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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Friday Fragments...

I saw this quote on Pinterest awhile back that said something along the lines of, "Both of us can't look good at the same time.  It's either me or the house."  I feel that way often and lately, I've been so focused on the yard and other things around here that the blog has been the one to suffer the most neglect. I thought I could at least construct a Friday Fragments post for tomorrow though since this is pretty much the way I think most of the time anyway...    
Mommy's Idea

~I've been watching The Bachelorette, shamelessly this time because it's Emily and her story is so near and dear to my heart and she's from Charlotte where they are filming a lot of the show.  I couldn't have turned away from this one if I tried. There were two separate incidences with two different guys, however, that took place on this week's show that left me shouting, "Emily! Girlfriend, what are you thinking giving this asshat a rose?!" 

The first one was Ryan aka Mr. I'm-too-sexy-for-my-shirt. He actually had the nerve and audacity to tell Emily in front of her girlfriends in the park that if she got fat after they got married, he would still love her, he just wouldn't love up ON her.  Umm...Next!  

Then there was Kalon.  Where oh where do I even begin with this guy?  He had a helicopter drop him off on the lawn the night they were all introduced to Emily and made me cringe from the inside out when he crossed his sockless, loafer-wearing leg as he sat beside her this week and then proceeded to stop her midsentence and all but tell her to shut up while he finished saying his piece.  Oh H. No!  

Yet both these charmers are still standing.

She did have the good sense her mama gave her to send Mr. I-am-God's-gift-to-women-and-long-to-be-your-Latin-lover Allesandro home on the spot though when he told her through broken English that giving up his playboy lifestyle to become a husband to her and father to her daughter, Ricki, while he was willing to do it, would be a great compromise for him. Well, at least he was honest.  Adios, Amigo! 

I'm currently rooting for Arie  and she already seems completely smitten with him.  


~One more week of school left here.  Part of me is ecstatic that I won't have to get up before the roosters crow five days a week but the biggest part of me is dreading like the plague the fighting/bickering that will surely ensue each and every day. 

It will be a shorter summer break than normal, however, since our county decided we needed to start back the first week of August instead of the last, like all the other schools in North Carolina, and filed for an exemption to that law which was approved.  Apparently, you can do that if your county missed a certain amount  of days due to inclement weather in the past few years though we didn't miss a single one this year since we didn't see a single snowflake.  

~Wednesday morning I finally got the permanent crown placed on tooth number 19,  one of the two teeth I had to have a root canal on last year.  It is so perfectly perfect,not to mention EXPENSIVE that it's almost a shame nobody except my dentist and her staff will likely ever catch a glimpse of it since it's a bottom left molar and I'm not one to make a habit of throwing my head back and talking and laughing with my entire mouth.  


~When I was waiting at a stoplight to turn onto the highway this morning, the guy in the car in front of me had the nerve to throw some sort of wrapper out of his window when the light turned and he began to accelerate. I was so peeved that once I got on the highway, I got up beside him and gave him my best evil eye before speeding around him.  He just looked at me like WTH?  I don't think he had a clue why and just thought I was some crazy woman. It did make me feel better, but in hindsight it probably wasn't the smartest move.   Litterbugs infuriate me though.  Grr!!


Best things I found on Pinterest this week...

This is so true!  Drives me insane when their ears flip over.  I must fix them immediately.  The longhaired Dachsies aren't quite as bad about this as the smooths though.

I may have to do this for Dracen's teacher!

I think this is the best definition of
 Grief that I have ever read. So true.

A little dark humor but I've always been a Muppets fan
as well as a big Dr. Seuss fan  so I found this hysterical.

And I think I'll end the randomness on that note...

Happy Friday, Y'all!  

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Red Mulch, a Black Snake, and a Brown Bird

On Saturday we ordered a big ol' dump truck full of red mulch for my shade garden because I had the idea pop into my head that red mulch would look good down there.  I just assumed it would be naturally reddish, say like cedar or whatever.  I don't know my mulch.  Or at least I didn't.  I know a whole lot more now after a couple of hours with my good buddy, Google, Saturday night. 

