Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Cheating Heart

Dear blog,
I still love you, honest I do. It's just that lately I've been caught up in an affair or two with my book club novels and a couple of shows I had rather stay tuned into in my spare time, thanks to
Maybe 2010 will bring me back.
Until then, the happiest of new years to you.
Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Ando on Guitar

For those who have asked to hear an update of his playing, here is Anderson on the electric guitar strumming a little of this & a bit of that. Only, he wraps this one up with a pinch of the doxogoly, which I love. It's a Baptist thing... pumping through my veins with lofty passion. And yes, we all stood together as a family, awkwardly holding hands and looking perfectly straight forward until it was finished, leaving us holding our breath for the moment we could release the sweaty palm next to us, avoiding eye contact and dispersing quickly, hoping and begging God we didn't have to do that again next week. Just like the days of old!!!

Ha. I kid, I kidd!!! (well, kinda)

Anyway, here's my boy. Enjoy!

Peace, Love, & all that Jazz...

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

A Few of my Favorite Octobery Things

There are oh so many reasons to love October...

Halloween is at at the top of my list, well second to the fact that it's my birthday month. I came into the world on day twenty-two, and as I do celebrate that day in particular, I'm not exclusive to it. I mean, sometimes people forget dates, am I right? Sometimes there are family things or church things or school things that fall on say the 22nd of certain months. Oh, we have something on the 22nd, you say? No problem! There are 30 other days to choose from. But why choose when you can celebrate them all? Partay!!

Halloween is enjoyed for the entire month as well. For instance, I get up every morning and wear my housewife costume. This consists of jammies and a robe, which is completely acceptable in the month of October if anyone comes to the door at any hour. Now let me give you a couple of pointers on how to make this work most effectively. You just open up and say "trick or treat!" and then you laugh. This eases the minds of unexpected guests, who might typically judge you or worry about your mental state because you're still not dressed at 2 o'clock in the afternoon. This nudges them gently away from, "Dude, I can't believe she's still in her pj's this late in the day..." and moves them ever so craftily in the direction of "Oh yeah! Happy early Halloween to you too!" Don't mind the confused look. This too shall pass.

But do you see how this works? Now, I only get the occasional UPS guy or rarely a couple of Jehovah's witnesses at my door, as we live back from the road, so I would suggest only answering every 3rd or so person if you get frequent knockers and you want to wear your pajamas, I mean your costume all day. That way people don't start talkin'.

Now in the event that your loved one comes home at 5:30 in the evening to find you in this said costume, that happens to look alot like the pjs you were in when he left 10 hours earlier, then you gotta change directions. You must take the birthday route. It goes something like this... He walks in in his suit and tie, looks at you a little surprised with a pinch of confused disapproval and asks, "You're still in your pajamas?" Then you smile and say, "Of course! What? Honey it's my birthday. I wanted to relax." Voila. Who can argue with a girl about jammies on her birthday?

So that's how it's done around here in the month of October. I do love it so. And if you read my blog with even the least of consistancy, you have gathered that I too, love me some jammies! I've been known to blow the driveway, wash the car, clean house and even pick up the kids from school in them from time to time. But I gotta say, October validates this behavior in every way, as you have just read. Excuses for November through September get a little sticky, but October is a free ride, my friends!

On to decor and other fun, this year I decided to try something new and put up a Halloween tree with the boys, complete with a Poe-esk raven as a topper.

It's really just a Christmas tree with spooky things on it, but the boys love it and I get to pretend it's normal to put up Christmas decorations in October. And yes, those are little skeletons hung with jute string by their necks. I know... Aren't they just precious?!?

This is the kind of celebrating I enjoy. Tiny skeletons swinging on a twinkly tree. Its delightfully spooky. What I don't enjoy about Halloween though, since you asked, is being scared. There's a huge difference between spooky and scary in my book, and one of them doesn't agree with me.

For example:
Reading Edgar Allen Poe? spooky

Watching horror movies? scary

Telling campfire stories? spooky

Walking through haunted houses? scary

Trick-or-treating? spooky

Hiding behind something and jumping out and scaring someone half to death? BAD! I mean, scary.

