Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Think I Might Be On The Naughty List

It's Christmas Eve Eve and I think I might have made The Naughty List.

Not because I keep forgetting to purchase my step-dad his annual boxes of chocolate covered cherries. Not because I have not bothered to put up a Christmas tree. Not even because I have had hateful thought's about one of my little brother's exes. I doubt I will be on it for breaking my promise to blog something everyday from October 3rd until the end of the year.

I will be on The Naughty List because I'm sick of Christmas! I am just Christmas-ed out.

I really haven't had much time to do anything but eat, sleep and work for the last several weeks. I barely got my Christmas shopping done. Granted Santa will be leaving gifts under the Direct TV Pay-Per-View Fireplace this year, but it's done. Hey, take what you can get!

I really haven't had any Christmas Spirit this year. So little, I am certain I will soon be visited by three spirits.

When I was a kid, the Christmas season began the Friday after Thanksgiving. And not a moment sooner.

Every store would actually close for the Thanksgiving holiday. If you found a quick mart open on Thanksgiving, you were lucky. There was not a Christmas tree, garland or light string in sight. Then magically, the mall would transform overnight with balls and trees and fake snow and animatronic reigndeer. Santa would parachute into the parking lot at Eastwood Mall on the morning of Black Friday, fling open the mall doors and Christmas shopping would commence.

Now you can buy your pool floaties and sunblock on one side of the shopping aisle and your Christmas decorations on the other. By the time Christmas actually arrives, I am sick of it.

Studies show that suicides increase between Thanksgiving and Christmas and I am pretty certain I know the cause. Non-stop Christmas music. Is it really necessary to play "Feliz Navidad" every hour, on the hour?

When I was in high school, until I was about 22, I worked for a drug/grocery store. The constant barrage of Christmas music during an average shift was enough to make the sanest person consider murder. There is a particular instrumental version of "Sleigh Ride" that triggers a montage of frenzied shopping memories, that my brain prefers to play at super-high speed to match the pizzicato tempo of the strings. Somthing about that song always makes me feel the need to hurry. (Perhaps because the lyrics keep saying "Giddy up, giddy up..." I don't know, maybe?) It also reminds me of the infamous shower scene from "Pyscho."

Another thing that always seem to amaze me is the way that people change during this time of the year. People who are normally, well, normal, become the rudest, most selfish, self-absorbed, greedy folks on the planet! Just a week ago, I witnessed a fight between two people over, of all things, a parking spot at the mall. Yes, an actual yelling, cussing, hair-pulling match between two people vying for the same parking spot. Peace on Earth, Good Will Toward Men, indeed!

I am also amazed over what people "want" for Christmas. And how much they "want." And how much people seem to think they should be getting for Christmas, and the crazy people who think they need to buy everything anyone asks for. So much for a gift being from the heart.

Listen people: CHRISTmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. In honor of His birthday, we give each other gifts, but if you read the Biblical account, Jesus only received three gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. If three gifts was good enough for the King of Kings, that should be good enough for everyone else!

In order to help my children understand that true meaning of Christmas, curb materialism, selfishness, and greed (all while stemming the tide of excessive, unnecessary crap) we adopted what we affectionately call "The Jesus Rule."

As you know, we are a blended family, divorced and remarried with divorced and remarried parents. All of my children have four sets of grandparents, and until recently, several living great-grandparents (sadly, this Christmas, we are down to only one, my grandmother). They recieved gifts from everyone. We looked like a collection site for Toys for Tots. There were some years that some gifts that were opened, brought home and never saw the light of day again. It was obvious that some family members took the "buy their affection" route, because they seemed to buy the most gifts. Sorry, money doesn't make up for lousy parenting. And the children know that now.

I don't remember who might have actually planted the idea of limiting Christmas to three gifts, but I do remember the first time Julz heard the idea. She was only 7 or 8, but when I said "three gifts were good enough for the King of Kings," she didn't miss a beat reminding us that "one of them was gold!" (so much for curbing materialism).

Then there is "Dirty/Greedy Santa." What masochistic jerk came up with this little jewel?!
I had never heard of this game until I married my current husband. My family didn't (and still doesn't) "play" this heinous "game," but it is a family tradition for my husband's. The reactions can be funny, but this "game" is far from fun. I have been told that this is how we are expected to exchange gifts. If you want me to have a gift, buy me a gift. Don't buy something that you think I might like then hope, after wresting over it with everyone else in the room, that I end up with it. Also don't expect me to use my hard-earned money to buy something that might be a nice gift, only to watch the disappointed look on the face of the "recipent." To add injury to insult, I am later told that they will be giving said gift away in the "Dirty Santa" game they will be playing the following Saturday. I personally haven't "played" in years, but after buying a gift to be given away somewhere else for the third year in a row, none of us will be playing anymore. My money is best spent elsewhere.

I wonder what Jesus would have thought if the wise men had made Him play "Dirty Santa" for His gifts?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Keeping It Classy

In the week since Auburn won the 2010 Iron Bowl over in-state rival Alabama, I've heard nothing but how "classy" the Bama fans were and how classless the Auburn fans had been.

Never mind that someone played some unathorized music over the public address system during pregame warm ups, obviousley directed at Auburn quarterback Cam Newton.

Then news broke Thursday, that Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy was one of the top five finalist for Wooden Citizenship Cup, a great honor for student athletes, named for Coach John Wooden.

I wonder if the committee has seen this exemplary behavior from one of their top finalists.

Classy Greg, real classy.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Just a little note to wish you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving!

What am I thankful for? There are not enough words to describe. Thankfully, the Lord knows my heart and the depths of my gratitude.

Take nothing for granted!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

So This Is What It's Come To

The only three things I've accomplished this weekend is washing a load of clothes, grocery shopping and learning that my husband does not like bald women.

My life has pretty much been reduced to work, eat, sleep.
As I mentioned a few days ago (or maybe a week ago, who knows anymore) I've felt pretty crappy for a while now and really haven't felt much like doing anything.

Saturday, I did absolutely nothing. And I don't feel guilty, not one little bit. Oh, I did get one load of clothes done, so my co-workers will be relieved that I won't be coming to work naked.

I went grocery shopping so now my children, who are out of school all week, will not starve the two days they are home before leaving for "The Hunt Club" for Thanksgiving. I had no desire to spend my four day holiday packing , driving and not showering properly, so I opted to stay home. I actually have some stuff I'd like to get done at the house. Thankfully, Darling hubby has to work Friday, so I won't be alone. Then of course there's the Auburn/Alabama game Friday evening, that I am not allowed to watch, due to my jinx.

G I Jane was on earlier today. Darling Hubby was on the internet, researching new phones for Kit-Kat. I wonder aloud, "I wonder what I would look like bald." Darling Hubby chimes in "I know what you'd look like." Annoyed, I respond "Really? Enlighten me" "Sure," he chuckles, "you'd look single." This from a man who shaves his head.

So this is what it's come to.
Another lazy Sunday.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

This Must Be Writer's Block

Currently, I have so many things that I want to write on that I can't settle on just one topic or how to get started! As a result, I've gone three days without writting a single word.

Here are just a few random thoughts over the past few days

I really need a haircut. You know you are in need of a haircut when you pull your bangs back with a 2 inch binder clip from your desk. Sad part is, until I mentioned it on FB, very few people noticed.

I (heart) the TSA! True, I haven't flown since 9-11 but if I ever do, I want everyone on my plane to be screened. Everyone. There is a whole lot of flap in the news about passengers feeling "violated" by the process and filing suit against TSA screeners. I wonder how violated they would feel should some terrorist make it onto their plane with a tampon bomb? (Of course, then they would file suit against the TSA screeners for NOT catching that.) If it keeps my plane in the air, I will start traveling in a bikini and flip flops to speed the process along. Scan me baby!

Auburn is currently #2 on the BCS poll. Nevermind that they are more undefeated than anyone else in the poll (Currently 11-0 while everyone else is still lagging back at 10-0) Strength of schedule my foot! Well at least we are the SEC West Champions! War Eagle!

