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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Southern Sayings...

I once dated a guy whose family had moved south from Wisconsin.  He could be a bit of a jerk at times but for a very brief time his opinion mattered to me.  I said something in his presence once that I had been saying and hearing being said my entire life and really never gave any thought to the fact that it was a very southern thing to say....

I said, "I'm fixin' to...."  I don't remember what I was fixin' to do but I do remember the way he made me feel after I'd said it.  He made this huge deal about it, laughing and going on about how hysterically comical it was that I had just used such hillbilly slang.   So I stopped saying it and became very self conscious about the things I said after that.  For a long time. Way after I told him to hit the road.  

But at some point in my adult life, I realized that those southern sayings I grew up with were a big part of me, an endearing part, and regretted the fact that I didn't tell him just where to stick it way back then.  I can't go back and do that but I can make a list of some of my all-time favorite southern sayings for  y'all...

1. What in the tarnation (or Sam Hill) do you think you're doin'?  (This one is used  when you catch somebody doing, or about to do, something completely stupid, careless or thoughtless that will in no way result in a good outcome.)

2. Pitched a conniption (or hissy) fit. (When someone, usually a child, does not get his or her way and just really shows his/her arse in a very dramatic and over the top fashion.)  

3. Well, I reckon.  (Usually said when you are giving your approval for something that you aren't quite sure about or convinced of. Or it's just something you have to do but really don't want to...Like, "Well, I reckon I better get busy mopping these floors.")

4. Bless his/her/your heart. (We've all heard this one, right?  This one is a little more complicated because it can mean very different things, depending on the context and tone in which it's used.  It can be used sincerely to express concern and compassion or it can be used in a catty way.  Like this... "Bless your heart, sweetie.  That is a shirt, not a dress."   

5. That boy don't have the good sense God gave a billy goat. (I don't think this one needs any further explanation.)  
6. Lord have mercy/Lawda mercy/Lorda mercy! (When something is so overwhelming or unbelievable that there are just no other words that will do and one must always nod his or her head 'No' while saying it in order to get the full effect.)  

7. I think somebody's gettin' a little bit too big for her britches. (I heard this one a few times growing up.  It's a reminder to stop drinking your own darn kool-aid so much before your head gets so big it won't fit through the front door.)  

8. I didn't just fall off the turnip truck! (I use this one quite a bit on the boys. It basically just means that I'm a whole lot smarter, wiser and intuitive than they think I am and that they aren't fooling me for one second.)  

9. Madder than an old wet hen.  (You simply can't get any madder than this.)  
10. Flat tuckered out/Plumb tuckered out. (To be flat or plumb tuckered out is to be so tired that you don't even have the energy to change out of your clothes before crashing face first into the bed or couch.)  

11.Well, I swaney! (When you can barely believe your eyes or ears...aka WTH?!)

12. That's it! I'm cuttin' me a hickory switch! (You did not want to hear this one growing up because your little ass was about to get it if you did!) 

13. Quit runnin' around here like a chicken with its head cut off. (In other words, chill the heck out!)  

14. It's hotter than blue blazes outside. (I use this one a lot in the summer.)

15. I am fit to be tied! (If someone says this to you, you'd better get outta their sight quick because they are madder than an old wet hen and somebody's about to pay!) 

16. I've got a hankering... (To say you have a hankering for something means you are wanting or craving it in a bad way... "I've got a serious hankering for some fried okra and fresh tomatoes.")

17. Ain't  no' count. (Saying someone or something ain't no' count means it's pretty much useless...good for nothin'.)

18. Ill as a hornet. (I've used this many times to describe the boys when they've not had enough sleep and are so cranky you can't stand to be around them.)
19. Over yonder. (This is usually accompanied by a hand gesture while giving someone directions...."It's just over yonder, on the other side of that hill...")

20. I've got to fix my hair. (Because southern women don't 'do' our hair or our makeup...Nor do we 'make' dinner, which is actually lunch; supper is what you eat at night...We fix it.)

