Friday, November 28, 2008

Raw Turkey

I have to say that I have handled enough raw turkey in the past two days to last a lifetime. We decided to fry turkeys this year, which I thought would leave me a little less responsible for the bird as Scott handles food prep out of doors (grilling, fish frying, etc.). But I was wrong. I failed to realize that the bird has to be adequately prepped for frying - injected and rubbed down and wrapped up. Then I had to unwrap and stick it on this contraption to drop it into the hot oil. Three turkeys later, I don't care it I ever touch another raw bird in my life. I am so over it.

Other than the whole raw meat thing, the day went off without a hitch. The food was good, and I had my timing down perfectly yesterday. It is either way out of whack or just right, and yesterday was definitely just right. I impressed myself. But I must admit that I impress myself every Thanksgiving. I still cannot believe that I am capable of preparing a meal of that magnitude. Or that I actually want to. And every Thanksgiving, I realize that I never take pictures. Why is that? It is like the one holiday I don't have any pictures of. Maybe it is because I am actually hosting the event. But still, you would think that I could handle snapping a few photos being the amazing super-woman I am today.

So the kids went home with my parents, and I hit a couple of stores this morning. Not at the crack of dawn. I waited until 9:00 to go, and I think I can say that I am done with Madalyn and at least have a few things for David now. He is so difficult to buy for this year. Seven is a weird age. Too big for most toys but not quite old enough for some of the things he would like to have. Anyway - tree is up and lights are on it and star is atop. But no ornaments yet, and no other decorations out in the house. Just boxes every where and fake pine needles in every corner of the house. I wish I could wiggle my nose and have it all be done. I enjoy the decorations once they're up, but the process is so messy and time consuming. Especially the ornaments on the tree - I have to look at each one and think about where I got it or what it represents or whatever. I am such a sap, I know.

I am thoroughly exhausted but excited to have Thanksgiving festivities down and Christmas fast approaching. And I am excited to have not one but two nights of peace and quiet as my kids are staying the night at my parents' house tonight again. Is this a dream??

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cornbread

My grandmother made the best cornbread. My mom's mom - the one I talked about in my last post. And, yes, she is still alive, but she no longer cooks well. So I have to say that she made the best cornbread. Oh, I remember eating at her house in the winter - vegetable soup and fresh cornbread with lots of butter on it. The butter just melts down in to the cornbread and soaks into each square millimeter.

Today, I have been baking my cornbread for the Thanksgiving dressing. Then tomorrow, I will prepare it and let it sit over night in the fridge and let all the flavors soak in. Such a professional, I know. Every time I cook the cornbread for the dressing, I just can't resist cutting a piece and slathering it down with butter. So good.

I have also been fighting with leaves all day today. It is a bit windy out, and the leaves from the two big oaks behind our fence are finally starting to fall. And they are falling right into the pool or onto the grass and then blowing into the pool. The leaves are no longer pretty or enjoyable. The are brown and dry and crunchy and aggravating. And there are so many of them in the pool that I would love to light a match to them and see if they would just all burn in the pool leaving nothing but ash behind. I think I am in a bit a dark mood lately. No need to worry though; I didn't say I want to burn down the house or anybody. I wouldn't air thoughts like that on the internet anyway.

I am trying so hard to get into the holiday spirit this year. But I am struggling. I have been struggling for a couple of months now. I am just trying to hang on to things with my teeth lately, and I feel I am falling short. I don't really know what sort of deal I am going through, but I feel certain that I am ready for it to end. So hopefully, stuffing myself with turkey and dressing and getting out the Christmas stuff will cheer me up a bit. I need a little Christmas cheer.

Hope everyone enjoys a wonderful Thanksgiving with their family. And enjoys a lot of tasty food as well!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend Update

This weekend was all abuzz with activity of varying degrees of fun-ness. Saturday, we drove down to Montgomery and went to my maternal grandparent's home for an early Thanksgiving dinner. I haven't eaten a Thanksgiving meal with my mom's family since I took over the festivities for my husband's family back in 2002. And I will say that I have missed it terribly. I miss going to my grandmother's house. It seems that in the center of nearly every holiday memory sits my grandmother's house. We went to her house for every holiday. My parents never really did that whole alternate the holidays thing - I remember going to each set of grandparents for nearly every holiday, whether the day of or the day before. So, when I married Scott and discovered that they really didn't have a Thanksgiving tradition, I was a little relieved. I could still be where I wanted to be - at my Grandmother Norris' house eating the most fabulous cornbread dressing in the world. Little did I know that I would become the Blair family tradition because my husband quickly convinced me that we needed to do Thanksgiving at our house. So at that point, the deal was struck - I would do Thanksgiving at our house, and every single Christmas Eve, for as long as my grandmother lives, I will be at her house, no matter what. And I mean no matter what. One Christmas, Scott was griping a little about having to drive down there and I quickly spouted back, "You don't have to go. But I am going, and so are the kids. Because that is the most important part of Christmas to me, and that is what I am going to do." Of course, he went. And he hasn't said another word about it since.