See the difference?

And on a side note... if you so decide to jump out and scare me at any point, please understand that I will try to kill you. I do not respond to this well at all. Just ask my poor husband, who learned this lesson very early in our marriage. He doesn't do that anymore, let's just put it that way. My kids have had to learn the same hard lesson: "If you scare mommy, you will get hurt. Does everybody understand?"
I just can't help myself... I come out swingin'. Even at small children. *sigh*

That said, Happy October birthdays everyone!! And Happy Halloweeeeeeeeen!!

Peace, Love, & all that Spooky Jazz

Friday, September 11, 2009


I found this written on my grocery list tablet and thought it was useful enough information to share, lest there be confusion among us.

Peace, Love and all that Jazz...

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Time: A Matter of Life and Death

Time is not flippant in it's measure. Often it's stinginess feels like a curse. Other moments, I feel lavished and blessed by an extra measure of it's presence. The latter is the case today. With school having started back, I am suddenly finding pockets of it here and there. For instance, this morning there is time for drinking coffee in bed and blogging while Queen LaTica snuggles up against me. It is valued, I can assure you. In fact, in a valiant effort to conserve, I made sure to tuck in underneath the covers, just in case I should get sleepy. If that were to occur, I would only be responsible in that particular moment of time for simply closing my eyes. In doing so, there would be no wasted minutes in transition between blogging and napping. I consider this to be "using time wisely".

That being said, time has been both friend and foe to me this summer and I have thought extensively about it, particularly in reference to my mom's death.

When she was first taken to the hospital, I was thankful for time. Thankful that it was available for whispering to her some important things that were lingering inside of me. Things that were on the to do list for the next visit to the nursing home. Things that were more than likely just for me, but necessary just the same.

Then time began to linger like a once welcomed guest who outstays the extent of your hospitality to the point of relational demise. I was no longer grateful for it. I wanted it to hurry. I wanted it to pass. It was slowly becoming my enemy. My gratefulness turned into resentment. Days turned into weeks and time oozed the hours together in confusion. Angst began to settle in. I hated time. It's stoic constitution. It's refusal to yield to my pain. It's generous presence, turning on me and settling in like a splinter, mocking me with it's control. No negotiation.

Only waiting.
Waiting on time to pass in a stale hospital room the size of a hotel bathroom became the norm. I spent most of that time perched on a plasticky, mauve-colored love seat that with the jerking of an arm-rest, turned miraculously into a bed. This came in handy when exhaustion pulverized me. Waiting. Staring. Thinking. Praying. I watched the clock hands drag around with the speed of expired molasses. I watched the employees with the food cart methodically circle past our room day after day. Meal after meal. The ice cream truck on a sweltering day comes to mind. I imagine it rolling past; it's melodic tunes screaming over a loud speaker to an audience of sweaty, salivating kids without a dollar to their name. We were like those kids. It rolled on.

But one particular day, it stopped directly in front of my mom's room, her door framing it like a snapshot. It is an image I will never forget. Stacks of covered dishes full of warm lunch, piled precariously atop that stainless steel version of the ice cream truck. It stared me down from the hallway. I laughed at the irony as tears ran down my cheeks. I took a picture, then I shut the door.

It's been 2 months now since my mom's spirit departed from this earth. She left us in the presence of time. Time of death? 11:58pm. And suffice it to say that it was once again back on my side. It might surprise you to learn however, that even though we have reconciled, I remain faithfully unsatisfied with time's pace. It feels as though it is speeding up as I type and here I sit wishing a few moments back with the "old molasses". Funny how that works...

In the last couple of months, I have come to know this: Time will not be manipulated. It moves forward, marching with commitment. And although it seems to pause for death, it keeps it's pace even so. It's occasional cruelty will leave it's wounds, but even in those moments, the deep value of time remains. It is precious.

May we use it wisely.

"This is the time you'd like to stay.

Not a leaf stirs. There is no sound.

The fireflies lift light from the ground.