I did not know there was a such thing as dyed mulch... Had no clue whatsoever until I started spreading that stuff and realized it was turning my gloves, my shoes and anything else it touched red. But it was pretty and although I may have started to second guess myself a time or two, Charlie loved the look and anyway, what's done is done. There's no undoing a dump truck full of mulch especially after it's been spread. 

Nonetheless, I could not help myself so I turned to Google and seems there are varying opinions about dyed mulch and there are quite a few out there who loathe it with an undying passion, some who say it is unsafe and even others who say it's horrible for your plants.  Well, the best I can conclude (from my little two hour online research session) is that it is not unsafe anymore though it may have been prior to 2004 and that it may or may not be the best option for your soil and plants.  

Oh well.  I suppose only time will tell but after all the hard work I've put into that area that was nothing more than a great big hot mess before I started, I don't plan to let it go down without a helluva fight. 

In other news, I was hacking away at pruning a very overgrown Japanese Maple yesterday when I heard the Darlings barking to beat the band at the other end of the yard at the corner of the house and the fence.  Dracen was down there with them and came to tell me that they were barking at the birds who live in the holly tree. I found it a little hard to believe that they were that riled up over some birds though the birds were doing an awful lot of fussing over something.  
And when Brisco Big Boy began pawing ferociously at the dirt and biting the fence I knew there was more to this story. So I got down there on his level and was greeted by a coiled, hissing black snake on the other side of the fence at which point I jerked him and Charlene Li'l Bit right up and hauled their little wiener butts into the house, much to their chagrin because they love nothing better than a good excuse to fight a battle in defense of their territory.
Dracen and I were both stressing over what to do next because while I didn't want to kill a black snake, I didn't want it getting up there and eating the Brown Thrasher's babies either.  But as it turned out, I didn't need to do anything because those badass little birds pecked and bitched at it until it could take no more and according to Dracen (because I eventually went back to "pruning" while he stood watch), they chased him right on out of the yard and into the woods where I sincerely hope he stays, indefinitely... 

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Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday Fragments...

Mommy's Idea

~My shade garden is coming along.  I've gotten several things planted in there and now am in some serious need of a buttload of mulch, like at least a very large dump truck full, preferably the pretty red kind.  So that will be my priority this weekend although I saw it's supposed to reach 90 here today and tomorrow.  If I'm not around any next week, I possibly had a heat stroke.  

~I think this gardening thing may be just the thing to keep me from blowing my top with the boys this summer because after I'd told them to do their chores a half dozen times yesterday afternoon and  then retreated out there to water my plants, I swear a calming effect washed over me as I showered them down.  I should have started this years ago.  

~The bonus room project is almost complete and I'll post pics of that, along with the shade garden, soon and very soon.  

~If any of you saw or heard about the video of the sermon by the pastor of a church in a certain town in North Carolina that went viral this week, THAT IS MY TOWN.  I am disgusted by the whole thing and just want to set the record straight that not all of us here in this town are close-minded, ignorant bigots.  If  you have no idea what I'm talking about, you can read about it here.  The man is simply sick and no, I don't know him nor do I ever care to.  

~Did y'all see the American Idol final results show Wednesday night?  Phillip's realization of what had just hit him there at the end as he was overwhelmed with emotion was just priceless.  In a good way.  But there were other not so good priceless moments that made me say WTH?  

First off, what was up with J.Lo's sagging drop crotch in those blinged out britches?  

Sorry, Jen, but this one is a NO for me. 

And Jennifer Holliday?  Well, there's no denying that the woman can sing like nobody's business but she scared the ever-lovin' crap outta me in the process.  Let's just say, I would not want to be the man being told that he's GONNA LOVE HER because I think she darn well meant it.

But the moment that had me in a complete and utter state of shock was Fantasia's little ensemble.
Lawd have mercy, somebody get that woman a stylist!


Hope you all have a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend!  

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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

I Promised Me a Shade Garden...

