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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Take a picture; It'll last longer.

Made Me Smile...
I took these from the deck a couple of afternoons ago.  Dracen loves to make the wieners run and have me take action shots.  The sight of the floppy ears and the tails flying high make me smile from the inside out every single time.

Made Me Laugh Out Loud...
I bought these three little chicks last spring and recently dug them out with my other springy things and hung them from the chandelier over the kitchen table.  I noticed the other day that something was hanging out of their beaks.  Upon closer inspection, I discovered that all three of them are eating a Goldfish.  The boys immediately confessed and I could not help but laugh.  And leave them there. 

Made Me Happy...
If you know me well or have read my poem under my poetry tab entitled Redbirds, then you know that redbirds (specifically Cardinals) have a very special place in my heart.  I was outside with the camera a couple of days ago and heard one singing.  I know their song well.  I looked around until I spotted him way up in an oak tree.  He kept flying from tree to tree though never came very close.  This was the best shot I got of him with the zoom.

Made Me Giggle...
Dracen, forever aspiring to be a jack of all trades, has been practicing his photography skills lately.  I found this one he tried to take of his brother on the trampoline...his brother who has a strong aversion to cameras. I love that his little skinny flip-flopped foot made it in.

Made Me Say, WTH?
Mr. Photographer snapped this one of me while I was taking a breather in the sunroom yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure exactly what move I was attempting here but after seeing it and the photo of Devin above, it also makes me say, "Like mother, like son?"  Hmm...

Made Me Say, Aww!
I took this one of Miss Priss aka Charlene aka Li'l Bit as she paused from her backyard exploration on Monday morning.

Made Me Feel a Little Whimsical/Quirky (in a good way)
My little gnome who watches over the yard from this window on the deck, my bamboo windchimes, my Mr. Moon Face guy (we've been together for years), a seeded dandelion (they've always made me smile...weeds or not) and this faded out Globetrotters basketball Dracen bought when we took him to see them two years ago this month.  

3/19/2010...I think he's grown a foot since then!
Made Me Feel Loved...
Not really sure what Dracen was going for here (probably Charlie's "Lucky Dog" shirt) but the fact that he got his wedding band in the frame, just made me feel loved.  It's the little things... 

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

I Went to IKEA and Lived to Tell About It

Last Saturday I decided it was high time I paid a visit to the place I've been hearing so much about lately. Seriously, every time I turn around somebody somewhere is talking about some treasure they scored for a bargain price at the wonderful world of IKEA. 

There is one in Charlotte, which is right at an hour's drive for us so as I was busy cleaning house Saturday morning and supervising chores I announced to Devin that we were going to Charlotte when we got done.  He moaned and groaned when I told him we were going to a furniture store followed by a grocery store because I had great expectations of also checking out a Trader Joe's, another fine chain I've been hearing so much about and that also supposedly has some great vegetarian selections.  

Living in a small town does have its advantages but a vast selection of retail stores and fine dining establishments is not among them.

Devin immediately got on the phone and called his popaw to line up going fishing after their chores were done and I'm not gonna lie, I was all kinds of okay with that because taking those two on a shopping trip to Charlotte is not my idea of a good time.  I'm just saying. 

He apparently told Dracen that I told them they couldn't go in order to assure that he would go fishing with him and Popaw instead of to the great big city with the likes of us (they have a bit of a love/hate relationship, those two) because he told Charlie as such.  And we just left well enough alone since he would have likely chosen fishing anyway.  

It was two o'clock by the time we got out of the house and I didn't realize just how little energy I had left after the housework which involved my vacuuming and mopping the entire house because I think I nodded off about five times on the way down there. 

When we finally arrived at the IKEA Blvd Exit, I perked up and may have uttered a four letter word or two when I saw how massive this institution was because I had sure as heck not opted for sensible walking shoes.  I had no clue!  I was half serious when I asked Charlie if we'd have to be taken to the door on one of those little tram cars because what with the sixteen thousand cars in the parking lot and the ginormous flags out front and atop the building, it looked more like an amusement park than a home furnishings store.  
And here I just thought they sold furniture. 

There were people everywhere!  Charlie quick grabbed a giant yellow parachute bag to strap over this cart thingy and I got in line for a FREE membership card mainly because I had no idea what to do or which way to go and because it looked like the logical way to go.  After I finally got my turn at the machine, entered my full name, address and criminal history and had my card in hand we were ready to roll!  