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Monday, February 27, 2012

My Name In Stone...

In the car on the way home from church yesterday the boys somehow got on the subject of burial vs. cremation. I told them I didn't really care what they do with me as long as they don't put me in a vase and set me on the mantle.  Cremate me if you want, but please don't put me in a vase because something about that is just many shades of creepy to me. 

Once upon a time I said I wanted to be cremated.  Darin and I both agreed we'd be cremated.  Of course we also thought we'd both be old, wrinkled and many, many decades into the future before anyone had to make that decision too.  

Darin was a Mason (as in Freemasonry) and had just recently become the Master Mason of his lodge not long before he died.  One night he came home from the lodge, showed me this white Masonic apron and said, "When I die you are supposed to bury me in this."

I just looked at him like he had three heads, said, "umm...okay" and went back to doing whatever it was that I was doing, probably breastfeeding Dracen which seemed to be all I accomplished in the early days of his demanding infancy.  The fact that we had talked about being cremated did enter my mind but I was just in no kind of mood to talk about something so dark and depressing.  And that was not, I thought, going to happen for at least a good fifty years down the road.

So when he died just weeks later that moment that I thought was so fleeting and insignificant came rushing to the front and center of my out of control thoughts and I never once mentioned cremation. His parents told me they had two extra plots up front beside theirs at the church cemetery that were mine if I wanted them. 

I guess I "wanted" them because that is where we buried him.  In his Masonic apron.  Though not the one he brought home that night and told me to bury him in.  His dad, also a Mason, informed me that you don't actually bury him in that one.  You put it on him for the receiving and then you take that one off to keep and replace it with a paper one before burial.  

When the time came to pick out a headstone a couple of weeks  later I sat in the funeral home (with his dad) flipping through a book of headstones, at the age of 32, trying to decide which one would best suit my 35 year old husband and whether or not I wanted a double stone with my name on one side or just a single. 

I made the decision pretty quickly though.  I chose a unique-shaped stone, had my name and birth date put on one side, our wedding date in the middle and the boys' names  in the corner...Our Sons Devin ( heart) Dracen. There's a cross on my side and a masonic emblem on his side because at some time in the recent past he had a conversation with his dad in which he told him he wanted that on his headstone.  Bizarre, huh?   

 Yes, my name is on a headstone and has been since I was 32 years old.  How's that for putting your own mortality into perspective?   

The day they came to put up the stone I drove over to the cemetery to watch.  Devin was with his popaw who had taken him over there. I walked over to him where he sat on the tailgate of popaw's truck and he said, "They're putting up my daddy's stone."  And the rock that was my heart felt like it got about five times heavier than it already was as I struggled to catch my breath.  

Standing there with my four year old and seeing that headstone, complete with my name and date of birth, was a life moment that the word surreal does not even come close to describing...
  Looking back on it now, do I regret it?  Now that it's over eight years down the road and I've been remarried for three and a half of them, do I regret the decision I made to bury him instead of cremate him?  The decision I made to choose a double stone with a place for me knowing now that I will most likely never be buried there?  

No.  No, I don't regret it.  It was right for me, for all of us, at the time and it's okay if I'm never buried there but cremated instead.  It really won't matter to me when I've left this world.  Funerals, burials and cremations, and all that they entail, are for the living, the ones left behind to pick up the pieces and struggle through their grief. 

So while I may think it creepy that someone would want my ashes in a vase on a mantle someday, I know deep down that they'd have my full consent if it brought them comfort.  

But knowing my two boys, I'll probably end up going skydiving with them and being scattered on the way down, which would be the only way you'd ever get my arse to jump out of that plane (over my dead ashes) and would also fulfill the wish I expressed to Devin yesterday when he told me he wanted to go skydiving someday and I replied with, "Just please do me a favor, and wait 'til after I'm dead."  

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

My Week in Fragments...

~I've been in a major blogging slump lately.  It's like my bloggy mojo just up and left the building without leaving a forwarding address or anything.  How rude. 