Anyway. My grandmother is getting old. Very old. She used to be quite the cook, but in the last several years there has been a steep decline in her skills. She forgets to put ingredients in things. Last year, my mother said the turkey wasn't quite done. Just those little things that old people do - come to think of it, I do some of those things myself, so I don't really know where that leaves me. All that being said, everyone brought something to complete the meal. I took on the cornbread dressing, an item that had you have asked me to make ten years ago, I would have laughed hysterically in your face until tears rolled down my cheeks. But now, I am a pro, and I almost know the recipe for the cornbread by heart now. It was a lovely day. And I could tell my grandparent's enjoyed themselves in their own little way. I mean, they really don't hear, and what they do hear I don't think they understand. But they smiled a lot, and that must mean that it brought them some joy. My two cousins came over from Georgia, and we rarely see them. They are the daughters of my mother's sister that died when I was two, and I don't really understand all the details, but there seems to be some bitterness and pain surrounding the situation. All I know is that they are family, and it is truly a delight to see them and their children and know how they are doing.

Yesterday, we had a birthday party in Prattville. It was for our friends' two boys whose birthdays are just a couple of weeks apart. The party was at a skating rink that has inflatable jumping things and arcade games -a ton of fun. Of course, I wanted to skate. I wanted to try to help David as it was only the second time he had put skates on. As soon as I put the skates on, I thought, "Hmmm. This could be a bad idea." I just thought I would stand up a roll on off like I had never skipped a beat. I basically had to teach myself how to skate again, and I was terrified to fall. I just really did not want to fall out there amongst all the kids. I felt like I had reverted back to the sixth grade - there I was in the middle of all these nasty kids who were skating loops around me and all I could think about was how stupid I would look if I fell. So sixth grade. Anywho - didn't fall. I actually really enjoyed myself, and I told a couple of my friends that were there that we must plan a girls night to go skating. How much fun would that be?

I have already been today to David's Thanksgiving Feast at school. Poor child eats at brunch time, I swear. I haven't eaten with him all school year because he eats at 10:50 normally. Today, it was at 10:55. Who eats lunch at 10:50? I will eat at 11:30 sometimes, but when you are still in the tenth hour, that just seems like brunch to me. Or morning snack. Anyway - that is my second meal of the holiday eating spree. Of course, Madalyn and I shared a tray today, so I didn't eat too much. Oh, but we still have the real deal coming up.

Yippee. I can't wait. (Dripping with sarcasm - in case you couldn't tell.)

You know what I am most thankful for this year, though? That after I slave all day in the kitchen preparing food for everyone I know, my parents will be taking my children home with them to spend the night. That means I can clean up in peace, and that I can drag all the Christmas decorations out the next day in peace. I won't have to let Madalyn help do anything. I won't have to fix any milk or juice or snacks. Just me and tree and the lights. I can't wait to put it all up. I love Christmas!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finally...

I think (as I knock on wood) that I am beginning to get better. I don't know what the heck kind of illness I picked up in my travels - nasty airplanes - but it was absolutely horrible. I am glad my fever was so high and I went to the doctor when I did because the coughing and chest congestion got so much worse in the days that followed. At least I was already on some strong antibiotics to keep it from getting to bad in my chest. Today is the first day I awoke with no aches in my body, and I am so grateful to feel more like myself.

So, finally, about my trip! I always feel weird when I travel. Well, I guess I always feel weird when I get out of the house, which sounds really strange, I know. But when you pretty much stay in your little nest, you kinda forget there is a whole professional world out there buzzing and spinning out of control. And believe me, I am thankful to not be buzzing and spinning with them. Friday morning at the airport, I found myself surrounded by what appeared to be mostly business women and men, cell phone glued to their ears and laptops open with eyes peeled to the screen. And there I sit with my smutty magazine in my lap fixing my lip gloss. Sure I have worries and concerns - there is never enough money to run our household (nor will there ever be), I have no idea what my kids will leave the house looking like over the next 48 hours nor what food they will consume, and there is always the looming concern that maybe, just maybe, a terrorist might be on my plane to Tampa in hopes to take us all down. But none of these worries require me to be glued to a cell phone or laptop nor walk around with either pretending to be more important than I really am. That was just my general observation for the entire time I was in any of the airports. People truly enjoy making others feel they are more important than they really are. Look at me - I am talking loudly on a cell phone with my handy-dandy blue tooth whilst looking at this computer screen at something that is ultra-important. You know the type - they are everywhere you go. And here I am, smiling and sitting and just thinking, "Thank God I never got sucked into that world."

