Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Pit of Despair...

I spent a busy day in my own pit of despair - my basement. Our basement is filled with too much stuff collecting too many memories from too many moves. The basement is really blank, completely unfinished, and I have been unmotivated to do much with it - until today. Scott installed some shelves for me and I set about making something out of the foolishness. It is no longer a hot mess. My basement now resembles a Tuesday Morning, without the expensive crystal teetering on the top shelf.
My girls love looking through all the stuff, and these items were discovered as I was organizing Mount Scrapbook Material. I cannot explain all of these pictures. My girls were especially horrifed by these and asked many questions: What is Daddy doing to that deer? Who is Slash? Why is Bill Clinton topless? I cannot explain, but I wanted to horrify my brother with the Clinton pic.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turducken Redux

So the turducken turned out to be pretty good. It is basically a cajun entree where a turkey breast is rolled flat, a chicken and duck and pork sausage is laid on top of it, then the turkey breast is rolled around the sausage into a large roast. I managed to overcook mine (a rookie mistake) but you cover it in gravy and the sin is forgiven! Everyone ate it (twice on Thursday) and Scott even has some more this evening. All is good.

I must comment on the extraordinary amount of work that goes in to making Thanksgiving for four: everyone has a favorite dish that has to make it to the table, so little ol' me makes seven dishes, plus rolls and a dessert. Guess how long it takes four people to clean the plate? Twelve minutes. Whoop-de-do, they are outta here. It takes 5 times that to do the dishes, which I did later because I was so depressed about the 2+ hours I spent cooking the 12 minute meal. I love the food though - it makes me feel like I have accomplished something important. But next year, I'm thinking Arby's...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

To Boldly Go Where No Franks Has Gone Before

Thanksgiving is here and the Franks' Fantastic Four are getting hungry. To feed us all, I decided to make one of my husband's dreams come true. I am making Turducken.

Turwhaten? Yes, it's a turducken. Comments from the peanut gallery will be posted apres diner.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Stephen King's Bible Camp

On our jaunt to North Carolina, we took advantage of a free night stay at a camp in a tiny historic community called Flat Rock. But things take a strange turn - strange in that we can't quite figure out where we are, where the others are, what we should do, where we should go. On paper the place seems great - named after a phrase from Milton's Paradise Lost, ideal serene setting, brand new lodge. Do we stay in the new lodge we came to tour? No. Do we end up occupying a giant, dated lodge where we are the only ones there? Yes. No noise, no people, no heat (momentarily), but we stay anyway. Free breakfast is somewhere - it's at the creepy inn that looks like it inspired The Shining. At the inn, all the doors are locked. Does anyone work here? Wandering, wandering, then suddenly there are 200 people in a large cafeteria, but we are still locked out. No vehicles for this many people anywhere around. And these people, mostly college students, are all well behaved and dressed like Abercrombie models with their fashionable layers and woolly knit hats and heavy boots. Still, no one is working at the cafeteria, so where the food comes from is an enigma. Finally we get in, find someone that works at the caf, have breakfast, meet the President of the Camp, who looks just like Kent Allen and talks just like Cameron John. Can't stop thinking about the Kent/Cameron blend, but the tour goes well.

Moral of the story: When taking a free night stay at an unknown camp, do not be surprised when Stephen King pops into your head. Or Kent Allen and Cameron John.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

...And Now A Word From Our Daughter...

She always surprises me with secret pictures, movies, etc. Very sly, Dar. Here you go...

Let's Pose With Statuary!

My fixation with statues continues - Roxy gets into it, Darby endures it, and Scott is nowhere in the picture. Figures.

We had a good time in North Carolina - new places to see, good fun with the fam. The Biltmore is so incredible, especially seeing it all decorated and lit up with candles. I am so glad we went to the estate, because it was way cool and I don't think our kids even noticed the winery that we toured. Wine tasting - we better pass. My husband is a preacher now, you know.

Franks' Carolina Getaway

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Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Psychosis

The Christmas frenzy has arrived at the Franks' house - I have changed my address but Christmas found us anyway. The copious stack of catalogs have clued in my children and they are now plugging every item they see as a potential present for them. I get baby catalogs, but I have no babies, I get preschool catalogs but I have no small children. I get sports memorabilia catalogs yet I attend no games nor did I graduate from a major sports-oriented institution. Oh, the insanity. I happen to love magazines and catalogs, but for the first time I feel like going a little crazy with too much mail and too little inspiration to spend money.

