Monday, December 14, 2015

The craziest Sh!t I have ever heard {Merry Christmas}

Like most of you, I have been on Amazon shopping for everything that {santa} will bring this year to all kinds of lovely people in my life.  At one point I had ordered so many things I had to stop and make a list (even though I can look at my account history right there on Amazon! LOL).  Anywho...I ordered several things for myself.  These were things I have been wanting that happened to be deeply discounted during the frenzy that is Christmas shopping.  All of the stuff I order from Amazon likes to go to my Mama and Daddy's house, and it is stuck in my maiden name.  Amazon is now so old that the first order I made from there happened in my senior year of college when I was scrambling to design a unit for student teaching.  This makes me feel old.  BUT, I digress...
It is good that the stuff goes to my Mama's b/c then the kids don't look at all of it right away at least.  
Last Wednesday I had to go to my Mama's for a visit and to check out all the purchases that were continually arriving at her house.  She  was amused, I must say, as I opened all of the boxes.  One oof them contained both things I ordered for myself!  One was an instantpot! and the other was a car vacuum.  Both of these are items I highly recommend.  Get ready for the crazy part...
My Mama asked me:  Are you going to wrap that up for yourself?  But she said it in a more of am imperative tone of she was heavily suggesting that I wrap this giant pot up for myself.  
ughhh.. "no,"  I said, "I am going to pop it right into my car, and I am going to cook some lentils in it this weekend!"  :)  I said this in a cheery tone of voice b/c you don't smart mouth, or smart tone my Mama. 
We had a brief discussion about how silly that would be...but then we got into other conversations, b/c I just kept opening boxes.
The next day at school I decided to take an official poll...I was going to ask people from a wide variety of backgrounds (younger, older, black, white, hispanic, weathy, broke as hell etc.) if they do this strange thing I will call, "self gifting."  Before I even started I had a hunch that this was something that only those of us with the XX chromosomes would EVER dream of doing.  It reeks of ...shit, I don't even know a word..but I will describe it...
Just in case all of the people in my house--who I take care of everyday--are so shitty and unthoughtful that they do not give me a present, I am going to SAVE THEM THE EMBARRASSMENT of being so thoughtless and selfish, that i am going to take time out and wrap up something for myself!!! 
Let me tell you, all the women I polled said, "oh sure!" --cue the very confused, {do I actually have the XY combo} face...???
One was Mrs. Bailey.  She is an older black lady--probably my dad's age.  She has taught school since I was a little girl, but she is tech savvy and all that.  I enjoy visiting with her whenever she substitutes.  She chuckled and said, "oh yeah..."  Then she explained...if you don't you might not get anything..
Next was Emily, who is about three or four years younger than me.  She is a teacher.  She said...oh, yeah..I wrap up a couple and then if I see that my husband has brought something home, I go ahead and open them early...
Then came several other teachers who I asked...and they all said yes.  They buy something they like (with their own money that they work for every day) and then they wrap the item up and put it under the tree.
Y'all this is crazy as hell.  I am calling it out.  If someone can't buy me a present...then I don't even want one.  If I work, and go and buy myself something...I am going to use it when it comes..that is not a present!! 
The only part of the polling that i have neglected is the part where I ask men this...
oh yeah..I wonder how many men folks do some crazy thing like this...
By the way, I wrapped the stuff Saturday and put it under the tree--it says from "Santa" on it, which my kids think is a hoot...
I told them he already had to come and drop their stuff off...they said, "mama, how come it is your handwriting?"  I said, "b/c Santa told me to write that on there...duh"  I have so much fun with being the imaginary creatures..I just make it up as I go along...the Amazon warehouse is where Santa lives--and the UPS truck is a sleigh....It is just as good as any of the other stories...
Merry Christmas to all, and all you lady friends out there...go out and buy yourself something real nice, and DON'T WRAP IT UP!! buy it b/c it is on a good sale, and use it immediately!! 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

December party {a Wishington post}

Suzanne and Randy began to realize that their friendships in Wishington were needing constant re-evaluation, and Suzanne was truly wondering WTF, as this was beginning to seem pretty much like middle school. 
For example, one of the years in December they were invited to the 40th birthday party of the husband of Boarding school friend.
Randy and Rick Richard McRichardson V were really not that great friends, but really, guys tend to be be at leat friendly with most others.  So, Randy and Suzanne decided, why not head over to celebrate.
Mind you, they had to head over to a {farm} that was at least an hour away.  Suzanne called the {friend} to let her know they would be attending.  (RSVP).
Friend had a note of surprise in her voice, but Suzanne brushed it off.  They were  excited to have a date night, a night to hang out and socialize, and to help celebrate Rick's turning 40.  Suzanne was a firm believer that if someone invited you to a birthday party, in particular, it was rude not to go and help them celebrate (you were important enough to that person so they wanted you to be there so they invited you etc.)
Off they headed.  
Boarding school girl had told Suzanne that she and about four other girls were all going together with a driver ...Suzanne thought nothing of it.
When they arrived at the party everything was fun enough.  There were tons of people to talk to, cool places to be, lots of yummy food etc.
Theree came a critical moment when they had to decide...are we staying for the night, or going.  Suzanne and Randy decided to stay b/c they were having fun still and there was a crowd.  Then at around sometime ...who knows what time it was...Suzanne noticed there were no other women ANYWHERE!!  At the WHOLE place.  Had she missed a critical memo???
Not only were the five moms with the driver gone...all the other women were gone too!
Suzanne and Randy sat around for a while, slept on some couches for a while, and then around two AM, Randy decided they would get the hell out of there.  
Thank God for Randy!! --That is what Suzanne was thinking..
Otherwise she did not know what to think...
The wishington social scene had her totally baffled!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The day Dumbledore died