"Which way should we go?" I asked. "To the left? To the right? Up the escalator? Oh wait, we have that cart (that horrible, awful, rickety cart that is making more noise than the neighbor's leaf blower).  We'd better take the stairs...No, no wait.  Let's just see what's in this room.  Oh for heaven's sake, let's leave that flippin' buggy here!  I'm sure we can get another one later if we need it!"   

Charlie gladly obliged because that thing just truly was that annoying.  I had no idea he also possesses the same knack for picking the most rickety loud ass buggy in the store as I do.  It really is a curse.  

After we ditched that sucker and I saw that the room we were in looked like nothing more than a bunch of dishes, we hit the escalator that promised to take us up to the "furniture showroom" but was surprised to also see a monster food court/restaurant area.  WTH?  I was overwhelmed.  And not really in a good way. 

I think we got to going the wrong way a few times because I nearly got taken out by a lamp and a bouncing toddler once or twice.  "Oh crap!  Look, there are arrows on the floor.  We're going the wrong dang way! HELP!"  

About an hour in, I was complaining of my aching feet, my growling tummy and my throbbing head and Charlie was cracking jokes, Moo-ing and saying something about feeling like cattle and "Which way's the water park?!" 

I was not really impressed with the lack of character and the way too modern for my taste look of most of the furniture but for some strangely odd and unknown reason (I think it was something they were pumping into the air vents) I could not pull myself away from that place before I had explored every single square foot and there was no way, no how I was coming outta there empty-handed.  

Insane, right? I know, I know.  But I had to have something to show for my efforts.  This could not all be in vain.  I deserved a bargain for this and I was darn well gonna get one!  After we made our way back down to the first floor I quickly snagged up this little treasure...
No, it's not a horse toothbrush.  I don't own a horse and I felt a little ridiculous carrying that one little thing around when everyone else had lots and lots of STUFF.  It's for cleaning my gas stove burners because Woo Hoo! I just love to clean!  Okay, not really but the burners do need a good scrubbing and this just seemed like the perfect thing.  Charlie, clearly delirious by this point, begins laughing hysterically and asking where the toothpaste is to go with our toothbrush.  

We really weren't drinking, y'all. I swear.  

In the end, we made it out through the self-checkout alive, each in one piece and totin' two bathmats, two lightweight cheaply-made table lamps for the bonus room and our very own Mr. Ed toothbrush.  But we never did find the toothpaste and I don't think I have to tell you that Trader Joe's didn't happen either. 

I try to make it a point to never say never but if there ever is a next time, I'm getting a full twelve hours of sleep first, packing a picnic and wearing some Dr. Scholl's because pulling off a successful trip to IKEA is some serious business, my friends.  Serious biz-ness.      

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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Keeping At It

I've been doing a lot of thinking (and praying) about this blog lately.  You see, while I did initially create it on a whim with little to no direction or idea as to what I hoped to achieve from it, I've always felt a bit like it was in response to a calling.  A faint one maybe, but a calling nonetheless. The truth is, I'm not sure I was even convinced I'd keep at it for more than two months, much less for over two years.

Yet here I am, over two years later.  Still at it. Not as much lately as I was at one time and the why that is exactly is what has been on my mind and my heart for quite a long while now.  

We all have gifts bestowed upon us by God and unique to each of us.  I believe that and am convinced that it is true.  I just never have been able to put my finger on what my personal gifts to the world are.  I've read article after article, blog post after blog post, and book after book trying to uncover them but have yet to arrive at that Aha moment where the clouds part and my answer is delivered to me via angels' wings on God's personal stationery or from the smooth, clear, authoritative voice of Mr. Morgan Freeman.   

And I confess that sometimes I begin to feel inferior to all the other stars that appear to be shining so much more brightly around me so I cross my arms, stick out my lip like a pouting child and whine.  As if I actually believe this little tactic will somehow help me arrive at my desired destination.  I eventually come to my senses, realize how childish I'm being and conclude that God must get just as frustrated with me as I get with my boys at times. 

But I also know that just as I couldn't possibly love them any less or any more than I do right now, than I always have, and always will (no matter what they do or don't do) that he feels the same way about me (even more so as hard to imagine as that is), about all of us, each and every one. Even when we're acting up and even when we feel he isn't listening to us, talking to us, answering us.  