I was glad to see Erika. Like actually see her. We so seldom do see each other face to face. We had some good quality friend time chatting and sipping coffee. We went to the Cirque du Soleil that evening, which I must admit was a little weird. I felt stupid for a good portion of it because I really couldn't understand what the plot of the whole deal was supposed to be. I know that is not the focus of the show, but I could tell there was some sort of story line, and it just aggravated me that I could not for the life of me follow it. Some of the things - no all of the things - these people can do with their bodies is nothing short of a miracle. And I was glad to finally have gotten to see it. Of course what trip to Ft. Lauderdale would complete without a trip to a bar, so we headed out after the show to drink and behave like idiots. But I really didn't care as I felt certain there were only two people in the crowd I would definitely ever see again - Erika and Larry. It was fun but exhausting. I won't even say what time we went to bed.

Saturday was a tough day, as I felt like crap from travel and the late night and what I now know was the beginning of an illness. We watched Grey's and later spent a day perusing an outdoor mall and eating the best hamburger I have ever had in my life. I got to spend a little time with the kids that night, and I must admit that Shey is possibly the cutest little boy in the world. The first thing the kids had to say about me was, "You talk like Grandmommy." Why, yes. Yes I do. Good observation. And Shey had some difficulty with my name and insisted that it was Karen. Sometimes he called me Camera. Little does he know, I will pretty much answer to anything that somewhat resembles my name. Peyton is a shy one, and really didn't know what to think about me. I can totally understand that, because if I were a little boy from South Florida and a chick showed up at my door that was like me, I wouldn't really know what to think about me either.

By Sunday morning, I knew I was sick, and I was so wanting to be at home lying on my couch snuggled up in a blanket. I am hopelessly a homebody. I could never be one that travels the world (though I don't think there are any fears of that happening anyway). I just like the comforts of home - your own bed, your comfy blankets, your normal noises of your house that you just get used to. It is just home. No matter how crazy my house gets or how much my kids and husband get on my nerves, it is mine, nonetheless, and I do love it. Kinda. Anyway.

The trip probably doesn't sound all that exciting to most who read the account. But it means the world to me to get to go and be a part of my best friend's world if only for a short time. The same best friend with whom I used to sit and plan our lives - we just knew we would both live in Montgomery forever, and we would live next door to each other once we got married. Hmmm. Didn't work out exactly as we planned. But does anything ever? But here we are today, hundreds of miles apart, and still the best of friends. It's a different kind of friendship than I ever expected it to be, but it has grown and shifted to cover the span of mileage between us. And I am so grateful for it.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Crazy Mama - Child Advocate

I love to write. I wish there were something I could write about and make money. My dad (and my grandmother) says that I should write a book. I guess I could write a book about how to talk on the phone and change a diaper and pay bills on-line simultaneously.

What? You don't know how to do that? Perhaps there is a need for such literary genius...

I was actually an English major in my four year, non-degree earning stint as a college student. I was the type who didn't really like to read (and still don't) unless I had to write a paper about it. Then I could read almost anything. I once wrote an entire paper on the use of the term heath in Wuthering Heights, which, I must add, is one of the most brilliant novels ever written. Granted, I have only read a small number of novels, but just roll with it. I found that paper not too long ago when cleaning out a closet. I sat and read it and wept on the inside for the intelligent person I once was before pushing two children out a very small hole in the anatomy. Does anyone else out there feel like your entire brain came out with the baby? Well, maybe half each time... Okay. On with my point.

David is a walker at our school. We have a little cross walk that goes over to the school. It is a side drive of the school as best I can describe, and the buses follow it around to the back of the school to unload in the morning and pick up in the afternoon. This year, all us parents have noticed that the buses seem to be flying by at top speed. We started out kind of joking about it. Why are they in such a hurry to pick up the kids?? Ha. Ha. But the more frequent it became, the less humorous it became as well. And today, a little boy - a 2nd grader just like my own whom I am sure has been told a hundred times to always stop and look before he crosses - bounded out the door today and started to run across the cross walk. Luckily, he and the day care van which could have killed him in front of us all saw each other and stopped in the nick of time. And I mean the nick of time. I am sorry; I am by no means the most astute individual in the world, nor do I claim to be the safest and bestest driver. But you just cannot have a close call like that. It is just not acceptable.

So, as soon as I got home, I wrote a long overdue email to our principal reporting the incident and my concerns about the safety of her students and of their smaller siblings. I admitted our parental responsibility, but I also insisted that the ultimate responsibility lies in the hands of the driver. They all know we are there. You can see the large group of parents waiting to pick up their child. The cross walk is marked like any public street cross walk would be. There is no excuse.