My oldest two and I have been reading all of the Harry Potter books together over the course of 2015. It started out b/c I was curious.  This series of books fell past my childhood reading, and for that matter, college reading phase.  So I missed it.  When Elena began to be curious about Harry Potter we decided that I would read them aloud to both Elena and Victor.  And thus, the Harry Potter Club was formed!
We have read and read and read...these books have been so fun to read aloud!  After I read them, Victor read the first two on his own.  Book five was a freakin night was not very good, and it was very long.  Somewhere along the way I read a spoiler alert that Snape was going to kill I knew it was coming.  I thought it would happen in book five--but it did not, so then I thought maybe that report had been false.... (fingers crossed).  
Book six totally redeemed the series!! It was fabulous!  BUT --as Elena and Victor and I lay reading the other night, the spoiler began to reveal itself as truth.  I could tell it was going to happen...
AND IT DID.  When Dumbledore died we all cried...I was crying so I could hardly read, Elena and Victor were both beside me crying (Eva was lying on top of me asleep).  We had to stop reading before we could read about the funeral.  The next day I had a work day at work and I had the best day.  I listened to the radio and just worked away, checking off my workday list.  Then, at the end of the day, a little gloomy cloud settled itself right over my psyche...when I got home Andy and I were talking and we both decided that this happened b/c Dumbledore had died!  We had become very attached to Dumbledore.  We watched the movie last night (we only watch the movie after we have read the book), and the part where Dumbledore was killed by Snape was not even sad...nope!  
After book seven (the last one) our Harry Potter club will end.  It has been so fun to have these books to read to them on nights when Andy has to work.  TV  basically sucks--we either have to watch Disney shows together, or there is a murder show on....or football.  So, I guess we will have to find another series of books to read. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My personal {flair}

The house itself is bare!  One might try to disguise this as minimalism.  I however, just neglect to decorate.  I have wreaths which I could put on the door, and some years I do.  This year, however, I have not hung a single wreath.  I like to keep the neighbors guessing!  "Wiill she or won't she bring out the seasonal wreath?" 
If you look very carefully here--like with the eye of an archaeologist, you might discern an old flower bed.  There are rocks in a circle...I bet, at one point, there were flowers here..some azaleas or something! :)  There used to be a tree too, apparently.  Now, we just need to rake it out.  If we wait patiently was are going to have a pine tree there eventually.  Hey baby tree!  One  or two of the rocks in the circle is a giant piece of coral fossil.  It is very cool.  The gravel around here comes from a mine where they mine phosphate. They have to mine below with level of the Castlehayne aquafer.  The ocean used to be where we are, so there are bunches of sharks' teeth, and hunks of coral fossils.
This is a pile of pine straw, which I will be raking up Thanksgiving is driving me crazy, but I will does just scream, "fall!!"  And, if you look in the picture below, you can see another pile.  That one is leaves.  There are pecan and oak trees all over the we have leaves galore!  That pile will also soon be removed.  So, maybe after three posts, I have made one point.  Flair eludes me.  The older I get, it even eludes me in my clothes.  Should I just claim to be a minimalist?  That claim, to me, implies a choice.  Am I making a choice to be {flairless}, or is it just by default.  I refuse to say that it is lazy...b/c my lack of flair comes from a lack of care, really.  Where do you place yourself?  In the flair camp, or the non-flair camp, or do you actively claim to be a minimalist?  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


Can you see all the flair on my neighbor's house?  She has these cute potted plants and there are always lights on them, that light up at night!! It amazes me!
It is so pretty.
So glad she does it, b/c my house....
Stay tuned.  LOL

Saturday, October 10, 2015


How many of you have seen the movie Office Space?
This movie is one of mine and Andy's favorites!
We quote it all the time.
It is full of quotable quotables.
In one scene Jennifer Aniston is talking to her boss.  She works in a casual dining chain restaurant.  The boss is telling her how proud he is of another employee b/c that employee has 15 pieces of {flair}. In the movie {flair} is buttons etc. that decorate the employee's shirt that are supposed to convey aspects of the employee's personality or taste.
Jennifer Aniston seems genuinely confused, and irritated/exasperated.
She says something lke, "well we are supposed to have 9 pieces of flair, right? I have my nine pieces..."  Then the boss says..."yes, 9 is the minimum."
I will continue this later, my battery is about to die. 
Here I am, about a month later and the battery is still about to die! LOL
I did want to finish this post.
The whole point of this post was some people are way into flair--i.e. they want to way out-do the minimum and go above--so they might have 23 pieces of flair on their work shirt.
The others of us really are not that into flair.
You can see this when you drive.
Aroundd here the {flair} of choice is mom stickers and mongram stickers and "places I have been stickers"  --at least among moms this is the case.
There are other flair subsets of the population too...the retired veterans etc.
When I see the flair it makes me wonder....from whence does the need to decorate like this arise?
I very seldom put stickers on my car--I guess I like for some things to remain a mystery.
The really curly monogram ones are pretty---but monograms are just overdone--
Flair also carries over into outside decorations.  
My neighbor is very good with the flair.  Every time I ride by her house I think how cute all her pumpkins/mums/scarecrows/them lights in the potted plants hanging from the porch/ are.

If you refer to my New poor post, however, you will be able do deduce that I certainly cannot afford yard flair.  Pumpkins/mums/lights/ etc --that would be our food money-
So, nature will have to take care of that flaiar--pine straw on the roof and leaves will have to tell the world we celebrate fall!  

What about y'all --how much flair do you have?  Where does your inspiration to flaunt the flair come from?  Just curious. :)

Monday, September 28, 2015

Nouveau Pauvre

I am almost positive everyone who reads my blog has heard of Nouveau Riche...I am coining a new one today {see title}!
Have you ever read a book or a magazine in which people who are considered to be nouveau riche are criticized?  They are always the butt of jokes for a certain set of the population.  They can be the butt of jokes for people with old money, for intellectual snobs, or even for poor people, as in "they got a little bit of money and now they think they are somethin!"
We all know some people who came upon money, but {might} not really have any class...etc.
I really don't care either way to be perfectly honest.  If you have money...spend it and be however you want to be!  
I am finding myself in a new set of the in I think it is just arising.  I am going to call us the nouveau pauvre.
Here is how it works for us.  
1.  Our parents had decent jobs, but they both had to work and be frugal etc.
2.  We went to college and got good jobs.
3.  When we were growing up we got a lot of what we wanted (not go carts and four wheelers and shit, but a hand me down members only from time to time).
4.  I personally got to travel all over the world as a young person.
5. We had braces and a car when we turned 16.

