Sunday, April 13, 2014

Masters Weekend

Even when weekends aren't your only break, they still fly by. It's insane. I think all I've managed to do this weekend is two loads of laundry and watch The Masters. I leveled up in Farmville2. Otherwise... I've been fairly immobile, by necessity rather than by choice.

Kitty Smack-down in the Sunshine
I always tell people how hilarious it is that Little Kitty sleeps beside me like a person with his head on the pillow and his body under the blanket. This morning Austin woke up while we were still in bed and he saw it and cracked up. It really is funny. Even funnier that he "pets" me - he takes his paw and pats me on the head. He's such a human little kitty... except when I hold him and then he looks like a Muppet, moving his head in all kind of directions. He is so used to me holding him and taking him out on the porch that when I pick him up near the sliding glass door he starts leaning toward the door handle. He also won't get on my bed once I make it and pile on all the pillows. Once I put half the pillows on the floor and turn back the covers at night, he's right there. During the day he naps beside me in the Nest or on the screened in porch upstairs or on the shelf beside the door where we have a sleeping bag folded up for him to sleep on. Stubby stays in one place all day and night. Eddie sticks pretty much with Mawmaw and Pop unless it's time to eat or poop.

Unfortunately his curiosity got the worst of Little Kitty yesterday and he knocked my digital camera on the floor and broke it. I've had that one since Christmas of 2009 and am SOOOOO BUMMED that it's broken. I literally take my camera everywhere I go. My phone takes pictures but it's not a smart phone so it's complicated to upload them. Mom lent me her camera to use but I'm going to miss my little one.

Book TV hasn't been all that interesting this weekend. I never shared my library list from last week - I read a funny book by a wedding photographer and Mackenzie Phillips autobiography. I am currently reading a biography of Bill O'Reilly (not written by him) and I've still got a book on Ted Turner to read. Mackenzie Phillips' story was really sad - her drug use and the neglect she suffered as a child was really horrendous. I'm not sure I buy everything she says as far as the incest and stuff regarding her father. It made me feel like people who are addicts have absolutely no hope of ever really kicking their addiction. I heard somewhere that drug addicts have only two possible outcomes: jail or death. She was supposedly clean at the time the book was written and I hope that's still the case (but doubt it).

Austin somehow managed to fall asleep last night at 6pm and slept through until this morning. It's unusual having him awake all day.  He typically can't get to sleep until after 4am and then sleeps most of the day. He was feeling productive this morning so he cooked breakfast, cut the grass and built a worm bed for Mawmaw. He really loves working with wood. It was such a horrible ordeal last Summer trying to get him to keep the grass cut but my parents moved the riding lawnmower up here so now, of course, he loves it. I'm hoping that fascination lasts all Summer. My mother cannot STAND for the lawn not to be cut so if Austin doesn't do it she gets out there and does it and she really doesn't need to be cutting the grass in the Georgia Summer heat. Austin has been relatively helpful of late and I'm glad. Less stress for me.

He and Pop made a frame for the raised garden bed so that they can cover it when it gets cool. We've already got stuff growing - had fresh picked radishes on a salad today with lunch. Lots of other plants are growing in pots that we move in and out according to the weather. (I say "we" like I have anything to do with it which is NOT the case!). I think they're building another raised bed. The worm bed will go down near the dock so that bait is readily available for the fisher-people. I told Austin that my granddaddy used to have a worm farm and would sell bait to local folks who would come by. He had his worms in an old refrigerator lying on it's side in his shed and fed them Purina Worm Chow. True story.

Tonight is the season premiere of the last season of Mad Men. Since I just started watching it a few months ago, I haven't had the long period of suspense that most people have had. They're going to run seven episodes now and in a year run seven more episodes which is weird to me but.... whatever. I'm looking forward to watching it tonight. I haven't seen most of the last season because it wasn't available on Netflix yet so I'm not entirely caught up on things. Still will enjoy watching.

