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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Today I have decided to forgo Wiener Wednesday and participate in the weekly Hodgepodge Questions by Joyce at From This Side of the Pond. For those of you who look forward to hearing from the Darlings each week though, don't worry. They will continue to get their equal time here on this blog. ;) 

1. What are your plans for Easter? Are you cooking a big lunch or dinner?  Dyeing eggs? Attending a sun rise service?  Eating too much chocolate?

We will go to church and this year we are going to my mom's house for lunch which reminds me, I need to find out what I need to make! We always dye eggs though Devin hasn't been very interested in the process for the past couple of years...It's just been Dracen and me. Sunrise service? Never have made it to one. I try to avoid anything that requires me to get up before the butt crack of dawn though I'm always saying I'm going to make it to of these days. I will try really hard not to eat too much chocolate but it is one of my greatest weaknesses. 

2.  What is something you feel too young to do?
Hmm...Be a grandmother?  Probably because my oldest is only 13, but my mother became one when she was the age I am now...42 next month. Wow. Hard for me to fathom! 

3.  "Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs..."  

Of the characteristics mentioned in the biblical definition of love which do you find most difficult to live out and why?

Whew. Although that is one of my favorite verses, it is certainly not always easy to abide by. I used to be a big grudge-holder though I think I've gotten much better about that as time has marched on. 

4. What's a springtime flower you associate with your childhood?

Hydrangeas always remind me of my childhood babysitter, Mrs. White. She kept me from the time I was an infant until about the second grade. She was like a grandmother to me and I kept in touch with her for years, even after we moved out of state. She had two big Hydrangea bushes on each side of her front porch steps. She referred to them as "snowball bushes". I was an adult before I learned their proper name. I planted three in my backyard last summer. 

5.  Ever sung karaoke? If so, what's your go-to song? If not and you're given the opportunity, would you? 

Yes, a couple of times. Both times I was a little "tipsy" and I had at least one girlfriend on the stage with me. It's probably been close to 20 years since the last time and I plan to keep it that way! Now I just sing alone in the car. Badly. 

6. What is something you keep in a basket?

I have baskets all over the house. A couple have magazines/books in them, a couple more have doggie clothes/toys in them, one in the kitchen has vegetables/fruits in it and then of course, there are the many clothes baskets and the dreaded mismatched sock basket.

7.  When was the last time you felt foolish?

I've definitely felt my fair share of foolish but the most recent time in which I felt extra foolish was that morning (a few months back) in the middle school drop-off line when I looked down, allowed my foot to come off the brake and rolled right into the car in front of me which, by the way, was a brand new car. Thank the good Lord there was no damage but still...

You can read that full story here if you feel obliged. 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I think I may have a pinched nerve in my back. I got up for a coffee refill a couple of questions back and it just hit me. I nearly went to my knees. I'm now having to sit straight up in a kitchen chair and it hurts to move. What in the world? Probably from carrying Dracen (who is 9 and a half) to bed two or three different times this week since he's been sick. I took four ibuprofen and I'm about to try some yoga moves. Also, I'd like to add to my answer for number 2...I feel much too young to be down with a bad back!  

Gah. This too shall pass...right? 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

The Stomach Bug Strikes Again

I picked a fine time to let us run out of paper towels. We (almost) never run out of them either since I normally keep a healthy supply on top of the freezer in the garage, right in front of my car, so I see it every time I get in and out of the car which is why I have no good legitimate reason for allowing us to run completely out, yet it happened anyway and at the most inopportune time...

Yesterday after church we had a big (early) Easter dinner at Momaw Pat's. She often does hers on Palm Sunday which, by the way, had to be the coldest, wettest, ickiest, Palm Sunday in the history of my ever. (WHERE IS SPRING?) Sunday dinner at Momaw Pat's is like food heaven on earth. I've never seen anybody walk away from there un-stuffed. 

We stayed for a good long while after we ate and as soon as Dracen got in the car to head home, he clutched his stomach and said he felt a little like he may throw up. I warned him to get out of the car quick if this was for real but he stayed. I told him it was most likely from the wrestling match with his brother he took part in just before we walked out the door. Wrestling with a stuffed belly is never a good idea.

But long after we got home he continued to complain, off and on, about his tummy, even going so far as to collapse in an over-dramatic fashion once in the hallway but since it is not unusual  for Dracen to exaggerate his ails, I still had hope that he just had a bit of indigestion. 

Turns out, it was a whole lot more than just a little indigestion because sometime just before dark last night, as Charlie and I were watching t.v. in the living room, Devin was watching Netflix on the laptop in the kitchen and Dracen (I assumed) was watching t.v. or playing XBox in his room, I thought I heard a muffled cry call out for MOM. 

