Related Posts with Thumbnails

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Issues



I've talked about my morning issues before.  I generally awake in the mornings feeling disoriented and like I'm coming out of a 10 year coma.  Well, you can imagine what state I was in around 4 am this morning when I awoke to two barking wiener dogs and the obvious presence of someone at the bedroom door.

I think my first thought was that the Dracenator had somehow miraculously gotten up on his own and that I had overslept.  I flung the Bugs Bunny nightguard out of my mouth and fumbled for the lamp when I realized it was indeed only a few minutes before 4.  Then I heard the whine...

"My nose is bleeeeding"! 

The Dracenator is much like his mama when it comes to the sight of his own blood so he was none too thrilled to have it coming out of his little nose and dripping all over the floor.  Bless his heart. 

We did manage to get it stopped pretty quickly which was lucky, given the zombie state of mind I was in.  He would not agree to get back in bed before fiercely scrubbing his hands of any possible trace of blood though.

I collapsed back into bed and let me tell you, the next 2 and half hours went by more like 2 and a half minutes. I think I could have slept til noon, given the opportunity.

Yesterday was a busy day and I promise I did put forth the effort by attempting a new post last night while I tried to juggle Lost and American Idol but it just wasn't happenin'.  There are only 6 more episodes left of Lost and I'm still just as lost as I ever was!  I can see where this is headed and it ain't good for my sanity. 

I want answers and I want them to make sense, darn it!  I know I am not alone on this.  

Oh well, I will survive....

We bought a house yesterday!  I think I signed my name about 105 times which did make me begin to question my own judgement in hyphenating my last name. 

Overall though, I thought the process was pretty smooth and painfree, unlike my dentist appointment last week.  Arghhh!!!  I know I just can't seem to quit harping on this subject but my mouth is still sore and that was over a week ago.  I must find out what I did to get on that woman's bad side.    

For now though, I think I'd better kick it into gear cause all this stuff is not gonna pack itself.  Wish me luck!  I have major issues with packing tape.  I swear that stuff is out to get me.  It's right up there with mornings and grocery shopping, which I also have to do today.

Don't just wish me luck,  pray for me! 


Sanity is very rare: every man almost, and every woman, has a dash of madness. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson







  

Monday, March 29, 2010

If These Walls Could Talk...

Where we love is home,
Home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr


Monday, we meet again.  I hope you will bring on some motivation and productivity.  Yesterday's dreary, stormy weather sucked it all right outta me.  I had the laziest day I could have possibly managed.
Didn't even make it to church...shame on me.

Tomorrow is the big day...closing day!  We walked through the house Friday night since it is now empty and I am excited about having so much more space but I have to admit, it is going to be  somewhat hard on me to leave this little house of mine. 

I began packing some boxes Saturday and realized that I have lived in this place longer than any other. I first walked through the door in April of 1994, on my 23rd birthday, having no idea at the time that this would ever be my home and much less for so many years.

If these walls could talk...

These walls have seen some of my happiest days and greatest moments of joy as well as the lowest and most sorrowful days of my life.  

I have loved here, lost here, laughed and cried here.  It was inside these walls that I took the call that offered me my first real job, along with both tests that told me I was going to be a mother.

I look back to that day, 16 years ago, and I can clearly see that naive young lady I was.  If I could travel back in time and talk to her, this is what I would say...

You are about to begin a new chapter of your life.  You are graduating from college in a month and this young man named Darin you are about to meet here is going to become your husband in 3 years.  Your very first puppy of your own will come into your life in 18 months and you will call her Dixie. She will bring you much joy and unconditional love for 14 years.

In a little over 5 years you are going to give birth to a beautiful baby boy named Devin.  When he is around 2, he and Darin will give you another little Dachshund puppy and you will call him Dexter.  Two years later, God will bless you with another precious baby boy.  You will name him Dracen. 

You are going to be one richly blessed young woman with much love and happiness in your life but you must be very strong in your faith and trust in the Lord with all of your heart for you are going to experience some pretty big storms in your life.   

You will become a young widow at the age of 32 and 9 months after that, your little Dexter Dog is going to become sick and though you will do everything in your power to help him get better, he will die a young dog.  I know you have the strength and the faith to carry you through all the grief coming your way and I want you to know that you will rise above it.

You will get mad at God and  you will shout at Him but He can take it because He understands you, loves you, and knows your pain.  You will also learn to trust in Him and lean on Him in a way that you never have before.  You are going to grow as a person and in your faith tremendously as a result and you will know much more love and happiness again in your life.

You will eventually start dating again and you'll have more heartache but you will not let it discourage you...You will meet a man named Charlie at the end of 2006 and you will marry him a year and a half later.  He will love you very much and will always be there for you when you need him most.  

Your time with Dixie Dog will come to an end in September, 2009 and you will  grieve again but your faith is stronger now and you know that life is precious and short so you will adopt two more little Dachsies who need a good home a month later and they will fill your heart with joy again.

The time will come when you and your family will leave this place and it will be a very exciting time in your life but it will also be a little tough to say goodbye to these walls you've called home for so many years. 

You will keep this house though in hopes of finding a nice family to live here for awhile.  You will  pray that  one day maybe one of your children or grandchildren will want to live here so that you can tell them your beautiful story of love, loss and growth that took place within these walls...



  

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fancy Friday Edition 2!

Welcome to my second edition of Fancy Friday!  I'm really needing the fancy this week after that oh so invigorating trip to Dick's Sporting Goods on Monday, dreadful dentist appointment on Tuesday, and the dozen trips to and from ball practices and agility classes.

Oh, and I've been wearing my hair in a ponytail and ball cap for the past two days.  Yes, I did wash my hair but sometimes a girl just has to say no to the straightening iron and my curls were more like frizz than ringlets this week.  

Bring on the fancy, please.


First off is this sexy little floral appliqued tee I found at Garnet Hill. It comes in four pastel colors and best of all, is made of combed cotton.  Fancy and comfy...my kind of shirt! 



I'm really in love with this ruffled leather bag by Vince Camuto that I found at Nordstrom.  My wanter is wanting it pretty badly but there is no way on God's beautiful green earth I'm about to pay two hundred and thirty eight dollars for it.  I'm keeping my eyes peeled for a less expensive version though. Someone please tell me if you know of one!
   
Check out this turquoise beaded flower necklace by GS Lillian!   I found it at Piperlime and it also comes in black...
Fancy Smancy!


I found these cute little garment-washed for softness (yet fancy!) pajamas at VS for $39.  They come in four different patterns and have a drawstring waist.  I could wear these all day if I didn't have to leave the house! 
  




