Also check out how much the German family spends a week. How much do they pay these people?

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Missing Someone I Never Knew

A friend of mine asked me to make a scrapbook for her husband as a birthday present for him. His father recently passed away and he has emails, photos, cards, etc. that friends and family have sent him illustrating the wonderful life of his father. These are what I am using to make the scrapbook.

As I've read these notes I've constructed an image of this person. He was kind, thoughtful, and extremely generous with both his time and spirit. He was a character with funny little quirks. He made a point of letting people know he was thinking of them. He sent people flowers for every occasion.

I have come to mourn the passing of this man, this person I've never met. After getting to know him through this correspondence, I truly wish I had know him in life.

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Loving the Tan

My tan has hit my favorite stage - the almost no makeup stage! This is to say that foundation, powder and blush is gone until Fall. Wahoo! Now my complete makeup routine is to put on some moisturizer with SPF, add a little eye shadow, draw a quick line with the eye pencil and finish off with mascara. This takes all of 3 minutes. Life is good!

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Four Things

The fabulous liv has tagged me for a meme. Here it goes:


Four Things

Four Jobs I’ve Had

  1. Professional Writer
  2. Corporate Trainer
  3. New Technologies Manager at United Airlines
  4. Manager of Systems at Hyatt International Hotels

Four Movies I Can Watch Over & Over

  1. You've Got Mail
  2. Music & Lyrics
  3. Where the Heart Is
  4. Sense and Sensibility

Four Places I’ve Lived

  1. Riverdale, GA
  2. Irvine, CA
  3. Plano, TX
  4. Arlington Heights, IL (There's more!)

Four Places I’ve Vacationed

  1. New York City (one of my favorite places in the world)
  2. Hong Kong (another favorite city)
  3. St. Petersburg, Russia
  4. Helsinki, Finland (There's lots more! I truly love to travel.)
Four of My Favorite Dishes
  1. Nachos!
  2. A really good baked potato
  3. Fresh, hot sourdough bread
  4. The house salad at Outback
Four Sites I Visit Daily (I'm not listing blogs because there are so many of them)
  1. MyYahoo
  2. During the school year I visit Monkey Boy's school site to check out announcements and the lunch menu.
  3. Savage Chickens' cartoon site
  4. Weather.com

For Places I Would Rather Be Right Now
  1. In Atlanta, sitting on the patio at El Azteca on Ponce de Leon Ave. with friends.
  2. In London, shopping at Harrod's with my friend, Joe.
  3. In New York, checking out a street market (preferably in the Village or Chinatown) and then going to see Spamalot again.
  4. In bed, napping.


I am tagging Ali, Terri, Rick and Reggie.

Stormy Saturday

For the first time in literally months, it is just pouring down rain. Wahoo! We've been at record lows for rain this year so we really need it. And Monkey Boy and I have missed singing our traditional rain song:

It's raining, it's pouring;
The old man is snoring.
He went to bed,and bumped his head
And he couldn't get up in the morning.

Yes, this lively little ditty will be heard all day at Casa de PeachPod.

The rain is supposed to be out of here by tonight, just in time for our beachy Sunday. After church tomorrow Monkey Boy, myself and some of our friends are heading to the surf for the Annual skimboard competition. At noon, they are giving free lessons, which Monkey Boy is looking forward to and at 1:00 is the competition. The competitors have been streaming in this week and practicing. I've enjoyed meeting them when I take my walk in the mornings and they are a very talkative bunch (this is the part where we pretend me, the old lady, didn't notice that the teens and 20 somethings I was talking to looked like bronzed gods!). They told me that the youngest competitor is just 7 years old and that there is a 9 year old who did back flips on his board. One of my friends has offered to bring sandwiches (she and her husband own a sub shop) and a cooler full of margaritas. Sounds like a good time to me!

15 step program

My friend, Sexy in Suburbia, emailed this and I thought that not only was is hilarious, but dead on. For those of you who haven't been blessed with children, you'll wonder why we would ever put ourselves through this, but the truth is, even knowing this stuff, most of us would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thinking of Having Kids? Do this 15 step program first

Lesson 1
1. Go to the grocery store.
2. Arrange to have your salary paid directly to their head office.
3. Go home.
4. Pick up the paper.
5. Read it for the last time.

Lesson 2
Before you finally go ahead and have children, find a couple who already are parents and berate them about their...
1. Methods of discipline.
2.Lack of patience.
3. Appallingly low tolerance levels.
4. Allowing their children to run wild.
5. Suggest ways in which they might improve their child's breastfeeding, sleep habits, toilet training, table manners, and overall behavior.
Enjoy it because it will be the last time in your life you will have all the answers.