I got up and went down the hall to his room and was surprised when I opened the door to find the t.v. and all the lights off (he's never in there without light, even sleeping with all his lamps on at night). I flipped on the light switch to find him sitting up in the bed, on the verge of tears and surrounded by a sea of throw up.

I did a quick assessment of the situation and was right there on the verge of tears with him.

I stood there, almost frozen, trying to figure out the best way to go about resolving this very unfortunate predicament so I said, "Just wait there a minute!"  and ran down the hall, alerted Charlie as I passed by him and then got to the kitchen, then the garage, to find no paper towels to speak of. 


I'll spare you the details by just saying that it was not the last time it happened, he never made it to the bathroom in time, and I threw away a pillow, a foam mattress topper and several old towels before Charlie, bless him, decided to go to the store and stock up on paper towels, ginger ale, hand sanitizer, and crackers.

The good news is, Dracen hasn't thrown up anymore since last night. The bad news is, the nausea was replaced with a fever and body aches. It's going to be a looong day. 

Pass me that hand sanitizer...

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Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Favorites

It's been a doozy of a week but since it is Friday, I will save the details for another day. Today is about happy things so here are a few things that made me smile this week...

A Visitor
My little redbird (I like to tell myself it's the same one)
paid me a visit Saturday afternoon while I was cleaning house. 
He stayed for the longest time, outside my bedroom window, pecking away 
at something in the pine needles until a loud
noise from my neighbor's lawn equipment scared him away.
Thankfully though, I managed to get several shots of him through
the window before he flew away.

Dreamy Decor
This room speaks my love language in a big way
though I could never pull off this much white
in a room with two dark-colored, shedding Dachsies.
Notice the little white dog in the bottom left-hand corner?

Baseball Cake
I saw this on Pinterest last night and thought
I may try to make it for Dracen's birthday
this summer. Devin likes baseball too but not cake.
How is he my child?

Dachshund Scarf
Too much?

Posy-Stitched Skimmers
Anthropologie has done it again...
Made me fall in love at first sight.

Bad Milk?
This just struck my funny bone.
You've really got to watch that shady milk.
It will turn on you in an instant.

Wise Words
When will I ever learn to listen to
my own intuition? It never steers me wrong.

Giraffe Manor
This is actually a hotel in South Africa
and for a giraffe lover like me? Pure magic.
When do we leave?

The Intouchables
I got this from Netflix last week and 
though it had great reviews, I was a little
hesitant because it's in French and since I remember
about five words from high school French (I switched
and took Spanish in college), I knew I'd be completely
dependent on the subtitles which I usually find distracting.
But this movie was so good, it didn't bother me a bit.
Hands down, BEST movie I've seen in a really long time!

Happy Friday,

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...Lazy Bones

March has to be the most confused of the twelve months. I'm now convinced that she has no idea who she is. We had temps. in the  70's last Saturday and Sunday, rain and highs in the 40's on Monday, sunny and 60's yesterday, low 50's today, and tomorrow we're looking at highs back down in the 40's. And I am really, really hoping the forecast I saw for Sunday is wrong with a capital W  because rain and highs in the upper 30's is all kinds of messed up for the first week of spring! March, I am so over you. I want to break up.

The Darlings were already frolicking in the cherry blossoms this time last year but this year many of our flowering trees haven't even produced their first bloom yet. So they've been spending most of their time loafing around the house...
Napping in the kitchen
Chillin' in their chair in the sunroom

Napping in the living room
Looking for a belly rub

Li'l Bit didn't want to get out of bed Monday morning. I couldn't blame her. Cold, dark, rainy mornings are the worst.

Watching me clean house

Brisco did manage to perk up and attempt to dig his way to China in the backyard not once, but FOUR different times after he'd just been spiffied up by the mobile pet groomer. He's had four baths in a week and a half. And Li'l bit perked up at Dracen's baseball practice on Saturday...

She likes to get up high so she can get a bird's eye view of any shenanigans that may possibly take place in the parking lot around us.

Hurry up, Spring! We miss you.  

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Friday, March 15, 2013

Friday Favorites

I have been dragging all week because once again, this daylight savings springing forward mess is kicking my butt. And it has not done me any favors on getting Dracen up on time each morning either. That boy is a pill in the early mornings but on early DARK  mornings? Lawd have mercy! The sun is barely rising by the time we leave the house now.  I don't even know how we haven't been late because every morning this week, I've found myself running around screaming, "HURRY UP!  WE'RE GOING TO BE LATE! WE SHOULD ALREADY BE PULLING OUT OF THE DRIVEWAY BY NOW!" There is not enough coffee in all the world to make me a morning person. And that brings me to my first favorite this week...

Is it just me?
I think it's the planet.
Pour me another cup. 