I could also wear them while watching a movie and sipping merlot  out of these cute little handpainted dragonfly wineglasses I found on Amazon...probably more whimsical than fancy but I REALLY like them!  Don't you?






I had to include another fancy little doggie dress for Miss Li'l Bit.  I found her a couple of little 3 dollar dresses at Ross but a girl needs more than 3 dresses, right?  I told Charlie she's gonna need her own little armoire...kidding, of course!  Isn't this little ladybug harness dress just precious though?  I found it at sassypup.net.







 ...And for Li'l Bit's Mama, I found this gorgeous floral print georgette surplice dress at Spiegel for $44





Also lovin' this fancy little black and white rayon skirt from Orvis.com.  I would pair this with a spicy little pair of red sandals! 





 And speaking of sandals, take a peek at this little pair of purple wedges by Ciao Bella I found on Piperlime.  They also come in black...


Last week I posted the pic of the vanity I've been dreaming of having since...well, forever!  I have also been wanting a lingerie chest of drawers similar to this one... 






This beautiful little floral print scarf I found at Ann Taylor Loft I'm sure would fit perfectly into one of those little drawers...






Well, I feel better now after that hefty and much needed dose of fancy.  Maybe I'll go fix my hair. Oh and just for the record, I don't actually buy all of this stuff.  I'm not nearly that reckless. ;-)

Hope y'all have a great weekend! 


A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Spring is Springing

 Despite my allergies, I do so love Springtime.  I headed outside yesterday afternoon to see what beauty I could capture with the camera.  There was not a lot blooming in my yard yet but here's what I found...


I love my little froggies...you can see the green of the daffodil peeking up behind him but no yellow blooms yet in my yard...I'm patiently waiting.




Up high, the flies are playing, And frolicking, and swaying. The frog thinks: Dance!
 I know you'll end up here below.”  ~ Wilhelm Busch



I did find these little purple beauties blooming though...





I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.... People think pleasing God is all God care about. But any fool living in the world can see it always trying to please us back. ~Alice Walker, The Color Purple






Brisco Darling was really enjoying soaking up some sun.  I think he's salivating over a squirrel in the woods here...

I talk to him when I'm lonesome like; and I'm sure he understands. When he looks at me so attentively, and gently licks my hands; then he rubs his nose on my tailored clothes, but I never say naught thereat. For the good Lord knows I can buy more clothes, but never a friend like that. ~W. Dayton Wedgefarth




I love these two of Dray Dray and Charlene.  He was trying to somehow put the flower behind her little ear.  It doesn't work very well with floppy doggie ears but it was fun to watch him try.

There are no seven wonders of the world in the eyes of a child. There are seven million. ~Walt Streightiff


This poor little bunny has seen better days but I love the way the moss has grown up around him
We ascribe beauty to that which is simple...~Ralph Waldo Emerson

My treasured friend, Shirley, gave me this windchime that hangs on the front porch.  That's my Bradford Pear Tree blooming behind it.


Friendship isn't a big thing - it's a million little things.


And my favorites, the Bradford Pear...



I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which, if we unconsciously yield to it, will direct us aright. ~Henry David Thoreau


I hope y'all enjoyed those...   I'll be back tomorrow with Fancy Friday. ~Diane

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I Am Reminded

I was really disliking my dentist with a pretty intense passion yesterday afternoon.  I was in her chair for 2 and a half hours for what I thought were going to be a couple of simple little fillings. 

She had to shoot me up about 15 times with that big scary metal needle contraption before I got completely numb and then drilled and prodded in my mouth for what seemed like an eternity while she informed me for the gazillionith time that my itty bitty mouth is difficult to work on.   

Ohhh, Some Beach!.....Somewhere!!!

Seriously? My mouth is that small?!  Maybe I need to see if the boys' pediatric dentist will take me on as  a patient.  At least I would get a prize before I wrote out a big fat check for being tortured!

Okay, enough of that.   

Have I mentioned how much I like that American Idol contestant, Crystal Bowersox, and how I've been dying for her do some Janis Joplin?   Well...Yay! She finally did and it was awesome or as the boys would say....BEASTIN! 

I also think I now know what was wrong with her a few weeks ago when she was sick and almost couldn't perform.  There was a little article in the People I was checking out while waiting on my mouth to get numb for the 100th time at the dentist yesterday that said she's had diabetes since she was 6 but that she is feeling good right now. 

I missed a few of the performances last night because ABC and FOX have some sort of conspiracy against me to play commercials at the same time.  How am I supposed to watch two shows on two different networks  at the same time if they can't work together on commercial breaks? 

I really need to check into Tivo.

Just so it doesn't seem as though I have split personality disorder, I should tell you that I began writing this post before I went to the gym this morning and now I've returned to finish with a different mindset. 

When I pulled into the driveway, I was hit with a wave of grief for my Dixe Dog so I went down to visit her little grave which then reminded me that I needed to go through all my old books about grief and young widowhood so that I can advise the young lady who lost her husband 3 weeks ago which ones are best.

While looking through the books, I found my journal from 2004 which I could not resist scanning through.  Wow! I have to say, it did bring tears to my eyes but it was almost as if the tears were for someone else.  That stuff was tough to read.  I forget sometimes how far I have come in the past six years. 

You would think that someone who's been through something so tragic would know exactly what to say to someone else who is going through it but I don't.  I found it difficult to find the right words to say to the newly widowed lady when I spoke with her last week. 

While reading my old journal, I noticed that some days I was very hopeful and almost at peace while most days I was extremely sad and then others where I was filled with anger and rage. 

There was one particular page where I had scribbled some things down without even dating it but it seemed to be sometime in the middle of May which would have made it about 4 and half months after the accident.  It is about things to say/do or not to say/do to someone experiencing intense grief. 

I actually found it helpful myself and I thought I would share it here since I think most everyone always feels a little uneasy about what they should do or say in these situations:

 ~Don't ask me how I am.  How would you be?
~Don't tell me to call any time.  Why can't you call me?
~Don't tell me I'm going to be okay. You don't know that for sure.
~Don't look at me with pity.  Do you think it can't happen to you?
~Don't ask, "Is there anything I can do?" Just do.
~Don't tell me he's in a better place...
 Do you think I don't know this?
~Don't say , "I just can't imagine".  Don't even try.


So after reading this, you're probably thinking, well what the heck can I do for someone in this situation then?!

I found by reading the journal that I seemed to be having my best moments when I had just spent the day with some friends or family members, whether they came to visit or we went to lunch or shopping or anything....just being with people who cared about me was the best therapy.