Ticket pricing for the SEC Championship are ridiculous. I have convinced darling hubby that he can watch at home, for free, and enjoy nice food, and pause the game to go to the loo. Ditto sentiment on the BCS Championship should we be so lucky.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Home Ec Baby

One weekend, not to long ago, we had a new edition to our family...The Home Ec Baby.
As the instruction sheet pointed out, she was also known as Baby Think It Over II.
We had anticipated The Home Ec Baby's arrival for a little over a week and when she came home, I, being the proud grandparent that I am, took this photo. Kit-Kat "named" her Skylar.

Skylar came with a wristband, resembling a Swatch, that the Home Ec teacher attached to Kit-Kat's wrist at school. The electronic wristband identified Kit-Kat to Skylar as her parent. Because it was tamperproof, much like the hospital identity bands, only Kit-Kat could wear it , so only Kit-Kat could care for her.

That concept began to wear on Kit-Kat not long after she got home. Yeah, that is Kit-Kat on the phone while "feeding" Skylar.

As Skylar became more needy during dinner, Kit-Kat came up with a creative way to make sure she could give Skylar her bottle and still eat herself. Yes, that is one of my toning sandals.

Apparently, Kit-Kat had a long night because in the morning, she begged for coffee. Okay, it's a frappuccino, but coffee just the same.

The second day started to go a little smoother, as Kit-Kat dutifully attended to Skylar's needs and recorded them on the sheet. She even dressed her in an old tee-shirt that was her own when she was a toddler.

By Sunday, she was such a pro,

that we decided to venture from the house, and carry the "baby" out in public. So we loaded up the car seat,

and headed over to Nunie's. We took this "four generation" photo for fun.

Surprisingly, during the trip to the store that followed, no one batted an eye as we passed through with Skylar in our buggy.
The next day, as Kit-Kat carried Skylar back to school, I couldn't help but be a little sad. Sklyar was that first taste of being a grandmother I had been talking about. But my desire to be a grandmother like my friends did not over-ride common sense. Kit-Kat is 15. She will be a mommy in due time, but not anytime soon and I hope the weekend cemented the idea that parenting is a big responsibility.
When Kit-Kat come home, she missed her too. But she acknowledged that she was not ready to be a real mommy anytime soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day!

Happy Veteran's Day!

To all those in all branches of our military, present, past, and passed on.

I am going to repost a blog I originally wrote three years ago, because I don't think I could say it any better today than I did then.


(Repost...originally written & posted on Myspace on date listed below)
Friday, January 12, 2007

Patriotism & Thankfulness

In my previous blogs I've tried to be somewhat comical, but today I'm going to be serious.Given Pres.Bush's recent decision to send more troops to the Middle East, and the apparent terror attack on the US Embassy in Greece, I thought you might need to see another side of me.
My patriotism.

I was born and raised in tiny Leeds, Alabama, a city east of Birmingham just off I-20. Yes, that is also the home of basketball legend, Charles Barkley, ( a really nice guy once you get to know him, as most of us from Leeds do. He truly lives up to his quote "It's not what you have, it's what you give back.") but that is a story for another day.Leeds has been recognized as a City of Valor, having more decorated war veterans than any other city of it's size, in the country. (

This distinction includes three Medal of Honor reciepients; Henry "Red" Erwin, Alford Mclaughlin, & William R. Lawley.

Bill Lawley was my grandfather's cousin and a boyhood companion.Read more about him here ( )

One of my favorite stories of their friendship, was when he accidently shot my grandfather in the leg, while chasing a wounded rabbit. My grandfather carried that bullet the rest of his life. He'd tell the story, then rub our fingers along the side of the bullet, lodged just to the inside of his shin, above his ankle. I always thought it was a funny little story.

I do not recall ever seeing Alford McLaughlin, outside of pictures, but I remember vividly the first time I ever met Red Erwin. Severely burned from a phosphorous bomb, he barely resembled anything human. His face was disfigured, he was missing his nose and an ear and only had two fingers on one hand. When I was small, I was terrified of him. He personified what the boogeyman might actually look like. It was not until I was older, when I learned how he was injured, that I understood and appreciated his sacrifice. When he would come into the store I worked at in high school, I remember he was quiet and kind, and had very nice blue eyes.

In November of 1999, Alabama legislature named Highway 119 "Medal of Honor Highway" and dedicated it to these heroes.( )

Everytime I hear the National Anthem played, I cry a little. Always have. Have you ever noticed that it was written during and about the heat of battle? I am reminded, each time, of Americans that have fought for this country and my freedom.Military families currently top my prayer list.They are what is keeping our military going. So many parents, both mothers and fathers, are currently serving our country. Families having to get by, day to day, with their loved one so far away.

I wonder if they are hurt by some of the things they see other American's saying about the war. The crass, insensitive comment made by John Kerry springs to mind. I know I'm ashamed to admit people like him are Americans too. I wonder if he thinks about that when he hears the National Anthem.

If freedom was something that everyone had to work for, like a salary, do you think that we'd appreciate it a little more?

The Lawley family boasts a long line of military service: not only my grandfather, but all his brothers, my father, and brother as well. My husband's family has a rich military history also.My husband, his father, an uncle and both grandfather's also served our country. I am certain they followed the example of generations before them, who felt it was not only a duty, but an honor.This dedication to service is also found in the families of my friends. My best friend's father lost his leg in Vietnam, before she was born. Even though I see him often, I can't begin to imagine what that was like.Cyndi has never known him any other way.

Cyndi, Darling Hubby, Me...we all learned early on, what is probably the most valuable lesson any American could learn: our freedom isn't free.I take a lot of things for granted in my life, but that fact is not one of them. I wonder if the war protesters realize that they have the right to assemble freely and protest, because someone died for it? Or may die for it tomorrow.

I have friends in all branches of service, all across the globe. Some are in harms way as you read this. Some are unpacking from their assignments, some are packing for deployment.Cyndi's little brother Sean will soon be deployed to his second tour of duty in the Middle East. Here at home are his wife and three small boys, ages 6,4 and the youngest nearly 2.Over Christmas, we talked about his first tour. He told me about not being able to shower for nearly two months; having to burn their clothes because of a possible bio-threat; sand in everything; the unimaginable heat and the surprising cold; going for weeks with no mail, then getting a month's worth all at once. He was different from the person I used to know. Harder somehow. As he spoke, it was all I could do not to cry and grab him and hug him and tell him thank you, over and over again.

I know that there are people right now, boarding buses somewhere with their little signs, to go and demonstrate about Pres. Bush's latest decision. And that is all well and good for them.But I challenge them to use just a portion of that energy to say "thank you" to someone preserving that freedom of speech.

As for my family from Moody,AL, we would like to say THANK YOU to our military personnel. We are praying for you as you serve.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Sorry this is such an uninspired post. The way I've been feeling lately is proof positive that my parents picked the wrong name for me.

And I feel that way sometimes. Well, a lot actually. Sometimes, I'd just rather be in bed. Sometimes, I'd rather be anywhere than where I am, or who I am, or what I'm doing.

But I am expected to be the backbone, the strong one, the one that gets things done but never needs any thanks or consideration. Things are just expected to happen, because I always do them. I don't get to have any say in plan making, I'm just expected to be there.

Last month, a friend from high school died unexpectedly. Rumor has it she mixed up her medications. Rather by accident or on purpose, no one will really ever know. But she posted on her Facebook the night before she was found that she "was done."

I know that feeling

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Office

Okay, I know it wasn't funny for someone, but I laughed out loud when it happened.

Yep, the back wheels fell off the truck in front of me as I was turning left behind it. Well, I didnt' really see it as it happened. That white truck on the right side of the photo, was between us. He swerved around just in time for me to see the truck settle to a stop. It was almost like in a movie! The back bumper caught the wheels as they started coming off and that is what kept the truck from tipping over (and the wheels from rolling haphazardly through traffic.)

Luckily the driver was okay and no one was hurt as a result.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

What Time Is It?!

I really hate when the time changes. Regardless of whether we "spring foward" or "fall back," I will spend the better part of the next two weeks asking "What time is it?"

I have a sleep disorder that makes getting to sleep, and sustaining a restful sleep hard enough without the added stress of going to bed when I'm not sleepy.

I am seriously considering moving to Arizona.

The practice is controversial, and why exactly we, the US, continues to do it is unclear.

All I know, is that I'm way too tired too early and then just when I do get to sleep, it's time to get up. I will be hungry an hour earlier each day.