You've shed the vanities of when and where and why, for now. And then

The phone rings. You are called away."

~Wendell Berry

Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Sullenly discontented; Sulky; Morose; Ill-tempered

There are several problems that I have with today.

The first of them being that I didn't wake up in Heaven. This is a weighty problem to have, as it pretty much affects everything I think, say and do. Now don't misunderstand me, family and friends. I'm not contemplating suicide. Well not seriously anyway. I'm just really exhausted from the weightiness of life as a human being on this earth and therefore feeling mighty grouchy indeed. (Those are very different things.) I don't want to take myself out of this world, I want to be rescued from it. But "Somebody" didn't choose to come get us today and I wish He'd just hurry up already. Geez! Now please understand that there are things that I love, sure. There are blessings. Innumerable blessings. But this isn't a post about blessings. It's a post about bitching. Now see, that just made me laugh while I'm trying to be grouchy.

Moving on to my second problem with today... I'm SO grouchy! I really don't mind the grouchiness in and of itself; on some level it actually pleases me. I do, however, have 3 children that are under the influence of yours truly on a constant basis, grouchiness included. That being said, it's one thing to feel like a grouch, it's another thing entirely to entice young children into this mood at the same time. It's contagious, I realize.

Which is my third problem. Grouchiness being contagious. Get your own mood, why don't you?Why can't I just be grouchy all by myself? Why do I have to share that? I don't usually mind my kids feeling grouchy, but why do they have to steal mine? Be grouchy on your own time for crying out loud! Greedy little suckers. They take and they take and they take.

Anyway, the next and most obvious problem is that there are now 4 grouchy people in this house and I only have tolerance for one. Just one! Only me.

So now I have the unwanted responsibility to turn this sinking, intolerably crowded, grouchy ship around. Otherwise, someone will be walking the plank very soon!

I bet there won't be one single plank to walk in Heaven.

Ah... back to my first point... Heaven. A place where all things are right and good. A place where grouchiness won't exist. A place where Hank Jr. won't exist, come to think of it, assuming it ain't alot like Dixie, anyway. A place that sounds like somewhere I would like to be, please. But until then... it's my blog, I can bitch if I want to. :(

And now I must go tend to these grouch monsters that I've created. I would just let it go, but the possibility of me surrendering to the "it's 5 o'clock somewhere" theory seems too probable under these extreme conditions. So I must go see if I can't muster up some repentance deep down in my dark, grouchy soul and make things right.


But it was fun while it lasted!!

Peace (psssh!), Love (Pffft!) & all that Grouchy Jazz....

Friday, May 22, 2009

Roaches Should Not Be on People's Faces

To celebrate the first official day of summer, I woke up with a roach on my face. Yeah, it wasn't my hair tickling the side of my neck, as I had groggily suspected. It was a big, black cockroach.
On my face.

I slapped and clawed myself in a desperate attempt to get him off of me. It worked. I then slapped and clawed myself for awhile longer in a hopeful attempt to get the feeling of him being on me off of me. It did not work.

TO my horror, he slowly re-emerged from underneath Matt's pillow, mocking me in my fear as the hair stood up on the back of my neck. I gagged for minute. Then I killed him.

Matt flushed him appropriately, so as to avoid the possibility of him resurrecting and crawling out of the trash and back on to my face. He then assured me that this was an isolated incident (which I'm not thoroughly convinced of) and that this didn't happen because of the new deck we had put on recently. He doesn't feel it's necessary to tear it off of the house, as I had suggested.

I doubt the kids and I will be able to breathe soon for all of the poisoin that I will be pouring in and around the house today.

Roaches should not be on people's faces.

Happy summer.

Monday, April 06, 2009

This is how we do it...

This is how my son puts strawberries inside of his nose. (Thanks to the lovely Teemarie) Now every time we have strawberries, we all have to spend a moment sticking the stems inside of our nostrils. Amazingly, it never gets old and it always brings a laugh to the table.