~Dracen brought home some graded papers from school last week and although he did make an A on this particular paper, I saw some red teacher writing beside one of the questions about something not being appropriate.  The answer to the question was "the policeman" but did my eight year old write "the policeman"?  No, of course not.  He wrote "the popo". Because he's all gangster like that. 

~Devin aka Vanilla Ice has begun making up raps.  Constantly.  Because he's all gangster like that too.  

~My friend, Shirley, who's been fighting a cancerous brain tumor for the past several months came by to see us last Saturday.  She got a good report at her Duke appointment last week and I was amazed at how good she looked.  She is one of the best people I know.  

~The book fair was at Dracen's school this week.  I always got excited about the book fair when I was a kid and he does too so I always give him money to buy a few books to support his school.  He asked me if he could have fifteen extra dollars this year but not for himself.  He wanted to give it to a friend in his class whose family couldn't afford to give him any.  How could I say no to that?  

~Since the black bean burgers have been such a hit the couple of times I made them, I got all fancy and made spicy bean burritos the other night.  They were yum-my.  You can click here for recipe. 
~I'm still going strong on the pesco-vegetarian diet.  It has now been almost two months since I've eaten meat and I honestly don't miss it.  The only challenging part really is finding things to eat at restaurants and coming up with new things to fix at home. I have been eating quite a bit of salmon and tuna.  

~We finally got our new carpet put down in the bonus room and bedroom upstairs last week and ordered a couch and chair at the furniture outlet mall yesterday but it won't be ready for four to six weeks.  Why are things like that always four to six weeks? Ever notice that? And I've found that it's rarely ever exactly four to six weeks.  It's almost always less or more.  I prefer less.  
This is the couch though we ordered a slightly different fabric.

~Another African Dwarf Frog died Wednesday.  We are now down to one.  I asked Devin what he wanted to do with it since it was his frog.  Dracen yelled out, "Can we dissect it?"  Seriously?  It was about half the size of my pinkie finger.  Not to mention, it was a pet!  Devin, being the sentimental  gangster that he is, gave it the royal flush.  

~For those of you who watch the The Bachelor, can you believe the CRAZY that Courtney pulled out this week?  And he went for it!  He has to pick her at this point, what with the skinny dipping caught on camera and now that creepy faux wedding that he actually wrote vows for!  As Kacie B (the sweet little southern girl) so "eloquently" put it as she rode off into the dark sobbing in the back of the limo, WHAT THA *BLEEP* JUST HAPPENED?! 
~And that was about exactly what I asked Wednesday night when I heard something that sounded like a wall coming down in the kitchen.  I went in to find the fighting brothers pointing fingers at each other (because neither one of them was to blame) and three pictures on the floor that they had somehow managed to knock off the wall.  Three! They're lucky nothing broke. But they still got sent to bed immediately, without passing GO or collecting their 200 dollars.  At 7:35 p.m.  

~I need this magnet I saw on Pinterest...

**Linking this post up for Friday Fragments with Mrs. 4444 at Half-Past Kissin' Time.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

And Then There Was One...

Junebug the guinea pig left us the Sunday before last.   I was getting ready for church when Devin came into the bathroom to tell me something was wrong with Junebug.  I went it to check on her and was pretty certain she was on her way out.  

She wasn't exactly small when we got her in July of 2009 so I have no idea how old she was and had noticed a while back that she was acting different though she was still eating.  So there I was squatted down in my dress petting this little dying guinea pig and saying, "I don't know what to do. Should I take her to the vet?  What should I do?! I don't know what to do."  Although I really didn't believe that there was anything anyone could do.  

I was clearly more upset than anyone else.  Dracen actually said, "Mom, you could take her to the vet while we're at church."  Gee, thanks. I just kept petting her and prayed silently (yes, I prayed over a guinea pig) for God to just please go ahead and take her right then if this was really it for her because I was at a complete loss as to what to do and I can't stand watching anything suffer.  I mean, seriously, it tears me up something awful inside.  I could feel the tears starting to well up.  And just like that, she stopped breathing.  I kid you not.  