Now we work all the time and here are our circumstances:
1.  We run out of money every month.
2.  We only cook meat once per week.  My reason is that I think meat sucks, but if I wanted to cook it more I could not b/c it is very expensive.
3.  When a big expense comes we have no money to pay it, so we need shit like loads of dirt for the driveway or a new roof and we have no money.
4.  traveling anywhere is basically a pipe dream, except to my parent's beach house b/c i get to go there free.
5.  We have credit card debt.
6.  We have a car payment.
7.  The other car is 15 years old...which we love it, don't get me wrong!!

You might be thinking, this makes no sense...Susan must be spending money somewhere that she does not realize what she is doing....
Oh no!  If one inspects my bank statement each month my money is spent at the grocery store and buying gas and insurance and funding a dance lesson (just one).  There is never an "other" expense category.  There  is no willy nilly spending.
So,, I have stopped thinking of myself as belonging to the middle class.
I now fully embrace that I am part of the new group--the nouveau pauvre.
We did all the sh*! we thought we were supposed to do...not necessarily with an end in sight all the time, maybe we were on automatic pilot for a lot of it, maintaining...
but here we are, and we are barely bailing water.
I have to ask my Mama and Daddy for money, and after a while that gets embarrassing.
Have you ever read Upton Sinclair's book, The Jungle?
That is what I feel like when it is raining in my house.
If you have not read that book, do.  It's a good one for knowing about US History.

The difference in us and the people who have always been poor--I can only assume b/c I have never been poor, but it might have something to do with expectations?? maybe?  
I live in one of the cheapest places to live in the country --poor ass eastern NC, I have a Master's degree and a good job, and my husband does too.  So, no, I never expected to be this strapped for cash every year, every month, and every day.
I am, however, growing used to it.  Thank God Yoga With Adri3n3, b/c it is free and I can try to at least breathe and find peace in my new {and seemingly permanent} station.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

With friends like these....(a Wishington Post)

**It has been a long time, but I am continuing with the Wishington posts--remember these are fictional stories about a girl named Susanne (or was it Susannah?) who has moved to her home town of Wishington with her husband Randy.**

Susanne and Randy quickly began reconnecting and connecting socially.  Susanne decided that trying to keep the old flame of friendship with her "bestie" and rekindle anything was whistling in the gale, so she let that one flicker.  Next on the horizon Susanne and Randy saw lots of chances to hang out with new people.  It seemed to them that the social scene in Wishington was really hopping.  Also, being quite shy, they did not have to connect with total strangers, most of the people were somewhat known to them already.
Susanne met some new friends who were new in town too, just in her momming etc. she met people.   Soon Susanne and Randy were hanging out in a circle of other couples with young children.  They would get together on Friday or Saturday nights and let all the kids play etc., they would have a meal, a couple drinks and then go home.  It was fun!  Susanne made one friend in particular who was a lot of fun.  She was from a bigger town far(ish) away.  They were fellow moms.  It was nice.  At least on a weekly basis Susanne and Kate would get together.  They would let the girls play, have a glass of wine, and chat.  Several times they were out socially together too.  At the time it never really struck Susanne as wierd that Kate never really came around during big social outings, they would dish afterward.  There were girls nights out with large groups and small groups.  There were birthday parties for kids and grown ups.  Susanne told Kate everything.  She shared opinions, history etc.  They were quick friends.  Kate was able to have really fun conversations about life, interests, happenings.  There were some very real differences.  Kate was a boarding school girl.  She did not ever share quite as much as Susanne, she was mostly all ears.  Susanne also noticed that Kate really seemed to have a spoon in every pot.  She had friends wherever she went--and seemingly really good ones too.  There could have been warning flags, if the naive Susanne would have paid any attention.  BUT she was really enjoying herself so she did not.  Then a strange thing began to happen.  Susanne  noticed that Kate was actually a {liar}.  One weekend Susanne was headed to her family's beach cottage.  She asked Kate what she was going to be up to and Kate told her, "oh, we are staying around town, nothing much."  Then when she got to the beach, an aquaintance told Susanne that she had just seen Kate up the road at the shops!  Hmmm..thought Susanne, why in the world would she lie to me about that?  What a strange thing to lie about...Other lies popped up too..
After not very long Susanne was ousted from her group of {friends} all together.  It was sad and frustrating for Susanne to so quickly from "a" list, to not even on a list...Susanne had no idea what she even did!  When the girls were planning things, if they happened to see Susanne they would quickly try to hide or disquise what they were doing...On the boat, if they were all together at a gathering to which Susanne and Randy would have previously been invited...the looked embarrassed, as if they had been caught (Kate in particular).  Susanne pondered it for many months and then she decided,... ef it!  Who really cares.  If that is a group of {friends}...who needs it?
So, there she was in Wishington with a social life that included hanging out with her parents on Sunday afternoons.  OR, she and Randy might hang out with his parents sometimes too.  That was, actually fun.  She did realize that hanging out with her parents was a big reason to move back to her town, which became a consolation.  Susanne also realized that most of those people were not really that intersting to her.  They cared about very few things which were basically limited to, their children, their clothes, their children's clothes, Namebrands, leisure time, talking about themselves, finding babysitters, vacations without children, big houses....If Susanne reviewed that list she could not name any of those that really interested her in the least.  So, maybe it was Susanne's choices of attempts at conversation that had been off-putting.  Maybe?  Going through this experience was what made Susanne realize that even in one's thirties, one can still get their feelings hurt, and learn very big lessons!  
** Maybe another Wishington post will come sooner this time.  This one has been writing itself in my mind for a while.**

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Part two (Dante's Infterno)