And that's pretty much the story of my weekend. Love and hugs, y'all.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Happy Sibling Day

Awkward Family Photo
Yesterday my Facebook feed was full of sibling photos celebrating National Sibling Day. First of all... I didn't know there was such a thing... and secondly... between reading and playing Farmville2 and working on my Great-Grandmother Ward's branch of the family tree I didn't find time to pay homage to my siblings. I'm a day late and a dollar short but what's new?

There were (are) five of us kids in my family. I was the only girl. There are times that I miss having a sister but honestly, I had a lot of great friends in childhood who were like sisters to me and I never felt like I was missing out.. I've got more cousins than anyone has a right to and some of them are like sisters to me. And I ended up with a really awesome sister-in-law who is more of a sister to me than a birth sister could have been. Ultimately I believe I was meant to be an only girl. It suits me.

March 2006 - Bryan, me, Michael, Pop, Jim, Mom, David
I had to get in the way-back machine to find a picture of all five siblings together. One brother doesn't do holidays for religious reasons and one just doesn't do holidays with us. I've got a lot of pictures of two or three of us but we haven't all been together since 2006. I would say that we probably won't all be together again until somebody dies but to be honest, I doubt we'll even all be together then. There's always one who can't be there - even for important stuff - for one reason or another.

Me, Jim and either Patches or Calico (I can't tell)
My brother Jim was born June 8, 1966. He is a junior - James Edward. Through childhood he went by Jimmy but as an adult most people call him Jim. I call him Bubba and my kids call him Uncle Bubba. Jim and I were only 22 months apart and were best buds growing up. We hung out with the same kids and he never pushed me away. I'd like to think I wasn't an annoying little sister but I was probably *a little* annoying. I don't remember us ever having a cross word with each other except for this one time when I was about sixteen and he picked me up from work and fussed at me about something. I was heartbroken. I was more heartbroken when he left for college. I genuinely grieved him going away. He attended Truett McConnell College here in Cleveland for two years and then went to Berry College in Rome, Georgia. He married Angie in 1994 and they moved up here to White County a year or two later. He is a Pastor and Counselor and is working on his doctorate. His girls are Sarabeth and Jamie, the daughters I never had. He's tall - he might be the tallest of all of us. As a kid he was the quiet one. One teacher who taught us both signed my yearbook by saying, "never would I have guessed you to be the sister of Jimmy" because he was quiet and reserved and I was... not.

I was born on April 29, 1968. For seven years it was just me and Jim and then on June 27, 1975 we were joined by John Michael - who goes by Michael. Michael was a sickly baby and sort of - well, high maintenance. He has a beautiful singing voice (my brothers all do) and was involved in a lot of artsy stuff in school. When Michael was three he set my bed on fire. My granddaddy was in the hospital and my mom was with him while my dad was "watching" us kids. There were matches on my dresser from a power outage a few days prior and he lit one and tossed it on my bed. It burned a few things in my room but did relatively little damage. It's just one of those seminal things in childhood that stick with you. At 21 years old Michael married Mechelle and moved to Chattanooga and has lived there ever since. Although his religion precludes him from being able to participate in holiday gatherings, he makes sure to visit several times a year. He has a daughter, Tiffany who has two sons, Ethan and Adrian. He has two sons, Cory and Matthew who always act like they're not sure how to take me. He works for Blue Cross/Blue Shield but I don't know exactly what he does.

Bryan protesting in the background 
Bryan Daniel was born on August 31, 1978. He is the only one of us with red hair and the family joke is that our mailman at the time had red hair. Then Sarabeth and Jamie came with red hair and... apparently it's in our DNA somewhere. All of us were characters but Bryan was more dedicated to his than anyone else. He used to dress as a cat and purr and want to take his meals on the floor. He was the least comfortable with change - once a tree was cut down in the front yard and he was NOT HAPPY about it. He is the one who protested me laying out in the backyard as a teenager because I was in the place he wanted to play - I mean, full on Occupy Wall Street protesting with signs and marching and all that. He went to Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina and was active in theatre - he and I are the most "theatrical" of all the siblings. He went to the University of Chicago Law School and moved to New York City after graduation where he has lived for the past - ten years, almost, I think? Bryan and his girlfriend Candice have been together almost as long. They have a cat named Shadow that is their fur-child.