Charlie buried her in a shoebox out back when we got home from church.  And now I, of course, feel a little sorry for the remaining guinea pig, Maxie, over the loss of her roommate, although the two of them never did seem all that tight.  But these are the kinds of things I concern myself over. 

I am not concerned enough to get her another roommate, however.  She will be well cared for for as long as she lives but when she goes, no more rodents for us.  

The boys somehow managed to talk me into getting those two for their birthdays that summer since the hamster had recently died and I being the sucker that I am gave in, knowing darn well I'd be the one stressing over their care. Did you know that guinea pigs need a constant supply of timothy hay and pellets, a variety of fruits and vegetables and that their cage needs to be cleaned OFTEN?  

So there will be no more guinea pigs or other rodents/mammals, amphibians (because they still have two living African dwarf frogs I also tend to), reptiles or fish brought into this house until I believe someone has finally reached a level of maturity and sense of responsibility to keep it alive on his own.  

Right after Junebug died that morning and I wrapped her in a towel and took her to the garage to await her burial, Dracen actually stood outside my bathroom door as I tried to wrestle my hair into submission (already going to be late for Sunday School) and began begging me for another pet..."What about a cat?  A rabbit? A lizard?"   No respect for the dead, I tell you.  

I must have looked really mean when I told him "Not No but HELL NO!" (okay, so I didn't really say hell no but my tone implied it) because he hightailed it outta there real quick.   I can be scary when I wanna be. 

I'm just thankful he didn't ask me for another wiener dog... 

R.I.P. Junebug

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Reverse Bucket List...10 Things I Never Want to Do

1. Skydive. Why anyone in their right mind would jump from a perfectly normal functioning aircraft is completely beyond my comprehension.  If you ever hear me say, "I think I'll try skydiving" then please insist on getting my head checked immediately and without delay because there will be a one hundred percent chance that something has gone seriously wrong with it. 
 2. Be on a reality show. No way, no how could I proceed as normal with a camera crew all up in my grill.  

3. Get a tattoo. I would never, under any circumstance, agree to have a needle touch my flesh for any length of time unless it was a medical necessity.  Well, maybe to smooth out a wrinkle...At almost 41, I can't promise I won't ever go there but allowing someone to mark me for life with ink and a needle is not in my foreseeable future.

4. Climb Mount Everest. Or Mount Kilimanjaro. Or any other mountain known to God, man, animal or alien. 

5. Bungee jump. Having a stretchy cord tied around my waist, hurling myself off a cliff and being jerked and oscillated until my teeth and brains rattle will not ever be found in my How to Have a Good Time book.  

6. Dive with sharks. I watched in horror as Ben and three of his lady friends did this on The Bachelor this week.  I sat on the couch shaking my head and shouting "Y'ALL ARE CRAZY! HE'S NOT EVEN THAT CUTE!" at the t.v.  I'll be darned if I'd offer myself up as shark bait to catch a man.  Hellz to the NO!  

7. Go storm chasing. I saw Twister.  And The Wizard of Oz. No thank you.

8. Run a marathon.  I know it's what all the cool kids are doing these days but I've finally accepted the fact that running and I just flat out do not get along and there is no shame in my game about it. I will dance, I will Zumba, I will ride a bike, I will do jumping jacks, I will hula hoop, I will jump on a trampoline, I will swim, I will even speed walk. But if you ever see me running?  Call 911 because someone or something is trying to kill me.  

9. Have a Tarantula as a pet. One word, six syllables...A-rach-no-pho-bi-a.   I nearly jumped out of a car going 65 mph on an interstate when I spotted a spider the size of my thumbnail creeping its way across the windshield. Had I been in the driver's seat there would have likely been more lives than the spider's lost that day.  
10. Get up close and personal with my fear of public speaking. Matter of fact, pass me that parachute because I'd rather go skydiving.  