There we were cruising along, dando un paseo en this strange place --along with about everyone else I could ever imgaine not wanting to EVER EVER see. There were planked walkways--so maybe one might feel like one were walking along actual piers?? There were jet boat rides in the "lake". BTW at Broadway on the Beach "lake" equals strangely blue water FULL of voracious cat fish waiting to be fed food by spectators who just bought some food out of a machine nearby. The fish climb atop one another clamoring to get some of the pellets. This was slightly amusing to me. Slightly. The place goes in a circle, at the end of which, our destination lay in wait--the giant putt putt course. I realized how expensive this place was so I gave the girls a head's up. If putt putt is too expensive (I could just picture the 20 dollar price on the board already), we will have to go back to the cottage and play games. I cannot spend forty dollars to play putt putt, when we have to buy gas to get home. We kept walking...going into shops became then thing to do b/c there was a blast of air conditioning that awaited the customer who ventured in. I did wonder, however, how did all those businesses afford to cool their shops with the doors wide open? How does an air conditioning unit overcome that kind of stress? 100 degrees outside, cooled to 72 inside with open doors... (WTF?) If you have not already caught one, care for the environment is not {exactly} what one should focus on when visiting this particular {place}. We finally got to putt putt--thirty minutes early. We bought a 1.50 bottle of water (does anyone else remember the free cup of water one could get from a spigot?). We sat peacefully on a bench and waited. I would say we people watched, but I no longer like to people watch in these situations b/c I wished I were not with those people in that place.  I don't want to look at all of them and watch them sweat as they wait, apparently miserably, for their overpriced giant steaks, as they argue with their bratty kids about buying over-priced plastic shit from china, as they buy five dollar pretzel rods, as they feed the freaky fish, as they take pictures of aquarium fish, as they buy soda and water after soda and water to quench their neverending thirst induced by walking on the hot ass asphalt and planks of wood.  There is not an 8 dollar beer in the world that could make me enjoy a place like  this..  
I think there was more written in part two.  It disappeared at some point.  Now I have to find a way to get back on my train of though b/c this post must be finished! :)  I have to get us out of this place.  We did escape.  
Elena and Yineth went to play putt putt with some wonderful dad who took a team of little girls to putt putt.  This putt putt was the fanciest one I have ever seen, complete with a fire breathing dragon who only appeared every thirty minutes, just to build up that anticipation.  There was an exploding volcano that was so hot it spread heat onto us twenty feet below it, that could be felt above and beyond the sweltering summer heat that already enveloped us (so it was very very hot).  While they played putt putt some other dance moms and I went to get a beer.  Just deciding where to try to get the beer was an event, as all of the restaurants had hoardes of people waiting outside them for some food--I won't go there again.  We ended up at the Margaritaville bar--it was called the sandbar or something catchy, we bussed a table for ourselves and after about ten minutes someone came over to sell me a five dollar and 25 cent Michelob Ultra--I have included a tip in that price--but still!  As we sat enjoying our beers we chatted and this is what I said, "This place is just wild to me, it is like Wal-Mart on steroids!"  When you put my proclamation into context, it could have been disastrous.  I was sitting among four other women.  They might have been women who just loved this place---eek!  There were a lot of women who loved this place too, the people were crowded shoulder to shoulder in every inch of walking space.  One could not walk without dodging people.  So, people do love this place, make no mistake about it.  One  of my co dance moms goes there "all the time"  They have a condo at M.B. so they go there for entertainment on the regular.  She said they never go around the whole thing, they just skip to the parts they like.  I liked none of the parts. ;).  
As we walked I was careful not to overshare my opinions b/c you never know, the 10 year old little girls might have been having the time of their lives.  I tried to keep it upbeat and positive--and keep breathing.  When the putt putt was finished we had to stay for some pictures and then we were released to exit via the same port we entered.  Thankfully we were very close to the lighthouse b/c we had gone full circle at Broadway at the Beach.  The girls, it turns out, were thrilled with this place.  They were thrilled with the visit to the aquarium, seeing the freaky fish, the upside down building, and most of all playing putt putt with the other girls and the dad hero.  I just did a little Aunt Mary style umm hmmm chuckled to myself and boogied to the car.  
I can not say I will never go to this place again b/c I will.  Elena will dance again next year and I will take her to play putt putt again with her dance friends.  I think we will do it like my dance mom friend and only go for that part.  In the mean time I will find other parts of Myrtle beach to explore.
While I walked around I really wondered to myself, for whom is this a true vacation destination. 
*People who could afford five dollar pretzel rods are not vacationing here--they are in the bahamas in a villa with a nanny for their children--swimming and boating in the real ocean with the sting rays etc--not in the aquarium.
**People who are like me at all--broke as hell and agoraphobic--don't enjoy this place b/c we immediately realize we don't have money to spend here and we can't stand that many people around us--ever.
* Are people saving up money all year long to go here and buy plastic aquarium fish and eat crappy food at chain restaurants?? ughh...I don't even want to think about that.
**here is a funny--at somepoint I might have to stay at that Hampton Inn b/c the dance competition happens right across the road at Myrtle beach high school LOL!  I can wake up and enjoy the view of a lighthouse, a volcano, an upside down house, and a dragon all at once!  I bet that crazy blue water looks like the carribbean from 10 stories up. ;)
**I felt bad about knocking the place in front of the other ladies, but then I thought--nah!  They are grown ups, they can handle an opposite opinion.  I have places I love and if someone knocks them, I don't care.
Okay, over and out!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Y las fotos...