Jim and Angie's wedding - 1994
L-R: David, Bryan, Michael, Angie, Jim, Mom, Pop, Grandma Leta, Grandma Pennington, my kids dad, Me

My kids are in front - Cody, Ryan and I'm holding Austin

Four days after my 14th birthday Stephen David joined our family on May 3, 1982. He was an adorably annoying child, full of life and personality. Despite our age difference we were close and spent a lot of time together, especially when he was a teenager. David participated in local theatre productions and through theatre he became involved in ballet. There were only four years between David and my oldest son so they looked up to him as more of an older brother than an uncle. He made ballet look cool enough that my kids wanted to do it - and they did for several years. David met Katherine while dancing with Ballet Memphis and they married in 2002. She had Elizabeth from a previous relationship and together they have Caleb, Madeleine and Joshua. Although they live relatively close to us in Acworth, Georgia, we very rarely see them. As much as I grieve not being able to play an active role in the lives of his kids, I have hope that one day they will come to know us. There were several of my aunts, uncles and cousins that I didn't know well when I was younger that I have gotten to know through the wonder of social media. I pray this will be the case for my missing nieces and nephews as well. David is almost as tall as Jim and - like Jim - is talented with woodworking.

And that's us. Last group photo was taken last Christmas Eve

This morning my mom and I went on a shopping spree at Belk's. I got a gorgeous dress, some capris and new bras. Mom got a LOT of stuff. It was fun to get out and one of the benefits of being the only daughter! I've had a headache since yesterday - in the back of my head which is really weird - and I've got an earache. I think it's just a pollen/allergy thing. Shopping wore me out and I haven't wanted to move since I got home. Pop had a shopping spree of his own this morning at Lowe's with my brother Jim. Jim has a truck so he and Pop went and picked up a lot of materials for the yard. My parents have spent a fortune on landscaping this Spring but the yard is looking great and we have some spring veggies that are doing well in the garden already. There are some ripe radishes that I'm having to force myself not to eat. They're calling for me.

Anyways. Hope you enjoyed getting to know my siblings. Happy Belated Sibling Day and Happy Weekend! Love and hugs, y'all.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Pictures and Words. Pictures and Words.

What happens when park illegally beside a fire hydrant
Yesterday the Kid had an appointment at Vocational Rehab at 9am. Because he is my child and my father's grandchild, he wanted to leave the house by 8:30 for a ten minute drive which put us there crazy early but... eh... better to be early than late. If you're not fifteen minutes early you're late. 

I also can't drive the car if it's below 1/4 tank of gas. Just can't stand it.

Anyways... he was supposed to take the Compass test yesterday for admission to Technical College but they told him to hold off because there was some confusion about what he needed to do. I don't know.  I do with him as I've done with all my kids - I let them handle their own business. If they ask for my help or my opinion, I'm glad to get involved. I wasn't in his meeting yesterday so I'm not sure exactly what they said. 

Kitty stealing grapes
He's funny though... he can be so smart about somethings but he struggles so much with empathy. His meeting yesterday was to introduce him to new technology that's available for him when he does go to school and for help in getting a job. He was aggravated because the lady was showing him things he already knew. I said, "did you tell her you knew those things?" Um. No. Typical Asperger's failure to connect the dots. If she doesn't know you know... He says that he's smart and they should know that he knows. I said, "well, I have above average intelligence and I don't know how to work your phone". That seemed to help him understand that they weren't insulting him, they just didn't want to assume he knew stuff in case he didn't know. 

