Saturday, June 26, 2010

A Lesson Before Dying - from Heatstroke

Well, today was the garage sale.  The girls were excited, Scott was motivate to eliminate junk, and I was just hopeful we would make $200, because then it would all be worth it.  But no.

We got rid of a few things, but nothing really significant where we were thrilled to have gone to all the effort of this sale.  We spent some quality time with the neighbors, which was good.  As we sat around in the heat, playing cards that lost their stiffness due to the Georgia humidity, we learned quite a few things:

1.  Posting the garage sale listing on Craig's List was useless.  There were over 600 garage sale listings for just the Atlanta North section, and there is no way anyone would have been able to recognize the sale at our neighborhood.

2.  Small prices rule.  Anything of any quality, like the items my neighbors had, should just get auctioned on ebay.

3.  There are not enough hoarders in my neck of the woods.

4.  It is always humiliating when garage sale shoppers by a treasure just so their dogs can snuggle with it, and it was a treasure that your child would cling to because they loved it.

5.  Making the list of donated items for the charity truck is very annoying and time consuming and it is a determent for us good people looking for a tax deduction.

6.  We won't be having another garage sale, at least in this neighborhood, in this heat.  Yuck.

But the good news - the kitten came back and is purring at Roxy's feet.  Scott is ecstatic, let me tell ya :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Scott Fears Most

When I say fear, I mean the feeling of dread, anxiety, regret, and an encounter with animal excrement...

This week, Scott started feeding a stray kitten that showed up on our front porch.  He fed it some of my homemade herb roasted chicken and some grilled squash and other items.  And for about three days it seemed that Roxy would get a pet, although not exactly the variety that she had hoped for, but an animal all the same.

I mentioned to Scott that we should probably take the kitten to get checked because I thought the girls would want to touch it (Roxy is calling it "Lucky").  But now the kitten is gone, the food bowls are gone, and I am getting suspicious of Scott.  Where did the kitten adios to?  Did the threat of expense cause that kitty to go on a visit to a country farm?

At least for Scott, we never had to deal with a scenario like the picture attached above...

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Sister's Love, With Guilt

The daughters of this house truly love each other and get along a significant portion of the time.  But when the Big One starts growing up and spreading her wings, the Little One gets uncomfortable and protective and suspicious of just about everything.  The Big One is excited, the Little One finds it all unfair.  What's in it for her, anyway?  Who can be happy when the Big One is at camp?  On one level, this Momma agrees with the Little One, but knows that the Big One needs some Big Experience away from the Little One.  So, the Little One prays that the Big One is combing her hair, is resting, is having a good time, and the Little One tortures me with her loneliness.  Sigh.

The following art piece was created the day that the Big One came home from camp (an hour and a half late, as the Little One likes to remind me.)  Her feelings are just all out there, apparent for everyone, and now make a timeless keepsake that I have salvaged from the Big One, who was a little freaked out by the Little Ones honesty.  Sigh again.  When the Big One goes to camp again, we will be medicating the Little One so the Momma does not lose it.  Again.  Sigh.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

More Flyers Gone Wild

I have become almost immune to the fliers that come in my mailbox now that I live in Georgia.  We have seen it all - magazines of mugshots of people that have recently been arrested, fliers for bargain funeral services, and of course the missiles that end up on my driveway (a plastic bag of rocks with an advertisement for stump removal, etc.)  But today's flier was a shocker for me - who knew that fireworks companies could afford mass mail outs in Atlanta.  For this particular stand, you have to drive to South Carolina to get them.  I guess when you are competing with the 24 hour fireworks stands in Tennessee and Alabama, you have to take drastic measures...

Another thought:  should I clip the coupons that came on the flyer?  You get $90 worth of 500 gram repeaters when you spend $149 dollars at the store.  Is this the deal of the century?  Or should I just take $239 dollars and set it on fire?  Same difference, I think.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Grandma

I received a notice today recognizing that June 16th would have been my Grandma Sara Alfatine Davis' 103rd birthday.  People called her "Tiny".  She passed away years ago when I was seven or eight.  I love this old picture and have been thinking about Arkansas a lot this week because she lived in the area where there was massive flooding.  The news people keep trying to explain how remote the area is, and it is incredibly remote, tucked away from everything.  My cousin Robert is in the background on the porch.  Grandma Davis had 11 kids and more grand kids than I can count (but I can name them, if challenged by one of my Davis cousins. !) 

It has been twelve years since I have visited that area.  My grandma's house was still standing then, but just barely.  It has fallen in on itself since then.  I was so young when we would make our visits to Arkansas, but I have a few memories of her (my grandpa had died quite some time before I was born, so there are no memories of him.)