This is how long my second born leaves teeth in his mouth. It's always a disappointment for this child when one falls out. (or is more accurately forced out by the permanents). He then hides the teeth so well, that the tooth fairy doesn't stand a chance finding it! Therefore allowing him the pleasure of keeping them forever. Like collectibles. Gross little collectibles with dried blood and roots. Eeew.

This is how we snuggle with our pup. And also why we're thankful our kids aren't allergic to dogs. Is he getting any air in his lungs that isn't filtered through Tica's hair? I think not. But hey, no judgements! Dogs are people too.

This is how we creep ourselves out. The boys found her in our woods, with her one hazy eyeball and her head full of worms, face down by the creek. Yea, I know. But she has since been properly discarded of. Permanently. Never to return. Ever!

This is how we play at aforementioned creek. One man's trash (and you know who you are! Hehe) Is my boys' treasure. And yes, we're current on our tetanus shots. (I think.)

This is how we get our relaxation on at Rock Springs Farm. And Mama Gore gets a piece of that too, just so ya know. This photo is really zoomed in. My beloveds are very far away. They can't even hear me when I yell. It's awesome. I drink buckets of coffee and chat with Sybil on her bedroom porch that overlooks this lake. To say it's dreamy is a gross understatement.

And this is how we become like Lennie from "Of Mice and Men". The cuteness of something this tiny and soft and squeezable is overwhelming. Taking this picture of my son's chubby hand reaching down to pet this tiny duck was nearly too much to bear. Thank God I didn't have pockets big enough to put him in that day.
And this, my friends and family, is how I sign out.
Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Monday, March 02, 2009

A Dream Come True... Kinda.

Well a ski trip didn't happen, but we got a few inches here in the Ham to play in, which magically hit the snow spot for me. And I made something like skiing happen when I slipped on the stairs off my kitchen porch in my cheap, fake Ugg boots from Target that apparently have zero traction in icy conditions. I wonder if any rich people in real Ugg boots slipped on their porches.... hhhmmm.

Either way, we had quite a good time in the snow together. I took lots of photos of the kids, the hubs and the pets, while the hubs spent the entire day hurling snowballs at the pets and the kids.
Here's Tica Lica enjoying a joy run as she dodges flying snow bombs from all directions. And look at how rosy her little cheeks are! Run, Tica! RUUUUUN!!!

Matt & the boys built an adorable, leafy snowman.

Well... an adorable "anatomically correct" leafy snowman... eh hmm.

And a really happy one that reminded me alot of Frosty with his Halloween mask and machine gun??! Wow. How very lovely.

And everyone enjoyed a nice, friendly snowball fight. Well, not me actually. It wasn't pretty. Or all that friendly if you ask me. Must be a guy thing.

Elliot took some pretty cheap shots and pegged Anderson at close range.

But not without paying a heavy price. Several times...

But they were loving it!

Even Cinco de Frio de Mio de Miles joined us, but took cover most of the afternoon in the outdoor grill.

And last but not least, the boys made snow angels!! Well, pee angels, actually. But beggars can't be choosers I suppose.So there you have it. My dreamy family snow day. OK, so maybe it's not as dreamtastic as I may have planned, but boys will be boys and I have 4 of them!
That being said, are there any more questions why I dress the dog in cute little sweaters and dye her pink for Valentine's day?

I didn't think so. :)
Peace, Love & all that winter Jazz...

Friday, February 06, 2009

I Want to Go Skiing.

Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Blog Blues

Looking at my blog makes me want to throw up.

Well, that's not true in the slightest of details, to be honest. I've never wanted to throw up in my life. I hate throwing up. I loathe it. Sitting on the side of the bathtub in the wee hours of the morning, rocking back and forth, holding everything inside of me that's wanting to violently erupt in volcanic fashion, while lavishing our good Lord with empty promises like, "OH GOD, HELP ME!!!! I'll do anything! PLEASE!!! I don't want to throw up!!" (Etc, etc. You get the picture), makes me sweat.

That being said, I'm feeling some frustration with the whole idea of blogging.