Dante's Inferno

Does anyone remember reading The Inferno in about 10th grade?  Yeah, I hardly do either.  I just remember Dante described nine rings of hell in this renaisance work of literature (was it from the renaisance?).  Since reading The Inferno, I have referred back to it throughout my life whenever I am in situations that are horrible. Usually these situations are 1.  crowded, 2. urban, 3.  involve heavy commercialism, 4.  seem very contrived and unecessary.
Recently I had an experience that definitely fit my "rings of hell" description.  I said it right out loud--I always do when I experience my personal versions of hell.
We went to Myrtle Beach.  We were at the High School.  We were finished dancing and we had time to pass before we were going to play putt-putt with all of the dance girls.  We had three and a half hours to pass.
So we headed across the road to Broadway at the Beach.  We pulled into the parking lot on the end where there was a medium sized fake light house and a Hampton Inn.  We parked, close enough to the place and walked in through an archway.  This end of the place was labeled with some contrived moniker...I don't remember what it was called (thank God).  When we walked in I saw some large rides--like the kind at Busch Gardens, not the kind at the fair.  Then I saw some shops.  My 10 year old little girls are not shoppers, and without ANY money--nor am I.  We were thirsty, so we walked over to a sweet shop to see what they would have to drink. It was the blistering hot part of the day.  In the sweet shop the bile began to rise up in my throat when I saw 13.49 per lb. bulk candy.  Just to clue my daughter in about how ridiculous this was, I told her you can buy THE best pound of shrimp for that much at home.  Just to clue you in, in case you are not a seafood eater, a lb. of fried shrimp is enough for five people. :)  Also, there were treats like turtles, caramels, and chocolate dipped pretzel rods, which cost FIVE DOLLARS APIECE!  Okay anyone who takes two ten year old little girls into a sweet shop and does not let them get some candy is getting hell points.  We (no, I) decided that they could buy a quarter pound of candy and I bought each of them a three dollar lemonade.  I thought to myself, let my buy two of those pretzel rods so that I can poke my eyes out and pretend that I never saw a four dollar pretzel rod!! There was some man in there who was my dad's age who inquired about one of the treats and you could just see his face fall when the cashier told him the price...Old guys love sweet treats.  
Moving right along, I went into the next store to ask the clerk what in the hell type of place were we in here??  She  clued me in that this place was everything in one.  You've got your rides, your museums, your movie theaters, your shops, your giant chain restaurants....umm hmmm I thought.  So...what in the hell are we going to do for three hours??  My girls did not want to ride rides.  They are scared of rides.  We NEVER have money to shop, so going in stores is like torture.  We decided on the Ripley's aquarium.  That part was fine, no complaints--oh wait, yes, I do have one--no two!  There were so many damn people in that place that you could barely get up there to see the fish, also the clerk sold me two guidebooks for two dollars apiece.  She said she was "giving" them to me, but when I got home and looked at the receipt--they cost 2 bucks!! {dishonesty probably abounds in hell}.  We did manage to spend an hour and pico in the aquarium.  I love a good aquarium.  I mean watching a trapped giant octopus glide through a tank will calm even the most frazzled nerves.  I was even amused at all the people taking pictures of the animals..newsflash--that is what Google images is don't have to photograph the animals. :)  I mean are they experiencing some kind of emotional connection with that particular shark or something??  We were herded through the gift shop to leave the museum, as in that was the ONLY way out!  We had to look at all the overpriced, plastic stuff, made in China that was ocean-themed before we could leave--good try commercial demon spawn!! 
After this I was hungry.  The girls said they were not, but they eat like birds and it was almost supper time.  I went with the very early supper, bc nothing makes me furiouser than being forced to wait for shitty food at a chain restaurant along with a giant herd of drooling fellow humans.  We went to Carlos and Charlie's b/c it was the first restaurant we saw when we left the aquarium.  If you ever pass one of these restaurants--keep walking-- Please, I beg you!  This was the shittiest shitty big restaurant food I have ever paid for.  The fried shrimp (for the girls, I know better) looked like the ends of golf clubs.  Both girls looked at me like, "what the f*#$ is the this??"  They both tried to eat a couple.  Then there was the {guacamole}.  It was green slimey goo.  If you ever make you own, you will realize that guacamole is not supposed to be green slimey goo.  My soup cost 9 dollars.  It was this:  a can of cream of tomato soup, some canned corn, and some canned beans.  BAM!  there you have it folks, Tamale soup!  When we left this restaurant we saw about fifty more that all looked a lot better.  We also saw all of the people sitting around outside in the summer heat waiting to pay way to much money for some shitty food.. LOL!  They all looked ill and tired --there they sat, with the 1.50 bottles of water waiting for their vittles.  I was glad we were not doing that.  :)
This post is going to have to finish up with part two...I have to run an errand, and my IPAd might mess it up if I don't publish soon. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Eva's special shells

We went to the beach last Wednesday for a half week.  Eva, Victor, Dylan, and Matthew and I all went in my car on Weds. afternoon.  The rest of the people trickled in as they were able.  We finished up with Elena coming Saturday morning.  Wednesday afternoon we all went to the beach to swim and play.  The big boys were doing their thing --playing in the ocean in the waves.  With all the talk of sharks lately Eva was a bit reticent to venture off into the surf.  So we played in the edge and she found these {special} shells.  She found the first two little ones and then the biggger one was the place for the little ones to go--so they would be "safe".  When we finally decided to swim Eva had to place these  underneath the edge of the towel where I was sitting.  She was really worried that the shells would not be safe.  It is very interesting to me that children do this.  These were among the gazillions of shells on the beach.  But instantly they became hers and she had to protect them.  I remember doing this when I was little.  And don't we all get a bit annoyed finding shells everydamnwhere after a trip to the beach?  With my oldest two I have them convinced just not to pick them up.  But these...these are going to be protected.  They are going in my memory box.  What a tender moment!  What a tender heart!  These are going to be {protected} don't worry sweet girl. ;).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Cutie Pie things (II)

Look at this VERY cute bottle of vinegar!
Can you all see how very teeny it is??  Have you ever seen such a cute bottle of vinegar??
I have not, at least until this week, I had not.
We are about to make a yummy salad, and then the girls are going to play with it with their Julie dolls (translation:  American Girl dolls).

