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Thursday, January 31, 2013

About Us...

When I first saw this Writer's Workshop prompt for this week, 5 Random facts about you and your family. (inspired by Nice Girl Notes), I knew I wanted to choose it but wasn't sure if I'd be able to come up with five things I haven't shared here in the nearly three years since I started this blog.  But I dug down deep and while you may have heard me talk on some of these things briefly, I think I have managed to come up with a few things I haven't written about before...

1. I met Darin on my 23rd birthday (4-19-94) and I won't say I knew with 100% certainty that I would one day marry him but I strongly suspected it.  The whole night was very deja-vu-ish. We got engaged almost two years later on a trip to Las Vegas and married a year after that so we were together exactly two weeks short of three years (and my 26th birthday) when we took our vows. (4-5-97) We honeymooned in Grand Cayman.  Swimming with the stingrays was just about the most magical thing I had ever experienced at that time.  I swam with them again eight years later (June, 2005) during the cruise I took with my three "young widow" friends.  

We were all in the water (there were a lot of people around this time) and I was being flooded with all these bittersweet memories when I looked out across the water to see a boat with the name Happy D written across the side and I just knew...knew it was a sign from him telling me that all was well and that he was proud of me.  (He often called me D and we always signed our cards that way since we both had D names).

2. Devin and Dracen are four years apart.  Devin's due date was July 9th though he didn't finally come into the world (via c-section after 26 hours of labor) until July 17th at 10:39 p.m.  Dracen's due date was July 24th, four years later, and after much thoughtful consideration I opted for the scheduled c-section due to the possible risks of a natural birth after a c-section (vbac). Those are usually scheduled for one week before the due date, July 17th. I asked my doctor if we could wait one more day so they'd each have their own day so Dracen came kicking and screaming into this world at 11:27 a.m. on July 18th.  

When I was getting to know Charlie and the conversation turned to our kids, I thought it was so awesomely coincidental that his youngest two kids, Ryan and Shana (now 23 and 19), were also four years apart and born on the same day in October.  

3. Shana is a freshman at UNC Chapel Hill this year, currently planning to major in History and then go on to law school. Ryan recently (as in just this month) got a job with Ringling Brothers.  He had been working for Charlie's HVAC (heating and air) company but being more of an artistic soul, did not feel this was what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. He made a couple of calls and the next thing we knew he was on a plane to meet the circus train in Orlando, Florida. 

His oldest son, Chris (25), grew up with his mother in Michigan, visiting Charlie here in North Carolina in the summers.  A couple of years ago he was living in Texas where he was going to school to be a police officer when Charlie called him up and asked if he would be interested in coming to work for him.  He made a quick decision and moved the next week, diving in head first to the world of commercial heating and air.  He took to it like a fish to water.

4. Charlie and I had our first date on December 30, 2006 after "meeting" and chatting it up online (Yahoo).  We ate Japanese food and then went to see Rocky Balboa.  He confessed later that he feared he had really messed up by suggesting that movie since Rocky was grieving his late wife in it and said that every time he went to try to hold my hand, the subject came up in the movie again so he never did.  I think he feared I was going to break down on him in the theater or something which I found sort of darkly humor-ish.  

I had been back in the dating world for almost two years by the time I met him and had finally decided to take some wise advice by just trying to have fun and not taking it all so seriously. We got engaged less than 14 months later, on a Valentine's Day weekend trip to Savannah in 2008 and married on June 28th of that same year.

5. When Charlie and I first got married we were living in the same house the boys and I had lived all their lives.  Darin had bought the house about a year before I met him and we actually met there, being set up by his cousin who was dating a friend of mine at the time. 

We (me and Charlie) began looking for a bigger house almost right away but just couldn't find a good match since we were trying to stay here in the same school district and close to the boys' grandparents (Darin's parents). The house we ended up buying was actually one of the very first ones we looked at.  It was for sale by owner so we were shown around by the couple themselves. Though we liked the house, we weren't ready to make a decision yet since we'd only just started looking and we heard the house went under contract that next month but just the day before the scheduled closing, the man (owner of the house) passed away from a heart attack.  She decided not to sell.  