Lesson 3
A really good way to discover how the nights might feel....
1. Get home from work and immediately begin walking around the living room from 5PM to 10PM carrying a wet bag weighing approximately 8-12 pounds,with a radio turned to static (or some other obnoxious sound) playing loudly.(Eat cold food with one hand for dinner)
2. At 10PM, put the bag gently down, set the alarm for midnight, and go to sleep.
3. Get up at 12 and walk around the living room again, with the bag,until 1AM.
4. Set the alarm for 3AM.
5. As you can't get back to sleep, get up at 2AM and make a drink and watch an infomercial.
6. Go to bed at 2:45AM.
7. Get up at 3AM when the alarm goes off.
8. Sing songs quietly in the dark until 4AM.
9. Get up. Make breakfast. Get ready for work and go to work (work hard and be productive).
10. Repeat steps 1-9 each night. Keep this up for 3-5 years. Look cheerful and together.

Lesson 4
Can you stand the mess children make? To find out:
1. Smear peanut butter onto the sofa and jam onto the curtains.
2. Hide a piece of raw chicken behind the stereo and leave it there all summer.
3. Stick your fingers in the flower bed.
4. Then rub them on the clean walls.
5. Take your favorite book, photo album, etc. and wreck it.
6. Spill milk on your new pillows. Cover the stains with crayons. How does that look?

Lesson 5
Dressing small children is not as easy as it seems.
1. Buy an octopus and a small bag made out of loose mesh.
2. Attempt to put the octopus into the bag so that none of the arms hangout.
Time allowed for this - all morning.

Lesson 6
You may think the work is basically done when your child starts school. Here's the fun you'll enjoy then:
1. Take an egg carton. Using a pair of scissors and a jar of paint, turn it into an alligator.
2. Now take the tube from a roll of toilet paper. Using only Scotch tape and a piece of aluminum foil, turn it into an attractive Christmas candle.
3. Last, take a milk carton, a ping-pong ball, and an empty packet of Cocoa Puffs. Make an exact replica of the Eiffel Tower.

Lesson 7
Forget the BMW and buy a mini-van. And don't think that you can leave it out in the driveway spotless and shining. Family cars don't look like that.
1. Buy a chocolate ice cream cone and put it in the glove compartment.Leave it there.
2. Get a dime. Stick it in the CD player.
3. Take a family size package of chocolate cookies. Mash them into the back seat. Sprinkle cheerios all over the floor, then smash them with your foot.
4. Run a garden rake along both sides of the car.

Lesson 8
1. Get ready to go out.
2. Sit on the floor of your bathroom reading picture books for half an hour.
3. Go out the front door.
4. Come in again. Go out.
5. Come back in.
6. Go out again.
7. Walk down the front path.
8. Walk back up it.
9.Walk down it again.
10.Walk very slowly down the sidewalk for five minutes.
11. Stop, inspect minutely, and ask at least 6 questions about every cigarette butt, piece of used chewing gum, dirty tissue, and dead insect along the way.
12. Retrace your steps.
13. Scream that you have had as much as you can stand until the neighbors come out and stare at you.
14. Give up and go back into the house.
You are now just about ready to try taking a small child for a walk.

Lesson 9
Repeat everything you have learned at least (if not more than) five times.

Lesson 10
1. Go to the local grocery store.
2. Take with you the closest thing you can find to a pre-school child. (A full-grown goat is excellent). If you intend to have more than one child, then definitely take more than one goat.
3. Buy your week's groceries without letting the goats out of your sight.
4. Pay for everything the goat eats or destroys.
Until you can easily accomplish this, do not even contemplate having children.

Lesson 11
1. Hollow out a melon.
2. Make a small hole in the side.
3. Suspend it from the ceiling and swing it from side to side.
4. Now get a bowl of soggy Cheerios and attempt to spoon them into the swaying melon by pretending to be an airplane.
5. Continue until half the Cheerios are gone.
6. Tip half into your lap. The other half, just throw up in the air.
You are now ready to feed a nine-month old baby.

Lesson 12
Learn the names of every character from Sesame Street , Barney, Disney,the Teletubbies, and Pokemon. Watch nothing else on TV but PBS, the Disney channel or Noggin for at least five years. (I know, you're thinking;What's "Noggin"?) Exactly the point.

Lesson 13
Move to the tropics. Find or make a compost pile. Dig down about halfway and stick your nose in it. Do this 3-5 times a day for at least two years.

Lesson 14
Make a recording of Fran Drescher saying "mommy" repeatedly.(Important: no more than a four second delay between each "mommy"; occasional crescendo to the level of a supersonic jet is required). Play this tape in your car everywhere you go for the next four years. You are now ready to take a long trip with a toddler.

Lesson 15
Start talking to an adult of your choice. Have someone else continually tug on your skirt hem, shirt-sleeve, or elbow while playing the "mommy" tape made from Lesson 14 above.You are now ready to have a conversation with an adult while there is a child in the room.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Photog Friday - Doubt


"Doubt whom you will, but never yourself."
- Christine Bovee

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