Cleveland, Georgia Library - dogwoods in bloom
While he was in his meeting I ran to Mickey D's to get my half and half sweet tea (half sweet, half unsweet - the tea is SO sweet that uncut it's like drinking syrup). It's not that I'm so crazy about the tea as I am the sturdy styrofoam cup. I reuse those cups for a week or more. I went to the bank to cash a refund check from my insurance. I went to the library. I went to the tag office and got my renewal (since my birthday is in 19 days!). All of those things and I was back at the Voc Rehab office in thirty minutes. Another reason to love my small town - running errands is SO easy. No traffic. No lines. I walked right in the tag office and didn't have to wait. I did have to wait on Austin but I had new library books to read! 

The weather yesterday and today is close to perfect, minus the pollen. I have mild allergies. I'm congested year round because of the COPD but pollen makes it a little bit worse. 

Got one!
My adorable niece Jamie hung out with me for a little while Tuesday afternoon. The night before she had a basketball game where she had to take her first foul shots. She missed the first but got the second one! She was so funny telling me about it. 

James: So do you want to know about my foul shot? 
Aunt Heather: YES! 
James: I was SO mad that I got fouled.
Aunt Heather: Did she hurt you?
James: No. I just didn't want to have to take a shot with all those people staring at me! 

She is SO her Aunt Heather's girl! Stars in her class musical, sings a  solo - performs in a talent show - no sweat. Having to do something athletic with people watching her - MORTIFIED! She loves basketball. Both girls do. Sarabeth is really good and she's built for basketball - tall and lean. 

My Aunt Claire is having surgery today. She's had a couple of months of chemo now they're going in to remove the cancer and will determine how much more treatment she needs. Keep her in your prayers! Pop is going down there so he can take Grandma to the hospital to wait during surgery. Ninety years old and she has to be there for her "little girl". 

More random pictures: 
Can't remember if I shared this... my aunt and uncle's new cabin on the lake

My friend Joey (remember Joey?) sent me this picture of him "tightening his corset". Ha! He's so pretty. 

I love watching The Five. Here Dana Perino's dog Jasper is celebrating his 2nd birthday. It's sort of a running joke on there that Dana talks about her dog Jasper ALL the time. 

Jasper wants to eat his cake. Unfortunately the cake was for people only. So unfair! 

Cats and Geese

They literally come right up to the porch. The backyard is covered in goose poop. 

And that's what's new around here today. Love and hugs, y'all. 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tuesday with the Kitties

Not much to blog about today but when has that ever stopped me? We can chat about the weather, the cats, my kid, what I've been eating, what's on tv... I mean, life goes on, doesn't it?

Austin has a pitiful case of poison oak. It's spreading and he's miserable. Not miserable enough to take my suggestions of using calamine lotion liberally, taking benadryl to help with the itching and soaking in an oatmeal bath. He's terribly contrary so anything I suggest CAN'T be correct. And so he suffers...

It rained enough to turn the lake muddy over the past two days but the sun is bright today.

Loves when the laptop is not in my lap!
Pop made salmon patties with mashed potatoes and collard greens for dinner on Sunday night. Best... meal... ever! Last night's chili was a close second. I'm trying, honest I am, to make better choices on what I eat, my snacks and so forth. I still have that deadly Little Debbie addiction and I've had more than my share of jelly belly jelly beans over the past week but I have been trying to focus on a more balanced diet. I'm addicted to dried mango and I love black grapes. The only problem with grapes is Little Kitty loves to play Produce Soccer with them. He pulls them out of my dish and then chases them all over the place. I keep finding grapes in various stages of decomposition in random places.
Mother Goose and Father Goose outside my door this morning

Mother Goose and Father Goose have been visiting frequently. I keep hoping so see some goslings soon. These geese are huge and they walk right up to the porch and don't startle easily.
I gave Austin another stab at driving the other day. He did better but ... man... it's not a job for someone with a bad back. I'm tempted to invite his father up for a weekend to have a crash course in driving. Pun not intended but appropriate.

The damp weather did a number on my arthritis. I had to have Austin help me out of the car yesterday. I just can't move like I need to sometimes.