While washing the windows and trimming the insane amount of sticker bushes around here Saturday, I had an overwhelming notion come over me to create some type of shade garden in the area around the oak trees at the back of the yard where Brisco Darling likes to dirty up his pretty little paws digging for critters.  An area that suddenly became much larger once I was in there pulling weeds and raking the hundreds of pounds of leaves that were still piled up along the edge of the fence.  

As I've mentioned before I am not much of a planner and I lack patience so I tend to jump into projects all Gung ho and full throttle without so much as taking a measurement or sketching a draft.  My idea of planning consisted of pinning a few pics on Pinterest for inspiration...

and then hopping in the car for Lowe's after the boys were at school yesterday morning in order to load my car down with plants that, according to their description tags, thrive in shady areas.

Then I set out to clean the area.  My idea was to first clear out all the leaves that had gathered against the fence and haul them out of the gate to the woods with the wheelbarrow.  Ha!  That clearly wasn't going to happen since that would have been like two hundred and seventy six loads and only one of me. So I settled for raking them into pile after pile after pile and attempted to begin moving the big rocks the previous owners had at some point, for reasons unbeknownst to me, stacked up in piles.  

Y'all. Pilates and Zumba ain't got nothing on that kind of manual labor.  I was panting, gasping for breath, having dizzy spells, sweating profusely and cursing every single stone I turned until I was forced to break for my two school pick ups and the buying of groceries in between.  

And when Devin and I were putting away the groceries, Dracen walks out of the bathroom from where he was doing his business, pants around his ankles (lucky for us, his shirt was kinda long),  and demands to know who turned out the lights.  As it turns out the power had gone out because, according to Popaw, a police chase ended in the taking out of a power pole and several lines in town. 

Assuming it would be back on soon, I headed back out the door to move some more rocks until Charlie came home, had mercy on me, and got a big tarp in order to get all the leaves out of my future shade garden and then helped me move the rocks I had earlier proclaimed "unmovable" while Dracen kept popping out of the back door in fits because Devin had...Devin did...Devin said... No power in the house and they STILL wouldn't come outside.  

I continued to busy myself until the rain rolled in around 7pm at which point I came inside wanting nothing more than to get in the shower and wash all the dirt and sweat off and then flop down on the couch and watch the final competition on Dancing With the Stars which was all in fact impossible seeing as how we had no electricity and televisions and well pumps don't work without electricity.  Not cool, Speedy Gonzalez.  Not cool at all.   

Around 8:30 we hopped in the car to go see what we could see and sure enough there they were, just in front of the Auto Zone, oodles of power trucks and workers diligently working to restore our power that Speedy took out, as it poured down rain on their poor souls.  And that's when I quit my bitchin' and came back home to read by flashlight until just before 10pm when alas, there once again was light.  And t.v. And running water.  

And today, although I feel like I worked each and every machine in the gym several times over, the shade garden quest must go on.

To be continued...

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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Tales of a Fourth Grade Introvert

Ronald Reagan became the 40th president of the United States, the cost of gas surpassed a dollar a gallon for the first time in history, Blondie was topping the Billboard Chart with her hit song, Call Me, Jordache jeans were all the rage, Dolly Parton made her big screen debut in 9 to 5, and I? 

I was in the fourth grade.    

When I read over Mama Kat's writing prompts for this week I kept going back to the one asking me to share a story from the fourth grade because Dracen and I have just recently begun reading Judy Blume's 1970s book, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, on the Kindle. I always loved Judy Blume books when I was growing up and they are proving to be just as entertaining today as they were way back then.  

But when I try to recall my elementary and middle school years, I often have a hard time remembering details and what happened when.  It's mostly just all stuffed in one big file of my memory bank labeled, Childhood, which is pretty much the way I have things "organized" (and I use that term very loosely) around the house.  

So I broke out my fourth grade yearbook and remembered that my bff and I took gymnastics that year when I came across this photo...
It seems that may have also been the same year we took baton lessons if my memory serves me correctly. I don't know why I quit because my biggest dream back them, aside from one day becoming a Solid Gold Dancer, was to be a majorette when I got to high school because the high school I would be attending always had a small team of majorettes. I think I really just wanted to wear one of those sequin leotards.  I did pick up the lessons again later on, only to get the news my 9th grade year that we were moving to North Carolina that summer where I had to settle for twirling a flag, sans sequin leotard, because they didn't have majorettes.  Oh, the disappointment!  