Breakfasts were huge at Grandma's house.  Gravy was served every morning, probably.  I would sleep in a bedroom off the kitchen and waking up to some comforting smells of sausage and biscuits and the sounds of the screen door banging.  Along one side of the kitchen were shelves lined with canned fruits and vegetables.  It was always organic, all the time, when everything comes from your own back yard.  I remember going out to get fresh eggs and being nervous about whether or not the chickens would be mean to me.  Her barn was very big, or so I thought, and I remember the smell of the hay and the animals.  There were morning glories on the well, but I would not go near it because it was not something to be playing around, under any circumstances.  I remember my grandma checking my back for ticks (this is a remote area in Arkansas, you know) and I remember the pink tile in the old bathroom.  I never had the privilege of visiting her outhouse, but my sister did.  And, I never saw how my Grandma would catch a chicken and break its neck so we could have our fried chicken dinner.  Thanks, mom, for sparing me that experience :)  Once, we accidentally knocked over a jar of Grandma's pickles on our Lego's, and this one huge foundation piece smelled like pickles for a while.  My favorite thing at Grandma Davis' house was a picture on the wall of an apple tree with the names and birth dates of everyone in the family.  I know someone has that and I think they are lucky. 

I liked her front porch swing a lot, and because of my Grandma, I want a front porch with a swing more than anything.  When I moved to Georgia two years ago, I tried and tried to find a house in our price range with a covered front porch.  We looked at one house, which was a good one, but the house across the street had a covered front porch and I knew there was no way I wanted to look at something I wanted so much but couldn't have - and it being my neighbor's house, right across the street.  I eliminated that house for that factor alone.  At Grandma's house, the truckers would be driving down the state highway that ran in front, and you could wave to them and they would always give you a toot on the horn.

I also remember swimming in the creek and the Blue Hole.  Roxie's house was in front of the Blue Hole.  That was when I first heard that name, and I guess it must have remained a favorite since I chose it for my daughter.  I remember taking shampoo down there with my cousins Holly and Laurie and washing our hair because the Blue Hole had such clean water.  There was a rope hung on a tree branch where you could swing out and drop in the water.  I remember my brother doing that, but I know I would not go into such deep water, which suited my mom just fine.  The creek where we would swim flooded this past week.

I think it would be great if my grandchildren would remember me on my 103rd birthday.  Maybe, if I can learn to stick with it, I will have a cabinet full of hand made quilts, like my grandma had, and my grandkids will have that piece of heritage to pass on to their children.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Blueberries for Scottie

It all started with a gift card to a garden center.  Scott purchased something that he dreamed about - blueberry bushes.  My husband is a man of basic needs and simple tastes :)

From that initial purchase, one year later he started to see results:  five perfect blueberries.  We will get more, but first pick was a little slim.

So, Scott decides that we must go back to the orchard and get more berries.  Roxy and I agreed because we are both fanatics for picking fruit, and then we came back with a significant haul.  Cherries and blueberries fill our home now.  They are gorgeous and juicy - we look like we are bleeding as we eat the cherries because they are so rich, so ripe, so juicy.

And now, I must boldly go where this wife has not successfully gone before - I will make pie crust, and it will work, and it will be wonderful.  I repeat this to myself over and over, because I have failed at pie crust in years past and would rather not make colossal messes for no good reason.

Everything is wonderful as far as the cobbler and pies are concerned (I did not lattice my crust due to the vulnerability of the crust, but is looked good anyway.  My husband could not be prouder.  Momma like.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Let It Grow, Let It Grow

I think of that Eric Clapton song, 'Let It Grow", when I look around the yard.  Scott has been experimenting with various plants and projects, and we have been the grateful recipients of free plants for our shady backyard.  And now, after daily thunderstorms and lots of luck, we have some good things coming back to us.  And, thanks to my husband's loneliness of a week without me, I have an herb garden.  Yeah, he missed me :)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Movie Palace with The Mom

This weekend we took the girls to see a movie at the Fox Theater in downtown Atlanta.  It is one of three "movie palaces" in the United States, where on a regular basis you can see movies in an enormous theater that also serves as a venue for concerts, Broadway musicals, etc.  We went to "The Wizard of Oz" and there were thousands of people there, which is a pretty fun experience.

First off, we snapped a photo with the theater greeter.  He is the best greeter in the whole wide world and Wal-Mart and Cracker Barrel could learn a lot from him.  You feel like you have come to the best place on earth after you meet this guy.  Then, you go inside and tour the place which is historic and architecturally incredible and opulent and exciting.  Inside the theater, they show you how special the place really is, with an antique pipe organ that has so many bells and whistles it makes you smile.  An old man in a white tuxedo plays old timey songs for a sing-a-long, the kind of stuff I learned by watching Bugs Bunny cartoons.  Everyone sings along and claps and it is very sweet and very corny, but very personal.  At this point in our afternoon, I'm smiling and getting silly and Scott says to the girls, "Look, you mother is turning into Granny."  In other words, The Mom is emerging.  I am doing The Mom, as my brother and I would always say when we were kids and our mom would start to embarrass us with her unique behaviors.  So Roxy gives me a kiss and all is well.