Then, just when I am back on some sort of normal schedule, it will be time to do it all over again.

Seriously, it's just 4 months.
Can't we do without it?

NOT En-JOY-ing this!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Falling Down

Sorry...I'm falling down on my "blog everyday til the end of the year" promise. But blogging at least every other day is still ambitious, right? Especially when I'm feeling like pooh.

Apparently I'm not the only one facing a stumbling block.This week's latest news revolves around Cam Newton and his recruitment at Auburn. AP is reporting that apparently someone approached Mississippi State for money in exchange for Cam Newton playing there.

First of all, way to go AP...way to kick 'em when they are down. Mississippi State is currently in mourning over the unexpected death of player Nick Bell. Great timing!

Secondly, looks like they still love Cam down on The Plains. An allegation is not proof.

Some are even saying Cam's tainted past should play a part in his chances for the Heisman. One Fox Sports writer isn't shy about his opinion either. The person he might once have been is not the leader he has become. Many are pointing to the current renovation of the church building where Cam's father is pastor. Will it derail Cam's chances at the Heisman? Probably not. If sins of the father were considered in the Heisman run, someone else would be sending back his trophy too.

I question the timing overall. Is this a ploy to throw Cam off his game? All news reports indicate that the investigation began some time ago. Both Auburn and Mississipi State conducted their own investigations last summer. Even the request for church financials were over a month ago. Why now?

Some are saying it is being fueled by ESPN in an attempt to help their own obvious favorite, Oregon, who happens to have their own Heisman candidate, maintain their top standing. Or, the local conspiracy favorite, Alabama fans, the current BCS champions (where the "B," I'm told, stands for "Bama") trying to throw a little mojo on the Tigers before the Iron Bowl.

I have to say that Auburn Head Coach, Gene Chizik said it best:

"I will say this, very loud and very clear: Cameron Newton is eligible at Auburn University. Period. End of story,"

Enough said.

Happy Homecoming Tigers!


Wednesday, November 3, 2010


It is time for my phone upgrade and I was going through my phone to see what all was on there that I might lose. I have a TON of really random pictures on it.

Thought I'd share them here with you, along with my thoughts on each.

Here is a pic of my pinkie toe a few weeks ago when I thought I'd broken it. I snagged it in a towel on the bathroom floor. The resulting *snap* and this nifty bruise all but confirmed it. I saved myself $200 and taped them together myself.

I was really excited to discover discount grocer Aldi! To illustrate to my family how much cheaper things were, I took this photo of the peanut butter I got at Wallyworld on the left and the Aldi peanut buter on the right. Both jars cost $2.39!

This is an antique mirror that my mother liked in some antique shop over in Birmingham. They reeeeeaaaaaallllllllllly liked it. I'm thinking I could make one that looks just as good for a quarter of the price. Yeah, it won't be a REAL antique, but when it comes down to it, who cares?

My grandfather's grave marker and the flag I made for it on Memorial Day.

And the flag I also made to go at W.R.'s memorial plaque at the Medal of Honor wall on Memorial Day. W.R. Lawley was my grandfather's cousin. He was awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII.

This is the crawfish that I saved one of the girls in the office from. Not sure how it got all the way up by her car. The creek is a good 2 city blocks from where we found it. She thought I was nuts when I went out and picked up it and dropped it in this box. What can I say...raised in the country =) Yeah, that's my foot, for perspective.

Same crawfish, with a six inch ruler. He was a big sucker. I made one of the warehouse guys drop him back in the creek on his way back over the bridge to the other warehouse. I bet Mr. Crawfish thought "#$%^&...took me two days to reach that parking lot and now I'm right back where I started!"

Okay, it appears I have a thing for documenting the critters I encounter and using my hands and feet for perspective in the photos. This is a teeny-weeny little SNAKE that Cyn found on her KITCHEN FLOOR one night when we were coloring our roots. I went to rinse my hair and when I came back they were all looking at it in this plastic container. It was so small, we really couldn't identify it. Poisionous or not, had I seen it first, it still would have been deadly.

I also have a fascination with sleeping animals. I can't help it, sometimes they are just so darn cute.

Here is Darling Hubby and our cat J.B. They nap in this configuration (and similar positions) on a regular basis.

And to think, when we found JB, he didn't want to keep him.
This is one of Cyn's two cats, aptly named Trick (short for "Trick-or-Treat" because they got him the week of Halloween).
Not only is he napping on Cyn's bed, he has his head on the pillow.

Me and my posse, hanging at the theatre, scoping out the peeps.

I took this pic to share with some classmates of the same name: Kavli. I've heard for years of their Norwegian ancestry. I saw these Norwegian snack crackers and had to snap a pic to share. I wonder what they are thinking as they find this pic tagged in their photos!

I pass this house on the way to work every day. One day when I passed by, I saw this.
Do you think she might have been mad?

A girl in my office has a thing for pigs. This was her birthday cake this year.

Yes....this is a plaid car. I couldn't catch up to it to get a better picture. If it were my car, I'd drive fast too.

So I see a lot of weird things, random things, interesting things. Then there are days that I see things that are so beautiful, I just have to thank the Lord for sharing His beauty with me.

And sometimes, He shows me in the most obvious way, that He love me.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mental Health Day

Okay, first apologies for not writing yesterday. I was really beat when I got home last night. I ate leftovers and went straight to bed. As a matter of fact, I fought sleep the whole day.

So I took a vacation day today because I needed a "mental health" day. I've been feeling so rotten lately and just really needed a rest.

Despite knowing that I had little to do and all day to do it and no where to be at anytime soon, I still woke up at the time my alarm usually goes off every morning...without my alarm.

The family was relatively quiet, until I got up and went in the living room after 6:00 a.m.

I turned on the t.v. and the children rushed out to meet the bus. I logged onto Facebook and posted some words of wisdom. I talked to my mother.

I watched The Today Show. There were some pretty interesting stories. "Jill's Steals and Deals" was really interesting and there were a few things on it that would make great Christmas gifts. I went straight to the computer to look them up (within 15 minutes of the broadcast) only to find all the links to the products disabled. Curses!

I pulled on some pants and went down to city hall to vote. I pulled into a parking spot right by the door, walked in and voted. The whole process took about ten minutes. I decided that I am going to ask off for every election day. No line, no waiting, no annoying campaigners trying to shake your hand as you go in to vote for someone else. It was fabulous!

I came home with a coffee and McGriddle (yeah, I know...I'm gonna pay for that) and found my cats cuddled up on the couch. I took this photo

and got back on Facebook. My cousin set up a family group so that we can plan a family-wide Christmas get together like we had when I was a kid. I am really excited about that. I've always wanted my kids to be part of one of my family traditions.

Cyn came over and we talked about her grandfather's funeral and discussed our booth at the antique/flea mall. I owed her $75 for my half this month's rent. Yeah, I've sold a few things, but not enough to cover my half the rent. So far, I'm loosing money on this deal. I asked if she wanted to go with me to grab lunch but she was on the way to the nursing home. Her grandmother is not taking her grandfather's passing too well. Understandable. They were together 63 years.

I called in an order to the local Mexican restaurant. One Chile Releno and cheese dip with chips.
I have one real weakness on this earth...white cheese dip with chips.

I sat down and started watching "court" t.v. Divorce Court, The People's Court, Judge Joe Brown, Judge Judy. I can't believe that people actually go on those shows. Someone always comes off looking like an idiot and the judge always gets the last word. And just in real life, I am always amazed at what people choose to wear to court. Honestly, not only are you in court, you are also on national television. A tank top and mini skirt are not appropriate! Yes, we shouldn't judge a book by it's cover, but we always do. Why do you think high powered defense attorneys hire image consultants to make over their clients? To make their client more likeable in the jury's eyes and keep them from looking guilty.

Before I knew it, my kids were home from school.

Where did my day go?! Why is it days at work go by so slowly and days at home go by so quick?

Well, I guess I en-Joy-ed mine.

Hope you en-Joy-ed yours!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Two Funerals and a Crockpot

That pretty much sums up my Sunday.

I had my choice of funeral; my cousins' grandmother or my best friend's grandfather.

This was a tough call:

This was Cyn's last remaining grandfather. He had been a preacher, a solid man of God. By the time I had met him, he already had the beginning stages of Alzheimer's and was a man of few words. But he always had a smile on his face and obviously, a hymn in his heart. Cyn was going to sing a song written by her uncle, who had "gone on in" a few years ago. I had really wanted to be there in support.