Also, little unexpected things to let me know someone was still thinking of us and praying for us.  Dev was in preschool at the time and one of the teachers there, who is just one of the kindest hearted, sincerely warm and caring individuals I have ever had the pleasure of crossing paths with, Mrs. Christine, sent us cards in the mail for probably a year, just to let us know she was thinking of us and praying for us. 

They always seemed to come at just the right time and I still have every single one of them.  Most of us think to send out a card right away when someone loses someone but we don't think about doing it as the times passes by but, believe me, they are still needed and so, so appreciated. 

I hope this was helpful for some of you to read.  It was for me, for though we don't forget the person or the pain we felt, sometimes the passage of time has a way of forgetting some of those important little details that we need to be reminded of in order to pay forward the kindness... 

I hope you all have a great day and thanks for being still a minute to read my thoughts.  I enjoy sharing them with you.    


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Patience Is A Virtue

Delight thou in the Lord, and he shall give thee thy heart's desire. Commit thy way unto the Lord, and put thy trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass.  (Psalm 37: 4-5)


I've got the grocery store and the dentist today and the lady at the car riders line this morning was waaay too chipper  manic for my 7:30 a.m. taste! 

Okay, that wasn't nice but I had not even had a full cup of coffee yet. Morning people scare me.

Well, it is upon me...Baseball Season. The boys each have their first practice tonight, same time, different places.  Here we go! 

Since they've both outgrown their cleats and ball pants from last year, I took them to Dick's immediately upon picking them up at school yesterday.

What was I thinking? 

They broke out into a small fight in the dressing room and the Dracenator tried to dracenate the place and insisted on breaking out into a full run across the shoe department in order to test out each pair of cleats he tried on. 

Two different sales guys must have asked me 155 times if they could help me. I must have looked as if I needed it.   I was oh so tempted to ask him for a martini. 

I can't believe I thought we would get groceries afterwards.  BaHaHa!  I was spent after that little trip.  Good times.

On another subject, our closing appointment on the house is officially set for March 30th.  It is actually going to be on the exact day we had planned.  Wow!  How did that happen? 

We looked for a house for quite a long time...19 months, and mostly we just couldn't find what we were looking for but the couple of times we were prepared to move forward on something, we were told it had gone under contract.  I believe that was God intervening because He had something else in mind for us. 

I got very impatient many times in the search of the perfect house for us although I knew that He would send us the right one on His time which is always exactly the right time.

That is not an easy task, to say the least, for most of us.  Waiting. Practicing patience.  Praying and trusting.  Having 100 percent faith in Him.

I struggle with it as much as anyone even though I know that when I do allow things to happen on His time, they always go so much smoother than when I try to force them. 

Patience is a virtue I hope to improve upon. 

I'm closing with the words of Marjorie Holmes once more...

BUT IT DOESN'T FIT MY PLANS

Lord, let me not be so impatient when my life doesn't go according to my plans.
Let me remember that there are many ways to serve you,
many paths by which to reach you.
Help me not to be so baffled when I start one direction
and seem to find you leading me another.

I am often dismayed.  I protest.  I  waste valuable time insisting,
"No, no, I can't, I won't!"
Then your hand steadies me.  I go forward-not always willingly,
but at least without resistance- and lo, the course
is often more fulfilling than that which I had chosen for myself.

Lord, help me to remember this when I am shocked
and disheartened at the changing of my plans.
Let me trust in your wisdom.
Let me flow cheerfully into the stream of your will.

AMEN! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

Alice and Globetrotters in Spring

Ah, Monday...sweet, despicable, inescapable Monday! 

Friday night I took Dev and his buddy to the St. Patty's Day dance, then the Dracenator and I headed to the theater to see Alice in Wonderland. I don't recall Alice wearing armor and packin' a sword and I am a Johnny Depp fan but I have to admit, he can be a little disturbing at times.  The guy has got the freak persona nailed down!  Overall, I did enjoy the movie and the Dracenator was glued to the screen for the entire duration.

Saturday night we headed to Charlotte to see the Harlem Globetrotters.  I had never seen them before myself and I have to say, though I was not looking forward to it, I did enjoy it.  They are quite entertaining.  

The Dracenator has now decided that he wants to be a Globetrotter when he grows up.  He really wanted a jersey but after seeing that they were $65, he agreed to settle for a $25 t-shirt since he was using his own stash for souvenirs.  He wanted to take it to show off to his Sunday School class yesterday but his older and so much cooler brother, convinced him otherwise.  He did put it on immediately upon returning to the car and also wore it to school today.  I may have to bribe him in order to wash it.   

Here he is after the game: (Dev refused to let me take his picture)





Yep, it was a pretty good weekend.  I hope yours was too.  I am sooo happy that Spring is finally here and I had my toes done Friday so I am flip flop and sandal ready!  Stick around, Mr. Sunshine.  I miss you when you're gone. 

I leave you with a poem...

Springtime Wonder
by Marilyn Ferguson

The sky has never looked so blue
Never a breeze so sweet
Flowers burst forth in brilliant array
As April come to greet.

The trees stand tall in their glory
Tender leaves cover limbs once bare
Yards filled with laughing children
Can you match the splendor there?

There is nothing quite as pleasant
As a walk in springtime hours
The bees even harmonize with life
As they drift among the flowers.

A golden rainbow after a storm
Beauty beyond compare
A taste of heaven here on earth
With green grass everywhere.

God softly whispers to us
As gentle rains caress
The countryside with drops of life
In such pure tenderness.

And if you listen close enough
I'm sure that He'll impart
The freshness of spring upon your soul
And a flower in your heart!




Friday, March 19, 2010

Fancy Friday


When I was a little girl, I loved to get dressed up in frilly foo foo dresses with lots of lace and ruffles and have my hair all done up with rollers, insisting that my mother not brush through the curls.  I wanted the ringlets!

 I' m not sure if it's specifically just a Southern thing to say (but I'm guessin' so) or not but I can recall being told , "Well, don't you look fancy!"  and I always took that as a high compliment.

I may be living with a bunch of Y chromosomes but I still love my fancy things on occasion so every Friday I am dedicating my blog to all things FANCY! 

So, here we go....Let's Be Still A Minute and get our fancy on....




I absolutley love this lace blouse I found on Zappos. It comes in black too but I am crazy about the ivory.  I can see this with some nice jeans or capris or even a skirt for church.

   









http://www.zappos.com/product/7641566/color/3











Also loving those oh so cute, ruffled cardigans that are so popular right now.  I found this one at Nordstrom and on sale for $39.   




http://www.nordstrom.com/



Shoes, shoes, wonderful SHOES...Oh, how I love you so!  These red, peep toe espadrille wedges on Piperlime are right up my alley.  $69 by Bandolino.  By the way, Piperlime is an awesome site.  If you haven't checked it out, ya need to!  http://piperlime.gap.com/?