Roxy and Darby have to look through everything, even the fruit and popcorn catalogs. Roxy grabs a highlighter and highlights everything she would like. Including things that are currently boxed up in the basement. Darby's list is pared down this year (thank you, thank you) but her most-desired items are as expensive as a government bailout.

I haven't bought one single thing for Christmas (yet). I ventured out to Macy's for the big one-day sale and purchased a $6.99 roasting pan for out Thanksgiving turkey. The people there were tense, bitter, and somewhat off their rocker. A women standing in the middle of an aisle got upset at an old man pushing a wheelchair that carried an invalid with multiple brain issues. The women, who I don't know, told the old man that he better not touch her because she was shopping and he could just wait on her to pass by. The old man yelled at her to get out of the way, in a very abrupt manner, and everyone within 12 feet took off, including me. As an observer I thought the poor soul in the wheelchair should take precedent over the casual shopper, but I don't want to have anything to do with either group that acts so rude in public.

I think I'll stick to the Amazon plan - if they ship it, I will buy.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Loved To Death

Meet Jasmine, the one-time love of Roxy's life. Roxy carried this thing anywhere and everywhere - sneaking it in to family pictures, buckling it into the back seat of the car, feeding it with toy baby bottles. She looks better on film than she does in real life, amazingly enough. Roxy has no limits to her love - she loved Jasmine well past her shelf life, and no amount of Dryell cleaning bags can change that. Fortunately for me, I managed to get Jasmine off the A-List, and Asia the Panda moved up. I know I have posted pictures of Roxy with Asia on my blog because she is the fifth member of our family. Until now...

I predict that the stuffed owl, whose name is now Brown Sugar, is moving ahead to first place. Asia sits on the shelf right now and the owl is the main object of affection. Roxy introduced various people from church to her owl last night - I am not exaggerating. The owl is the star of many stories now, burrowing nests into the ground, hunting for the mice that live in our woods, snuggling up in baby blankets. Roxy has started wearing a single glove, just like a falconry expert, so that Brown Sugar's claws will not hurt her arm. Say good-bye to Jasmine, because she has hit the D-List and won't be making a comeback.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

How To Instill Fear In Your Husband

The way I put fear into my husband is simply by having my book club sisters over to the house for dinner and discussion. Scott would never acknowledge the feeling of fear, but it really throws him off his course, makes him run away and hide, and he then makes poor decisions - all of this is a manifestation of fear. Scott was desperate to escape the y chromosomes that took up temporary residence in our dining room, and the youngest member of our family smelled weakness and sensed Daddy's inability to focus and make sound decisions. Roxy came home with a new little loved one, Hootie the owl. Darby was able to feed her own addiction with her enabling father - she brought home a book. Scott, I love you and cherish you, but the girls (especially Roxy) know how to turn the screws to their advantage and get more of what they love. I'm not sure Daddy even knows he bought them presents - it's all a blur for him.
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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

In the Beginning...

... God created this striking couple. I have this wedding photo out as my reminder as I read The Power of a Praying Wife. I co-lead a women's study group and we are reading Stormie O'Martian's book. I first read this book ten years ago, when I was relatively new to the wife club, and now when I look back I realize that I still had my training wheels on. But now, reading this book has revealed more important memories and life lessons that have accrued over the last 10 years. The women I meet with have been so fun to get to know - so encouraging, so relaxed and transparent, I am always enlightened after we meet.

I am so happy to revisit this book after 10 years. I sure ain't the sweet young thing I used to be, but the 12 years of marriage under my belt have made me a better person and a more loving wife.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

Scott Takes a Hike

My husband likes to walk. For five years, he walked to work and people thought we were poor and could not afford a car or car repairs. On the contrary, Scott chose to walk to work. He was "green" before it was fashionable. Here are some photos of Scott's walk - up a mountain. Lost Mountain is down the street from where we live and it has been the most beautiful fall, the most unexpected surprise from this move to Georgia. Fall is waning now, but I will have these pictures as memories...

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sometimes I Just Shake My Head

There are four people in this family with some similarities (Scott=Darby) and many differences (Roxy + Darby = small explosions). As we were playing cards last night, I made many mental notes:

Darby does not like to lose to Roxy, Scott does not like to lose to anybody, and I will gladly lose if it means someone will not get upset. Roxy just naturally wins. Reminds me of playing Yahtzee or Rummy with my brother when I was a child. The girl can't help it - Roxy has a way of making things work her way.