But back to my attempts at conjuring up memories of the fourth grade. Fourth grade...fourth grade... What happened in the fourth grade?  And then it hit me...Yes, that happened in the fourth grade.

I know I've briefly told this story on this blog before but it's been quite a while back and I doubt most of you have heard it so here goes...

I've always been an introverted person and I went many, many days during my elementary school years without ever saying a word to anyone all day long.  Public school was definitely not my favorite place to be but that year I really liked my teacher which did make a difference.  But I still didn't speak aloud unless my very life had been threatened or I was asked a direct question from the teacher.  

We had those big, gaudy, metal and wood desks that our books went underneath and that the teachers always liked to line up in rows for reasons I never understood because you couldn't see jack she was writing on that blackboard if you were in the back or behind some tall kid, which I often was then since I was in the middle of a three year drought in the growth spurt department.
via Pinterest
That year I was probably about half to three quarters back on my row and on this particular day, the teacher was up there doing her thing with the chalk and teaching away when I bent over to get something I needed out of my desk.  Well, I guess I bent over a little too far because the next thing I knew I was flipped completely over, desk and all.  

But did I yell out for help or cry or even attempt to make a white flag out of a sheet of notebook paper and wave it around?  


Not me.

I just stayed there on the floor trapped by my big ol' desk as my face turned fifty shades of red and not making even the tiniest sound until a student near me spoke up and got the teacher's attention.  

And what she said when she turned to see me in my unfortunate predicament, I don't think I will ever forget...

She said, "Diane, you are the only student I know who could flip over in her desk without making a sound!" 

Yep, that was me...the stealthiest fourth grader to ever grace a row desk.  


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Monday, May 14, 2012

10 Mother's Day Smiles

Aside from the three hour baseball scrimmage Friday night, baseball pics Saturday morning, Dracen nearly passing out at his marathon Saturday afternoon and the fact that it poured buckets all day yesterday, last night, and into this morning, it was still a successful Mother's Day weekend and we managed to accomplish all of our goals by visiting all the mothers we needed to visit.

But this morning, I am exhausted, which is why I did something that I never, ever do by falling back asleep on the couch after the boys left for school. And Pilates?  Pfft!  It just ain't happening today.      

And though I'm a little late getting started, I think I am now awake enough to attempt my Monday Listicles post. This week Stasha asked us to write either a list of ten things we'd like to delete or a list of ten things motherhood related. Although I don't have any doubts that I would have no trouble at all coming up with a list of ten plus things I'd love to hit the delete button on, I've decided to go with the topic of motherhood by making a list of ten little things that made my Mother's Day weekend happy...

1.The Confirmation. After several weeks of Confirmation Classes Devin was confirmed as a full member of the church, along with four other young men he's gone to church with his entire life.  It made my heart smile and swell with pride to stand up there with him as he made this proclamation of faith.

2. The cards.  I've always been a card person so having the boys and Charlie each pick out their own cards for me was in itself enough. 

3. The old watch. My mother gave me an old watch that she's had since she was a teenager in the 50s and recently had repaired.  I wore it all day yesterday and couldn't help but stare at my wrist all day.  Old and sentimental?  It just doesn't get any better than that in my book.  

4. The funny stuff Dracen says. The boys' Popaw keeps bees and Dracen, of course, loves to get involved whenever he gets the chance.  Saturday morning their Momaw told us that when Dracen was over on Friday afternoon, Popaw was telling him all about a hive he had that for some reason had several queens which is very bad because there is only ever supposed to be one queen at a time so he had to do away with the other queens.  To which Dracen replied, "Well, it would have just been a lot of drama anyway!"  

Pretty hilariously insightful for an eight year old boy I thought.  

5. The redbird. When I lifted the bedroom shades yesterday morning, a redbird was there on the fence to greet me.  Redbirds have a special meaning for me so it was a great way to start my Mother's Day.  