Okay, so I couldn't NOT include a precious little doggie dress since I just recently made the satisfactory discovery that Li'l Bit likes wearing them.  I found this on on http://www.doggievogue.com/.  Now is this fancy or what? 











I know some probably think of Avon as being old fashioned and for little old blue haired ladies but I am here to tell you otherwise.  I have several pieces of Avon jewelry and I get more compliments on them than any of my other things combined.  Plus, the stuff lasts forever!  I think this cute little necklace for $24.99 is just so adorable and Springy.  http://www.avon.com/




I found this litte number at Macys.. Also comes in yellow, white, brown and turquoise. Ooo La La!

(Suzi Chin Dress, Silk Chiffon Empire-Waist)  http://www.macys.com/





One thing I have always wanted and have yet to have is a girly girl vanity similar to this one.  I am hoping to find an antique one after we move into the new house....Step outta my way, Queen Elizabeth! 


Always been drawn to Tiffany style lamps and this antique one by Tiffany and Co., ca 1910 makes my mouth water....Love the peonies.  Sooo beautiful! 


 




I really wanted to end with an old photo of my fancy little girl self but was unsuccessful in finding one but while I was looking, I ran across this oh so vintage one of my mom, circa 1940 something, looking super fancy in her Sunday best.  I've gotta frame this!


Well, that's all the fancy I can muster up for today. Hope y'all have a Happy Friday! And remember,
"the best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen, nor touched ... but are felt in the heart" ~Helen Keller   

Thursday, March 18, 2010

SO PROUD

I'm wearing the hippy hippie skirt today and let me just say, I love, Love, LOVE it!  I love the way it flows and swishes when I walk and how it makes me feel all free and unconstricted.   

Really puts me in touch with my inner hippie chick and anyone who has known me forever knows I do indeed have a hippie chick side....doesn't always show through on the outside but she is always in there somewhere. ;-)

 I got to thinking about the spelling of hippie and all 2 or 4 of you who have actually been reading my ramblings, know that on my post two days ago I spelled it hippy.  As I thought about it, I realized that it may in fact be hippie so I did what I always do when I need an answer.

I googled.

I was wrong the first time and according to this bit of info I found on the worldwide web, I am unhip for spelling it incorrectly.  See: 


HIPPIE/HIPPY:

A long-haired 60s flower child was a “hippie.” “Hippy” is an adjective describing someone with wide hips. The IE is not caused by a Y changing to IE in the plural as in “puppy” and “puppies.” It is rather a dismissive diminutive, invented by older, more sophisticated hipsters looking down on the new kids as mere “hippies.” Confusing these two is definitely unhip.

Yikes! 

So it appears that hippy is actually used to describe wide hips which I was worried about in the first place when I bought the hippie skirt.  I guess I'm a hippy hippie chick in my hippie skirt but either way, I love it lots and will be wearing the heck out of it. 

I also vow right here and now to never, ever confuse hippy with hippie again.

Complete change of subject now but the Dracenator's bathrobe came today. I was unsuccessful in finding him one in Target so we picked one out online and he has been asking about it every day.  

He's going to be super psyched when he gets home.  I am still quite clueless as to why a 6 year old boy decided that he desperately needed a bathrobe but hey, I'll take what I can get. Boys don't usually get excited about clothing items.

At least not mine. It's "all boy" all the time around my house.  Speaking of which, we have baseball assessments tonight.....the Dracenator at 6 and Dev at 7. My world is about to get much crazier as I'm sure we'll be spending 2 to 4 nights a week at the ball field. 

While I am not really into sports all that much, I do get a thrill from watching my boys play whatever sport they happen to be playing at the time. 

Gives me a sense of pride to watch them make a good play, or get a good hit or score one for their team and tears me up inside to see them strike out or miss the catch.  Watching one of your" babies" play sports is a whirlwind of emotions for most any mama I imagine.  

After all, a mama is always her son's or daughter's number one fan.  I know mine was always my biggest fan as she still is today.  Thanks for reading, mom! 

Well now that I've gone and gotten all sappy, I'm gonna have to quote that book by Marjorie Holmes again.  I believe I did warn y'all that I'd be quoting it a lot! 

So here you have it (it's a little long but it was too good to cut any of it out): 

SO PROUD

Oh , Lord, sometimes my delight and pride in my children
are almost too much to be contained.
I would praise you for them, I would rejoice-
 almost I would run dancing into the street. 
These sons, so tall and strong. 
 Often as I despair of them, complain of them, their achievements
thrill me, their values never cease to surprise me. 
 Their fervor for the underdog, their basic decency,
their compassion.
And their unexpected consideration. 
 Just when I think they have failed me
they will do something so generous, so thoughtful,
 I am astonished.
Thank you, God, for these difficult, curious, incredible sons! 


And these daughters. 
 So pretty, so poised, so full of life and sweetness.
Not always- no, not always-
but growing in grace and charm and womanly loveliness.
They too are a marvel.  Where did they come from,
these radiant strangers?  How is it that my body shaped
them, this turbulent household produced them? 
Yet there they are, demanding so much,
yet giving so much in return.
I am ashamed of the way I worry and fret and scold about them.
They are so good, so basically kind and good.
Thank you, God, for these daughters.

And my children's accomplishements. 
Hear, oh, Lord, and be patient with me in my pride.

They don't always excel, but when they do
  my pride and gratefulness are almost too much.
The honor roll (at last!).  The team. 
 The chorus. (that's my child, I want to tell everyone,
the best looking one in the second row.)
The plays.  The recitals.
  I sit on my hands to restrain my applause
I lock my lips against bragging. 
Yet my eyes and my heart are urging
the whole world to take notice.

No, no, I dare not proclain the pride in them to others.
But You who fashioned them and sent them to me,
You to whom I often cry out my distress,
surely You want to hear and share it.
I am proud of these children, Lord. 
I rejoice in my sons and daughters.
Thank You for them!



Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Top O' The Mornin' To Ya!



Top o' the mornin' to ya! So a couple of weeks ago, I looked up the origin of my maiden name and my mom's maiden name and guess what? They are both of Irish origin, or at least that's what the one site told me, so I'm goin' with it....I'm Irish! :-)

I went to the gym this morning sporting my green shirt and decked the Dracenator all out in his green too. Dev, with his stubborn head, wore red so I did what any other good mother would do...I pinched him. How did that get started anyway? I should Google it.


I managed to get more lost on Lost last night while still catching most of the performances on Idol. My favorite was Crystal Bowersox. She rocked it out to one of my absolute favorite Stones tunes: You Can't Always Get What You Want. She was really the only one that stood out for me though I was trying to keep up with Lost while playing Free Cell on the laptop all at the same time. Who says I can't multitask?

