Friday, March 26, 2010

Portrait of a Middle Schooler

Maybe it's more of a doodle, but I digress...

I do envy the straight hair - so does Darby, I think.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Think He Loves Me

There are lots of things that you do for your spouse, things that you never imagined you would do, things that you hoped you would never have to do, things you love to do, and things you don't.  I think my husband loves me because he has agreed to do the thing on his To Don't list.

His name is Van Morrison.  He is coming to perform a concert in Atlanta.  I have been waiting to see him for 20+ years.  My dear husband cannot stand live music and concerts, crowds, Atlanta traffic, tempermental musicians,  or poetic music.

But he is taking me to this concert.  And he promised to take me to dinner at La Madeline before the show.

I think he loves me.

I do know that I am a big fan of Van the Man.  Most of my personal music stash was recorded by Van, followed by Ryan Adams (whom my husband cannot abide either.)  My "Stranded on a Desert Island" music would be Van's Moondance album.  I cannot pass up "Into the Mystic" - ever.  I turn it up loud and take a little vacation when that song in on.  And my husband is okay with all of this.

Thanks for my Mother's Day present, Scottie.  You are covered for my birthday as well!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Introducing "Old Blue"

I finished my quilt today.  This project was pieced together by my sister, way back in 2001 or 2002, for my kitchen table.  My desire to use blue and white in my kitchen prompted this project, and it moved to four different houses with me until finally it found its home on my dining room table.  I learned how to quilt in November of last year and kept plugging away these last few months to knock this baby out.

Blue and white color patterns are my favorite and have been ever since I was eight or nine and visited my great aunt Elvie (she was my grandma Tiny's sister.)  She was showing me all the quilts that all the ladies in Hopper, Arkansas worked on, many of which were made of feed sack fabric.  There were also some stained from their chewing tobacco, because while they worked, they would chew and then reach down to get their individual coffee cans for a spit.  My favorite (sans spit) was a blue and white quilt, and she sent me that very quilt for Christmas one year and I was very excited.  Some 20 years after receiving that quilt, Scott and I very unexpectedly found a straight pin that had been quilted into the quilt.

What I like about quilts is all the handwork that goes into them.  The more, the better.  My first quilt is all hand quilted by me, myself, and I.  It does make me proud that I have finished it.

Now I want to go out and get fabric and make some modern, colorblocked quilts for my girls.  I want to make a 1930s feedsack-ish quilt for my living room.  And I want to make a classic blue and white quilt for my bedroom.  I might even turn into one of those ladies that stock piles fabrics, just because.  (Won't Scott be thrilled to read that sentence...)

So, "Old Blue" is finished and it is not where I envisioned it would be, but I am happy just the same.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Girl's Guide to Misfriendship

My title contains an unword, I know, but somehow that unword describes the most recent dramatic events in this household.  In case you did not know this, girls can be pretty cruel.  Not my girls, but other girls - out there- in the world, so to speak.

My girls are pretty sweet, and probably too sweet for some people.  When you get to about the second grade, you are finding some new shades of friendship.  You are meeting girls who make friendship feel like an encounter with the Dark Side.  Combine this encounter with a pretty sweet girl who feels guilt just thinking mean thoughts about another person, and you are sure to have some heartbreak.

So, as for this mom's advice to her earnest daughters, I have these reminders:

1.  Still waters run deep; choppy waters don't.  If you have a lot of ups and downs with a girl, consider sailing your boat in clearer waters.

2.  Yelling "sorry" at a friend has never counted as an apology and it never will.

3.  When a girl breaks your personal moral code, you need to get some distance.

4.  Be tough around mean girls - they are manipulative and enjoy your tears.  When someone accuses you of being too sensitive, it has usually been preceded by their mean spirit and harsh anger.  Meanness can be conquered in time, but tears just fuel their fire.

I do not look forward to the next few years where you will find yourself matched up against strong frenemies.  Just trust in the people who never let you down and expect little from the ones that do.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Poetry Memory of Darby Franks

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!