Roxy has to interject so many strange events into a game of cards, it gets very bizarre. First of all, she deals cards just like Joanie from Happy Days. It was painful, waiting for her to get the cards passed out. But that's not the worst part. Have you ever played a game with a person that has to constantly move, use her body to talk, run around the table, make every discard with an insult against the card she pitches out, and create new vocabulary at an amazing pace? Does it sound slightly annoying? And when you finally calm her down, she starts talking about the pandas at the zoo that scratch their bottoms and then she hops up to show us how they did it, and then it all starts all over again.

And when Darby tries to shuffle, every card ends up in every direction because logic escapes her. At the age of 10, Darby will sit and play games, but the mind starts to wander to SpongeBob Squarepants. I admit to being a fan of SpongeBob. We quote that show more than anything else. Only Darby is a Rolodex of every Bikini Bottom moment. Picture Darby rolling the dice, chanting "Escalators! Escalators! Escalators!" The comments from her can be extremely random, but then on further review they become less random and more in line with what's happening - in SpongeBob's world.

Scott does not like to gamble anything. When he finds himself in a position where he has to take a chance, he literally fidgets. This guy cannot bluff, lie, or go to Vegas. Maybe that is why he is so guarded most of the time. He manages to win at a dice game by simply plugging away with teeny tiny gains, never trying to turn the big amounts his way.

I succeeded in getting the family to come together for an hour of surreal game playing. Would anyone like to join us?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today's Highlights

1. People on the tiny plane were odd. In front of me was a lady, very altered, that smelled like alcohol and it was 10:00 in the morning. The lady beside me might have been an elf. She was wearing a velour hoodie and yoga pant outfit in a very bright Christmas green. I predict she will regret that outfit...

2. People on the big plane were cranky and drinking much liquor. Did you know it costs $7 for a can of beer. The people around me know it and pay for it anyway.

3. My girls are beautiful. They made me feel so good to be home. Roxy was missing me so much she saved 6 Reese's Pieces for me - and she saved them for four days, waiting for me to share her treat with her. Darby keeps giving me hugs. I'm so happy to see them.

4. My hubbie is tired. He has a tendency to forget things, so this week will be a dim memory in about two days. So good to see him, too.

5. I don't know what to do with myself when I have no house to maintain, no meals to prepare, no Bible class to teach, no book club to lead, no hair to comb, no husband to support. Who knew that travelling could be so liberating?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I Can Only Imagine...

Scott and the girls are doing fine.  I have many questions for them:  did the get to school on time?  Did daddy pack the lunches?  Did they turn in the homework?  I am afraid to ask about the hair.  There are so many ways that Darby and Roxy hair can be all kinds of wrong.  Scott volunteered a small tidbit today:

Sheree:  So, how's it going with the hair?

Scott:  Well, I tried.

Sheree:  What do you mean?

Scott:  There was only a little bit of screaming.

Sheree:  There's a lot a screaming when I fix it.  You must have stopped too early.

Scott:  They just need more hats.

Sheree:  Hats are not the solution, Scott.

Scott:  OK, then, they need more helmets...

I am very worried now.  They probably look like Andre 3000 from OutKast by now...

What To Do on a Wednesday?

I can't escape to an undisclosed location.  I have too much guilt for that.  So I had lunch with my brother, I have a haircut next, and I will cook dinner for the family tonight.  Tomorrow I'm back to Georgia and this little escape will be over.  My daughters and my husband need me.  The hair of Darby and Roxy cannot be left to Scott's devices for too long.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Oklahoma Hills Where I Was Born

Here I am in Oklahoma now.  I drove back with my parents and arrived today.  We had a good trip and my momma is faring well - still in pain, still a little loopy, but not falling down and as out of it as she was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  We have her all lined up to see the surgeon and she should be OK.  I get to spend a couple of days here with my folks - childless and husbandless for the first time ever.  Scott has to fend for himself plus Darby and Roxy for four days.  This should be interesting...

Does this count as an actual vacation for me?  I don't know, but I'm thinking about getting a hair cut, a manicure, a spa treatment, and a flight to an undisclosed location where I can relax.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Guess Who's Coming to the Hospital?

That would be us. My parents made it in to Georgia last night, but Mom was ill. Things are not cooperating inside my mom right now. So we take her to a walk-in medical care place that takes Medicare, so there is no out-of network issue to deal with, but she is still hurting. Today we hit the hospital, have a stack of prescriptions for her, and we are just shaking our head at how all of this has come on her in the strangest way. Mom needs her doctors in OK but just made it to GA and wants to see her granddaughters. We are hoping that medicine will keep her going for one day, two days, I don't know how many days. I hate to see her miserable. Pray for some relief for The Mom, because without it she will leave ASAP.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guess Who's Coming for Dinner?