Well, I'm up to my eyeballs in laundry and I ran outta Tide so I gotta hit the dollar store. I'm leaving y'all with a portion of what wikipedia (love that site!) said was Saint Patrick's Breastplate Hymn:

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Disco Ducks and Hippy Skirts


The song that got stuck in my head today: that "Disco Duck" song from the 70s....oh yay! XM was on the 70s channel on the drive to school this morning and when the Dracenator heard the quacking at the beginning of the song he cranked it right up. I remember doing the same thing when I was a kid and that song was popular and quack, quack, quacking along...doesn't seem to have the same effect on me now that I'm approaching 40, well not QUITE approaching 40...39, I'm approaching 39. That sounds much better. Must be denial.
*
So yesterday after the big hair appointment, I couldn't resist stopping by Belk to check out the new Spring things. I have been contemplating buying one of those long flowing Bohemian looking peasant skirts for some time but was unsure if it would flatter my body type. I finally said the heck with it and bought one anyway. It's black with a cool floral print and makes me feel a bit hippyish and very likely makes my bottom appear even larger than it actually is but I was feeling exceptionally confident...Ladies, you know that little confidence booster we all get after having our color touched up and our hair all blown out and styled?... Well, that's probably what I had goin' on but I still like the looks of the skirt hanging in the closet so I haven't been hit with the buyer's remorse just yet...I'll keep ya posted on that.

*

Tonight is Lost and American Idol. I am probably the last known being on the planet who does not have Tivo or DVR so at 9:00, I'll be frantically flipping the channels back and forth between the two shows trying not to miss any key performances on Idol and to get FOUND on Lost which I have yet to do in all the years I've been faithfully watching that show. They're promising explanations and answers to all our questions on this last season but I'm having my doubts cause the whole parallel universes thing that they seem to have going on right now is putting me a little out of my comfort zone by making me think just way too deeply while simultaneously watching Idol.

*

My top picks on Idol right now, though they are all so talented, are Crystal Bowersox, Casey James, Lee Dewyze and that little quirky girl, Siobhan Magnus, who makes me think of the B-52s every time I see her. That girl can SING! Crystal Bowersox is awesome and I would love to hear her sing some Janis Joplin but the girl is not looking well to me and I'm kinda worried about her. There was the whole thing about her being in the hospital and some concern about her being able to perform a couple of weeks ago but I never heard what was wrong with her...does anyone know? I'm still not happy that that feather earring wearing blond girl ,Lily Scott and the shy kid with the mullet, Alex Lambert, went home last week. I guess that means I should vote, huh?

*


Well, that's all I've got for now...Duty calls and right now it's calling me to start supper. Baked Salmon or Spaghetti? Hmmm.....






Sunday, March 14, 2010

Springing Forward, Doggie Dresses and O.P.P

The whole springing forward one hour for daylight savings time has never been a close friend of mine but it insists on showing up every six months anyway. NOT good on people with morning issues like me and the Dracenator. I think my two alarms (cause one would never get me up) went off for a total of about 25 minutes before I drug it outta bed this morning. Luckily, I allow for my lack of morning chipperness by keeping my bedside clock set a good 20-25 minutes fast and I leave my blackberry, which I use for my 2nd alarm, in the kitchen so I have to actually get up to shut down that oh so annoying tune. Then there came the whole big challenge of getting the Dracenator awake and dressed and well, you can imagine how that went. Good thing is, they are both at school,though not after a fight that broke out between them in the bathroom this morning, but hey,I got them there in plenty of time with no major injuries so Yay Me!

The weekend was pretty low key...Charlie and I checked out the Hickory home and garden show which was pretty much a flop but I did find Li'l Bit the cutest little homemade Spring dress. Yes, I know she's a dog but you know I was a little girl who loved her baby dolls and seeing as how I did not get a human girl baby to dress up... I tried it with Dixie Dog but she let me know quick that she would not tolerate any such nonsense... Li'l Bit, however, actually seems to like it as she wore the dress all weekend and never once tried to get it off! Now I realize this is probably odd and maybe even irritating to some of you and I was undoubtedly one those people at one time in my life but I'm just super psyched about Li'l Bit's like or at least tolerance to wearing a dress. Come to Mama, Miss Priss, and bring on the doggie dresses!




Now is that not precious?! You know it is!



Yesterday after church we spent the afternoon at Popaw Bob's and Momaw Pat's. Momaw Pat served Rubens and Subs and then some of us took a walk down by the creek and through the woods with the Popaw. This was followed by coming home and taking a nap, something I rarely do, but hey, my body is still really confused about that missing hour...One would think a body would get used to this but I suspect I'll keep searching for that hour for at least a week or two.



I have a hair appt. this a.m which I need to be getting ready for. I have mixed feelings about this cause my hair has actually been looking really decent for the past couple weeks and I've gotten more compliments on it than I've had in well, forever! So...I don't expect I'll be making any major changes to it.



I just heard that song O.P.P. by Naughty by Nature on 90s XM after dropping the boys off at school and now it's stuck in my head and I'm sure will be all day! "I'm down with O.P.P....yeah, you know me!" Remember that one?



Okay, on a more serious note, I felt my pulse rising and my head bout to explode when the boys tested me this morning but I took some deep breaths and reminded myself of another great passage out of that old book I found by Marjorie Holmes so I'm gonna leave you with this....(I think I'm gonna be quoting this book a lot)





A MOTHER'S PRAYER IN THE MORNING


Thank you, Lord, for this glorious day.
Bless the carpet beneath my feet and the bombardment
of hot and cold water that freshens my waking skin.
Bless the breakfast I am cooking for my family, and the
special music of morning around me-doors banging, the
clatter of forks and plates, and the rattle of lunch boxes, children
demanding, "Mom!"
Thank you for my healthy available presence that is able to cope with them.
Bless the husband who provides all this. Be with him as he sets off for work;
fill him with a sense of his own worth and achievement, enrich and enliven his day.
Bless the teachers and that marvelous institution that claims my offspring
for the next important hours. Please let them be good there,
happy there, bright and able to grasp the lessons there, and oh,
thank you that they're well enough to be there.
Now bless this quiet house-even its confusion and disorder
which speaks so vividly of its quality of life.
Thank you that I have the time and strength to straighten it.
And thank you for the freedom to sit down with a cup
of coffee before I begin!