To make a long story short, about a year and a half later, we still had not found a house.  A couple from our church (who live across the street from the house) told us the lady had decided to sell so they told her they'd call to see if we were maybe still interested.  We were.  

I can't even begin to explain it but this time when we walked through that front door and were greeted by her smiling face and kind eyes, I knew we were home.  

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...Doggie Bios

Today I am turning over this blog to the Darling Dachshunds and their Beagle sidekick.  With my help, they've each put together a brief bio in order for you to get to know them better.  They can hardly contain their excitement...

Full Name: Brisco Darling
Age: Your guess is as good as mine but three years ago, when I was adopted, the vet said I was for sure more than 1 year but less than 5. You're only as old as you feel and I feel fine.
Adoption Date: October 23, 2009
Biggest Fear: I ain't scared o' nothin'.  But that noisy thing my mom drags around the house sucking things up off the floor with does tend to make me a tad bit anxious.  
Likes: Belly rubs, hanging out in the backyard, chillin' with my homies, chasing squirrels, car rides, the smell of bacon, digging in the dirt, bedtime, rolling in stank
Dislikes: Toys (I don't see the point), wearing costumes (how humiliating), for my mom to leave or go into the bathroom without me (I know there's a secret door she could escape from in there somewhere), baths 
Nicknames: Big Boy, Li'l Man, Sweet Boy, Darlin' Boy, Fabio, Freckles, Surfer Boy, Pablo
Worst Habit: Peeing in the house 
Best Quality: My good nature.  I just love everybody, man. Even the vet and the groomer. 
Occupation: Squirrel Patrol
Favorite Quote:  "Life, if well lived, is long enough." ~Seneca


Full Name:  Charlene Darling
Age: Only God truly knows but I don't sweat it. Everybody knows that age is just a number anyway.
Adoption Date: October 23, 2009
Biggest Fear: People wearing masks
Likes: LOTS of attention and doting over me, Greenies, sitting with my mom, my toy squeaky squirrel (I'm the only one allowed to play with it), stylish dresses (but no hoods or hats, ever!), good food, car rides
Dislikes: Flies, horseplay/shenanigans, somebody stealing my spot next to my mom or getting more attention than me, loud voices, yelling, my brothers running out of the door ahead of me (makes me all kinds of pissy), the doorbell, my teeth cleaning gel
Nicknames: Li'l Bit, Bitty Bit, Baby Girl, Punkin', Baby Dog, Precious, Angel, Peanut, Stink
Worst Habit: My loud yapping but I just can't help myself. Somebody has to keep everybody in line around here.
Best Quality: I'm really cute, really smart and really sweet (when I wanna be) and I know how to work it.  They are putty in my paws.
Occupation: Shenanigan Police
Favorite Quote:  "The greatest oak was once a little nut that held its ground." ~Unknown


Full Name: Lucky the Lemon Beagle
Age: Old enough to know better but still too young to care
Adoption Date:  Huh? Oh, you mean the day I showed up shot? June 3, 2012 ( both the worst and best day of my life)
Biggest Fear: Loud noises (thunder, fireworks, gunfire...duh!) and even the wind sometimes. I gots me some issues. 
Likes: FOOD!!! , belly rubs, my people, my Dachshunds, sunning on the deck, chillaxin'
Dislikes: Gettin' wet, eyeballs in stuffed toys(creeps me out so I chew 'em out), the doorbell
Nicknames: Lucky Boy, Lucks, Luck Luck, Big 'Un, Hause, Old Nasty
Worst Habit: Howling/Barking/Baying.  My mom gets kinda crazy, scary-eyed when I do it but I still can't stop.
Best Quality: I never do my business in the house 
Occupation: Good Buddy
Favorite Quote: "The poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese." ~G.K. Chesterson

This blog will return to its regularly scheduled posting sometime tomorrow.