The sing-a-long is followed by old newsreels from the 1930s and old Mickey Mouse cartoons, and it is all enjoyable with the audience going along with everything.  When the movie starts, everyone continues to interact with the movie, cheering for Dorothy, clapping when the witch gets melted, cheering for the Lion, and singing with the music.

There is a real phantom at the Fox - there is an old man that has lived there since the 1960s and keeps the pipe organ fixed and is the official caretaker of the Fox Theater.  I think that is pretty cool that they tell you all about the history of the place - they even show all the movie stars coming to the screening of "Gone With the Wind" when it premiered there in the 1932 or whatever year that was.  But, I digress...

Even before the movie started, probably when we were singing along to "Ain't She Sweet", I knew that my mom should have been here with us.  She would love the Fox and singing along and clapping with the girls and me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Today's Smiles

1.  Someone noticed that I have lost some weight :)
2.  Roxy let me put fun buns in her hair, and I love fun buns :)
3.  Darby is excited about being in the youth group - FINALLY :)
4.  It's Sunday and we have lots of good, free things to do this week :)
5.  At church, I listened to Wynelle Main tell the story of how her family came to Christ :)
6.  At church, I sang "Mighty to Save" and it made me tear up which is a good thing :)
7.  I figured out that two years ago we moved into this house sight unseen, and I like my house :)
8.  Dimples was working at the Publix deli counter, and seeing Dimples always makes my day :)
9.  I teased Scott about seeing Dimples and offered to introduce him, but he declined that offer - plus the offer of introducing him to the Fish Lady who is...sigh...not as cute as Dimples :)
10.  I worked out without back pain - I am no longer a cripple :)
11.  I made homemade pizza with prosciutto and red pepper and onion and mango, and it rocked :)  Thanks, Dimples, for the prosciutto :)

When I think about it, I had many, many more things to smile about today.  I am happy that this is the day the Lord has made and that I could rejoice and be glad in it - all day long :)

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Mom - by Roxy

My daughter Roxy made me a special book at school and read it to the crowd of mothers that gathered for the Mother's Day tea.  My portrait, painted by Roxy, was on display for all to see.  I was a very proud, slightly anxious momma.  I had not previewed this book and had no idea what she had written.  Secrets were revealed this day about what moms really like to do, where they like to go, and their online gambling habits, Facebook habits, and night life were made known.  OUCH!

I was very proud of my painting, but it is too large to scan and share with the world :(.  I must admit that Roxy is the most talented artist in her class - my picture was definitely a modern impressionistic work, but at least I did not have an enormous bubble head and scary shark-like teeth and two strands on hair that lay on each side of my head.  I looked cool.

So, here are a few excerpts from my book.  And everything represented is true, so she presented as The Mom I really am.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

That's Good! That's Bad!

So, you're back from your trip to Oklahoma - that's good!

No, that's bad!  We are very tired from driving.

No, that's good!  We had no problems with our roadtrip.

No, that's bad!  My back is killing me and I think it is because of sitting in the car for too long.

No, that's good!  I didn't have to start unpacking because I can't bend over.

No, that's bad!  Dirty laundry is everywhere and the house will be destroyed.

No, that's good!  Scott is here to pick up the things I can't lift.

No, that's bad!  The first laundry basket just about did my back in.

No, that's good!  It reminded me to lie down on the floor and do my stretching exercises.

No, that's bad!  I can't get up now.

No, that's good!  The remote control is down here by me and I have about 20 shows to watch on my DVR.

No, that's bad!  I may be lying here all day.

No, that's good!  I stretched enough to manage to get up again.

No, that's bad!  Now I'm upstairs and can't find something I need from downstairs.

No, that's good!  I can sit at the computer and type with a tight back.

No, that's bad!  I've got to get to the grocery store...sometime today.

No, that's good!  Maybe now I'll qualify as handicapped and get good parking and one of those electric carts for driving around the store, like the ones they have at Target and theme parks and such.

No, that's bad!  There is no way that little basket will hold all the groceries I need.

No, that's good!  I'm on a diet anyway.

No, that's bad!  My children are on the brink of starvation and the Mom is a cripple.  And I have started quoting Endigo Montoya from "The Princess Bride".

No, that's good!  I love that movie!

No, that's bad!  I have listened to that movie on the car ride entirely too often.

No, that's good!  The ability to quote movies is my trademark.

No, that's bad!  Once you start quoting movies, you can never stop.  And it's time to meet your husband for lunch.

No, that's good!  That is better than good!  You don't have to cook and your husband is buying - that is great!