Roxy was a very excited girl from the moment she woke up today. She had a list of five reasons why Friday was great:

1. It was Friday, the last day of school.
2. She gets to go to the B Bucks store today at school to cash in her good behavior bucks.
3. She gets twice as many B Bucks because her teacher was gone last week on Friday and she has double to spend.
4. Granny and Pa Pa are coming today.
5. She can buy presents for Granny and Pa Pa at the B Bucks store.

Roxy will be home from school in about 30 minutes. I promised her that as soon as she gets home, we will finish sweeping the driveway so that when Granny and Pa Pa get here, they will see all her fine work. She wants to show off her broom skills. That makes me feel excited, too!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Bad Karma for Roxy's Chameleon

Finally! I caught the gecko! This stupid lizard has been lounging around my house since Sunday. Everytime I almost catch it, it runs into a closet and goes missing again. Roxy has been concerned about the gecko crawling on her while she sleeps (that makes my skin crawl just typing about it), so I told her that geckos are like moths and they die after a day. Momma told a fib...

Roxy found it out and about again in my bedroom and has dedicated herself to catching it. She even went and got the equipment she wanted to trap him. Roxy gave us very specific instructions about how to get him, like how you shouldn't grab him by his tail because you'd just pull it off and that was yucky.

These pictures are for my dear Roxy, Chameleon Hunter. I got him - just like she told us to.
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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

This Is the Way We Go To Church

I was awestruck today by the beauty of Georgia. I laughed out loud when I was driving my car because everything I saw was beautiful. These shots were taken with my camera balanced on my steering wheel as I drove to church. I was taking my hunk of a husband to lunch and the four mile drive filled me with joy that I was living in and around full-blown fall splendor. My pictures don't even capture it the way it really is down here - laugh out loud beautiful. This ain't Oklahoma...
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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Look Ma! I Voted!

My thanks to Roxy for taking this pic. I voted the Georgia way today and had to wait only 30 minutes because I waited until 10:30 am, after the morning rush that my husband experienced. In my district, the voting is done on a touch-screen computer and you are issued a gold credit card for the voting process. Very cool and very fast. I left my girls at home, which is the first time my children have not been a part of the voting process. I feel like a bad mom already...

In my county, I had very few choices in candidates. Every incumbent was Republican with no one running against them. About two positions had a Democrat running against the Republican. If my county does not stay red, I will be surprised.

Roxy was particularly excited about the voting today. Now that she knows her Granny helps everybody vote at her polling station, she cannot contain her pride.
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Monday, November 3, 2008

Darby as Art

I love this drawing. She made so many curls in her hairstyle I was amazed. She nailed it.
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Sunday, November 2, 2008

My Husband on 100% Cotton

This is my husband's Life Is Good shirt. I happen to like those shirts and this one is great for Scottie because of the number of people that think his name is Frank. I cannot tell you how many people think his name is Frank Scott and ask me how Franks is doing. Frank is fine and wore his shirt on Halloween like a good sport. Gotta love Frank.
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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

A great evening was had by my barn owl and my Hermoine Granger. We went trick or treating with another girl from church in their neighborhood, which was a great idea. This neighborhood goes all out for Halloween. Dressed up adults everywhere, kids everywhere, decorated front porches and parties in the driveways, good candy supplies, the perfect weather, and so much fun. We did not experience this kind of enthusiasm in Oklahoma at Halloween, but here it is an excuse for the neighbors to get together and celebrate fall. One of the reasons why we appreciate living here...
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It's a Craig's List Miracle!

About an hour ago, my husband decided to post some of our unused items on the "Free" section of Craig's List, an internet portal that allows average joe type people to sell their stuff regionally. Our unused items were not treasures, just functional, unneeded pieces of furniture: two overused green swivel rockers, two overused wooden chairs, and a set of plastic stairs meant for an above-ground pool. Most of these items were left in the basement of the house we purchased while living halfway across the country. We never wanted them in the first place! But how to get rid of them without hauling them off to the county dump an hour away...hmm. Craig's List.

It only took an hour and the stuff was gone, including the goofy pool stairs. I am in awe at the human being that is willing to make my trash his treasure. I am a little worried about him, too. Job well done, Scottie. Now you can park in the other side of the garage!