Until then...  

Happy tails,

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Humor Me

In an effort to get to know this teenager person my son has become I emailed him a list of questions that I found on a couple of different parenting sites that are supposed to help open up conversations with our teens.  I know he is a lot like me when it comes to expressing his emotions verbally so I thought that writing would be easier for him, as it is for me.  

After reminding him several times and fighting against some resistance on his part, he finally sat down on the couch and attempted to answer them last night and after much technical difficulty (why he insisted on using his iPod instead of the laptop is beyond me), the mission was accomplished. 

Well, sort of.  

I was not surprised by his answer to the question What do you think is the most important quality a person can have and why? which was 'funny'.  I get that and that is exactly what I thought he'd say.  Whenever I check out his facebook page, there is almost always a new post by someone (usually a girl) saying something about how funny he is or how he always makes her laugh in Social Studies, or how he can keep a straight face through anything.  (And I like to tell myself he got all that from me) 

He left a couple of the questions blank or answered them with 'idk' (I don't know) which was a little disappointing though not really surprising.  He is a thirteen year old boy, after all.   They aren't exactly known for their  excellent communication skills or thoughtful ponderings on life.

He was sitting across from me in the living room when I was reading his answers so I kept catching myself giving him that sideways look and saying things like "Really, Devin? One of the words you used to describe yourself is  'Free'?  'In the USA'?"  And he'd reply with, "Whut? I couldn't think of anything else to say."  

Yeah, my goal was clearly not going to be accomplished within this email correspondence and as hard as I tried, when I got to number 7 (there were 10 questions), I could no longer hold together my serious-and-concerned-authoritative mom composure any longer.  I lost it.  With an out loud belly laugh as I read his answer aloud to Charlie.     

The question was Is there something you wish I knew about you?  and truthfully, it was the one I was most anticipating a serious answer for, thinking it would give me a better insight of the goings-on behind that stoicism, convinced that his river must surely run deeper than the Nile (he is my kid, after all).  

Whether it does or not, I had clearly not used a long enough line because this is the answer I received: 

I need some more socks.  

I think Mr. Jimmy Buffet said it best...

"If we couldn't laugh we would all go insane."  

Still laughing,

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Monday, January 28, 2013

When I Grow Up...

I don't ever recall feeling certain of any one thing I wanted to do with my life when I grew up (unless you count Solid Gold Dancer) or even after I grew up so why exactly I chose to retain a memory from the first grade (1977 or '78) of the teacher giving us the assignment to draw what we wanted to be when we grew up is beyond me. Probably because we were only given a handful of options.  

She and the assistant had these templates of faces they passed out for us to trace onto drawing paper, color and then hang in the classroom.  The boys got to choose from things like policeman or doctor while our options included a nurse or a teacher.  There may have been more, I can't recall.  What I do recall is not wanting to be any of them.  I resented the entire assignment. 

I was six for crying out loud!  How was I supposed to know with certainty (I was very literal) what I wanted to do with the rest of my life!  It was too much pressure. So I thought of what my mother did.  I knew she worked in an office but really had no idea what her job description was or what all it entailed.  I think I just assumed any woman who worked in an office was a secretary so I told them I wanted to be a secretary though I really had no desire whatsoever to ever actually be a secretary. 

The teacher's assistant was stumped, this I remember.  Because she then had a conversation with the teacher about which template to give me. I think they gave me the nurse and had me leave off her little nursing hat. 

Anyway, that's the memory that rushed to the front when I first saw the Listicles topic for today, 10 Things You Thought As A Child You Would Do/Be.  Then I thought about it a little more and here are a few childhood dreams that came to mind...  