The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!

Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun

The frumious Bandersnatch!" from the poem Jabberwocky

I post this poem excerpt and this old photo of Darby from when she was six as an illustration of how different my children are, and how alike they look.
Clones.  I bore clones.

But never once did Roxy memorize poetry.  Roxy appreciates poetry, but Darby consumes and digests literature and poetry, then memorizes it forever.

Darby was introduced to the poem Jabberwocky by my sister.  At age six, it fascinated her and baffled me.  I did not get it.  I do not get the same aptitude scores that my daughter gets, because apparently the nonsensical poem made perfect sense to my six year old jewel.

But now it gets a little weirder.  Darby stills knows the poem and she is 11.  Sitting in a movie theater yesterday, trying to translate some of the dialogue from "Alice in Wonderland," I heard Darby begin this poem.  The movie includes most all the elements from this poem, which is an excerpt from a Lewis Carroll book.  Darby then points out the other things from the Jabberwocky poem that have been used in the movie.  I am impressed that the movie is staying true to the spirit of the original work, but I am baffled, once again, by my daughter's ability to pull knowledge gleaned years ago and apply it to something currently in front of her. 

What sounds like jabber-gobbledy-gook-wocky to me is pure poetry and art to her.  Darby, you go girl.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A Small, Hairy Connundrum

There is one person in our house that wants a pet.  She wants a pet so much she has practically transformed herself into a canine.  The father of the house has become increasingly concerned about the behavior of this daughter.  The realization of the importance of pets just hit him yesterday as he was standing in the daughter's room, surrounded by small furry animals, small furry animals on posters, small hairy animals on piles and piles of books, and the realization that there is one toy in the daughter's room that is not plush.

Scott:  Is she normal?
Sheree:  I think she is.  She is very cuddly and loves animals, so that is what she collects.
Scott:  Is is normal for her to STILL act like a dog?
Sheree:  I don't know.  Maybe...
Scott:  Should I get her a pet for her birthday?
Sheree takes in huge gulp of air. Somehow she finds words to continue:
Sheree:  What are you saying?  Are you saying you want a pet?
Scott:  No.  I don't want a pet, but should she have a pet?
Sheree:  I need to remind you that there are only two rules in our house: 1)Don't tickle daddy, and 2)No pets.
Scott:  I know.
Sheree:  I need to remind you that when we were talking about our future together as man and wife, I told you I wanted children and anything less was a dealbreaker.  You told me you never, ever wanted pets and that I should not be with you if I wanted pets.
Scott:  I don't remember that.
Sheree:  I do.  And I am not making this up.  We really did have this conversation.
Scott groans.
Sheree:  Maybe I shouldn't tell you about how Roxy has decided to pretend to be a dog when she bathes.  She wants me to shampoo her and trim her nails like a pampered poodle, and she wants to run away and shake off water droplets like naughty dogs do.
Scott groans again.

Roxy, you may be able to land the whale, to boldly go where no Franks' gal has gone before - to get the better of your daddy.  Just grind him down to a pathetic nub and you will get that dog!  You're almost there!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

In Like a Fluffy, White Lion

Today school was dismissed early (again) due to snow.  So far this year (all two month of it) we have had double the normal amount of snow for Georgia.  At this rate, I would not be surprised to get snow again in April.

Instead of our scary snowmen zombies, Scott and the girls built a snowfort.  Roxy quickly renamed it her penguin habitat and annoyed everyone by pretending to be a penguin.  So the snowfort was transformed into a mid-century modern sofa.  Roxy then morphed into a beaver that ate away at the sofa, evening out the lines.  The reason that you can't see any snow in our backyard is because it is mostly woods - a great place for the deer, the owl, and the possibly feral cat.  Scott, my dear husband, hauled all of the snow from the open yard space to the back yard, where we can watch our couch evaporate slowly over the next week.

Love the sofa.  But I think we REALLY need to get Roxy a pet.