Garden Bunnies
I finally decided against that garden rabbit I 
showed y'all from Ballard Designs a couple of weeks ago.
It was entirely too much money and after reading the reviews,
I determined that it was very lightweight and "not really worth the price". 
I spotted these at Grandin Road and thought they were really cute.

But then I went to TJMaxx Wednesday and
found this one for 14.99! I went to pick it up
to look at the price, expecting it to be lightweight
and nearly pulled my arm out of socket because
this bad boy is HEAVY. I couldn't believe he was
only 14.99 and I didn't see another one in sight so
he went right into my buggy. He's sitting
on the deck now, until I find the perfect spot for him.
Dracen informed me that Brisco and Lucky will
just pee on him. They better not!  But they probably will.

Wise Words
I think we could all stand to follow
this advice a little more often.

Angel in Your Corner
I just thought this was the cutest thing.

Relatable quote
Ha! Happens to me all.the.time.

Sugared Grapefruit Necklace
I ordered this from Ruche a couple of weeks ago.
It is the best spring necklace and just the right size
for a bubble necklace.

Last week we were going to
Italy. This week?
Lake Lucern, Switzerland.
Pack your bags.

Plume Peasant Tee
I love light and airy tops like
this for Spring.

I don't know what it is about
dogs in costume that I find so irresistibly

Jump Around
This morning they played this in the "weekend blast off"
they do each Friday on the morning radio show I listen to.
And then on the way back from taking the boys to school,
I had turned it to the XM 90's channel and it came on there too.
Every time I hear it, I can't help but think of this scene from
Mrs. Doubtfire. 
I love Robin Williams. And Sally Field.
And this song.

Happy St. Patty's Day Weekend,

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

I'm not really Paula. I just play one on paper.

I always hated the first day of a new school year because it meant that I, the painfully shy girl, would be forced to speak aloud in class in order to correct the teacher during roll call, especially after I got to middle school and had not one, but six, teachers to correct. I suppose I could have just let them call me Paula all year but that would have made me feel like an impostor because although I played one on paper, my real name...the one I answered to and the one my parents and everybody else who loved me had always called me was...Diane...just Diane. 

Okay, so technically (and legally) my first name was/is Paula but I was always known as Diane. I don't know why it bothered me so very much to be called Paula because it's not a bad name. It just didn't feel like mine. I guess Diane Paula didn't sound right so my mom and  dad thought, "No big deal..we'll just name her Paula Diane and call her Diane". I remember actually feeling jealousy toward all the "normal" kids who went by their first names. Simplicity in a name. That's what is was. And I wanted my little piece of it.

Fast forward to 1997 when I married Darin, at the age of 26, and finally...finally was able to get Paula out of my life for good, using Diane as my first name and my maiden name as my new middle name. There was a little run-in with Mrs.Personality at the DMV who insisted I keep Paula and printed it on my new license even after I told her to drop it. But after raising a stink, I was able to go back in the same day deciding I just would not, and could not, live  another day as Paula. 

Okay, so it was actually Darin. Darin called the supervisor for me after I called him in a rage of tears over the matter. Mrs. Personality, needless to say, was none too pleased with me and paid me back by snapping my new photo as soon as my butt hit the stool, without so much as a "look right here". I lived with that less-than- flattering-droopy-eyes-half-closed-non-smiling mug shot for four years but hey, at least I was free... free at last! Nobody would ever call me Paula again!  

Or so I thought.

Fast forward to 2008, after I married Charlie and decided to keep Darin's last name (my children's name) and hyphenate it with Charlie's. So much for that simplicity in a name I'd always wanted, huh?  It just didn't feel right to drop that name. Being widowed (with children) is just not the same thing as being divorced. So I decided to keep Diane as my first name and hyphenate my last name, giving me three last names.

The lady at the Social Security Office said, "No. Not gonna happen." Apparently the laws on name changing got a little more strict after 911 happened. I didn't have the motivation or the energy to fight her on it so my maiden name was dropped and I was Paula once more, which I was surprisingly fine with this time. It would have been odd having three last names anyway. I think I prefer being called Paula over being mistaken for a law firm.

I didn't even feel the urge to correct the nurse at the dermatologist office last week when she came to the waiting room and called out, "Paula". I just stood up, smiled, and followed her back to the exam room, without so much as the tiniest urge to correct her because I've grown perfectly content to play Paula on paper. The hyphenated last name is the main source of my name complications these days, but I've had to loosen up on that too since I've found that hyphens in names really tend to confuse people (and computers) way more than a Diane-playing-a-Paula-on-paper ever did.

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Can't You Smell That Smell?