1. Solid Gold Dancer.  I was dead serious about this one.   

2. Veterinarian. Aways did love the critters but I think I always knew in my heart that I did not have the stomach for any career involving bodily fluids and needles. 

3. Zookeeper. Somehow I thought this one would be less messy.  Then I thought of elephant poop.

4. Samantha Stevens.   Bewitched was one of my most favorite shows on t.v. and I actually thought that if I could just learn to twitch my nose precisely the way Sam did, I could one day rule the world.  Or at least just never, ever have to clean my room again.  

5. Actress.  I was always so shy yet I often dreamed of one day seeing my face up on the big screen.  

6. Jeannie.  I Dream of Jeannie was right up there with Bewitched so I thought that if I couldn't be Samantha, I'd settle for Jeannie.  I think I mostly just wanted the ability to pop in and out of that awesome pad she had inside that little bottle.  

7. Librarian. How did the same girl who aspired to be a Solid Gold Dancer also think she might like to be a librarian?  I can't say but I do remember having this thought more than once.  Books were always like magic to me.  

8. Artist.  And by artist I think I just wanted to be able to paint and draw well but no matter how much I practiced my hand at it, I finally came to the realization that this was just not one of my God-given talents.  Pfft.

9. Singer. The was a dream from the moment I heard and watched Olivia Newton-John singing and getting her groove on in Grease. I had the album and I practiced. A lot. Unfortunately, this one went much like number 8.  Sigh.

10. Wonder Woman. Was there a little girl alive in the 70's who didn't fantasize about this?  

And some dreams never die...

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Friday, January 25, 2013

Friday Fragments

~I finally watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time in my life last week and loved it so much that I am now wondering how in the word I managed to miss out on it all these many years.  And I don't even consider myself a wallpaper kind of person but fell right in love with that damask wallpaper in Paul's apartment and have been contemplating the idea of it somewhere in my house ever since.


~Wednesday night I realized it was getting late and I had not reminded (a.k.a. threatened within an inch of his life) Devin to do his homework so Charlie walked down the hall and opened his bedroom door to tell him to do it, fully expecting to find him kicked back on the XBox.  But lo and behold, the boy was actually doing his homework!  On his own. Without being told. It was truly a stop the presses! kind of moment that I felt deserved to be retold and put down in print because who knows when or if the likes of it will ever come my way again. 


~I've wanted to check out a Trader Joe's since a long forever but had never gotten around to it since the closest ones are in Charlotte and driving two hours round trip for the sake of buying groceries has never appealed to me enough to actually follow through with it. But last Saturday Charlie and I were in Charlotte so we stopped in one. 

Although we went to the one uptown which was so slam arse packed to the gills  with people I started feeling all agoraphobic-like, we did come away with a buggy full of stuff, none of which has been a disappointment. It has all, in fact, tasted so amazingly delicious and came at such a surprisingly reasonable price that I am now really sad that we don't have one closer to us.  There are perks to small town living but diverse grocery options are unfortunately not among them.  


~A couple of years ago I bought an old, vintage, rotary phone for my kitchen at an antiques store.  It worked and everything.  Until Dracen, forgetting that he couldn't walk around the house while talking on it, pulled it off the counter one too many times.  

It was black though I had really wanted a red one, which are harder to come by. But I finally found a working one in excellent condition and have been giddy about  it all week.  Always have been a sucker for nostalgia.  Makes me happy.  

~I bought both the boys a couple of t-shirts in Ross yesterday.  You can find some really cool, brand name stuff  for great prices in there if you have the time and patience to paw through it. I took a chance on buying Dracen a green one with the picture of a gorilla face wearing shades on the front of it since his big brother's favorite shirt that he asked for and received for Christmas has a giant ape wearing a dunce hat and smoking a cigar on the front of it (my kids are weird...I have no idea where they get it).  

I was right since he said to me, "Finally, you figured out what kind of clothes I like!". And it only took me nine and a half years to do it.  Score!


~A few of my most recent favorite pins...