Mrs. D, the maternal grandmother of my cousins, was also special to me. I had nearly as many memories of her as I did my own grandparents. She was warm and witty. She was the kind of grandma that was always trying to feed you and she made some kickin' chicken and biscuits. She was as much family to me as my family.

I was really torn.

My grandmother pretty much made the call on which funeral to go to. I've kinda become her "date" to family functions. Not bad, but not great either. I spend most of my time fetching things for her, while she tells people about how skinny I used to be. She also has this knack for complimenting me in one breath and cutting me down with the next. One Easter she gushed over how beautiful I looked, and before I could say "thank you," there in front of all her friends, she asked what kind of girdle I was wearing.

She usually makes me drive her Cadillac. Since I drive a mid-size car, it's kinda like driving a tank, pulling a trailer. I'm not sure what makes me more nervous about it; the intimidating size of the vehicle, or my grandmother's back seat driving. I've been driving nearly 30 years now, and I've only had ONE accident (and it wasn't my fault) so I think I know how to do it. It was kinda like being fifteen with a permit all over again. Nervously concentrating on the road while adults shrieked a me. The last time I agreed to start from her house and drive us somewhere, I was a nervous wreck. Apparently I sped all the way ( even though we never made it up to the posted speed limit) and though our nerves might not have, our bodies made it all in one piece. This time, we each drove ourselves, which was fine with me.

Since I wasn't sure how long I would be gone, I decided to put a roast in the crockpot. I might not feel like eating when I got back, but at least my family would be fed.

The service was beautiful, preached by Brother Blair and Mrs. D's son-in-law, my cousin Mark.
I sat with Grandmother and my Aunt Margaret, Mark's mother. I kept waiting for her to ask me what kind of girdle I was wearing, but she only commented on my shoes. She liked them, but added that they really made my feet look small, which believe it or not, is a compliment. ( I wear an's okay...I own it. Wonder who I inherited them from ;P )

While we waited for the service to open, we discussed what my grandmother was to be buried in, right down to the panty hose. Apparently, there is a law that the deceased had to be buried in a complete set of undergarments and either hose or socks. But no provision for shoes. How weird is that? "No shoes, Never shoes!" my grandmother had exclaimed. Who knew?

The service opened with "In The Garden," which is not only my grandmother's favorite hymn, it was also my Grandma Clara's favorite. Even after dementia had set in, she would hum it. I can not hear it that I don't think of her. And regardless of the setting, it always makes me cry. By the chorus, I was staring at the ceiling and blinking furiously, but the tears still came.

Brother Blair did a nice job, having been Mrs. D's pastor for sixteen years. As my cousin Mark took the pulpit, carrying Mrs. D's Bible, complete with green, quilted Bible cover, trimed in eyelet and bows. He talked about the things he had found when he first opened it on Friday: the old bulletins, the copies of inspirational poetry, the notes in the margins, the passages that were highlighted and underlined. The parts of the Word that spoke to Mrs. D. over a lifetime of believing. Words of faith and hope. From these words came her eulogy, and though Mark spoke the words, it had been written by Mrs. D. herself, all in the margins of her well-worn Bible.

Our faith teaches us that when we take our last breath here on earth, we take our next in Heaven. He had said though we were down here saying "she's gone," the saints in Heaven were saying "She's Here!" That made me think of my grandfather, his siblings and all our other departed loved ones, greeting Mrs. D as she entered Heaven.

After the service, we followed the casket out of the church. It was loaded into the hearse, and as it drove up the drive that wound behind the church into the cemetary, the congregants began climbing the hill to the grave site. I could not imagine having to make that climb myself, in heels, much less supporting my elderly grandmother, also in heels. I was relieved when Margaret suggested that I drive us up to the grave site. The driveway was very narrow to begin with, but the enormous Cadillac made it seem much more narrow. My grandmother kept asking if I knew where I was going.

We stood on the paved driveway, above the grave site, close enough to hear, but still on firm, flat ground. My grandmother clung to my arm for support. She was hunched over, and her weight on my arm made me hunch over too. She had linked arms with Margaret in the other side. I wondered what we must look like, hunched over, linked arm in arm.

I could feel my grandmother's pulse, thruming through the ports in her arm, where the dialysis needles go. My grandfather had been on dialysis the last few years of his life. Though it had extended his life, it limited it all the same. Now my grandmother faced the same limitations.

She is 86. Two years older than Mrs. D. She had told me on my birthday in June that I was now the same age she was when I was born, 43. I wondered how much more time she might have. Or how much more time I would have with her. I felt guilty for being so pesimistic and dwelling on the negatives. There is still time for good memories.

As I drove myself home, I thought about what I'd want for my own funeral. What songs and who would sing them, what I'd be buried in (I think I'm going to ask for socks...can you imagine and eternity in pantyhose?) what would be found in the margins of my Bible.

The smell of roast greeted me as I walked in and it smelled wonderful. I could only imagine how torturous it had been for everyone else during the time I'd been out. I heard my son exclaim "Yeah! She's Here!"

Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Perfect Saturday

I just had a near perfect Saturday.

The sun was bright and despite a chilly start, the temperature was a perfect 70 degrees.

We played our last two Miracle League games for the year.

I did have to play "parking patrol" right when I got there, something I really don't like doing. Because we are a facility for special needs individuals, we have several handicap parking spots. Sometimes, people "ignore" the sign, the blue lines, the large wheelchair logo on the ground and park in front of it. Not "IN" it, mind you, but park in such a way that they block access to the spot. I had a woman, who thought she found a primo spot to park, get very upset with me because she had to move from the paved area she had chosen. I pointed out that the spot she had chosen was not actually a parking place. She had parked at the end of the regular spots, and because there was no line on the driver's side of her car, she saw my point and begrudingly moved. The other, a truck sporting a "thin blue line" tag (yes, that means what you think it means) had parked to her left, obstructing the other two handicap spots at the end of the fence. When I complained to one of our own "men in blue" he vowed to locate the driver and have the vehicle moved. I was only took 30 minutes.

My sweet little Stephanie, a girl who I had promised to buddy as soon as my foot was better but then went off to spend the summer in Florida with her grandparents, came back to play and immediately claimed me as her buddy. She held my hand tightly, the entire time she was there, like I would get away. She only let go of my hand to bat and then, despite assurances from her mother that she didn't like to, we RAN the bases. I got quite a work out.

While we were playing, a boy and his grandmother walked up. It was evident by the white cane that he carried, that he was blind. I asked if they had ever heard of the Miracle League and the grandmother had responded yes, but they "didn't know how it would work for him." I enthuiastically fetched our beeping ball. We offered to let him take a whack at it, which he did, and ran the bases with one of our buddies, laughing all the way. We may have a new player come Spring!

It was Kamiko's birthday. She's 19. We all sang and she had 2 birthday cakes. We couldn't get any of the candles lit, thanks to a nice little breeze. I hugged her mom, and wished her a happy, "giving birth" day, because that's what I do.

After the games, I wandered around the annual Oktoberfest, where there were arts and crafts, food galore, and demonstrations of everything from cheerleading to cage fighting.
I picked up a few Christmas gifts and came home.

Because I am forbidden to watch an Auburn game ( a jinx I will discuss at a later time) I decided that I needed a mani/pedi, and headed off for Jenny & Steve's. I stopped for a coffee, gathered a book I've been ready and settled in to relax. I even sprung for the super-duper callous remover.

I then treated my son to a Chickfila and picked up a double-hash-browns-all-the-way from the local Waffle House. I topped off my meal with some Blue Bell "Southern Hospitality" ice cream.

Then Auburn won their game against Ole Miss.

I do have loved ones, who have both lost a grandparent in the past 24 hours. Both bedridden from their increasing ailments and suffering from dementia. Strong, God-fearing people, who at long last, get to dance through the Pearly Gates, on streets of gold and meet their Savior, who's name they've never forgotten.

Yeah, I've had some great Saturdays, but this one was, well, perfect.

Hope you En-JOY-ed yours too.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Party at the office!

Woo Hoo! Party at the office!

My office never misses the opportunity to party (i.e. eat!) or dress up!