I know that there is something that has kept me coming here to this place, this tiny little speck of space in the internet world, day after day and week after week for so many months now.  That even when I feel that my voice and my words don't matter, that they aren't reaching people, aren't having the impact I long for them to have or when I hear nothing but the sound of crickets and my words echoing back at me off the empty walls or even worse, when they just won't come at all, I still keep coming back, giving it another try and hoping for the best.  

And I suppose that just as that is what we want most from and for our children, then that must surely be what he expects and desires most from us.  To simply try to do our best and to never give up even during the times when the very trees themselves seem to be blocking our view of the forest.  

Because the forest is there whether we can always see it or not. Of that I am sure.

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Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fragments...

~We have arrived once again at that time of year when my life becomes consumed by all things baseball.  Even more so this year because not only do I have two boys playing as usual but Devin is playing on not just one but two teams this year. I spent five hours of my Saturday last weekend at two different ball fields in two different towns.  And this is just practice stuff.  The games have not even started yet. 

~Today is a teacher workday here which gave me some much needed extra sleep. I am one of those people (unlike my husband) who does not sleep deeply until just about time to wake up.  So while he goes right into deep, peaceful sleep as soon as his head hits the pillow and wakes up with a song and a smile, I don't get there until about 4 or 5 a.m. so when my alarm goes off at 6:15? Well, let's just say a song and a smile is not what you get out of me.  

~I have decided that parenting a twelve and a half year old middle school boy may quite possibly be the most challenging, difficult thing God has ever or will ever ask me to do.  I "lost it" yesterday afternoon.  I didn't hurt anybody but I had to pop an extra dose of my anti-anxiety herbs and practice my deep breathing exercises...In, two, three, four, five....Out, two, three, four, five...In, two, three, four, five...Out, two, three, four five. Lawd have mercy!  If that which does not kill us truly makes us stronger then I'm going to be one hurricane proof force to be reckoned with by the end of this thing.

~Have y'all seen pics of Jessica Simpson pregnant? I now love this girl!  She is the first celebrity I have seen who actually looks like a real-life pregnant woman and not some super skinny toothpick with a basketball attached to her middle. I looked exactly (well you know, minus the glamour) like this when I was pregnant.  Both times.  I.was.huge! One of these days I may drag out a picture to show y'all but I can't promise anything.

~Is anyone else as excited as I am that Mad Men is finally coming back on this Sunday?  About time, AMC!  

~Yesterday afternoon, after I lost it, I went out into the backyard with the camera again in an effort to calm myself down.  And Spring, once again, worked her beautiful magic on my soul because as I was standing underneath this cherry tree, surrounded by the buzzing of the pollinating bees, this little treasure fluttered right into my view...

And just before she showed up, I looked up and saw this big guy circling overhead...

And then I turned my attention to Brisco (Big Boy) Darling, who may just be the most photogenic dog on the face of the earth. Maybe I'm just biased but is that not one handsome faced boy?  Charlie calls him Fabio.  And believe it or not, he is adopted.  Someone dropped him and Charlene (my beautiful Dachsie girl) off at a shelter in Tennessee in 2009 before the Dachshund Rescue volunteers picked them up and posted their beautiful faces on their site...

Happy Friday, Y'all!

**For more Friday Fragments or to link up your own, go see Mrs. 4444 at Half Past Kissin' Time! 

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring Makes Everything Better!

I found out yesterday morning, after two and a half hours in the dentist's chair, that the only thing worse than having a root canal on a tooth?  Is having the permanent crown removed from said tooth because although the x-ray showed no problem, it clearly just wasn't doing right by me or the poor gum tissue surrounding it.  


I had no idea that "permanent" crown really does mean permanent, as in that sucker ain't coming out without a fight.  My dentist, agreeing that something just wasn't right with the way it was fitting, decided to replace it for me free of charge since I only got it a few months ago and when you fork over that kind of dough (no dental insurance here) for something, it darn well needs to be right!  

Seriously. I could have bought a new wardrobe for what I paid for that tiny little piece of porcelain.  That tiny little piece of porcelain that had to be cut in half with a jackhammer and a buzz saw before it finally came out of my mouth.  At least that's what it sounded like from where I was sitting.  It has now, once again, been replaced with a temporary crown as I await my next royal crowning ceremony next month when my new one is set to arrive.