I am truly a parent.

Smart tree.

I can't even allow my mind to go there.


Happy Weekend,

Mommy's Idea

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wiener Wednesday...They crack me up

I have been asked "So why Dachshunds?" on more than one occasion and I could no doubt make a lengthy list of all the many reasons why this is the breed for me with the number one reason being their ability to make me laugh on a daily basis.  God packed a lot of spunk and personality into each and every one of those little long-bodied dogs.  To truly know one is to love them all. 

So today I thought I'd share a few funnies from my Dachshund board.  If Pinterest has taught me anything, it's that I am not alone in my wiener dog obsession...

(E.B. White with his Dachshund, Minnie)

"Being the owner of Dachshunds, to me, a book on dog discipline becomes a volume of inspired humor...I would rather train a striped zebra to balance an Indian club than induce a Dachshund to heed my slightest command." ~E.B. White

"As the game approached the end, I couldn't help but display my 'I know I'm going to win' look."

The selective hearing feature comes standard on all Dachsies.

I know it's true!

Pretty much sums it up. 

I have seen this look more times than I care to count.

Stubborn?  Maybe just a tad.

"We bow to your greatness, oh kind and benevolent wiener king!"
I laughed until I cried.

Happy Wednesday, Y'all!

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Monday, January 21, 2013

Welcome to my Closet

For this week's Listicle we are talking about 10 things found in our closets. I've posted pics of my closet here in the past, both before and after I'd organized it for the the humpteenth time.  It is currently in an in between state, meaning it probably wouldn't be condemned by the organizing police but you could definitely break a toe if not careful where you step in there.   I just came out unscathed and did not see a single skeleton to speak of so it is all good in my book. Here are ten things I found...

1. Shelia Claudia.  Shelia Claudia is the Little Person I received for Christmas one year, way back before Xavier Roberts sold out, allowing the Little People to become mass-produced Cabbage Patch Kids with plastic heads. You can read more about her in this post.  I had countless dolls throughout my childhood years but Shelia and Raggedy Ann, who is sitting next to Sheila and looking mighty raggedy these days, are the only two taking up residence in my closet.  And I'm not ashamed to admit that I still get all warm and giddy inside each time I see this little pug-nosed face from my childhood.

2. My Wedding Dresses. Both of them, with their very different styles, are hanging side by side in their garment bags in the back of my closet.  And the bridal portrait from my wedding to Darin sits on the top shelf on the other side of Shelia.

3. Shoes, Shoes, Shoes.   I'm a shoe girl from way back though I did finally break down and part with several pairs back before Christmas. 
The ones I seem to favor the most these days are my two pairs of Toms.  I don't think I've ever owned a more comfortable pair of shoes.  

4. The Boys' Christening Gown. They each wore this gown as babies at their Baptisms and my hope is to pass it down to their children someday.

5. My Funky 70's Diva Costume. I don't always dress up for Halloween but when I do, I fully commit.. This was 2008...Play that funky music, white girl!

6. Tacky Christmas Sweater. This was half folded, half wadded up underneath some other stuff on the top shelf. I wore it to an ugly Christmas sweater party in 2010.  It lights up and everything. Ellen Griswold ain't got nothin' on me.

7. The Boys' Baby Book Boxes. One for each, complete with baby shower and ultrasound pics. 

8. Many Boxes of  Cards I've received over the years. These two are completely full.  I'm a hoarder of greeting cards and miss the days when everyone mailed cards instead of typing quick "Happy Birthdays" on facebook timelines  

9. A Box of Cards I mean to send. I'm trying to get back in the habit of snail mailing because I am just as guilty as everyone else. 

10. Guess Jean Jacket from 1986. I got this for Christmas my 10th grade year.  I don't know what it is about this particular item of clothing that has survived all my many purges but here we are, still together, after all these years.  Who cares if I haven't worn it since Clinton was in office?  It.still.fits. 

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