My oldest is in Auburn Alabama right now. Or he was yesterday. He gets around quite a bit. I asked if his return trip was going to bring him through Georgia and he answered with "possibly"... which means "no but I don't want to tell you that right now". Ha. I speak the language of my kids quite fluently.

Little Kitty trying to get Stubby to play with him
It's amazing how much I am loving the little magnifying glasses I bought at Walmart for $5.88 the other day. Makes reading SO much more pleasurable without eye strain. I'm sure an optometrist could do wonders for me but that isn't in the budget for now. One day... one day.

I was disappointed in the outcome of the NCAA tournament. Once Florida got booted I would have been happy for Kentucky to win as I have followed them for years. No such luck. Que sera.

I haven't seen my girls in almost two weeks. They had Spring Break last week and went to New Orleans to visit some friends and so my brother could attend class. He's working on his doctorate at the seminary there. But the girls will be here this afternoon and we can finish up High School Musical 3 and maybe start one of the other movies I've recorded for them. I've got the other High School Musicals, the Muppet Movie (from 2011) and Tangled lined up for us.

Little Kitty has been even more affectionate than usual so I've gotten some adorable (to me) pictures of him lately. He goes exploring every now and then and does a daily inspection to make sure everything is where it's supposed to be... if anything is out of place he stands by it and does his soft little cry until everything is back in it's right place... but most of the time he's right beside me. I'm not sure he moved from the bed the whole time I was sleeping last night - when I woke up he was in the exact same position he was when I fell asleep. I was quite enjoying a good book until he plopped his furry butt right in the middle of it. He does this every night when he's ready to go to sleep. It doesn't matter where the book is - I can even be holding it up - and he will insinuate himself between me and the book. I just take that as a sign that it's time to go to sleep and so I do.

I'm sleeping fairly well lately - about six or seven hours a night. I'd like to sleep more but after that point I'm usually quite uncomfortable. I'm taking half an ambien to get to sleep... I'd love to not need any but that isn't working out so I'm just grateful I was able to reduce the amount.

Checking out the jelly beans

All three kitties hanging out with me

Checking out my goldfish
Anyways... so that's a whole long blog entry about nothing at all! Happy Tuesday! Hope you enjoy the pictures of the kitties!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Book TV Saturday

I've spent my Saturday binge watching CSpan Book TV. I'm sure that makes me some extra special kind of nerd but I really enjoy it. For those of you (all of you) who have never watched Book TV it's a continuous feed of book fairs and festivals with interviews of authors and usually a good preview of the content of the book. It's like Cliff Notes TV. The only thing I like better than Book TV is CSpan3, History TV which shows all kind of history lectures and tours. Our current satellite package doesn't include CSpan3 so I spend my weekends watching Book TV. When I'm not watching PBS. Or sports - I'm currently watching the NCAA Men's Basketball Semi-Final and the Gators are losing.

Anyways... today they have featured some great books and I thought I'd share a few of them with you so that you can benefit from my hours and hours of viewing (while playing Farmville2).

Homestead: Modern Pioneers Pursuing the Edge of Possibility by Jane Kirkpatrick. This is the story of a couple who moved to a really remote location in Eastern Oregon (I didn't know Oregon had really remote places but apparently they do). They went through a lot of hardship trying to get settled including having to install their own phone lines over something like six miles of terrain and being involved in a plane crash. They discovered - what I have discovered here - that in small towns people look out for each other. I would love to read her book but it's out of my price range so we'll be looking for this one at the library.

Bong Hits 4 Jesus. That's right. I said, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus". The Olympic torch for the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (2002, I think?) came through the town of Juneau, Alaska. The local school system let the kids out of school that day so they could line the route, part of which went right by the local high school. A group of kids, as a prank, held up a sign across the street from the school that said, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus" (because you just can't say that phrase enough!). Their high school principal crossed the street to tell them to put the sign away and everyone scattered except one kid. She hauled the kid into her office and gave him a thirty day suspension for holding up the sign - he maintains that he was expressing his 1st Amendment rights and was not on school property. The book tells the story of the battle (apparently it went far beyond suspension) over the sign that said, (one more time...) "BONG HITS 4 JESUS!" I think everyone needs to put this on their reading list just so they can also get the joy of saying... ah, never mind.