In honor of Halloween today we've done both. We have a sexy (yet office appropriate) Army officer, a Dolly Parton impersonator, a Lady Gaga impersonator (also, office appropriate, believe it or not, those two concepts could exsit together) , the "Pajama Gang" and me, in my spider hat.

We are noshing on lots of goodies,mainly taco soup and chili.

Happy Halloween Y'all!


Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Green Eyed Monster

My best friend, partner in crime, voice of reason, currently at the hospital. Awaiting the birth of her first grandchild.

I know what you are thinking...
Yes, she's younger than me.
Yes, all her natural born children are younger than mine.
Yes my son is dating her oldest daughter.
Don't panic...This would be the baby of her newly acquired step-son and his lovely wife.

Okay...I'm admitting it openly, here. I'm jealous.

All of my friends are becoming grandparents! My classmates are, even those I went to school with who are younger than me. They proudly display their photos and share their cutesy grandparent monikers ( "Ya-Ya, Gi-Gi, Ni-Ni, Mi-Mi, La-La" and so on... ) and brag how they spoil these young-uns rotten, then send them home to their parents to deal with.


My daughter, Julz, is older than some of these kids, which makes me feel like I might be behind.
I'm kinda on the fence here. While Julz is the obvious candidate, she's not married, or in a stable relationship (come to think of it, I don't even think she's in a relationship). She's working part-time and going to school, so there no where a baby would fit in at this time.

Okay, I realize that people make it work, but I do want her to be in the best position to have and nurture a child.

But for now, I will just have to admire the grandchildren of others

Green Eyed Monster signing off

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


This is how I feel right now.

And it's NOT from drinking!

At least if it was, I'd have a tangible reason for feeling so puny.

I'd say ~En-JOY, but that would just be cruel.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The View From The Top

Auburn has made it to number one on the BCS poll.

The same spot once occupied by our in-state rivals, that I posted about a few weeks ago (currently at number 7).

Though it may be short-lived, we are enjoying the view from the top.

Everything else is at the tip of a tiger's tail.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Another Lazy Sunday

I awoke with a head ache and a sore shoulder. I'm not sure if I'm sleeping wrong on it or if a spring is sticking up out of the mattress or what. I go to bed fine and wake up sore and tired.

The sweet sixteen murder mystery party was great! Some key player didnt attend, which challenged our ability to think on our feet, but the venue, the historic Rowan Oaks, was perfect! I have to admit, I was really nervous with everyone tomping around all those antiques, but it really added to the mystery. But I was exhausted when I got home.

The sounds of never-ending football are wafting through the house, so I know without looking, where darling hubby is right now.

Someone is in the shower.

I was going to go to my office today and declutter my cube. You know in the movies when they fire someone, they hand them a little brown box to put their stuff in? If I were ever fired, it'd take me two days and a whole flat of boxes to leave. It really needs to be done when I have a good chunk of time to do it,and that won't be happening in my eight hour work day. That's why I must do it on a weekend, but I feel so bad, I think I'll postpone it.

I'm also putting off buying groceries, but we've got to eat.
Guess I'll go do that.

~En-JOY your Sunday

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Sweet 16 Murder Mystery Party

Today, Cyn and I are hosting a murder mystery party for Miss Mary Mac's Sweet Sixteen.

Seriously, that's the theme she wanted.

Using the movie and game "Clue" as inspiration, Cyn has spent the last several weeks developing characters, scripting plots, creating clues and collecting weapons.

As the ever dutiful best friend, always supportive, I've given feedback, shared ideas and agreed to help run things behind the scenes.

I was assigned the character of the cook. (Yeah, that's what I thought too). She said that the adults were the staff because they weren't central to the story and would move about behind the scenes and make sure things were set up properly. She was going to be the estate manager, and her hubby, Super Dave, will be the butler. So that leaves me, as the cook.

Making the best of it, I offered a few insights on my character. Since everyone else had a clever name, I thought I should be named Mrs. Potts. I started trying to think what I might have in my wardrobe that a cook would wear. Nothing was coming to mind for a cheap, easy, identifiable cook's"uniform", except scrubs, like the lunch ladies at the kid's school wear. No offense to those who work in that thankless profession, but I wasn't going to dress like a lunch lady.

Tigger was assigned a Professor Plum role, but had nothing that looked remotely acedemic (unless you count the tee-shirt that says "1 me+ 2 sisters+1 bathroom = 4 ever late") so I knew I needed to make a trip to the thrift store.

Just up the road from my office is a sweet thrift store that benefits a local mission. On Fridays, they have "Discount Day" and everything is marked down even more than the bargain prices on the tag. I knew I wanted Tigger to wear at least a sweater vest and maybe a tweed jacket. Nothing screams "professor" to me like a sweater vest and tweed jacket. Stereotyping, I know, but seriously, that's the first thing I think when I see a fella in a sweater vest and tweed jacket.

Plum is not a popular color in men's clothing, so the best I could do was a burgandy sweater vest. That worked out really well, as two aisles over, I found the beige, tweed jacket with a burgandy and black pattern, that I had envisioned. Up by the check out, I found a smart, felt snap-front cap and thus "Professor Plum" was officially outfitted for the party.

But that was not the BEST find of the day.

In my wandering, trying to find the hats/caps, I decided to see if I could find a scrub outfit for my "uniform," so I went down the aisle marked "uniforms," which turned out was a long rack of scrubs. I could see a few white pieces, so I went to them first.

That is when I saw it...a chef's smock!! $3.99! I was beside myself! I sqealed so loud all the women, digging through the racks around me, turned to look. It was obviously never worn because it still had the manufacturer's zip tag on it. It looked as if it had been purchased and thrown into someone's trunk, who eventually scooped it up into a donation bag. My gain!! Not only is it an offical chef's smock, it bears the Culinard crest. Culinard is a professional culinary arts school based in Birmingham. Graduates head kitchens all over the country.

I was really excited about my find, and black scrub pants complete the look.

Until...Madame Estate Manager showed me what she was wearing. Needless to say, my place on the staff is clear =/

Her dad agreed to play "Mr. Body" and also lent us the teaching skeleton from his office.

The two Mr. Bodys.

Needless to say, everyone had a good time with the deceased"Mr. Body."

Pictures to follow.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Open Letter to My Children.

This is not what I had intended on posting today, but given some discussions I've been involved in the last few days, I just could not ignore this topic.

There has been a great deal in the news about bullies and the senseless suicides that have followed. Most recent is the story of a New Jersey college student who lept to his death after a video of an intimate moment with another student was brought to light.

Miss Sally, my third grade teacher, who I have had the good fortune to be in contact with again, thanks to Facebook, posted this blog link today and after reading it, I felt compelled to share it.

The writer is a Vicky Bell and the post is entitled " Letter To My Daughter (in the wake of senseless tradgedy)"

Powerful stuff

That has prompted me to share my own thoughts to my children:

They need to be secure in themselves to be better equipped to handle the cold, cruel world.

I do think that children need to learn that real life is not "upward." It's not fair or even and you have to work for the things you have and people will walk all over you if you let them. Mommy and Daddy are there when you are a child, not to remove all the stumbling blocks, but to make sure you learn how to get up and dust yourself off after you fall.

You know I spent time in therapy after my abusive first marriage (talk about bully!) My therapist told me that bullies have an unquenchable desire to feel better about themselves and will pick on those that either they view as weaker (to show superiority) or possess something they are jealous of (in an attempt to bring the victim down to their level.) It is usually as a result of being bullied as well (apparently it all trickles down for the same reasons).

Focusing on knowing I'm the best "me" I can be;

Knowing you can't have winning without losing, but being last still means you tried;

Knowing that when people "talk smack" about me, it's because they are secretly jealous of something I posses that they want for themselves, or they want to feel better about themselves by trying to tear me down;

Being happy for the things that I have rather than pining for things I don't have is a lot less stressful;

Someone will always be smarter, richer, prettier, thinner, blonder, tanner, fitter, etc...than me, and they could still have the most crappy life imaginable.

People will talk about you, regardless of what you do. So why waste your energy? The harder you fight, the more they will talk. When YOU know the truth, that is all that matters. Live to the contrary of what is said, and other will see the truth too. When they see they can't shake you, it will stop.