*This post inspired by the Writer's Workshop.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Women Don't Want for Valentine's Day

Every year on Valentine's Day, my mind always wanders back to my florist days. February 14th is not an enjoyable day for a florist... Do you think we ordered enough roses? Too many? What if we don't sell them all?  Will we ever be able to get all these orders filled?...Have we recruited enough help?

The worst part though was dealing with the difficult customer or even worse, ungrateful recipient. We once had a woman (and I use that word loosely) actually call us in the middle of our insanely busy Valentine's Day and give us hell down the road simply because she did not want flowers..."I told him I wanted jewelry! I don't want these no good stinkin' flowers and you need to come back and pick them up!"   

I kid you not. 

Then of course you had those poor clueless guys who, despite their good intentions, just really had no idea what women want and would point to a heart-shaped funeral piece hanging on the wall and tell us that was exactly what he was looking for and that he wanted it sent to his girlfriend at work, complete with the stand and balloons attached and just did not seem to grasp the explanation that it was indeed intended for a funeral.

I don't know what all women want for Valentine's Day but I do know that all women don't want a funeral flower delivered to their place of employment, or any other place for that matter.  

And here are a few other things I'm pretty sure all women don't want on this celebration of love and hearts day...

A household appliance. Unless it has a piece of jewelry or a salon/spa gift certificate attached then you are not going to get the result you were aiming for here, guys.  Even if she tells you she wants it, do not, and I repeat, do NOT give it to her for Valentine's Day.

Lingerie. Because we are all well aware that this is a gift for you and not for her.  Buy her something she will actually enjoy wearing instead, like a pair of satin pajamas.  

An apron.
A pet. Unless it is a wiener dog (or maybe that only applies to me), don't do it. For your sake, her sake and the animal's sake!

A mix tape of bad love songs. Which I guess today would probably be a mix USB stick but still, don't do it. Especially if you include songs like Sting's I'll Be Watching You.  I've been given two "mix tapes" in my life and both times I broke the relationship off shortly after because I was completely creeped out. So unless you are still in middle school, I would not recommend going there.

Bathroom Scales.  I don't care how many times you've heard her say, "These damn scales are broken!"  Trust me fully on this one.  

A card like this...
Because doing so could result in the need for a funeral wreath after all.  

Happy Heart Day! :)

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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Few Things I'm Loving Right Now...

This Wonder Woman mug I scored at TJMaxx a few weeks ago. I'm so not a morning person but I can't help but smile (at least on the inside) when I stumble into the kitchen at dark thirty in the mornings and see it waiting for me.  

The Clarisonic Mia facial brush.  I kept hearing all these great things about it so I finally bought myself one about a month ago and love it!  It leaves my skin feeling so soft and smooth, almost like I've just had a facial. 

The Fifty Shades Trilogy by E L James that I'm currently reading on my Kindle.  I finished the first one, Fifty Shades of Grey, on Saturday and am already over halfway through the second one, Fifty Shades Darker. Very intriguing.  It reminds me of Twilight, only it's the adult version...minus the vampires and werewolves. 

Revenge on ABC.  I really did not expect to like this show starring Emily VanCamp from Brothers and Sisters, one of my favorite shows that I was upset to see cancelled last year, but I was immediately sucked in and addicted after watching the very first episode.

 Zone Perfect chocolate peanut butter bars.  I discovered these a couple of years ago but have been eating a lot more of them lately, since becoming a vegetarian.  They are one of the best tasting nutrition bars I've found and are high in protein.
Black bean burgers.  I had never even tried one before starting this vegetarian thing and was really surprised at how tasty they are.  I've made them twice already.  The first time I strictly followed this recipe but when I made them last week, I looked at a few different ones and just kinda winged it. The most amazing thing is, the boys like them! 

Kerastase Leave-in Treatment by L'Oreal for controlling "dry and rebellious hair".  I definitely have some rebellious hair and this stuff works wonders for controlling its frizz and volume.  
These hilarious e-cards people make and pin on Pinterest because I swear, it's like they were in my head when they made them...

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

If You Give a Mom a Break...

If you give a mom a break, chances are she's going to want a Diet Coke.