I don't know how I had never heard of Eric Metaxas because after listening to his interview about the book, 7 Men And The Secret Of Their Greatness, I want to read everything he has written, ever. I bought the cheapest book he had out there, "No Pressure, Mr. President" about giving the keynote speech at the National Prayer Breakfast a few years back. I was impressed by how he wanted to make the most of that opportunity without being insulting to the President. Because I gotta tell ya, if I had the opportunity I might not be so graceful. Or I might avoid confrontation because that's more like me. Anyways. I'll let you know more about the book after I read it. And I'll be looking for the one featured in his interview - which I think is a series of biographical info on seven great men, right up my alley - the biographical thing, not seven great men... because if I had a great man, I wouldn't be watching Book TV all weekend, would I? It's like reading about unicorns. Or Veggie Tales. This guy writes a lot of the Veggie Tales stories and was the Narrator in the Esther story on Veggie Tales, for those of you who have much experience with Veggie Tales.

The highlight of the day for me, however, was seeing Dana Perino interview Greg Gutfeld about his new book, Not Cool. Seriously... I adore Greg Gutfeld so much that I actually follow his wife's instagram. I'm a hardcore internet stalker where he is concerned. Not because I crush on him - I don't - but because he is so funny that I want him to be my gay best friend. But he's straight. And Dana and I would be BFF's because we share a mutual admiration for George W. Bush. She interviewed Greg at the Bush Library and it was just all the things I love about The Five, only it was just two and it didn't have all those Wounded Warrior commercials every five minutes. Big bonus of Book TV: NO COMMERCIALS! So far I haven't found any of Greg Gutfeld's books at our local library and he's a bestseller so his prices don't drop like a rock like most of the books I can afford to read. The Greg Gutfeld interview was so awesome that I'm not even bummed that Florida lost.

In other news... Purple Michael married his long time partner, Ross today. They just had a private, quiet thing and will have a reception later this year. I've never loved anyone like I love my Michael - it's not romantic and it's not maternal - he's just a person that my heart knew, very early on, that I was meant to love and learn from him for as long as our paths intertwined. There's this huge sense of peace in my heart that he has the love he always dreamed of. I can't even think about it in political terms or religious terms - I just know that somebody I love is loved and that makes me happy.

I ordered my "Summer wardrobe" from zulily today - two dresses, two skirts and a top. Very excited!

Also, we got floodlights for our VERY DARK backyard and it's so bright back there now that you could land a plane and/or do surgery. You can see all the way to the dock! You can also make really huge shadows. Of course we will only use those lights when we're actually outside after dark.

That was my Saturday. Hope yours was lovely as well. Love and hugs.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Linking Up With The Catholic Mommies

Linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year (because I need blog fodder and because it's fun) for this award thingy that I don't really get. I love my Catholic Mommy Bloggers because they have such a dedication and reverence for motherhood and they're all really sweet ladies who respond to comments. I'm so fascinated by how other people live - that's what I love most about blog-reading. You should also check out Grace, Hafsa, Dwija and Bonnie - my other favorite Catholic Mommies. 

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?

Cleveland, Georgia. My brother went to college here and we sort of fell in love with the area then. He moved here in his early twenties. It took a lot of twists and turns and a failed marriage for me to get here but I can't imagine living anywhere else. This is the kind of place where people hold doors for you, road rage is rare, there's hardly ever any traffic (except for around the square in Cleveland and at the 4 way stop when the Shriners collect). People smile at you and shop keepers remember you and appreciate your business. 
2. What are you currently watching and/or reading?

