Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Conversation with Gram

Sometimes when I get off the phone with her, my head actually spins.  She changes mood faster than a girl changes clothes.

Granny, how are you?

Hi, Babe.  Oh Honey, Granny’s no good.  I haven’t been sleeping.

I’m sorry.  You OK?

Oh I’ve got the acid reflux.  I wake up and my chest is on fire.  I’ve got medicine, but it ain’t no count.

I hear ya.

You scared me awhile ago when I called the home to talk to yer Mommy and you answered.  It’s not like you to be there in the middle of the week.  I just knew something was wrong.

No, It ‘s her birthday and I thought I should go see her.  I got off work a few hours early.

Well it worried me.  But you know your poor old Grandpa used to tell me I worry about things that will never happen.  (Sniffle)  I sure wish I could see your Mommy one more time before I leave this Earth.  But, I know I won’t.  (Sniffle) I’m just too old.  But I won’t complain.  God’s been good to me.  I won’t complain.

It’ll be fine, Honey.

My stomach just hurts me so bad.  I wish I could get my bowels to move.  They seem to be stopped up.

Uh, OK.  Have you taken anything?

I try but it makes me sick at my stomach.  Do you still have problems with your bowels moving, Babe?


You know when you were little you had a terrible time.  You’d sit on the pot and cry.

Really?  I uh…

And then you’d pass a stool so big I’d have to cut it up with a coat hanger to get it to flush.

Jesus God, Granny.  You did not!  Are you sure that wasn’t Bubby?

No, Babe it was you.  I told you not to eat all that cheese.

I don’t believe a word you’re saying.

Good, cuz I’m storyin’.  Ha!  Gotcha.  But Babe you did eat too much cheese.

Granny I’m going to kick ya!

Maybe it’ll help my bowels move.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reason Enough

I'm almost home.

And I don't mind telling you...I'm exhausted.

I guess that's what you get for running naked through town.

On top of it all I'm shouting.

Gas is $1.96! Gas is $1.96! Gas is $1.96!

Well, technically, Gas is $1.93!  It is when you buy it at Wal-Mart and use a gift card.  You get three cents off whatever the price is on the sign.

So.  I'm a little chilly.  I'm a little horse.  (as opposed to a big horse?)  I mean my throat is sore.

But if those gas prices aren't enough reason to go running naked through town, I don't know what is.

I'm coming, Officer.  I need to tie my shoe laces.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Big gets his senior pictures taken tomorrow.

You'd think I'd have something substantial to say about that.  You're expecting some kind of embarrassing emotional outburst, aren't ya?

Let me think.




No.  Nothing.  

His favorite bowling shirt is ironed and ready to go.



He got a haircut.



He's wearing his Chuck Taylors.




Maybe I'll have more to say after they're done.



We'll see.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Recipe

Just so all of you will stop clamoring, I'm going to give you my recipe for cranberry tea.

OK.  So nobody is clamoring.  But...I get such joy out of this simple fall beverage that it would just warm my heart if one of my long distant blog buddies would partake and enjoy also.

So as I make the second batch of the year...

1 package cranberries
2 qt. water
3 cinnamon sticks

Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes.  Make sure to enjoy the popping sounds of the berries as they crack open from the heat.

Strain cranberries.

At this point, I take the cranberries and concoct a homemade sauce.  Of course this isn't to every one's liking and you should only use this as a guideline, but whilst the cranberries are still hot, I put them in a small bowl and add:
1 tsp. lemon peel
1 tsp. orange peel
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C sugar
Stir and refrigerate.

As I said, this could be too sweet.  However, after it is cooled, Big has been known to take a spoon and eat the whole mess.  

Then he sits on the stool for two days.  

I'm just kidding.  He doesn't.  But we don't worry about urinary tract infections.

Back to the tea...

Add to the strained cranberry juice:
2 C pineapple juice
2 C orange juice
2 C water
1 C sugar

Simmer 20 -30 minutes.

Awesome, Y'all.  This is where you could add some cinnamon schnapps to taste and have a fine hot cocktail to partake of in front of a roaring fire.

Or, if you want it to remain non-alcoholic, here is the secret to adding extra cinnamony goodness.  When you bring the batch to a boil, add a package of red hots.

Yeah, the candy.

Melt it all down.

Keep warm in a crock pot.  

Every time you come into the house from out of the chill, the smell will hit you and you'll be in autumn Heaven.

You're welcome.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Roast in Every Pot

So there’s a nip in the air, right?

What does that mean?  Hot beverage season has arrived!

I stopped at my local Price Cutter last evening after work to get fixin’s for my favorite.  On the way in, I noticed a couple of store associates hanging out in the parking lot talking to a young woman with a small child.

I went in and picked up fresh cranberries, orange/pineapple juice, cinnamon sticks and schnapps and a few other items.  I ended up spending $50 dollars out of the $20 I had allotted myself for weekend fun. So I am in the negative already and it is only Thursday.

On the way out I noticed the store folks and the young woman were still standing in the parking lot.  One of the associates wore a white lab coat that gave away his status as butcher.  A third man had joined them-one of our small town’s finest in blue- and he was searching the young woman’s car.  On closer, covert inspection, I noticed the butcher was now holding a package of roast in his hand.