Friday, March 12, 2010

KEEP ME AT IT.

ser·en·dip·i·ty
–noun
1 .an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.
2 .good fortune; luck



This morning, after taking Devin and the Dracenator to school, I came home to a message from my mom saying her Aunt and my Great Aunt, Carrie, from Georgia passed. She just turned 88 years old on Wednesday and had been suffering with cancer. I said a special prayer for her last night before I fell asleep and I believe that prayer was answered. She is home with all the many she had loved and lost during her time on earth, including a brother, a husband, a daughter, a mother we all called Big Mama and her sister, who was also my grandmother, Ollie Mae. She died of cancer when I was 4. What a day of rejoicing this must be for them in the kingdom of heaven!

It has been quite some time since I saw my Great Aunt Carrie in person but all my memories of her are warm and happy. I remember her as a kind, humble woman with a heart and soul of gold. She always made me, and assuredly everyone else who passed through her door, feel very welcome and at home. I remember Easter eggs hunts at her house and the coconut cakes she always made and how just about every other time she saw me she would say, "Ohhhh, she looks just like Ollie Mae!" in that sweet, drawn out southern accent of hers. Yes, she will be missed by many here on earth but I have no doubts that she made it home just fine and has been rewarded for a life well-lived.... And I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish (JOHN 10:28)

************************************************


Charlie took the day off to spend some QT with me today. We went to lunch and to browse through an antique mall. I so love those places! I really took my time and found myself drawn to all the booths that contained varied assortments of old books. Do you ever have one of those days that can only be described as serendipitous? Well, today was definitely one of those days for me. I purchased some wonderful old books that just seemed to leap off the shelves at me and let me tell you, when I cracked open the covers on a couple of them, I was filled with what I like to refer to as "spiritual chills". It's an overwhelmingly wonderful sensation that something so much bigger than yourself is at work in that particular spot and moment in time. It is a very magical experience and I live for those moments... Like you can almost feel God physically fitting the pieces of your life together and you just know that you are heading down the right path and are exactly where you are supposed to be in life. Makes for a proud spirit and a smiling heart.
One of the books I found or shall I say, found me, was published in 1968 and was given as a birthday present to someone named Mildred in 1973. The book is...I've Got to Talk to Somebody, God by Marjorie Holmes. I will close with one particular passage from it that spoke very deeply to me. It can simply be described as... Powerful. I hope you will find it so as well...


"God, give me due respect for the abilities you have given me.
Don't let me sell them short. Don't let me cheapen them.
Don't let me bury my talents through indecision, cowardice, or laziness.
Plant in me the necessary determination. Keep me at it.
Rouse in me the fires of dedication. Keep me at it.
Give me the energy, strength, and will power to bring your gifts to proper fruition.
Keep me at it.
When I falter or fall, lift me up and set me back on my destined path.
Keep me at it."

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Two Little Piggies and a BIG BAD WOLF!

Okay, so I'm still a newbie to this whole blogging thing but I am determined to keep it up so here goes. Today was pretty uneventful... I did go to zumba at noon and that is fast becoming one of my absolute favorite things to do. If you read my 100 random things...and bless your heart if you did!...you learned of my childhood dream to be a Solid Gold dancer so this zumba thing is just my flavor of exercise. I get to bust some moves and sweat and tone all at the same time. It just doesn't get any better than that.

I had really planned on getting groceries and while we're on that subject, I should go ahead and put this right out there....I loathe grocery shopping with an undying passion. It rained today too which I always find an excellent and perfectly acceptable excuse to myself for putting it off another day. Plus, we did still have about a dozen Yoplaits in the fridge.

Dev and the Dracenator did not produce any major drama today which is always sweet. They both began to hit me up immediately after school to purchase some jelly jar candles and strawberry plants...yeah, you heard me right. Their latest fundraiser has them selling an assortment of plants and candles. Dracen informed me real quick that he HAS to sell at least 15 items. I checked the prize list to see what bait has enticed him so and it's a Super Spinning & Music Soccer Top. Your guess is as good as mine.

He then let me know at bedtime that he is in need of a bathrobe...huh? He must have sensed my bafflement because he proceeded to pick up my bathrobe tie to explain to me what a bathrobe actually is..."You know...THIS goes on it!" as he held it up. He also happened to be stark naked at the time since he felt this was such an immediate need that he could not get his pjs on before making me aware of his lack thereof. So...looks like I need to go bathrobe shopping now in addition to the grocery shopping tomorrow.

The biggest drama of my day was caused by a terrifyingly humongous Wolf Spider that crawled out of the towels I had just put into the washer. (laundry room is in the basement) There are very few things in this world that freak me out the way a big ole spider does. Li'l Bit was tucked under my left arm at the time and I let out a bloodcurdling scream as I shrieked, "Spider, spider, spider, Charlene, BIG SPIDER!"...another big scream and then I slammed the washer shut, turned it on real fast and ran up the stairs. Still not sure yet whether the Big Bad Wolfie escaped or if he was washed into my towels. I dried them but have not braved folding them yet.

Since I let myself off the hook on the grocery shopping today, I figured I'd better make up for it by doing my second least favorite thing which is cleaning out Maxie's and JuneBug's piggy cage. They are the guinea pigs Dev and the Dracenator talked me into for the birthdays last summer when Blackberry the Hamster died. I won't lie, they are cute, but those two little rodents produce enough waste in a week to fertilize a 2 acre garden! Oh, and as if I wasn't having enough fun for one night, Miss Li'l Bit decided to take a pee pee on Dracen's quilt while I was cleaning up the poo. Ahhh....the life!....but I wouldn't trade it for anything, not even for a spot on Solid Gold, if it hadn't been off the air for over 23 years, but that's really beside the point...;-)


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

100 Random Things

1. My name is Paula Diane but no one who knows me ever called me Paula. I dropped Paula when I married my first husband, Darin, in 1997 only to be forced to take it back when I married Charlie in 2008. Apparently the laws changed since the first time but I'm really okay with it. I don't even mind being called Paula at the Dr's office anymore.


2. My mom's name is Becky and my dad's name is Paul, my namesake! They divorced when I was 5 and both remarried fairly soon after that. They are both very warm and caring and I have never doubted their love for me.


3. As a result of that, I have two younger half brothers and a stepsister. My mom was also married briefly before my dad and I have an older brother from that marriage. My dad adopted him while he was married to my mom though so we had the same last name. Ya got all that?


4. I was born in Rome, Georgia and lived near there in Silver Creek until I was 15 years old and we moved to North Carolina for my stepdad's job. I'm still here and have no desire to live anywhere else.


5. I LOVE animals. Always have. They bring such joy and love to our lives if we let them and I believe we can learn a lot from them.