The things you pick....

and the things you end up with
Any person's immediate reaction might be --oh!  ending up with stuff--they must be the rejects of someone else--who wants to just {end up} with a bunch of stuff they did not pick! {??) Que horror!
BUT This blog post started writing itself to me about  a week ago and it would not go away.  I started walking around in my life thinking about how most of everything in my life is stuff and people and relationships I have ended up with, and WHAT A BLESSING THAT IS!
Here are some pictures, just to keep it interesting:
Andy and I just ended up with this table when we bought our first house in Durham.  That house is long gone and does not even look the same anymore, but here sits the table.  We eat and play and do homework on it daily.  It is the perfect table for us.  I have no idea from which decade it came, no idea if it even has some fancy brand mark on it (I really doubt that),  nor do I care.  If I would have had the opportunity and money to go out an pick a table, I could not, at 24, have chosen a better table than this.  
Here is something I picked.  I do love this painting.  It reminds me of the drive to the beach and the canals with logs and turtles.  I went out to eat with my friend Shannon and I had a couple beers.  Then with my liquid courage consumed, I bought an expensive piece of art!  Well, I started buying it.  In small towns people will just let you start paying for something and then come back later and pay the rest.  Andy payed for the rest of it for me as a gift.  There was some guilt there, about having picked out an expensive painting I wanted.  In the days of raising three kids buying paintings is not looked highly upon.  
Here are two things on my mantle.  A blue vase and a rock, both of which are things I have just ended up having.  The rock, I am sure, is a treasure for someone in the house...(who knows??).  These are just fine.  The vase I really like.
Another example occurred to me!  My children!  We don't pick our children, we end up with them.  We surely choose to have children or not to, I won't argue that, but we do not pick who they will be, or what they will look like or any other thing about their being.  Isn't that just the best surprise ever?!  
Here is Prissy.  We ended up with her.  We did not pick her.  She is the best!  She is an artful selective listener, she is always polite, she loves to snuggle and she is sweet to children.
Here is Spot.  We chose Spot.  He is --well, he is just a mess!  :)  He loves about three people.  He is handsome, although this picture might not show it.  I caught him in the middle of eating, which he is pretty serious about.  Come to think of it, he is pretty serious about everything.  
Here is a purse I chose for myself.  It was pricey.  I love it.  It will be around until --well, a long time b/c it is made of boat seat material with seat belt material for straps.  
After I kept making my list I had this very profound idea in my head! LOL!  It was about Yin and Yang, which I am sure you can put together yourself, but there was more.  Now, this whole profound idea has escaped itself to me!! ahhhh!!  I bet, though, that you can come up with some profound things to think about this too.  Think about what you have ended up with, and what you have chosen.  Probably 75% of what I have I have ended up with.  The other 25% might be things I have chosen.  That 25% is the 25% that ends up causing me grief--b/c usually I want some thing that is too pricey, or hard to find etc.
Are any readers still out there?  Do you know how to comment?  Please leave me a comment if you would like.  Tell me your favorite thing you ended up with and your favorite thing or person you picked. :)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pickin Strawberries

Elena and Yineth are 10
Victor is 8
Eva is 5
Yailin is 4
Yareli is 3

Camelia and I took them to pick strawberries the other day and then we did the very white lady thing and made strawberry shortcakes in the OVEN--Camelia uses her oven to store pots and pans, the same way Maria did when I lived with her in Sevilla...not big on ovens.   We all ate strawberry shortcake for lunch! :)  FUN!--and definitely a memory book moment. :)

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Cutie Pie things

This foto is horrible, but that is a teensy little rose from a vine out the back door and a pretty tube of tomato paste...and then there is the cutie Elena. :)
It's time for grilling out and picking strawberries, and pool parties and baseball, and we are in full swing! oh, and rose bushes. The picture had to be taken right there b/c those things are in the windowsill and that is where they wanted to stay right then! :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Eva right now (going old school)

I am going to begin remembering how I used to use my blog, and go back to that format for the summer.  My original intent was to use it partly as a journal of my child rearing and my everyday life (thus, journal LOL).  When we got home while ago it struck me that I needed to write about Eva right now.  She came prancing into the living room--b/c she prances--with a basket in her hand and a pencil, to let me know that she had a bed for baby dino, but she needed to clean the bed.  She was sin ropa!  She was so determined to get on with her project of putting baby dino in the bed she skipped the getting dressed part after her shower and went straight to the project at hand.  I love this!  If she is making dino's bed--it's full steam ahead.  Hair combing be damned!  Her to do list looks more like the Orion constellation, not the traditional bulleted dealy.  Then she carefully tucked him in and made everyone give him a kiss.
This is the baby dino that she got at the dentist office today as a prize, but it's actually  the replacement for that dino b/c she dropped that other one in the river by accident when we went to da la vuelta after we ate supper.  Some snapping turtle had plastic dino for supper I bet (sorry about that).  
I want to remember her prancing, I want to remember her dogged pursuit of her {must do} chore.  I want to remember the TLC she used to tuck that baby dino in.  
I don't want time to freeze b/c I love watching them grow, but I MUST remember to chronicle more frequently and with better quality--b/c these are the days to hold on to. 
Love to you all my bloggy readers....are you still there LOL!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Cat shows, drug overdoses, puberty, aqua alpha romeos, and restaurants

Yesterday I was at a professional convention in Raleigh.  During the "lunch own your own" time my friend and I decided to get a pedicure.  We went to a pedicure spot in a small neighborhood strip mall in Raleigh, which was recommended to me by a friend.  She described it as a great bargain b/c it costs 25 dollars and they really massage your legs and feet for a long time.
All of that was so true.  It was, by far, the BEST pedicure I have ever had (I think I have probably had five).  Those people knew some things about massage--and pressure points and...they really did a great job!
During the pedicure, which lasted 50 minutes ladies from this neighborhood were cruising in and the workers greeted them all by their first names.  I could tell that this was a happening neighborhood nail salon.  It was familiar, and comfy.
The conversations the clientele had, however, were somewhat bizarre, and they distracted from the enjoyment of the pedicure, especially for my friend.  The ladies chatted non-stop.  They talked about owning and breeding exotic cats.  One of the girls told a long detailed story of her brother who was found dead in the yard from a drug overdose.  A lady two chairs down from me told all about her daughter's growth, and lack there of b/c she had started her menstrual cycle--poor thing is topping out at five feet.  This particular lady went on and on.... The same lady who told about the cats told about her aqua blue alpha romeo.  She was taking a trip down memory lane and she told all about that car.  Then once they ladies involved us in the conversation they told us about all of the restaurants in that area of Raleigh and gave us food recommendations.
There was a whole lotta talking going on in that place.
It was a hoot!