Ah.  I see.

Let me explain something about myself-I have a cold hard heart about some things.  Usually when someone gets busted for shoplifting a lipstick or bottle of vodka or a Glade air freshener, (true stories every one) I have very little sympathy.  People panhandling at the corners of busy intersections and highway ramps only cause accidents and I’m never compelled to give them money.  I hate it when chunky young women hold up signs telling me they are hungry and then use their equally chubby children and/or dogs as bait.  It does not make me feel sympathetic. It makes me angry.

But last night my heart broke for this woman.

I was inside cheerfully buying crap I didn’t need with money I didn’t have so I could enjoy a tipple on a chilly evening.  I was humming to myself in anticipation for God’s sake!

This young woman, however, was tired of feeding her pale son hot dogs and canned tuna.  Something inside of her snapped and she slipped a high quality cut of meat inside her hoodie.

She stood quietly while the officer inspected her belongings.  She didn’t scream or throw any type of white trash hissy fit.  It wasn’t Cops-worthy.

She stood there with dignity.  Yes, you heard me.  Dignity. 

I wanted to buy that meat for her.  I wanted to take my bottle of liquor back inside, return it, and buy her that roast. 

But it was too late.

Later as I drank my spiked cranberry tea, I thought of her.

It tasted bitter.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Fall Behind

After work this evening I walked out into the cold and wet.


Brown wet leaves sticking to everything.


I'm beside myself I'm so excited.

I'm here.  I'm over here.  I'm here, I'm over here.

You should see me.  I'm cuteness personified.

But since you can't-see me that is-you'll have to take my word for it. 

Fall is here.


It's dreary, chilly, and just a wee bit depressing.

I couldn't be happier.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Acting the Fool

It's been a big day for me.

...and you're going to get a sappy post.

So if you don't enjoy reading about my kids, then now is the time to go and read something else.

Love Yuns. See ya soon!

For the rest of ya's...

News flash. My kids aren't perfect. Hard to believe, but true nonetheless. In fact, I have posts written about lapses in judgement, poor choices, laziness, and well, just plain stupidity.

...and those are just about me.

But I don't publish those.

My boys break my heart on a regular basis. Sometimes it's a pleasant ache and other times, it's a bitter acidic burning in my stomach.

The good with the bad you know.

But as usual, I'll report the fantastic.

Little got his driving permit today.

For those of you who visit from across the way, here in the states at 15 you can take and pass a written test. Then you can put in drive time legally with a licensed driver.

Basically, it's a practice permit.

While waiting for him to take his test, I ran into friend I graduated high school with. She was there with her oldest.

We chatted about the year we got our own permits. Now, here we were. She and her oldest and me with my youngest.

I teared up with Big because he was the first. I teared up with Little because he is the last.

After coming home drunk with nostalgia and...and...Ok just nostalgia, it was time to prepare for homecoming activities at the high school.

Big was singing the anthem with the choir and Little rocking the tuba.

The boys had to be at school long before we did. They had things to do and all Big Daddy and I needed to do was show up. So Little drove off with Big in the passenger seat patiently showing him the ins and outs of a manual transmission.

Yeah, dammit. I teared up.

Sigh. Again.

The neighbor across the way saw me standing on the porch, watching.

You OK, Sug?

Yeah. Little got his permit today.

Nervous Mom, huh?

Actually, this just breaks my heart a little.

I understand.

Then at the end of the drive, Little popped the clutch and killed the motor.

I laughed and everything was right with the world.

So Little made me cry today. I blubber at the drop of a hat and there's nothing for it. I ain't worth shootin' and we all know it, but there it is.


Big did me in, too.

At the football game he not only sang the anthem with the choir, he was the soloist.

Did he tell me he was doing this? Of course not. He knows how I am! He knows I become a puddle of ridiculousness when he springs things like this on me.

You're right. I know. I know. Even if he had told me I would have swelled up tears of pride, but I could have prepared some and not made quite such a huge spectacle of myself.

But he didn't so it serves him right. He could have saved himself the embarrassment of his ridiculous mother.

Maybe he does know and just doesn't care. Or... maybe he secretly enjoys my displays of idiocy.

Either way, my boys have done me in and I'm going to bed.

I'm worn slick.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I am the poster child for negative self-absorption.

I had to walk through our cafeteria today.

I needed to walk some DVDs over to security and the shortest route is cutting through both dining rooms and then on through the doors on the far side.

It was traumatic to say the least.

I kept my head down.  I never looked up once as I bravely strode across hostile territory-a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.

I’m a grown woman. But when I have to walk through a room full of people I am transported right back to 6th grade.

After lunch, we would line up and walk back down to our 6th grade pod.  In order to get back we had to walk through the library.  I could feel the bile rise in my throat as we would approach the first stack of books and would gird my loins against the attacks of the big kids (7th graders) that were there for study hall.

The attacks were only in my mind of course.

 But the stares were real. 