I hope that I've equipped you to stand on your own two feet out in the real world.

To be stronger.

Stronger that the peers that expect you to prey on the weak. Stronger than those who feel suicide is the answer

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How Smooth Is That?

Because Kit-Kat has been working feverishly on a research paper due tomorrow ( doncha miss 9th grade?) I was unable to get on the computer yesterday, so I've missed my"blogging every day" =(

Today, I wanted to share with everyone the coolest thing I've seen in a while.

This is a painting of a photo of the owners of my company.

The detail is fantastic and as soon as I can remember where the original photograph is, I will post it too so you can compare.

The other thing that is really smooth about this painting is that it is painted entirely with...


So you are looking at a painting of the owners of a coffee company, sitting on bags of coffee, painted with coffee!

It was presented to the company at our annual sales meeting that I could not attend for personal reasons. As soon as I get more details I will add them here.

I thought that it was too smooth not to share.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Great TV Parents Go On In

I feel as if member of my family have passed on!

Two great TV parents , Barbara Billingsly (June Cleaver) and Tom Bosely (Howard Cunningham) have gone on to their Great Reward this week.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Power To Change The Country Is In Our Hands

With mid-term elections a mere two weeks away, I thought I'd dedicate this post to the importance of registering and voting.

The local morning news team mentioned a valuable resource to help me and fellow Alabamians with this years voting selections. Alabama Votes is a useful website that assists voters with everything from how to register, how to locate a polling place to seeing the sample ballot. You can even see the campaign contributions of the candidates.

While I know this does very little to help those of you in other states, a quick trip to Google will help you locate the (dot) gov voting website for your state, where you can access similar information.

Take the time NOW to research the candidates and their platforms to make the best possible choice. Those who DON'T vote have no room to complain when things start to roll down Capitol Hill.

Remember the power to change our country is in our own hands.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Apparently Fall is having trouble overtaking Summer here in Alabama.

We had to sleep with the heat on last night because it was in the high 30's .It's well into the 70's outside right now and we had to turn on the air conditioner.

Tigger is listening to his new Hawk Nelson cd, Kit-Kat is in her room on the phone, Darling Hubby is watching pro-football (big surprise) and as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go back to reading the novel I bought at the dollar store yesterday.

I love lazy Sundays

You En-JOY yours too =)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

WHAT Was I Thinking?!

I have agreed to chaperone several teenagers to an all day open air alternative Christian music festival known as Youthquake.

What was I thinking?

Details to follow

Friday, October 15, 2010


I'm so excited (and a little bit nervous) that I will once again get to take the field, twirling with a majorette squad at Homecoming.

Ten alumni majorettes get to perform in the pregame show, to "A Train," and our fight song medley "Roll Greenwave/ Horse." Okay, not the real "Horse" and abreviated version we call "Pony." Several alumni band members will be on hand to play along.

But we will not just be there to relive our glory days. We will also have a donation table, as well as circulate in the stands to raise donations to benefit the band program.

This is the second year I have participated on the alumni squad. I enjoy the comraderie as much as the actual performing. We always have a great time when we get together. I am blessed to call these ladies my friends.

Here is a picture of the 2009 Alumni Majorettes. That's me on the first row, far right. My baton teacher is on the first row far left. No really, that's her. This photo also includes three of my former squad mates (and one of their daughters!)

Pictures of the 2010 squad soon to come.

UPDATE: Here I am waiting on the sideline for the show to start.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Shaping Young Minds

Today at work we hosted the business club of a local high school. They were there to tour the plant and learn about what various people and departments do, and how they all work together. Several department managers spoke and discussed how long they had been with the company, where they went to collegd, what their first jobs were and what they do every day.

One student was very inquisitive and asked lots of questions. That caught all of us off guard because the teacher/sponsor told us they probably would not. She kinda reminded me of Tracy Flick. During the break, this young lady identified herself as the president of the club. I was not surprised.

I spoke about customer service. I think mine might have been the easiest, because when you think of it, most high school student is first jobs are serving the public. I was a little intimidated, despite my public speaking experience, and completely forgot to mention that I would be at my job for 20 years February 2011. Because we are the company's call center, the only question I got was how we handle prank calls.

I think I had bored them but was glad to have plenty of coffee and donuts, which everyone tanked up on at the break. Then

I did try to leave them with some sage advice that I had learned from my grandfather, a grocer. I remember coming across the sign in the basement in my grandparent's home, and though I didn't realize it's importance at the time, it's wisdom has been with me ever since.

The Customer Pays Our Bills

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Triumph Over Tradgedy!

After 69 days in a dark, grimey, hole in the ground, 33 Chilean copper miners are finally being rescued. As I write this, number 17 has just been pulled up to safety.

The whole world has watched with rapt attention, the plight of the 33 men, trapped by a cave in on August 5th.

Their survival and rescue is absolutely amazing, a feat these men openly attribute to God.

When the American drilling team known as Plan B reached the shelter a week ago, efforts began to extract the men in a safe manner. Doctors helped to determine the order that the men would be rescued, starting with the fittest, due to the stress of the ascent.

Last night, as the first miner surfaced, I cried.

I was reminded of another rescue that captured world-wide attention, that of toddler Jessica McClure. I remember crying then too.

Nothing like the triumph of the human spirt and the merciful Lord who oversees it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reality Check

I'm beginning to think that people are running out of things to put on t.v. No one has any original ideas anymore, hence all the remakes of old sitcoms, cop shows, shows based on movies, and all the blasted reality shows (come on CBS, admit it, you are running out of jungles) where you can see people at their worst and creative editting at it's best.

But as much as I hate to admit it, there is just some reality t.v. that I love. Biggest Loser is, hands down, my favorite t.v show, reality or otherwise. Though I missed the very first season, I haven't missed another since.

I empathize with those who have no control over their food addition. Those who stand, powerless, over a maxed out scale,with no apparent hope in sight. I feel for the parent who has to weigh a strict family budget against eating right, because it's cheaper to eat junk. I've stood in the shoes of the hypertensive, diabetic, with sleep apnea, taking a handful of pills every day to control the rebelious body they are living inside, struggling to get out of.

I cry when I watch their stories of how they felt they went from once normal to overweight and lost their confidence. I cry when I watch their stories of how they had alway been overweight and never had confidence. I cry with their triumphs and their tradgedies.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Who Said You Can't Go Home Again?

It is Homecoming week at dear old Leeds High School.

Only there is a new Leeds High School that they built in the last two years, so it's not really "dear old LHS" anymore. They are still using the original football stadium, where my dad ran down the field wearing #55, my aunt cheered, my little brother drummed his heart out. And I twirled, marching down the 5o yard line. It's home.

This is the week when all the alumni are supposed to come enjoy the game, have a parade and crown a pretty girl to reign over it all. Part of the festivities will be a performance of the alumni band, and for the second year now, the alumni majorettes. I am very excited and proud to be a part of this group.

I began twirling at young age. I really loved the sport and skill. I was a majorette for LHS from 1983 until 1985, the year I was captain. In my opinion, it's the only thing I've really been good at. No sense letting that talent go to waste. Apparently, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Last year, the group ranged from classes of 1967 to 2007. Fourteen ladies led the band into the stadium and strutted their stuff. This year, ten ladies will be twirling. Just like last year, will also be raising money for the LHS band program.

For about an hour, I will get to feel like I'm 17 again.

Who says you can't go home again?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

It's Only A Game, Right...Not in Alabama!

I am a life long Alabamian.

In Alabama, nearly everyone falls into one of two categories: Auburn Tiger or Alabama crimson tide. Oh, there are plenty of other universities and colleges in Alabama, but you will rarely hear of them.

It is the first thing you learn about someone you meet here and we are particulary blunt about it. One's response sets the tone for the entire relationship from that point forward. It becomes the excuse for hard luck, rudeness, mischief, crime, the list goes on and on.

"You will have to excuse poor ole Bubba, he pulls for Alabama, ya know."

Heaven forbid you should be a natural born Alabamian and pull for someone else. We can deal with the transplants, they can't help themselves, but for someone to be raised in the great state of Alabama the Beautiful and not chose a side is just short of heresy.

The answer no one seems to be able to handle is the "I don't follow football."

As with any true in-state rivalry, you pull for one and whomever is playing the other.