Writing little things like this just brings my brain back to a slow rumble again and reminds me of the good old days when I could complete a sentence. Reminds me of the days when I aspired to be something intelligent - perhaps a lawyer or an editor. Now, I am definitely not feeling sorry for myself. I fully appreciate the fortunate position I find myself in where I am able to be there when my kid gets out of school. I am glad I was there this afternoon to see what took place. Because, I must admit, I am not certain any of the other parents could have expressed themselves with the eloquence and grace of Crazy Mama.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

While you were out...

While I was away, nothing much changed, really. The house was in better shape than I imagined it would be. There were a ton of clothes on the floor in both the kids rooms, which only tells me that neither one of them can remember what to do with their dirty clothes. And that I am the only one that can remind them. And Madalyn was much the same as she always is - we spent my first day back on board arguing about the same old same old. She wants to eat five thousand snacks a day and never sit down to a meal, where as I would prefer her to eat three basic meals and have a couple of snacks. Do I expect too much? I had to tell both of my children the same thing yesterday: "I don't what you have been doing for the past two days while I have been gone, but I am back." Tighten the reigns a little and pull them back in. Right.

I did miss home, a little, I thought, until I actually got back and realized that it is the same place I left. My kids missed me, but I think it was only because they generally don't know what they are supposed to do without me. Case in point, the ten shirts found lying on the floor. I am sure both of them thought, "Now what is it I'm supposed to do with these again? If Mama was here, she could tell me." I know they love me. I know they missed my presence. But I am beginning to think I was mostly missed because I am the thread that pulls this crazy mess all together at the end of the day. And the beginning of the day and in the middle. Basically, I am the glue.

Being the glue is exhausting.

Of course, I came home sick. Which is just really not how I wanted to come home. There is always so much to do when you come home. First of all, I have to find things. Things as simple as shoes - where have the children put their shoes? Because you know they don't put them where they belong. Of course not. That would make too much sense. And the laundry. Goodness gracious, the dirty laundry that piles up while you are gone for just two days. Unbelievable. And the little things like rinsing the sink out after brushing your teeth and wiping down the spots on the mirrors. Those are the things that just don't get done while you are gone.

Also while I was away, I watched the latest episode of Grey's Anatomy with Erika. I must say, I have seen every episode, and this was by far the WORST episode ever. What are they doing? Poor Izzie is going bananas. Why is Denny back? I'm sorry - is this Days of Our Lives or Grey's, because I thought it only possible to come back from the dead on a daytime soap opera. Please, writers, give us a little more respect than that. And could we not just give Izzie the break she deserves and allow her to be happy and try to get things right with Alex (who is finally becoming nice enough to like)?? Oh, and the new doctor, fresh from the battle fields in Iraq, is nothing short of a psycho. Hello?!? Would a person as strong as Yang really allow a fellow doctor to just attack her at random and just simply walk away with nothing to say??? Come on. Once again - poor choice. At least they are getting something right. Meredith and Derek are enjoying a perfectly normal and boring relationship together, at last. Hallelujah.

Okay. I am tired now. I think I will go and rest my mind. I am still not quite myself. Hopefully tomorrow I can give a full report of my trip to the South of Florida.

Monday, November 17, 2008

BLAH

Feeling like I was hit by the plane that carried me home instead of just riding in it. Went to the doctor this morning, and they basically don't know what is wrong with me. He gave me a prescription for an antibiotic just to be safe, so hopefully this wretched high fever (stayed at 103 for two hours yesterday and never got below 99.9) will go away and I will feel like posting tomorrow. Much to say about the trip and Grey's, which I agree was the absolute worst episode EVER.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Don't Hate

Okay, everyone. Don't hate me because tomorrow I will be well on my way to visit with one of the coolest chicks I know, Erika. And don't get upset that I will be joining her and her group of friends to see this show. Jealousy and envy are both sins, so it also would not be nice of you to envy the fact that I get to spend the day with Erika on Saturday doing all sorts of friend stuff that we never get to do like shopping, talking face to face, eating delicious food, sipping adult beverages. You should all be happy for me.


Really. You should.

Remember - I don't get out of the house much. So you can only imagine how excited I am about this outing.


I will try to convince Erika (it probably won't take much twisting of the arm) to do a joint post to update all our blogger friends of how much fun we are having. I am sure you will all be on the edge of your seats checking for updates every ten minutes or so. I am so sure.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Triple Word Score

Yesterday, as you all know, the kids had the day off from school. And my mom was off work as well, so we headed down the interstate to visit. We went to lunch with my mom and one of her friends and then went to see my grandmother. I feel so guilty that I haven't spent much time with either one of my grandmothers lately. I am so blessed to have both my maternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother. That's pretty rare, I think, for a woman in her thirties to have three grandparents still living. Since we have moved up here and David has become so busy with sports, it has become increasingly difficult to get down there to visit. And it is hard to visit both in the same day without wearing the kids and myself out. So yesterday, we visited just one - my dad's mom.