6. The blackberry cobbler. Charlie's sister had planned a special outdoor meal for all of us yesterday afternoon and although the rain moved us into a carport, it was still a wonderful time with blackberry cobbler for dessert.  Yum-my! 

7. The dog baptism.  Last night after we got home Dracen came and asked if he could baptize Charlene (Li'l Bit).  Lucky for her, we're Methodists!  I still don't think she appreciated the ceremony, however. That little wiener doesn't even like to get her feet wet.   And Brisco (Big Boy) had probably prepare himself because I get the feeling he's next.   

8. The candy apple red blender. Dracen remembered that I had said our blender was on its way out and that I'd like to have a red one to match the other small appliances. The thoughtfulness of it was more better than the blender itself.  

9. The pretty necklace.  I love when they pick out something fancy just for me when I'm sure they'd have rather bought me a new set of knives or a power tool.  

10.  These pictures from yesterday. This porch swing has been in my life for over 18 years now and I have spent many, many reflective hours on it over the years.  I brought it with me when we moved to this house two years ago this April and painted it green last summer though we never got around to hanging it.  Charlie did so about a week ago and it's like having an old friend back.  I just love seeing it there on the front porch when I pull up.

It's the little things...

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Friday, May 11, 2012

Friday Fragments

~That furniture is in the bonus room.  Oh yes, it is!  Thanks to the brand new opening in our kitchen wall.

  ~My idea is to frame it out (well, not me personally because that would be a sight and a disaster) and find an old door to hang there. Something kinda like this...
~Are y'all watching American Idol and did you see that performance by Joshua Ledet Wednesday night? My word, that young man can sang his A off! I almost jumped up on the couch and wooted! And I don't woot.  

~Dracen started taking his lunch to school awhile back and a couple of weeks ago he told me he needed, just had to have, a "thermoster" in order to take hot stuff for lunch. After hounding me about it for two weeks, we finally stopped in the dollar store the other day and bought him one but no matter how many times I correct him by telling him it is a thermos and not a thermoster, he just can't help but add that "ter" on the end.  So from here forward, it will always be a thermoster  to me because admit it, that's just way more fun to say.

~It has come to my recent attention that Li'l Bit shares my disdain for flies.  A fly in the house will drive me absolutely out of my mind.  I turn all ninja with a rolled up magazine whispering for everyone to shut up and freeze...If I'm successful at smashing it then I yell out YES!! I got you, you little son of a b! complete with a fist pump in the air and a happy dance.  But if I miss?  I turn into a crazy person until that sucker is creamed.  

And I've recently noticed that if Li'l Bit climbs up on my shoulder and obsessively licks my face then there is a fly in the house and she won't stop until I get up and do something about it.  Maybe it's the fly or maybe it's the fact that she knows I'm about to turn all kung fu crazy but that little wiener can't stand no stinkin' flies.  

~I'm in for a busy pictures for two teams, a marathon for Dracen, a scrimmage with another team, a possible additional practice, Devin is being confirmed at church and I still have to come up with an acceptable clothing ensemble for the occasion that he won't roll his eyes and scoff at. Ahh...the joys of motherhood.  

~Wishing you all a Mother's Day filled with lots of love and moments to make your heart smile...

My mom and me

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.  ~Elizabeth Stone 

Happy Friday!

You can read more Friday Fragments or link up your own at Half Past Kissin' Time!
Mommy's Idea

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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Summertime Memories

This week Mama Kat asked us to make a list of the top ten things we loved about summer when we were growing up. This one was easy for me because I have always loved summer.  I'm forever trying to talk my boys into getting off their electronics and going outside more in the summer and usually I get, "It's too hot! And besides, there's nothing to do out there!"  Ugh.  

"It was just as hot when I was a kid in the South!" I remind them.  And then I go into this long, old lady lecture about how we didn't have five hundred and seventy nine channels on the t.v., cell phones, XBoxes, iPods, computers and the worldwide web at our fingertips 24-7.  No sirree.  We had to make our own fun.  Outside! And by gosh, we loved it!  

And it never works. Though they do occasionally wander outside on their own before coming back inside to complain about the heat and the boredom. 