I'm currently reading a very long, thick, book about Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip. It's interesting but seems like I'm never going to finish it. I watch a lot of How I Met Your Mother and Grey's Anatomy during the week and I'm obsessed with CSpan Book TV on the weekends. 
3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I'm not. Both of my husbands were raised Catholic but only the second one was a practicing Catholic. We were married by a priest in Las Vegas and the marriage only lasted 14 months so... there's that. My aunt and uncle are Catholic. His mother lived in Rome and they still own property there. I was born Presbyterian and raised Baptist. I identify most closely with the Baptist faith but mainly I consider myself a follower of Christ, regardless of denomination. 
4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

I'm going to adapt this question to my own spirituality. I was raised in church but was an adult before I really came across people who had more of a relationship with Christ. As a kid/teen He seemed to be a historical figure that we learned about and talked to but didn't really KNOW. I learned and yearned to make Him a part of everything I do, not just someone I "visited" on weekends. This is another reason why I love the Catholic Mommy Bloggers (such as Kendra) because they live their faith every day. That's precious to me. 
5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

I'm not much of a shoe person to start with and my back problems make it hard for me to wear anything that isn't low heeled and comfy, preferably non-skid. That being said... I've got a couple of pairs of flip flops, my favorite Gator crocs, Sketcher Mary Janes that I wear ALL the time, some good tennis shoes and probably a dozen pair of dress shoes that never get worn. 
6. Are you a good dancer?

One of my sons once said to me, "Mom, don't dance, you'll ruin the song". Does that tell you anything?
7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

No husband so it would be me. Neither of my husbands ever rode with me that I can remember. I generally prefer to drive because I'm a nervous passenger. 
8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Thanksgiving because it's all the family with none of the stress of gift-giving and receiving. We've evolved to a sort of different Thanksgiving over the past decade as kids have gotten older and my back has narrowed my world. I prefer a big family gathering with more food than you can possibly eat. Hopefully we'll have Thanksgiving here this year - last year I spent the day mostly alone. 
9. Which is correct? Left or right?

Left but for me, if I manage to get the roll on the holder then I'm doing good.

10. Do you have any scars?

A big Harry Potter scar on my forehead - except it's not in the shape of a lightning bolt. A few tiny scars from various surgeries. Lots of stretch marks. 
11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 

I had a tongue twister published in Highlights magazine when I was a kid. I had a letter to the editor published in the paper once. My blog was once in the top trending blogs on AOL for a hot second. Other than that... I just fly under the radar. 

The next part of this is that you're supposed to tag people to do this and make up your own questions. I hate putting people on the spot like that and TRULY most of my blog readers are not blog writers. Instead... I'll open up the floor for you to share who you are and where you live in comments so I'll know more about my *Peeps*. 

Love and hugs, happy weekend, y'all!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What's UP Wednesday

my back porch
The weather has turned to Spring/Summer around here and I've been enjoying some time in the porch swing and the rocking chair out of doors. We never really get a gradual warm up. It goes from too cool to sweltering in the space of a week. This afternoon while in the car on the way to the store I thought I was going to have a heat stroke.

I slept with the living room window open last night thinking that it wasn't going to get that cold and wouldn't impact me back in my bedroom. My bedroom is where the double windows are. The living room window is between the door and the sliding glass door, way down at the end where Pop is sitting working on Mom's fishing rod. (Ignore that bit of information if you're a stalker).

Anyways...then Little Kitty had a complete spaz attack trying to catch something creepy crawly on the ceiling at 3am. He knocked off the lamp, a book, my Nook, a bottle of water and was doing his dead level best to climb the wall. Seriously... he was trying to be Spidey-Cat. The only way to get him to chill out was to go sleep on the couch and close my bedroom door. If I wasn't such a Cat Lady I would have just put him outside the bedroom and closed the door. Instead I slept in the living room which was downright chilly. We have a stack of blankets in the living room taller than me and I was shivering under my two little blankets. Never crossed my mind to get another blanket and closing the window is a two person job because we have the upper portion of the window open and it has to be raised from the outside while someone on the inside locks it in place. I'm not sure that it's supposed to work that way but it does so shutting the window at 3am was not an option.

kid carrying hose
The upside was that I was awake to see a 4am showing of The Long, Long Trailer on TCM. It's a fabulous Desi Arnez/Lucille Ball movie that I have to watch at least once a year.