She is a rare woman. Truly one of a kind. And if she weren't my grandmother, I probably wouldn't like her at all. She is headstrong, stubborn, over-the-top dramatic, emotionally high-maintenance, and just plain difficult. But those are qualities you might not recognize in her if you hadn't known her all your life. She was a writer. The books she wrote were mainly cheesy, light romance. I forget how many she had published, but she still talks about her writing with such pride. And she still has aspirations of being remembered for her work. She has passed down her old computer hard drive to me full of countless numbers of manuscripts and stories she is secretly hoping I will have published for her. Since growing older, she has stopped writing altogether. Her admitted reason is that she can't remember from one page to the next what she has written about. That must be a frustrating feeling just not being able to hold onto things. I know how I feel when I can't retrieve a word, but I know it will be much worse than that when I am nearing the ninety mark.

One of my fondest memories of my grandmother is playing Scrabble. She taught all of her grandchildren to play whether they wanted to learn or not. And I loved it. Nearly any occasion I was at her house, the game board was pulled out. And I was serious about, too, many times referring to the dictionary to challenge a word or its spelling. Such a nerd, I know. Anywho - she was talking yesterday about a group of students that came to her retirement complex to play games with them. There was a small group that played Scrabble together, and they had seen the stack of score sheets she keeps in her game box. I started looking through them, some of them dating back to 1988. And I mentioned I wanted to teach David to play because I feel like he is my only hope for a good partner in my house. He quickly became interested and wanted to learn. So we pulled it all out and started a game. Of course I had to help, and I got so excited with the little letters and words I thought my brain would bubble over. I helped David learn the ins and outs - the value of the tiles, how to create words off another, double letter score, triple word score. I kid you not when I say that Scrabble could possibly be the most fun I could possibly have. Better than watching Grey's. Better than drinking beer.

As I looked through the old scores, I was humored to see that every time I won, I would circle my score and write at the top some obnoxious thing like, "Tamara wins again!" or "I am the winner!!" I am a little dramatic myself, I suppose. So I assisted David with his first Scrabble victory. Of course, now he thinks he could take anyone on and score 272 points. Little does he know he had the master on his side. And needless to say, I am buying us a Scrabble board today at Walmart. I think they make a junior edition, and I need to get him skilled so we can start playing some hardcore, dictionary thumping, nail biting Scrabble.

Life has reached an all time low when the things that excite you in life are cleaning your carpets and teaching your kid to play Scrabble. What will I do when I am eighty?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yard Work

Yesterday was just one of those glorious fall days where the sun shone brightly all day but you never got hot. If I could bottle a day, I would have bottled yesterday so I could open it up on a sweltering hot Summer day or a depressingly gray Winter one. It was just that perfect. So we used it to get some much needed yard maintenance done.

I guess you know you are getting old when you look outside and think, "Hmmm. I really need to cut that lantana back before it all dies off. And the shrubs need a good trimming, too." And then you actually do it. I can remember when I was a teenager and we lived in a neighborhood called Forest Hills (yes - there were hills and trees - hence the name) and my mom would summon me to help in the front yard where there were endless resources of leaves. Piles and piles and bags and bags of leaves. And I remember thinking how crazy it seemed to actually care about them. I mean, they were dead, and the grass would soon be dead underneath them as well. So why bother with them? And I really didn't like to get dirty or sweat. And I remember watching my mom plant things in the flower bet or whatnot and she would have soil underneath her fingernails and all over her hands, and I just thought that was so disgusting. I never dreamed there would come a day where I would plant something without it being someone else's idea, much less get a rake out on my own accord and go to work with it. But as the years have passed and I have a home of my own, I find myself interested in things I never dreamed possible. And I have even learned to use a lawn mower and a blower.

So yesterday, I went to work in the front yard. I started in the drive way where we literally had a drift of leaves (definitely not a snow drift). They had all blown up to the back of the driveway and piled themselves up for me, so I bagged those first. And then I trimmed back all that had already been bitten by that first frost a couple of weeks ago. And while I was at it, the shrubs needed trimming a bit. And the beds needed to be cleaned out a little as they had piles of leaves at the base of every plant. I enjoyed myself. At one point, I stopped and thought, "What has become of me?" because I was really enjoying the rake and the leaves all too much. But I actually felt like I was doing something. Like I was working. And the day was just too pretty to be inside.

I love the fall. It is my favorite of all the seasons. All the colors of the trees. It still amazes me how each type of tree has its own color. It's as if God has told each leave what magnificent color it gets to be before it dies. The drive north up I-65 to Cullman for the tournament on Saturday was just breathtaking. All the leaves are at their peak right now, and then within a matter of weeks the trees will look bare and bleak. If only the trees could somehow just maintain their leaves all year. Like they could just change colors and then turn back to green in the spring. That would be awesome for multiple reasons. Then you would never look outside and just see that horrible gray everywhere, and then I wouldn't have a pool full of leaves for a month. Wouldn't that be nice?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

First Loser

So the saying goes, "Second place is first place loser." We came in second place in our final tournament for the fall. I don't really know how to type out the sound I am making with my mouth, so just imagine me sticking my tongue out and making a pooting sound at the same time.