As you may know, life has been unbearable for half the state since the crimson tide won the BCS National Championship back in January. The posturning and pontification of the fans is nauseating. One would think they arranged a Middle East peace treaty or something. This attitude earned them the top spot on another poll.

It was time for a little humble pie and it looks like South Carolina has served it up with their 35-21 victory over the #1 team in the nation.

Now I've been chastised for not rooting for the "home state team" in other games. That makes about as much sense as rooting for the criminals because we have prison in our state. My question is why should I? Oh yeah, I hear the whole "we'd root for you" arguement, but for the most part, that's a lie. I mean this rivalry is so fierce, they are almost willing to kill over it. (As a matter of fact, I'm not certain Auburn fans are part of that problem.)

Personally, I could really care less who is playing whom, as long as they are not playing Auburn. I am for Auburn and no one else.

Yeah, I've posed as both a Miami fan and a Texas fan, but only to rile the Tide fans in my life. It was all in good fun. It is, after all, just a game.

I was raised an Auburn fan, much like I was raised Baptist. I've known nothing else, though I will say, I see nothing on the other side that would make me want to switch either.

The double talk is amazing. They are eating humble pie, but talking with their mouths full, spitting all over everyone. "It's only one loss!" Auburn will get theirs next week with Arkansas" "Nobody unranked Kentucky almost beat you" "You're just jealous because you are not national champs." "Why do the Auburn fans have to make such a big deal out of this?" I'll tell you why. Because champions should be not be arrogant. They should act with humility and tact. Yeah, it was "only one loss", but it was enough to knock them down from #1 to #8. Behind the undefeated Auburn team, who is #7.

It might only be for a week, but I say, EnJOY the view!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

25TH High School Reunion...Sorta

Tonight is my 25th high school reunion...well, sort of.

There is a reunion tonight, in my 25th year out of high school. It's actually a party of people who graduated from my high school, from all different years.

My actual classmates seem to have a problem reuning. We've only had one "successful" reunion, our 15th. I don't know what made that year different from all the others but we haven't had an actual reunion since. There is a small group of my classmates, about 8 of us, that started getting together once a month for dinner. We really have a blast, and these mini-reunions sparked not only a romance, but a marriage! But when it comes to actual reunions, we kinda glom onto the other classes, (who seem to be having the same problem lately) pool our money and have a multi-class reunion instead.

It's actually more fun to me this way. I had a diverse group of friends, from a wide range of ages. Having been in the band, I spent a great deal of time with people ranging from the class of 1982 all the way up to class of 1988, before I graduated in 1985.

Tonight promises to be great fun! We are having a block party and have blocked off a block near our historic railway depot (which is now an event center). I've got a great new outfit. My darling hubby may be late. The reunion was obviously arranged by the Bama fans because it happens to be right smack in the middle of the Auburn/Kentucky game =( but he promises to be along as soon as he can.

I'll post pics later....
UPDATE 10/13/10

Okay, so this is the only pic so far...That's me in the multicolored tunic and gray leggings shuffling my best "Cupid Shuffle" with my classmates. I really thought I had looked cute with my trendy outfit and kickin' shoes...until I saw this picture. No, I swear, I'm not pregnant.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sorry, I Left My Mind Reading Hat At Home

Since I missed blogging yesterday, I thought I'd make up for it today by posting two =)

I work in customer service. I'm staring down nearly 30 years in customer service, the last 20 with my current employer.

Customer service is kinda in my blood. I knew from a very, very young age that "the customer pays our bills," thanks to a sign from my grandfather's store, that my grandmother had kept in her basement. He had instlled this idea in my mother, who once went to apply for a job as a clerk in a department store and wound up working at the bank next door. She eventually worked her way up to VP before retiring. And of course, this value was trickled down to me. Aside from baton twirling, it's the only thing I've ever felt that I was good at.

I really think having served customers in one capacity or another, has made me a better customer. I answer questions asked of me, I provide basic information willingly, heck, I'll demonstrate my twirling talent if I thought it would help me get assistance. I always willingly passed over my i.d. for checks, refunds, alcohol, even before being asked. I try to be cheerful and share kind words and speak respectfully to whomever is helping me. Because I knew, that for every easy customer like me, there were two jerks before me and two jerks after me.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm no push-over. I KNOW how a customer is to be treated as well, so when I recieve bad customer service (or customer service) I know exactly how to go about reporting just that.

As for my own job, part of relaying information from our customers to their representatives is gathering certain information. I am always amazed that a customer, calling for assistance, does not feel the need to give said information to help that process along. As a matter of fact, every now and then I have people reluctant to provide a phone number for me to access their account or have the rep to return the call.

Seriously people, if I were Kreskin, I wouldn't be working here.

I do not think that many people understand that sometimes they need to help me, to help them.

Here are some common responses I receive as a result of my information gathering:

"I've been a customer for xyz number of years"
That very well may be true, but that does not mean that I know who you are or what your account might be. Even customers that I have been talking to for all 20 years, sometimes have to remind me of who they are, or who they work for. It's nothing personal. When you take 200 calls each day, it's kinda hard to remember everyone.

"I already gave my phone number when I called earlier"
I don't ever remember my own phone number, do you think I'm going to remember yours?

"He/she knows me and/or who I'm with and/or why I'm calling"
Wanna bet?

"I don't have the confirmation number the CSR gave me last week"
Really? Do you realize how many calls were processed the same day you called? Now multiply that by a week (or maybe actually two). That's how many calls I have to look thru to find out the status of your call. Please don't become impatient and yell as I go thru them.

"My rep's name is John, I don't know, it's just John"
What are the odds we have only one? Heck, we've got 6 guys named Oscar. You do the math.

The list goes on and on.

Yes, I wear many hats in my job: detective, fireman, interpretor, referee, coach.

But try as I might, I always seem to leave my mind reading hat at home.

T. M. I. For the Cause!

"I like it on the bench at the end of the bed, but it usually winds up on the floor"

Okay, before you think OMG...TMI! it's not what you think.

Since last year's "TMI for a cause" ( my term, thank you) Facebook campaign where ladies merely posted the color of their bra became wildly popular breast cancer awareness tool, it looks like they are at it again.

And it's working!

According to an article yesterday (when I had intended on blogging this) on MSNBC, this year's TMI stunt, "Where do you like it?" is causing a buzz. And if you haven't heard about it yet, you soon will.

Now you might ask how "where I like it" leads to breast cancer awareness. It is a simple conversation starter. When your friends ask what you are talking about and why you are sharing such an odd little detail about yourself, you have an opening to discuss breast cancer.

And don't think this is just about women. Men are at risk as well. 1970 cases of breast cancer occur in men and of those cases 390 will die. A man I went to high school died from it just a few years ago. While less likely, Men's breast cancer is more deadly, because many do not seek help when they first notice the symptoms.

Knowlege is power, regardless of how you obtain it.

So, tell us, where do YOU like it?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Had to Share...

Okay, I follow a blog called Ask A Manager and 2 recent posts have me thinking.

One was a link that led to a site featuring a list of company memo's from a now defunct company called Tiger Oil. You will have to read them for yourself. Some don't seem so unusual and some of them are way too funny to be real . I feel sorry for ole "Tiger Mike." I bet if he hadn't spent so much time drafting memos, he might have actually had time to run his company.

The other was today's post (Oct 5,10) about an employee who was not only known to not wash her hands, but actually laughed about it when confronted.

(Pausing a moment to get over the willies)

My feelings on that subject are well documented.

All in all, Ask A Manager's writer Allison Greene, gives good, common sense advice for the business world. I don't always agree with some of it, but I do appreciate and respect her perspective. Check it out and see what you think.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Random Thoughts on Tuesday

Okay, so I'm at a favorite fast food restaurant that my family frequents.

I order food from the speaker box by the car. I'm given a total. I notice under the speaker, that there is a key pad and "swiper" (for lack of a better term) for the customers to pay for their meal with a debit or credit card.

So I swipe my card to pay for my meal.

When my meal arrives, the carhop asks if I "want the copy of the credit card receipt."

Seriously, I can't think of an instance where one's answer would be "No."

(And, in this day and age, if you are saying "no," then you are a brave soul)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Really...Do I Know You?