I just nagged Austin about something that I knew would aggravate him so that he would stop chatting and I could blog/watch The Five uninterrupted. Kid sleeps twelve hours a day and talks non-stop the other twelve. Maybe that's not great parenting but Mama needs a little peace and quiet.

I let Austin drive for a short distance this afternoon. We are in need of prayer. He is a long, long way from being ready to drive. We're talking... ten miles an hour and still running off the road. I was sure he was going to hit my parents' car as he was parking. Mercy.

Little Kitty's favorite perch lately
He has a meeting next week to be evaluated for technological assistance that he could qualify for due to his autism. The lady was really excited to find out that he has a smart phone and access to computers here at home.

I finally got word today that I qualify for the free clinic. I have lab work on the 16th and an office visit on the 22nd. Here's my thing - instead of having a government sponsored health insurance brokerage coupled with a new tax to insure a tiny fraction of the people who don't have insurance, a program that is not fiscally sustainable... why not just help fund programs like this that care for the people who fall in between the cracks? I'm so grateful for this opportunity to receive medical care... grateful to the folks who established and fund and volunteer their time... and grateful to God for allowing me to live in a community that takes care of its' own.

Small portion of wood that was cut down yesterday
I'm concerned about the amount of weight that Tori Spelling has lost and I'm concerned about the amount of weight I've gained.

We got some trees cut down yesterday. That was exciting. Also exciting - the large amount of firewood.

Austin does a much better job of driving the riding lawnmower than he does driving a car. Maybe his first car should be a golf cart. Wrapped in bubble wrap.

I know I've probably told this story a thousand times but every time I think about golf carts I'm reminded of the time that Purple Michael and I went out for a ride on a golf cart in Peachtree City. Peachtree City is a planned community that is connected by golf cart paths. You can literally drive your golf cart to the grocery store or to restaurants or even to the chiropractor. (I did that once but don't recommend it... you get all out of alignment again with all the bumps on the way home.) We wanted to get to Fuddruckers but couldn't figure out how to cross the big highway to get there. We took what we thought was a shortcut through some land that was under development. The ground was super, super soggy and the golf cart quickly got bogged down in mud. I jumped out of the golf cart and suddenly realized that the ground was covered in worms - apparently to aerate the soil - the ground was literally crawling with them - even the nearest road was covered. Michael and the kids tried to pull the cart out of the mud and it toppled over while I was trying to keep the worms off of me! It was absolutely insane and hilarious.

Stubby flaunting the stub in his famous Buddha Sit
There was another time I fell off the back of a golf cart while wearing a dress and got all kinds of road rash on my legs. I did not, however, drop my wine glass.

I'm good like that. I once slid down the steep hill that my kids' other grandmother lives on. I was holding two kids at the time - Ryan was about five and Cody was about one - and neither one hit the ground. I fell one time in Cracker Barrel carrying Ryan when he was about six months old. I hit the ground hard but he didn't. Another time I fell on an icy road carrying Ryan when he was a toddler. I hit the pavement hard but Ryan didn't. I owe my worthless spine to being a really good mom.

Today while walking down the outside stairs (which are a little steep) I felt something pop in my left knee and I can't stand to bend it now. Because I didn't have enough stuff to whine about.

And that's what's up this Wednesday. Love and hugs, y'all.

BONUS pictures!

The colors looking outside of my bedroom window are just starting to show and in real life, it looks so beautiful framed by my purple curtains (that my mom made). My little digital camera couldn't capture it but you can use your imagination.

 The side of the house without the big tree brushing too close for comfort. It was borderline whether or not the insurance company would have approved and it was always in the plans to be removed. Just took awhile to find a reputable and available tree guy.

 Never gets old. Ever.
Pop pops a squat on the edge of the raised garden while chatting with Austin. Who is barefoot. Always.