Our little guys played so hard yesterday. We went into the tournament with no losses and nine or ten wins. Their first game was at high noon, and it was against a team we had already played and beaten a few times at other tournaments. We knew they really wanted to beat us the most, but they were again unsuccessful. Then we faced a new team we had never seen, and they came out of the gate hitting the ball so hard that it stunned our boys. Really - it completely rattled them, and they lost their first game. Then we played our third game - back to back games. Yes, my friends, our little Bandits played three games back to back. And the third game we had to play the team again that had just beat us. But our boys were able to gather their composure and pull that one through. So that left us down to the final game for second or first place. We played yet another team we had never seen before from Mississippi. And they were good. Really good. They out hit us. They out fielded us. And they beat us. Second place. First loser.

I hated to see our guys lose. I hated to end the fall season on a losing note. But we are still good. And come to find out, the team that won first place is one that must move up to the eight year old bracket in the spring. Our team of six and seven year olds held their own against a team of seven and eight year olds. In fact, we were only three points away from the win. They played with all their heart, and they never gave up. David had an awesome catch of a pop-up foul ball just off the first baseline. It was sweet. And one of our boys got an in park home run in the last game. Can anyone tell I LOVE BASEBALL???

The all time funniest part of the day is people watching of course. And I know that there are really all kinds of folks in our fine world. But the team from Mississippi literally had seven coaches. And most of them were wearing camouflage on some part of their body. The first base coach was wearing a camo jacket while coaching the runners, and I am not so sure that was a great idea. Do you want to blend in with the environment around you while base coaching? Are you hiding from someone? Are you going directly from the field to the woods to get you an eight pointer? Not quite sure why camo was the fashion choice of the day on the baseball field. And the first team that beat us had a girl on the team. And every single time David hit the ball, he hit it straight to her. And she fielded like a fourteen year old boy. Maybe better. I didn't like her. Probably because she played better ball than my son, and there's nothing more irritating than a girl outdoing your son on the field. Unless, of course, it is your son's sister, and then it would be funny.

There was a team on a field that backed up to ours that had a big sound system shaped like a rocket ship. Seriously. You guys would not believe the money some of these teams invest in stuff like this. And they were having a ball. They had the tunes cranked up and the bass down low, and they were rocking the park. During the actual play time of the game, we couldn't hear the music. But while the teams were switching places - one going onto the field and the others going to bat - we enjoyed the music. We (the moms) all got so tickled during one of the lulls and all sang along to "You Dropped the Bomb on Me." You just can't get any better than that. I did threaten to get up and perform the Electric Slide at one point, but it was really too cold to come out from under my quilt.

It really has been a fun time watching my boy play ball. Of course, I could watch him clip his fingernails and still be amazed by him. He is such an amazing boy. Maybe it's the whole firstborn thing, but I am more amazed by him than I am by Madalyn. I think it has something to do with his thoughtfulness too. He is just so serious about things. He loves to learn new things. He enjoys a challenge. And I have truly enjoyed watching him grow and learn and emerge into a wonderful little boy so full of life and energy and optimism. He is certainly not a first place loser to me, no matter what the outcome of any tournament might be.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yes, I am a nerd...

Oh, my stars!! You all have to do this spelling quiz. It will blow your mind! I knew I had become pathetically dependent on my spell check, but my measly 11 (out of 25) correct proves it. For those of you not good at math either, that is only 44%.


Now I have officially made two F's in my life - a freaking Chemistry test (that all but one in our class failed) and this stinking spelling quiz.


Oh, and I only had to correct two misspelled words in this post. Thank you, spell check!

Okay...

Okay, so it is the Friday after a Tuesday election day, and we are still talking about Sarah Palin's wardrobe on morning network news. WHY? I call a bit of sexism here, guys. Does anyone know how much any of the male candidates spent on suits and shoes and ties and belts? Of course not. That's not news. Neither are business suits for a woman or dresses or pumps or eyeglasses. Freaking ridiculous. Anyone in the public eye has someone that assists in dressing them from news anchors to politicians. And if they didn't then we would hear how horrible they dress on these same network newscasts and how they desperately need help. I just think it is something else for the media to harp on. Sorry. Had to get that out of my system.

Did I mention that I finally started my Christmas shopping?? I am usually almost done with my kids by this date in time. But I am just getting started, and that is a little scary to me. I got Madalyn the Barbie Diamond Castle and a couple of the princess Barbies. She will be so excited!! Madalyn is all about the Barbies right now, so that will be a lot of fun. As for David, I have absolutely no idea what to get him for Christmas. What do you get a seven year old that already has everything and is slowly growing out of the toy phase? I am sure I will figure something out.