It's just that, looking back, my most memorable, fond moments of Summertime are all about simple things and times had outside in the open air, sunshine and undeniable southern humidity and I sometimes feel that they are missing out on those things.

Oh sure, we spent our fair share of time inside on the Atari playing Pac-Man, in the floor playing Monopoly and Life, and on the phone telling Mr. So and So to go and catch his running refrigerator before it got away (Caller ID...what a buzz kill) and even watching The Days of Our Lives, General Hospital, Looney Tunes and old reruns of I Love Lucy, Bewitched and Gilligan's Island on our televisions but the very best times were always had outside.  

And you can bet that if I was engaging in one of the following activities, I was happy, from the inside out...

1. Playing with the water hose, slip n' slide or in the kiddie pool in the backyard.  Getting the opportunity to actually go swimming in a pool, lake, creek or ocean was a rare treat and one that was never, ever turned down. But that old faithful water hose was better than nothing and it was always there to get us through the hottest of summer days.     
2. Catching lightning bugs aka fireflies at dusk. Although we poked holes in the jar lid before setting them in our rooms at night, they always died and I always felt such deep guilt so eventually, I stopped putting them in jars...just caught them and let them go.  
That's me, the little one in the dress, with my cousin, older brother and grandmother, Ollie Mae
3. Swinging on the swings or monkey bars, riding my Big Wheel down the driveway or bike around the neighborhood.  I only recall ever having two bikes in my childhood.  The first was a little red bike with training wheels that were eventually removed and then one year for Christmas I received my big yellow bike with the white seat and basket on the front that I sometimes rode our little dog, Charmagne, around in.  There was no better feeling in the world than riding that yellow bike down the big hill with my hair in the wind and my best friend by my side on her bike with her,  Yes, I said duck. A boy duck named Lily.  
4. Watching the fireworks down by the river levee on the Fourth of July. It just doesn't get any more American than that.  
Posing with the Pinto...Gotta love it!
5. Going to Six Flags. I grew up about 70 miles from Atlanta and no summer was ever complete without at least one trip to Six Flags Over Georgia.  The Scream Machine and The Mindbender were my all-time favorite roller coasters.  
That's me, front and center, sportin' the dork uniform and bad perm at Six Flags Over Georgia circa 1980 something.  But never mind me, check out Clark Griswold in the background, stylin' and profilin'  in those hawt short shorts and tube socks. How did I never notice him before now and where the hell were Stacy and Clinton back then? Because clearly, we were all in need of their services.
6. Eating watermelon on the picnic table. There was no better treat in summertime than biting into a juicy red slice of fresh watermelon and just getting all sticky with it as the juice ran down your arms. But swallowing a seed would fill me with overwhelming worry every time, until I got old enough to realize that swallowing a seed was not going to grow a watermelon vine out of my rear end or belly button!  

7. Playing neighborhood softball, Red Rover, Truth or Dare, and Ghost in the Graveyard, which I broke my collarbone playing when I was fourteen.  That was my last summer in Georgia and though I've never given it much thought, my last summer of childhood (late bloomer). That was also my first and so far, only, (knock-knock-knock on wood) time being treated in the ER.  Wish I could say the same for my youngest child!
8. Camping out under the stars in the backyard. You couldn't pay me to sleep out there with no shelter now but I was all about it as a kid.  I think we once slept on lounge chairs and carried every stuffed animal I owned out there with us. We were girly girl tomboys, I guess. 
9. Eating Popsicles, of any kind, but especially homemade ones or as we called them at my babysitter Mrs. White's house, Pop ups, which is what we also called Pop-Tarts.  I have no idea why. I mean the Pop-Tarts made since because they "popped up" out of the toaster but I never knew why we called the Popsicles that too.  Hmm...

10. Going barefoot.  I'm still barefoot in the house pretty much year round but when I was a kid I went around barefoot all the time in the summer, even outside. Unless shoes were required I wasn't going to put them on. Which is kinda funny since I am now a major shoe addict.  
Myrtle Beach, 1979. That's me rockin' the kickass Wonder Woman suit

So what about you? What did you love most about summer when you were growing up?

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