I've always had a very keen sense of smell. Walking by the perfume counters in department stores is something I try my best to avoid. It's way too overwhelming for my sensitive nose. 

Back in the day, when my thick hair was down to my waist and I had perms put in it (which took HOURS) I nearly sent my hairstylist into panic mode once because the smell was so overwhelming to me I nearly passed out on the floor. She always seemed nervous to give me one after that, giving me a cloth to keep over my face and asking if I was okay every five minutes. I know she just loved seeing me and all my hair coming through the front door for a new perm. 

And don't even get me started on cigarette smoke or ammonia, or the fact that I was never able to stop gagging over the boys' poopy diapers although my mother said I'd get used to it. I didn't.  But wait, this is supposed to be about smells that I love and there are plenty of those too. 

Here are the first 10 FANTASTIC SMELLS that come to my mind... 

1. Lavender. When the boys were babies I used to bathe them with Johnson & Johnson Bedtime Lavender-Scented Bath Wash which now makes my heart ache a little to think about since the baby days around here are a long gone thing of the past. Sigh. 

I recently discovered Trader Joe's Spa Lavender Hand & Body Lotion and I am completely addicted. If you haven't tried it, you really should.

2. Honeysuckle. The real thing. Catching a whiff of wild honeysuckles never fails to take me back to the summers of my childhood. They grew at the edge of the woods in our neighborhood and my best friend, Jennifer, and I spent many a late summer afternoon seeing just how much sweet dew we could manage to squeeze out of those tiny blooms.

3. Doggie Paws. Don't mind me, I'm just sniffing my dog's paws. I can't really explain this one. I just like the smell of doggie paws. Call me weird.

4. Books. Old books, new books...I just love the smell of books.

5. Shoe Stores. I can't help but inhale deeply when I walk into a shoe store. I love shoes like the Cookie Monster loves cookies.

6. Chocolate. But I like tasting it better.

7. Coffee Brewing. I loved this smell years before I ever loved drinking it (which I now love very much by the way) and I've heard many people say they still love to smell it even though they never acquired a taste for it. What is it about this smell? 

8. Movie Theaters. It's the popcorn, of course. We went to the movies Friday night (the first time in I can't remember when) to see Oz the Great and Powerful and although I told myself I was not going to have any popcorn, I caved the minute we walked through the door and that heavenly smell enveloped me. Gets me every time.

9. Play-Doh. And just like every other person who grew up in the free world, I tasted it (more than once, just to be sure). This smell is a liar. But I still love it.

10. Rosemary. LOVE it. I bought a Rosemary plant last summer and kept it in a pot in the sunroom. I couldn't walk past it without burying my nose in it. I'm not known for my green thumb, however, so it didn't make it through the winter. 

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Favorites

That time of year is upon us once again, y'all. Yep, the dreaded "springing forward". It never fails to sneak up on me either since I didn't realize it was tomorrow until just this week. Blech. I always enjoy the longer days once I get over losing that hour but it usually takes me a few (or sometimes several) days to adjust. At any rate, it's here so don't forget to set all your clocks ahead tomorrow night. 

We are, however, having a four day weekend here since school is out for teacher workdays today and Monday so that should help ease the blow. Devin is going on an eighth grade ski trip to the mountains this afternoon, after having it postponed two different times due to inclement weather. He's never skied before so I'm hoping he comes back with all his bones still intact tonight.

Blogger just told me that it's skied, not skiied. I so thought it was skiied and didn't believe Blogger so I consulted Google. Turns outs, I was wrong. And here I fancied myself an excellent speller.  Why did I think it was skiied? I have no idea. The English language is so fickle which brings me to my first favorite this week...

I before E except after C
Oh wait...Psych!
I would so order this and wear it if
I didn't have issues with wearing shirts with
writing on them. 

Turquoise Sea
According to the caption this is 
Sardinia, Italy. 
I want to go. Who's in?

Stephen Hawkings Quote
I know this to be true
because my mind?

I can relate
This just cracked me up because
it's exactly the way I feel.
I never know how it's going to go
when I wake up each morning.
Always a toss up.
And lately I seem to be having more spills
and trips than class and elegance.

This is an outfit I put together on Polyvore.
I've been on the lookout for a new denim jacket
similar to this one but keep coming up short.
This one is from the UK and costs four hundred
and five American dollars.
I think I'll keep looking!

Simple Truth
I love quotes like this, when
the words are so simple,
yet so full of truth and wisdom.

I have forever dreamed of owning a vanity
just like this one...

This old photo of the boys makes me
smile and fight back tears at the same time.
Devin used to get mad at me when I had to
get onto Dracen for something. Here he was
consoling him while giving me his best stink eye. 
These days he just laughs and rubs in it.

He's a daddy and he knows it.

Happy Friday,

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