Friday, April 10, 2015

How do you finish your bowl of cereal?

I don't think about it too often, but this morning my mind went straight to it.  Does how a person finishes their bowl of cereal say anything about thier raising, or their level of conscientiousness (is that a word?), or does it indicate nothing at all?  The thing that brings this up is that when I was little--well, that was a big deal!  My mama made us pick--either drink the milk and get rid of the whole contents, or just don't eat cereal.  You see, she despised having to dispose of something that looked like the image here.  First of all, you were wasting milk (you should drink it), second of all who in the world should have to stand at the trash can and pick out the soggy bits you left in the bowl? (she sure as hell was not going to do it, I can tell you that!)  This taught me several things.  The first lesson it taught me was to plan!  Plan!  Please, pick a cereal at the grocery store that makes a yummy mix with milk--for me this was something cinnamony (another made up word), or even raisin bran--b/c it made a good soggy mix.  Things like lucky charms might look enchanting on the commercial, but those wheat bits were not good once they were the left over soggy bits in the milk.  SO, Plan!  Know that Mama was not gonna empty that bowl of leftover bits for you, and plan accordingly.  This also taught me respect.  Why should I sit and half-ass eat something, and then leave something behind for my Mama to have to clean up.  We could not, by the way, dump stuff like this in the sink.  Garbage disposals were not invented then (tongue in cheek), and my Mama was meticulous about not putting any food scraps in the drain.  If one had qualms with this, once could not have milk, one could not have cereal, that was fine.  BUT if you chose milk and cereal, that bowl had better be empty when you put it in the sink.  
As I have grown up it has been a casual habit to observe others and how they eat their cereal.  You can imagine that I have had many opportunities.  Think about it, camp, college orientation, conventions, etc.  When I see cereal finishers I automatically think, "their mama must have been picky like mine was."  When I see people who leave scrappy bits behind...I think "they must have had one of those accomodating mothers who tolerated lots of scrappy bits."  This might be a fair assessment, but it is the one I make.  I can almost predict who will be cereal finishers and who won't be.  Now, I get thrown for a loop when I am out and no one eats cereal--I don't anymore, to be honest b/c I don't drink milk.  
Sometimes I have to keep myself in check.  Every now and then I find myself at the trash can picking out cereal bits out of milk.... This tells me I am slacking on the job.  You see I don't want my children to make others have to pick their scrappy cereal bits out the their bowl of milk.  Of course I mean this in a very broad sense.  These things start out small (cereal in milk), and they end up big--a sense of entitlement that makes one think it is okay to leave a trail of scraps behind for others to clean up.  
No one should have to clean your scraps, not even the people who are paid to clean off hotel convention center tables, not even the camp one.
When I was little I could go to my aunt's house and eat my cereal how ever I wanted.  Was this nice?  YES!  I could eat it a whole box at the time...I could leave scrappy bits by the sink, and go play in the lake.  She would never say a word, but I rarely did--b/c I knew better.  Even though Aunt Betty would not yell at me and act crazy like my mama, I knew better.  When I did not feel like eating soggy Lucky Charms out of my milk and my sister had chosen Lucky Charms did I want to live in a different house?  Maybe.  But somewhere in the recesses of my mind I knew that that was silly.  I knew that my Mama was right.  
This morning I am keeping my friend's children.  One of them hinted that she did not finish her cereal at home (i.e. she wanted some more)  So, I fixed her a bowl of cereal.  She ate it and as she was eating this post came to mind.  She finished the whole bowl, by the way. ;).
Could I say that of my kids?  Well, lets see, Victor finishes his...Elena does not take milk...and Eva, well I am not sure, to be honest. 
What about y'all?  When I think these things up I also think--that is so crazy!  What did your Mama make you do, if anything at all?  And rest assured if you do not make cereal to life connections I don't care a hair! :).

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Baggage and lists--attempt number two

Every day my life is just full of baggage...and lists.  My wall beside of my desk--a collection of lists.  Having mom brain requires having lists.  I do not try to remember anything, I make a list and I cross stuff off.  Sometimes, when my work is {not quite so gratifying} the act of crossing a name off a list is more satisfying than the completion of a task well-done.  
This is my purse.  It has a collection of {everything} a mom could ever need. 
This is my lunch bag.  Victor drew that art. 
Here is my Pre-K itinerant day bag--I pack therapy items and evaluation items in this one.
Here is my grocery bag--I use these at the grocery store, but sometimes if I have a haul going into work I bring them to work too.  
Here is my technology bag--for my laptop and my i-pad.  These were all lying around my office all in one day.  What a hoot!  It is a amazing to me that I keep all this straight, and ironic that my baggage system is the only way I keep it all straight.
Every situation has its very own {bag}.
Have a great day bloggy buddies! :)

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Let's clear this up --a vocabulary lesson

Regime--this is the word you use when you are talking about a dictator and their government etc.
This is the word that has to do with the period of time and situation of a ruler/dictator kind of person.
Regiment --Notice there is a "t" there.  Now this little word is the one you pick if you are writing about a group of soldiers.
A Regimen--now this word is the one you should use if you are talking about a regular routine or a routine that is going to become regular--you know a dietary regimen or a beauty regimen..etc.

Get it right--or pick a word you know how to use, people!! I see this error all the time and it makes me a bit crazy.