6. I was extremely shy as a child until I got to know someone really well. I do much better now though I will never be a social butterfly. This used to bother me because I felt I needed to change but now I know it is just who I am and the only time it does now is when I hear that someone thinks I don't like them or that I'm "stuck up" when that is so far from true.


7. I hate conflict or being involved in it in any way. Never been a drama queen and just have no desire to be around someone who is.


8. Also goes for negativity or woe is me attitudes. Everyone you meet is struggling with something in their lives at any given time. Pray about it, hold your head up and press on but please, don't whine about it.


9. When I was a very young child, my most prized possessions in all the world were my "cold rabbits" and the funny thing is, they weren't really even rabbits but giraffes. They were these small rubber squeaky giraffes wearing turtlenecks that I held in my right hand and sucked my left thumb in order to fall asleep. They felt cold to my touch so I would hold the cold one until it got warm and then alternate it with the other one until I went to sleep. I'm realizing how nuts this sounds now...lol! I still have those things in my hope chest in the basement.


10. I am not a slob but I have always struggled with organization. I like for things to be neat...just have a hard time keeping them that way. I will never win any awards in this category. My male rugrats are not helping to combat this issue but I can't send 'em back now...I love 'em too darn much! :-)


11. As a result of number 6, I often find it somewhat challenging to get close to people but once I do, I get really attached and like to keep them around. I always had an awful hard time with breakups even when I knew it was just not working.


12. I have had the same best friend, Michelle P, for over 23 years now. We met in Biology class at the beginning of 10th grade because we were both the new kids in town. We don't see each other as often as we'd like but we are always there for each other when it counts.


13. I'm addicted to Yoplait yogurt.


14. I wear a little night guard on my top two front teeth at night because my dentist says I grind my teeth in my sleep. It makes me look like Bugs Bunny but Charlie thinks it's cute.


15. I feel that I have grown by leaps and bounds as a person and as a Christian since losing my first husband, Darin, in an accident when I was 32.


16. As a result of becoming a young widow, I met three of the most amazing ladies I have ever known and am so proud and honored to call them my friends. (Kari, Jenn and Michele...love you girls!) Thanks, http://www.youngwidow.com/!


17. I'm a chocoholic but I'm doing much better. Yoplait's chocolate mousse flavored yogurt helps!


18. Never been a morning person. Okay, this is an understatement! Don't look at me until I've had at least 3, no make it 5, sips of coffee in the morning and whatever you do, please DON'T SING first thing in the morning! My little one, Dracen, unfortunately got this gene too. Poor Charlie and Devin.


19. My first "baby" was a longhaired Dachshund named Dixie. She was with me for 14 years until she died last year (Sept '09) of congestive heart failure. I think of her and miss her every single day but my God is an awesome God so I know she'll be in my heaven.


20. I adopted two more longhaired weiners from DRNA (http://www.drna.org/) after losing Dixie last year. They came with their Andy Griffith Show character names, Brisco and Charlene Darling which I kept but seems I usually end up calling them Big Boy and Li'l Bit...just kinda happened. I want to adopt a couple more but Charlie says we need a bigger bed first cause they sleep with us and he knows I won't show partiality.


21. We should be getting that bigger bed soon as we are in the process of buying a bigger house, after 19 months of looking! We are set to close on 3/30/10. Yay!


22. I am super blessed with good inlaws and not only one set but 3. I could just be easy to get along with and I am pretty much but they really are just "good people" and I am so thankful.


23. Charlie tells me often how lucky he feels to have me in his life and I think I'm pretty darn lucky too. Thanks, Yahoo.


24. I used to always keep a good tan going in the summer but since having a basal cell carcinoma treated on my chest last spring, my tans now come from a bottle and I'm always packin' sunscreen. You should too.


25. I love shoes! Need I say more?


26. I have a lot of "girly girl" qualites but I am not high maintenance...no, seriously, I've been told so!


27. I majored in Criminal Justice. Apparently, I thought I wanted to be a police officer but my mom said she knew that would never happen because I would never be caught dead in one of those uniforms. Needless to say, I never became a police officer.


28. I have a STRONG desire to travel and while I have been able to check a few places off my list, there are still many I long to visit and am convinced I will see them all.


29. My boys test my patience and sanity on most any given day but my life has truly been about so much more than myself since the day I became a mother and I cannot imagine any greater role in life.


30. I worked in the mortgage/finance business for 5 years after college before co-owning a florist with one of my best friends, Dana. I hated being couped up in an office every day, loved arranging flowers but did not enjoy the business side of owning a florist. I've been a stay home mom since 2003.


31. Cooking is not a passion of mine though I can do it and I've been told I make a mean lasagna.


32. I always loved to read but had gotten out of the habit of doing a lot of it after having my youngest and most mischievous child, the Dracenator! I have recently rekindled the passion and sometimes have trouble pacing myself. It's so easy for me to get whisked away while reading a good book. I caught myself calling the Dracenator by the name of a character in one of my books while trying to wake him up one morning.


33. I started working out when I was 17 and for the most part, it has been a big part of my life since. I love the gym I belong to now. (http://www.theperfectworkout.net/) The classes are my thing: pilates, yoga, boot camp, zumba. I get bored with the same ole routine.


34. I have Thalassemia minor but did not find out I had it til I was pregnant with the Dracenator....was always misdiagnosed as having iron deficiency anemia. Both my boys and my dad have it too. It is commonly misdiagnosed as my dad was misdiagnosed as having Pernicious anemia. Half of our red blood cells are normal and half of them are not which basically just boils down to us always having a lower than average hemoglobin level and sometimes we tire easily. Thal Major is bad news and requires blood transfusions to live but both parents must carry the Thal minor or major gene to pass that on.


35. I love key lime pie when it's done right.


36. I bought a brand new red Mustang when I was 23. I traded it in for a 4 door mommymoblie when I found out I was pregnant with Dev but I long to own a classic convertible Mustang some day.


37. Redbirds, particularly Cardinals, hold a special place in my heart. I always liked them but in the early days of my grief a few years ago, I was blessed with a front yard full of them all at once and have always viewed that as a gift from God; I cannot see one now without thinking of that day.


38. Spanking my kids is not my thing. I have tried it in the past and it just doesn't work for us. Instead we suspend privileges. I think this is more in line with how the real world works.


39. When I was a kid, I wanted more than anything to be a Solid Gold Dancer when I grew up.


40. I acquired a taste for red wine several years ago and though I don't drink often, it is always my drink of choice.


41. I didn't go to kindergarten. It was still optional then.


42. Going underwater makes me uncomfortable though it didn't so much when I was younger.


43. Motorcycles used to excite me but now the risk of riding one frightens me.


44. My mom always worked but I had an awesome babysitter, Mrs. White. She was in her 70s and had white hair and I loved her like she was my own grandmother. She never ran out of circus peanuts, orange slices, and peppermint sticks.