All eyes would look up as we passed and the giggles would begin.  The stifled snorts of laughter that I just knew were aimed at my homespun, orange double-knit pants.  The sneers directed at my buck teeth.  I could feel my face begin to flame as I imagined them pointing. (Imagined because I would never dream of actually looking up)

I convinced myself that I was the object of that laughter.

..though there was never any proof.

Just as I convinced myself that when a cute boy smiled at me in class one day, that he was actually making fun of me.   I just knew that his buddies put him up to it as a joke.

… though there was never any proof.

I guess that’s when I started down my path of self-deprecation.  Beat ‘em to the imagined punch-get the added bonus of everybody thinking I'm funny-the relief of being laughed with not at.

…and yes there is a difference.

Funny, isn’t it, what shapes your personality? 

So today I walked back to my office pod from security the long way-avoiding a return trip through the cafeteria.  I convinced myself it was for exercise.

My little 6th grade self knew it was to avoid the stares and giggles of 7th graders disguised as adult professionals.

For those of you hoping I would finish this little post by bravely walking back through, looking up, and overcoming my fears-I’m afraid I’ve disappointed you.

Because by the time I had chatted up security and regaled the receptionist with my latest stalest punny joke, I had convinced myself that the stares I felt on me, and the raucous lunchtime laughs, were actually comments on the size of my ass.

…though there was never any proof.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

At Dawn They Slept

I was driving Little to Sunday School this morning.  We were chatting about the band contest yesterday, rehashing performances, disputing scores.  The usual.

Our little marching band was featured on the local news last night.  Pretty heavy stuff!

This year the music-and all the other trappings that go into a marching band show-is a tribute. It lovingly tells the story of Pearl Harbor and gives its respects to the fallen soldiers. 

It is a daunting task but we've met the challenge and so far have eight trophies to show for it.  It is moving without being cheesy.

But Little pointed out to me this morning that this year the show isn't about winning awards. 

It can't be or it won' t work.

Before each performance they listen to recorded stories of survivors, they have a history lesson. Another way to get the students into the moment and the right frame of mind is a particular addition to their uniforms.

Dog Tags.

Each member wears the name of the show on one tag and the name of a fallen soldier on the other.  

I noticed some wore their tags on the outside of their uniform and some didn't.

Little wears his on the outside.

Yeah.  Well he's my guy, Mom.  And if I wear the tags on the outside when we compete, it's like he can see the show and know it's for him.

Wait a minute.




I had to get that lump out of my throat before I could continue.

From the mouths of babes they say.

I hope Little never shuts his.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Escort

If ya have a hankerin’ for some spooky reads this month, run on over to Moxie’s place.  She’s got tricks and treats in store for us this month of the supernatural variety.

It got me thinking.

I didn’t realize what an influence my grandparents really had on me until I started writing this blog.  I’ve written about them a lot and I didn’t expect that to happen.  It’s been a happy accident, thank you Bob Ross, that I’ve journaled about Granny and Grandpa.

I gave Moxie a little yarn about Prissy and her ‘sight’.  I call it a bunch of hog wash, but this time of year it surely is fun to believe a little.

According to Prissy, this is just this kind of attitude that will ever prevent me from ‘seeing’ anything.

Well, thank Jesus!  I’ll leave the otherworld in the other world.

Anyhoo, my Bub is intrigued by the whole thing and has stories of his own.  One of which I will tell here. 

It involves our Grandpa.

But first, if you haven’t been with me long, go read about Dad and Gramps.  It won’t take you long, and I’d like you to get to know them.  They were fantabulous men and if my boys turn out half as well, I will be living large indeed.

If you’ve already read these two posts you are acquainted with Steve and Lester and can come on along.

Ahem.  ...and so we begin.

It was a dark and stormy night.

No joking.

The year was 1995.  Grandpa had cancer.  I could go into detail, but anyone who has ever dealt with this demonic disease knows that watching someone waste away from it is the very vision of hell.  Granny called and told us that the time had come. We’d better get on the road to Arkansas.

Big and Little were both little.  They were already in bed and the weather sucked.  I told Granny we’d come down first thing in the morning.

We didn’t make it.  And of course I'll regret it all of my days.

He had already passed.

I grabbed Bubby and we went outside so he could grab a smoke and fill me in.

Well, Sis.  Uncle Hippy kept begging him to hang on and not to go.  Prissy was on the other side of him telling him she knew he was tired and to feel free to go.  Granny sat at the end of the bed and cried and rocked and moaned.

Good times.

I got tired of standing there and walked over toward the bathroom and leaned against the sink.  And the weirdest thing happened.  I smelled smoke.  I looked all over, up and down the hall, and couldn’t find anyone smoking.  I knew it wasn't smoke lingering on me, because the smell wasn't right.  I stood there a moment longer and then the scent came on stronger and just knocked me over.  It was pipe tobacco.  It was Captain Black.  And Sugar, I swear to God the instant that smoke started to subside, Grandpa died.

Of course.

I knew what he was telling me. 

My mother and my uncle played tug of war over their father-the same old dance that estranged them then and keeps them estranged to this day.  While they carried out their drama, our Dad quietly and peacefully sneaked our Grandpa out the back door.



But it sure is comforting.