Easter in Wishington

Before the actual {official} move {home} Suzanne and Randy spent a nice, long week at their new home with their children.  That week would become unforgetable to Suzanne.  The kids were small --basically still both babies in retrospect.  The house had just been freshly painted and the floors freshly varnished.  The house smelled like a vat of chemicals.  It was also cold, and it was strange to be in the house where they would be living, but have travel bags with only a few of their clothes and articles of every day living.  No pots and pans were in the cabinets Yet.  They did have a coffee pot and some coffee...but they could only grill out.  Suzannes bestie did come for a visit with her two children and her husband, but this would quickly become a thing of the past.  After the official move home bestie seemed to always be in hiding  would dawn on Suzanne--eventually--that besties do not have to stalk their besties in order to have some time hanging out.  That was, by the way, a hard learned lesson.
Still, backing up to this simple Easter visit, Spring was in the air, and a big feeling of pure excitement!  From that week foward there were only eight more weeks til Suzanne would be living in her idyllic little town.
The chemical smell in the house was almost unbearable and almost suffocating.
Could this have served at a warning...for the air about the town of Wishington in general?
Nah!  b/c Suzanne was full of nothing but positive anticipation and plans.
In the meantime Suzanne had to go back to Saltineville and spend eight more weeks.  She spent the time in a small condo, occasionally hanging out with a friend who brought her two very inspirational books.  One of the books became the primary influential force for Suzanne's summer.  She became convinced that she would grow a garden and shop at a farmer's market.  Suzanne was quite used to being within 30 minutes of a Whole Foods, or maybe even right down the road from one. Now she was very excited about all things {garden} and all things home-grown.  Little did she realize that she was about to be trapped in the swamp with four choices for groceries --Wal-H3ll, the Pig, the comida Kitty, or the gas station (a popular choice in the town of Wishington).  
Eight weeks later Suzanne would arrive with her heirloom tomato seedlings, plans for a garden, a sense of optimism, and two toddlers.
The house felt damp and cold.  Could this have been a warning for Suzanne about the air about Wishington?  nah!  People in Wishington were sweet!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Bingo Board of Life

Which column are you in?
The other night we had to go to BINGO night, and I do mean HAD to.
Every single bingo night since there were bingo night obligations for us Andy has had to work. 
Generally, when I get home in the evening leaving again is just agonizing.
Bingo night, however, is a must.
It is the main family oriented PTA fundraiser of the year at one of our schools.
If I don't go, I feel like a major {POS}.
So there we were, on a Thursday night in the freezing wind hauling our cookies into
John Cotten Tayloe school for PTA night.

We traditionally do not win bingo.
AND until one has a child between the ages of 4 and 10, one might not realize that children in this age range maintain optimism that they are going to win --every round.
When that Kindle fire pops up--every child in the room is a winner --and then a devastated soul when only one board is the winner.
My children are getting better about this.
My very realist personality/mouth reminds them on the way there in the car, every time.
"Now you know, we are not going to win the kindle/ipad/{whatever}.  Just know that b/c then you won't feel so devastated when we indeed do not win.
Yes M'am, Yes M'am they say --or "OHHHKKAYYY MAMMAAAAA" (in that very you annoy the h3ll out of me voice).

We go, we at pizza, I visit with everyone--b/c in a small town every one in the room really does know eachother--several of them are my cousins, another couple are my old teachers, the rest are colleagues...
That part always ends up being fun to me! :)
So, at that point I am usually glad we have bingo night.

Last Thursday I was staring at the columns on the board--looking at the range of numbers in each column (15 per column)--and I realized--I am in the N column now!
Mrs. Hodges, my third grade teacher and Elena's too) brought her mother--her mother is 95, and is therefore no longer on the BINGO board! :)
My children --they are hanging out in the B column.
The craziest time of one's life, I believe, is the "I" column.
What do you all think?

Happy snow day bloggy readers--if you are all still out there! :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Did y'all know...

That people {sell} their kids??
This is how it was presented to me by a colleague.
This is the language she used, "Oh yeah and come tax time, people sell their kids."
I was FLAbbERGAsted, to say the least!
Of course I asked her what in the world she was talking about, and then
she and the teacher's asst. proceeded to tell me exactly how this happens.

Say a woman has eight children, no husband, and does not file taxes.
She will let another person--who the hell ever--probably a friend, who DOEs work
"claim" her kids on their tax form.
So that other person gets money back from having kids--
and then that person and the mom split the money!

Stuff like this makes me crazy!
Esp. since I sit across the table from moms ALL WEEk LONG, who quit school in ninth grade, have upwards of five kids, have never worked, have no husbands or spouses (and therefore no support at home), are homeless, dejected, demoralized, dependent.

It is all quite maddening.
I do wish that politicians would come and shadow people who actually work with the public so that THEy could see what {poor} looks like.
Pouring more and more money into programs--just makes people need more programs, apparently.
AND, when they can't get enough from a program, they can find some fraudulent manner to get more money.  The question is not Republican (no more programs!) or Democrat (more support via programs), but what should be done, completely differently so that poor people would take responsibility for their welfare, and not be completely institutionalized.
something needs to be done.  something completely different.

So. Sad.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Up on the soap box {again!}

My rant today is all about being "on demand"
For years Andy and I did not even have cell phones.
During that time I realized that I really enjoyed not being summoned all the time.
Two years ago we signed up for the cell phones again.
Let me tell you, the cell phone is a major source of anxiety in my life!
The cell phone has created an atmosphere/social situation in which everyone thinks they 
can just change plans at the last minute and it's okay b/c they can text or call everyone.
You know what, What's wrong with just sticking with the damn plan?
I have therapy patients who have parents who need to text or call me three times 
Really...this appt. happens at the same time MULTIPLE TIMES PER WEEK!
It ends at the SAME TIME every time...
If  you are three minutes late--who in the world cares?
Just come don't have to text me to tell me you are at the stop light and on the way!
If your child is sick and not coming--I will figure that out when they don't show up!  No worries.
Or, you can call me and leave me a msg. with the secretary.
I don't have to read five texts from you.
My phone sits on my desk and freaking buzzes ALL DAY LONG!!
This afternoon when I was FINALLY OFF WORK and I got in my car
what happened?
You guessed it!  That little joker started buzzing and freaking buzzing.
Someone decided to CHANGE A PLAN.
Well you know what?  Too fucking late!  That's what.
You made the plan yesterday...and I am sticking with it!
The stress I feel when that phone buzzes one time after another is just
My new policy:  leave it in the car when I get home and just ignore the world.
That is my PLAN!  --and I tend to be a "stick with the plan" kinda girl.
I think that a long time ago people did not do this.  They had to make plans and stick with the plan.
People could not be summoned at the drop of a dime, and I bet people were a lot calmer.