45. I LOVED Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers as a child and sat in the floor watching them on that big floor model television every afternoon.


46. I didn't get my driver's license until I was 18.


47. My childhood best friend was Jennifer T. She lived in my neighborhood and we were practically inseparable for many years. We logged in lots of hours on our bikes and her trampoline and she introduced me to raw cookie dough and shared my love of animals. She has a small zoo of sorts in GA and is making some beautiful jewelry these days... http://www.jnicdesigns.etsy.com/.


48. I was absolutely terrified of needles, as in shots, when I was a kid and after waiting in a long line to get an immunization I needed to start school, I bolted, forcing my poor mother to chase me down the hall before catching me and dragging me back. I still don't like 'em but I don't run anymore.


49. I've always loved Magnolia trees, maybe because Mrs. White had two giant ones in her front yard. That Steel Magnolias movie wasn't too bad either. ;-)


50. Weeping Willows run a close second though I can't really say why.


51. I love the ocean and can spend hours staring out at it...makes me feel close to God.


52. I find the mountains pretty majestic too and am fortunate to live so close to them.


53. I had never watched The Sopranos (cause I don't have HBO) until about a year ago when Charlie and I bought the entire series on dvd. We were both totally addicted and went through DT's when we were done watching them. Genius.



54. I totally do not get how people can watch that reality show about privileged housewives...yuck!


55. The fame and popularity of Spongebob baffles me! It's about a nerdy sponge living in a pineapple under the sea and hanging out with a bucktoothed squirrel and a very slow starfish. Oh, and he has a pet snail that meows! What tha? Somebody had to be smokin' something to come up with this stuff! I'm just sayin'....


56. I think Robin Williams, Eddie Murphy and Dave Chappelle are three of the funniest men on the planet.


57. You can say what you want about Simon Cowell but the man is almost always right and American Idol will never be the same without him.


58. Dr Seuss books are BEASTIN'! Dev and the Dracenator taught me that word. They'd be so proud that I used it in a sentence. I'm told it's a really good thing!


59. I love the Griswolds! Poor Clark never could get it right but he tried oh so hard.


60. I hate instant mashed potatoes. Some things just shouldn't be "instant".


61. I could sniff Play Doh all day. I know I'm not alone on this....you all know who you are...Jeannie?


62. It never occurred to me, however, to make my own though my BFF, Michelle, apparently does and assures us that it smells the same. Hmmm....


63. While I don't like instant mashed potatoes, for some reason I have no problem with instant grits... and me a respectable Southerner and all.


64. I'm a big music lover and have a very diversified taste in it.


65. The only instrument I ever learned to play was the clarinet. I still cringe when I think about that wooden reed touching my teeth...eww.


66. I swear I'm going to learn to play piano one of these days...


67. My sense of smell is very keen and it amazes me how a certain smell can trigger a memory in an instant.


68. Some of my favorite smells (besides play doh) are: vanilla, puppy breath, lavender, shoe stores, leather, new cars, certain roses, coffee, ocean air and dog paws...yes, I said dog paws. Is that weird?


69. I read the book, Embraced By the Light, by Betty Eadie, 10 years ago and it had a more profound effect on me than I ever thought a book could have. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it. (http://www.embracedbythelight.com/)


70. My favorite time of day is late afternoon to just before dusk.


71. One of the most awesome places I've been to date was on top of Gibraltar last summer. Those tailless monkeys combined with that amazing view of the Mediterranean truly took my breath away. (http://www.gibraltarmonkey.com/)


72. I hate cigarette smoke with a passion. I'm so happy North Carolina passed the smoking ban.


73. I love that snow is magical where I live. School is out, half the town shuts down and everyone buys out all the milk and bread from the local grocery store at the mere mention of it in the forecast. It brings out the kid in most all of us Southerners.


74. I like to get dressed up as much as any girl but when I'm at home, I want to be comfortable so I spend a lot of time in sweats and t-shirts.


75. I took a personality test once that told me I have a calming effect on those around me. This does seem to be true with most everyone except for my offspring....oh, how I wish!


76. Christmas has always been my favorite holiday though it means something so much more to me now that it did as a child. The gifts are fun, especially for the kids, and I do LOVE giving them but the celebration of the birth of Jesus fills my heart and soul with so much love and joy.


77. My favorite flower is the Tulip but I also love daisies, freesia and lavender roses. I find lilies very beautiful but they wreak havoc on my allergies.


78. When I was about 21, I decided I wanted a pair of snakeskin cowboy boots. I think I only wore them once, maybe twice. Still not sure what I was thinking.


79. I had some BIG HAIR back in the 80s, early 90s and I was so proud of it. It took me hours with the curling iron, blow dryer and Rave hairspray to get it to my liking.


80. I'm a researcher and like to know all I can about something before I jump all the way into it. This only applies to big or important things though.

81. Google is my best friend. I don't know what I ever did without it.


82. The older I get, the more interested I become in antiques and history in general. Hmm...


83. Spiders terrify me and I'm not kidding! Except, for some reason, writing spiders....those don't upset me.


84. I think Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were spot on when they wrote...You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need!


85. I had two c-sections. The first one was not planned and I went through about 26 hours of labor before I agreed to it...turned out Devin was more stubborn than I and he has a very big head.


86. The worst physical pain I've ever experienced, next to labor, was gallstone attacks. I had my gallbladder removed in 2000.


87. I love porches and porch swings and have spent many contemplative hours on mine.


88. I am always on time and I get quite annoyed by chronic lateness.


89. I believe that if you promise someone you're going to do something then you should do all in your power to uphold the promise.


90. Wonder Woman was always my superhero of choice and I wanted to be just like her.


91. My favorite kicks are my red boots.


92. I play the music in my car way too loud and sing at the top of my lungs when I'm driving alone and I don't have the best singing voice.


93. I love jewelry but I love it most when it has special meaning so I don't typically buy it for myself.

94. I have attended May's Chapel UMC since 1994 and have been a member since 1997. Having a supportive church family has been such a blessing in my life over the years and I am so thankful for that. (http://www.mayschapelmethodist.org/)

95. I love lazy, Sunday afternoons. Most everyone in my neck of the woods seems to have the same relaxed state of mind on Sundays and I find such a peace in that.

96. While I do love to travel and visit other parts of the country and world, it's always nice to come home to the simple living of a small town.

97. Humility is a quality I greatly admire.

98. The ability to really listen and hear someone out without interrupting is another.

99. This whole 100 things thing has been way harder than I expected.

100. It was also a lot of fun!