Like nearly everyone else on the planet, I'm a Facebook junkie. But recently, I've been getting all sorts of friend requests. Mostly, old classmates, former teachers, coworkers past and present, and the like.

Going in, I had decided that I would not "friend" people I did not know. I've had to expand on that a little because how I "know" people seems somewhat expansive.

I have friends that I grew up with, friends I went to school with, friends of the friends I went to school with, friends I've worked with, friends of the friends I work with, my pageant friends and so on.

I've made more than a few folks I know upset by not adding them to my "friends." Sorry about that. Now that Facebook is randomly posting wall-to-wall discussions where everyone can see them, there are a few friends I'd rather not have to explain (or apologize for).

But the most confusing are the people, who I don't even remotely know. Not even friends of friends. Just some random request from random people.

I don't know if these people are out to conquer Facebook or even ensure their Six Degrees of Seperation, but it kinda creeps me out that people who don't know me, might want to know me.

First of all, how do they find me?! I have my privacy settings so strict, one could get into a White House state dinner easier...oh, wait...

Well anyway, one would have to be a "friend of a friend" to even find me. My first thought is usually "Really? Do I know you?"

I got a friend request last week from a gentleman who's limited view profile said he was in Egypt and his name began with "Prince." He started his attached personal message with "I think you are very pretty." Nice opening, but I wasn't biting. I responded "Thank you, Happily Married, Three Children, Not Friending anyone I don't ALREADY KNOW" None of this information detered His Highness, who sent me several more sweet messages before I figured out how to block him.

Trust me, That would be a "friendship" that would have eventually turned into, " father the sheik is in need of help and I need to forward 1 gazillion dollars to someone I trust in the United States. Would you be this person?"

No thanks buddy!

So, for the record, I don't feel the need to friend anyone I don't know. Heck, I barely feel the need to friend those that I do know!


Sunday, October 3, 2010


Okay, I confess. I haven't written in a while. There are many, work, illness, laziness, Starz free movie weekend...the list goes on and on.

But a blog post by April has stoked my creative fire. You will be hearing a lot more from me as I vow, along with April, to post something every day.

I am a little behind on posting. I have quite a bit of new material, but have been a little under the weather and prefer to lounge on the couch and be pitiful.

I know that I have plenty of time today to pound out a page but "Confessions of a Shopaholic" was on. I could watch that movie over and over again. Now "Kate and Leopold"is on, another over and over again favorite. I know, excuses.

What has happened since my last post? Let's see. We survived the weekend with the Home Ec Baby (a.k.a. Baby Think It Over II). I think I fractured another toe. I've slacked on my "gluten free" diet. I got a terrible head cold. Julz got a job at a sea food restaurant, but abhors sea food. Tigger and Miss Mary Mac's relationship is rocking right along as is Kit-Kat and her Matt-man.
Auburn is 5-0, despite two heart-stopping, last minute wins. Bama is also undefeated, and somewhere a foul-mouthed college student from Florida who had a great deal to say two days ago is either in hiding or returning to his parents in a pine box, thanks to those seated in Section 42. (Coincidentally, the state with the most mobile homes is actually California, with 12 million. South Carolina has the most per capita at 20%). We have a high school reunion coming up next week and Homecoming at our alma mater the next, where I will once again, twirl on the field with the rest of the alumni majorettes. (Never, ever pass up the opportunity to feel 17 again!)

So, you can see, I have several things I can write about over the next few weeks.
Now, to find the time.
Right now, I need a shot of Nyquil and a warm Snuggie =)

You enjoy your day, I will enjoy mine


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Have You Forgotten? (Annual Patriot Day Repost)

As we approach Patriot Day, I decided to repost this story from 9/11.
It is said that if you don't pass on history, it will be forgotten
This is something that we should never forget.
I am posting it early this year, to give everyone time to prepare for this important day of remembrance.


Repost, orginally written September 11, 2007

It's September 11th. Patriot Day.

I'm wearing my yellow ribbon and my American Flag pin. I haven't really seen anyone else commemorating the day.

I wonder if everyone's else has forgotten.

I know I won't. Every year the emotion is nearly as fresh and raw as it was watching the non-stop news footage.

And every year, I think of 5 cases of coffee.

I cry when I tell it because the emotions bubble back up, so you are at an advantage reading it, though I am about to cry just typing it.

Krispy Kreme was once a customer of my company and every now and again the buyer would request a few cases of coffee be sent directly to a store.

On September 10, 2001 they requested that I send five cases of coffee to the Krispy Kreme store on the basement level of WTC. I am told this is where the food court was. They had requested Next Day Air, Early A.M. delivery, which is to be delivered by 8:00 a.m.

It stood out to me because the address was simply :
Krispy Kreme
WTC, NY and the zip code.
I thought "Well how cool is that?"

The next morning, as news began to spread of the attack, I immediately thought of those five boxes of coffee and the unsuspecting UPS driver I'd sent to his death.
I prayed for a lot of people that day, but I prayed especially for him.

Over the next several days, I began to think about him quite a bit. Was he married, did he have children, what kind of person would he have been....? Because I would never really know his fate, it started to be too much for me. Every time I saw footage of the dust & debris, I imagined a UPS truck buried beneath it. Though it may sound strange, I felt really guilty, like somehow I was responsible. I cried uncontrollably, nearly daily, over this person I'd never met.

Two weeks went by. My best friend told me that I was going to give it to God and let it go. So I finally prayed that God would give me some peace over it and release me from this guilt I was feeling. I prayed once more for him and his family and "laid it down."

The very next day, our local UPS driver returned the five boxes of Krispy Kreme coffee stamped "UNDELIVERABLE." They looked as good as the day I sent them out and I took their pristine condition as my sign from God that the driver I prayed so diligently over, was okay too.

I know, when I tell this story to my grandchildren some day, I will fight back a tear even then.
I know that, as a nation, to some extent, we should "move on." But I was raised that the first part of getting where you are going, is knowing where you've been.

Never Forget

(dedicated to those who unsuspectingly gave their lives Sept 11, 2001, the people who knew & loved them, and all our military hereos keeping us safe ever since.)

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding

After month's of planning, we finally pulled it off. My best friend's wedding.

Finding the perfect dress...

picking the flowers, the favors, and the cake!

It was absolutely beautiful, despite the torential rain storm 20 minutes before the ceremony, and the bride-to-be/partner in crime/voice of reason/best friend was nothing short of breath-taking. As Honor Attendant Numero Uno (I despise "matron" of honor...makes me sound really old, this title sounds much more fun, doncha think?) I didn't look so bad myself.

The resourceful bride planned and executed the whole event herself, with a little help from me and her mom, and saved some money buy making use of her creative, artistic talents.

I would have to say the most ingenius of our planning was turning this $5 thift store find (formerly a ladies size 16 tea length frock)

into a perfect ankle length flower girl dress,complete with straps made from the surplus fabric.

Mom was in charge of the flower arranging, with the exception of the bouquets, and the rented arch behind us, that the bride had purchased the lights, flowers and greenery to cover herself. There were some heated discussions as to who's vision of wedding decour should be followed ( I thought I was going to need a striped shirt before it was over!) but I am happy to say that the resulting arrangements were quite lovely.

We spent most of Friday and Saturday decorating and fetching and complaining (and shedding a tear or two). The arch had consumed most of our decorating time, causing the bride to have a minor meltdown, when it was discovered that dear old mom had used the greenery we had purchased to cover it in the other arrangements.

I am a list maker. I like to make lists of things to be done, and then check them off as I do them so that there is no question what is done and what is left. Usually, the bride is too. Why we deviated from our usual list-making practice, I do not know. All I know, had it not been for a wedding cake illustration on the balloons I tied to the sign post marking the turn to the church, we'd had all almost forgotten to pick up the bride's cake!

Tigger got to get in date number two with the lovely Miss Mary Mac (aka Honor Attendant #2). Both were more than pleased to pose for this picture.

Everyone looked lovely!

It had been a very popular Saturday to get married. At the same time, my cousin was getting married in a posh affair (12 kidding!) that ended in a swanky country club reception. My grandmother provided me with snapshots and details of what I had missed. She breathlessly estimated what the bride's family must surely have spent. I have to say, while it sounded impressive, I was much more impressed with the simple, elegant affair I had helped to arrange.
When it boils down to it, both couples are just as "married" as the other.