And I won't even get into the situation with the neighboring tooth that had to have a filling taken out in order to fix a cavity that had developed underneath it. Yeah.  Fun times, y'all. Fun, fun times.  I was numb for a good four and a half hours yesterday afternoon and my gums around those teeth are pissed with a capital P.  

I spent today laying low around the house and doing a major purge of my drawers and closet.  I filled five trash bags with clothes that are now Salvation Army bound. I was beginning to feel a little hoarder-like when I tried to find something to wear or put away my laundry.  And I figured that if I hadn't worn it in five years?  It was pretty much dead to me.  

With the exception of my Guess jean jacket I got for Christmas in the tenth grade, 1986.  I'm not even sure what it is about that jacket exactly.  It's not like I wear it that much anymore, rarely ever really, but it is still in remarkable condition and the best thing is it still fits...something I wore in high school, besides earrings, still fits me and that my friends, is why that Guess jean jacket will have to be pried from my cold, dead fingers before it gets chunked into the Salvation Army bag.  

I did manage to mosey outside for a few minutes with Dracen and Li'l Bit this afternoon because the breathtaking beauty of the blooming trees and shrubs in the yard were summoning me in a powerful way and I know, what with the exceptionally warm temperatures we've been having, that they will be all bloomed out before I can blink twice.

Here's  a little sample of what I managed to capture...
Spring’s greatest joy beyond a doubt is when it brings the children out.
—Edgar Guest
It's spring fever.  
That is what the name of it is.
  And when you've got it, you want -
 Oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just
 fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!  ~Mark Twain 

Spring has returned.  The Earth is like a child that knows poems.  ~Rainer Maria Rilke 

Fame is a bee.
It has a song—
It has a sting—
Ah, too, it has a wing.
~Emily Dickinson
Everything is blooming most recklessly; 
if it were voices instead of colors, 
there would be 
an unbelievable shrieking 
into the heart of the night.
  ~Rainer Maria Rilke 

The force of Spring—
powerful beyond measure.

~Michael Garofalo

The earth laughs in flowers. ~E.E. Cummings
I thank God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees & for the blue dreams of sky & for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.
E.E. Cummings 

Happy Spring!

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Fragments...

Praise the Lord, it is finally Friday!  Which also means it is time for Friday Framents with Mrs. 4444...
~I am going on a third grade field trip the museum and then to the courthouse to watch a mock trial.   This should be fun. I actually majored in Criminal Justice but never worked in that field. I'm sure I've told this here before at some point but I laugh every time I recall it.  I said I wanted to be a police officer (I know...Me? Hilarious, right?).  My mother told Charlie once that she never worried about me following through with that one because she knew I'd never be caught dead in one of those uniforms.  Bwa Ha!  She does know her daughter.  

~Have y'all watched that new show GCB yet?  It comes on ABC at 10 eastern time on Sunday nights.  It is hilarious!  My new favorite. And do you know what GCB stands for? (I Googled it because I obsess over knowing details like that...I practically live at Google) It is based on a book, Good Christian Bitches although they say the show stands for Good Christian Belles.  Same thing, right?  I can say that because I'm from the south.  

~Dracen's Yukata came yesterday.  He asked if he could wear it to school.  I told him he couldn't wear it but that he could take it to show his class.  He was okay with that. I took a picture of him wearing it but he forbid me to put it on this blog.  Boo! 

~I booked our Spring Break trip this week. We have Spring Break here the week after Easter.  Dracen had the idea to tour the Hershey plant in Pennyslvania and we're also going to spend a couple of days in Gettysburg.  I'm excited since I've never stepped foot in that part of the country. And plus, it's a CHOCOLATE factory! 

~I'm still working on the bonus room decor.  The couch and chair haven't arrived yet.  It will be four weeks next Wednesday.  Several of the light bulbs were burned out up there so I bought some, climbed up there to change them only to realize that several of them still did not work.  Charlie said the fixtures had gone bad so I found and ordered two of these... Is it weird that I get really excited about things like new light fixtures?
~The most recent pins to my funny board on Pinterest...

Watching that show does have a way of making me feel better about my housekeeping skills.
This is so true.
I can relate to this one more than I wish I could!

Happy Friday, Y'all!  

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