When she walks into the kitchen to get herself one, she will notice that someone has left the milk out.  

She will yell, "WHO LEFT THE MILK OUT?!"  but of course she will get no answer and will put the milk back in the refrigerator.  

When she opens the refrigerator, a bottle of red Gatorade that was crammed inside with the lid half off will come tumbling out and spilling all over the kitchen floor.  

She will mutter some words under her breath that would make a sailor blush as she cleans up the sticky Gatorade off her just recently cleaned kitchen floor.  

While she is down there cussing and cleaning the floor, one of the wiener dogs will scratch on the door wanting back in the house.  

When she goes to let him in, she sees that he has been digging AGAIN so she will take him to the boys' bathroom to give him his 15th bath for the week.  

After she bathes him, she will gather up the mountain of towels on the bathroom floor to put them in the washing machine.  

She will find the washing machine full of clothes that need to be put into the dryer that she discovers is also full of clothes that need to be folded which will cause her to use all the bad words she knows, plus some she made up.  

As she is sitting on the floor in front of the dryer folding the clothes that were in there, the wet wiener dog will jump up on her to apologize for his bad behavior by licking her in the face.  

The funk of his breath will nearly make her pass out so she will get up to go into the kitchen cabinet where she keeps the dog stuff in order to get him a Greenie to freshen his stanky breath.  

When she gets into the kitchen, she remembers that she was going to have a Diet Coke.  

Just as she is pouring her Diet Coke (the last one in the house) into a cup of ice, her 8 year old will burst through the door screaming, whining, and claiming that his brother beat him up on the trampoline with her 12 year old right behind him denying any such claim. 

She will be forced to play referee for the 859th time this week while trying her best not to use any more of the four letter words.

As she is giving them the third degree, complete with jerky hand movements, she accidentally knocks her Diet Coke off the counter...

And chances are pretty good that while she's cleaning it up? She's going to be reminded that she could really use a break! 

*This post inspired by the Writer's Workshop at Mama's Losin It.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Digesting Frogs...

It's never a good feeling when your phone rings in the middle of pilates class and you look over to see that it's the school calling.  I immediately picked it up and bolted out of the room, only to have the call disconnected.  I called right back to be put on hold for what seemed like forever before the teacher finally picked up the phone.  

She said it was Dracen who had called.  He wanted to remind me that he wanted to stay after school to dissect frogs which I had indeed forgotten all about.  It was a "reward" for those students who attended the Science Academy whether or not they actually completed a project or not.

Dracen did not because I'm not one of those parents who goes all gung ho crazy over completing an optional science project for my third grader and seeing as how Dracen is a free spirit who most of the time (as Charlie would say) doesn't care which way the wind blows, it just never happened.  His intentions were good though and had it not been optional I would have been on him like white on rice to get it done but I have enough battles to fight around here as it is and I really just didn't have the energy to take on one for extra credit.

I told her that was fine and went on back in to class to discover that I had missed the entire much-needed backside toning series and when I got home there was a message from Dracen on the machine (because he'd called the house first) telling me that he would be staying after school to "digest" frogs.  

And when I picked him up at 3:30, he went on and on about how cool it was and informed me, very proud-like, that he "accidentally" cut the frog's leg off.  Ugh. I can still recall the smell of the frogs, fetal pigs, earth worms and various other preserved creatures I had to dissect in high school and college and I can assure you, I never once thought of any of it as a reward.  

The first one was a frog in 10th grade Biology class and I will never forget, as I told Dracen yesterday, the orange/yellowish stuff inside that frog that the teacher said was fat tissue and that reminded me of my all-time favorite food, Kraft macaroni and cheese, and how, for the longest time, I could not eat it without thinking about frog guts. 

He did not understand in the least how I could be grossed out by something so utterly fascinating and when Charlie got home from work he started in about the frogs again, announcing that he had digested one today and wanted to know if Charlie had ever had the privilege of digesting one himself which turned the conversation to digesting, as in really digesting, frog legs.  

And that's when I blacked out...

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