Anyway. Happy Friday to all. We are looking for a little rain today of which I am grateful. We need some rain. And I need a rainy day where no one expects me to leave the house for any reason and I can just be a little lazy. I mean, I did clean carpets yesterday.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Random Thoughts

So, I have a few minutes of peace right now. So why not blog? Could be doing things I need to do, but what would be the sense in that? I am about to clean my carpets upstairs. Today is just the perfect day for that sort of thing. The air is nice and dry, and I can get away with leaving the windows open all day.



We have our final baseball tournament this Saturday in Cullman, Alabama. I am ready to get on with things. I am all sported out right now. I do love baseball the most of all the sports we have participated in, but at this stage in the game, I am more than ready for a reprieve from it all. David found out one of his buddies is playing basketball the other night and got all bent out of shape with me. He'll get over it. He'll have to. I should have said, "Okay, buddy. You can play basketball, but that will knock about $150 off your Christmas this year. Still want to play?" He just doesn't understand. And don't get me wrong; I am glad he doesn't understand the burdens of bills and money and life at his age. But this is not a limitless pot of money around here. And between the fees to play and new shoes for the basketball court, it would run us around $150 to play. And I just don't want to spend any more money on his athletic endeavors this year. Did I mention that the bat we purchased him for the fall season of baseball already has a crack in it? So we had to buy him another one. We will be sending it back to the manufacturer since it is well within its first year warranty. But still. What happened to good old metal bats kids used to hit with? Now they are composite material, which is another term for costs too much and doesn't last as long.



I am anxiously counting the days for my trip to the South of Florida to visit my dearest friend in the whole world Erika!! I leave next Friday and will return home on Sunday. Gosh, it is such a quick trip, and I really wish my circumstances here would permit me to stay longer. Much longer. Heck, if I were to stay any longer, I may not want to return home at all. It will be so nice to get away from here. Does that sound ugly? I hope it doesn't. I just need a break. Not from any one thing in particular, just from it all. I have so many things going on in my mind, and I am really looking forward to some quiet time on the plane all by myself. I do love to be by myself. Of course, I am looking most forward to being able to sit down face to face with my bestest friend and talk and just do normal friend things. Not chat on Gmail. Not email back and forth. But actually be able to see her and talk to her. And meet some of her new friends that I have heard so much about. And see her bathroom renovation. And just be friends. It will be so nice.



Okay. Off to steam clean. The joys and thrills.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's So Over

To quote my fave character, Meredith, from my fave show, Grey's Anatomy, "It's so over."

I have to admit, I am relieved the election is finally over. I am tired of not only the presidential part but of all the local stuff as well. There was some woman running for judge - I can't even tell you what level - and she had a commercial with her elderly mother who sang Amazing Grace. First of all, what the heck does Amazing Grace have to do with the judicial system? That is a little scary in and of itself. Also, the lady just had this annoying voice. Just weird sounding. Kind of like fingernails on a chalkboard or metal grinding against medal. I was happy to see that she was running on the Democrat ticket and I could logically justify not voting for her (I am truly a Republican - I am sorry if that offends -well, I'm not really sorry about being a Republican - that's just who I am - okay - enough). Anyway -

Yesterday, David was excited about their mock election at school. But he asked me an unexpected question: "Mama, why did all the black people vote for Barack Obama and the white people voted for John McCain?"

Oh, dear.

What do you say to a seven year old who really can't understand the history nor the cultural meaning behind that question? But I could tell it really didn't make sense to him. But I must admit, it really did not make any sense to me, either. I was fortunate as a child to grow up in a household where race was never really discussed. And I would imagine that was rare in Montgomery, Alabama. I can remember my grandparents saying things and feeling so confused about it, wondering why they had a problem with black people. But it just wasn't an issue in our family. My parents never distinguished between the races, never talked about race. And they grew up in the height of the civil rights movement - experienced desegregation first hand in Montgomery public schools.

So, I answered David's question as best I could. I told him that I hoped whomever voted for Obama did so because they believed in the same things he believed in - that they believed in him. I stressed that you should never vote for a person based on the color of their skin and that if anyone voted for a candidate just because he was black, it would be the wrong reason. You just don't make decisions based on superficial things like color of skin. It is a tough thing to teach your kid in our loaded society. A society that I fear will never heal from its scars from those turbulent years of segregation and unfairness.

This is a topic I so rarely discuss because being a white woman, I obviously have never understood what it feels like to be black. But I know what it feels like to be treated differently for no real reason. I will never forget the black girl in my seventh grade PE class who said to me, "I'm gonna whoop your ass little white girl." I will never forget that feeling of someone not liking me for no good reason, and I have lived my life accordingly, striving every day to treat everyone I come in contact with the same unless they prove to me they are not worthy of my respect. And I must say, I wish we lived in a world where we didn't feel like we had anything to prove about race. That we could all just be people - not black or white or Latino. So many still claim inequality or unfairness in so many aspects of our society. But is that necessarily about race, or is that just the nature of life?

Yesterday, I realized that I really have no control over what goes into David's mind anymore. I mean, I knew that he was away from me all day. But it just hit me that he is beginning to truly observe others, their decisions, their processes. And that is frightening. I know he can turn out to be a good man in spite of this horrible world we live in full of problems ways beyond prejudice. But it just makes it that much harder on me to combat whatever might be seeping in during the day. It is beyond him understanding the cultural significance of our first black president. It is about morals and ethics and decision making and personal strength. And yesterday was the first big lesson his little spirit has ever begun to learn. I just hope I can answer his questions in the right manner and lead him to a life of kindness and wisdom and goodness.

So now, the best thing I can do for Barack Obama, though I think it is no secret I was not a supporter of his, is pray for him. He has won the race, but now the work begins. And he has a huge spot to fill in the history books as our first black president. I wish, though, it wasn't so much about the color of his skin and more about what his supporters believe he can do for the nation. I just pray he can lead with wisdom and strength in these difficult times and serve our country well.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Someone shoot me PLEASE

Today is my birthday. Thirty-two.

As if that's not enough reason to want to be shot, here's more. My mom came up for my big day, and we went to lunch. So I ate. I ate a lot. Then I ate a cookie and a cupcake. Then I went out to eat Mexican with some friends tonight. Chips and cheese dip and rice and enchilada.

I think I am going to die.

Happy birthday to me. If I don't stop eating, there will be twice as much of me next year to celebrate.

I have got to get back to my points system.

Thirty-two. I am so not liking thirty-two.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I am Crazy Mama, and I approved this message.

My fellow Americans, the time has come for change. The time is near. We must all pull together, my friends, and work together for the better good of mankind. I look forward to a brighter day - a day when all Americans can rise up and face the day WITH NO POLITICAL ADS ON TV.


Oh yes, my friends, one more day of these ridiculous political campaign ads full of promises and sound bites and accusations that really mean nothing at all. I am so glad this process is almost over. I am really to the point that I can't even be concerned about the outcome. Whoever wins just wins. And whatever will be will be. For most, our day to day will not change. The economy is a mess anyway. Health care will probably never really change. The rich will continue to get richer, and the poor will continue to get poorer, and Democrats and Republicans will continue to bicker about it all. And I will just keep pumping on through. Just keep on trying to make it through my own life and let the big wigs figure out all the other stuff. Let's face it; none of that really makes a difference in the grand scheme. No matter who is elected tomorrow, I will still wake up the same way I do every day. I will still do the same things I do every day. I will still have the same struggles and joys. But everyone should go and vote tomorrow. Everyone. It is just such a basic and fundamental liberty and duty. Our system really is wonderful and fascinating despite the fact that we have managed to screw it up so badly along the way.


I had a great weekend. Well, a good weekend. We went to eat here on Saturday night. A place where there is no kid's menu and the prices have no dollar signs beside them - just one number off to the side. Scott was like, "I don't see any prices." And I said, "That's them there off to right side." He was appalled. They were high. But who cares!! We had a coupon, and we had no kids!!And let me tell you all - all two of you that actually read my blog - it was the best food I have ever put in my mouth. I enjoyed every single bite. I would take another thinking it couldn't possibly be as good as the last, and it just kept tasting better and better. I could definitely get used to eating like that.


All that being said, I consumed an enormous amount of food this weekend. And I have an extra couple of pounds on the scale to prove it. So, it's back on track today. I will go through withdrawals today, I'm sure. And I will be starving all day. But I have to regain some control over my eating. It is amazing how just a couple of days of poor eating makes all my cravings come back full force and I could just eat the whole house. And the Halloween candy does not help at all!!!! But I can do it. I can get myself back on the straight and narrow again, and I really need to get some exercise on a more frequent basis. Anyway...


One more thing before I go - a big Happy Birthday to Kristin!! It was Sunday, if my memory serves me right!! Hope you had a great day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

You might be a bad mom if...


...your children somehow manage to eat this much candy during Trick or Treat time. What can I say? We were on a hayride. It was dark.

I obviously have no control over them.

A good time was had by all. And a good amount of candy was had by all, too. Above is a picture of the empties I found in David and Madalyn's pumpkin this morning when I finally examined the candy and put it on top of the refrigerator. What ever happened to the good old, "Don't eat your candy until I inspect it!!!!!!!!" rule?? Apparently, my kids have never heard of such.