Or maybe it's my brain... that could be the problem. My mind has an irritating amount of things jumbling, flipping and rolling around in it than a money machine on a second rate game show. So I (the blogger) feel as if I'm standing in the middle of this glass box (my blog), complete with the saaweeet goggles, and the switch flips on. The cash (my thoughts) suddenly begin swivelling and swirling about in such erratic patterns that it's impossible to grasp a single buck! It just ain't workin' for me these days. My thoughts just won't seem to cooperate. Not in a way that seems suitable for a blog anyway.

And on a side note, "blog"? Seriously?? Is "blog" even an actual word? When did this happen? I'm not sure I approve. Or maybe I'm just bitter. But don't even get me started on "blurb". I can't even make myself say blurb. I defy the Blurb!!!

So let's wrap this up, shall we?

My blog has most recently been deduced to "lurking". It sits in my own list of "favorites" on my computer screen, waiting for me to check my email. Waiting. Watching. Lurking.

I hate lurking. True lurking, under any circumstance, should require the death penalty. Who lurks anyway? Exactly!

Bad people lurk.

Evil lurks.

My blog lurks lately. I think it's plotting my death.

I should kill it first.

Peace, Love and all that Jazz...

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Creative Constipation

To answer the question about my blogging negligence as of late... Well, I'm creatively constipated. Totally blocked.
So I've just been absorbing. Marinating. Listening. Reading. Rolling my eyes. (just to make up for all the times my parents told me not to and I wanted to really, really badly.) And that sort of thing.
Hopefully I'll see you in the new year!
Peace, Love, and all that Jazz...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The White Oaks CD Release Party

SO much to catch up on, but it ain't gonna happen now. I have an important issue to tend to. Tomorrow night will be one of the greatest nights Birmingham's music scene will experience to date. Obviously this is my opinion, but you're reading my blog, so I'm assuming you care about such opinions, or at very least, tolerant of them.

So, The White Oaks, my personal favorite band (not to mention voted #3 for Birmingham's favorite new band for 2008!) will be playing at Workplay tomorrow night, Nov 14th @ 8:30pm. And it's their CD release party!! Yippee freakin' skippee!! THat means, you can get the new stuff before it gets really expensive.
I can't say enough about how much I love these guys personally and professionally. To say that they're extremely gifted and amazing seems ridiculous & cliche', but they simply are. So please come. You won't regret it.

Come have fun, dance like a crazy person (Oh wait, that's just me) and have a great time supporting brilliant musicians in their element. You'll love it. Plus, they will so appreciate your support of their dreams coming true!
The tickets are very reasonable and you can get the new EP while you're there. It's gonna be a blast!!

Sample their tunes here.

And here's a little something I did to show how I feel while listening to there tuneage...

See you there!!!

Peace, Love & all that White Oaks Jazz.....

Monday, September 29, 2008

Snack Time

Thank God for little boys, I suppose...

Even if they do eat pretzels from their toes.

Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Boxers? or Briefs?

So we had a game night the other night. Yes, we've been known to have some fun from time to time. And we're big game people! We love board games, card games, video games, kickball, softball... No wait. Scratch the last two. Unless those are included in "video games" we're not too interested in the sweaty stuff.

Below are a few clips of us engaging in a serious blow-out game of "Boxers or Briefs". (Now that's funny people!) Anyway, it's a great game. And, as a bottle of Chardonnay does seem to add to the fun, that's really neither here nor there.

So the Princes, better known as "Inspector & Mrs. Gadget" (apparently they have tiny flip-out cameras attached to their gadget arms), came over to play.
And yes, they do have mechanical arms that extend to amazing lengths. It's really quite cool.

But let's get on with it. This is Tal...the game dominator. But again, (uh hhmmm)neither here nor there.

Now on to Matt... If you haven't had the privilege of seeing my husband laugh until he cries, well then this is for you. It is truly something to behold. Enjoy...

And it just wouldn't be fair to post everyone else and not myself, so here's me screaming and acting a fool...

Wait...I did mention fair, right? Well all is fair, unless of course you're the lovely, sly Teresa who didn't seem to make it into a full length video clip! Hhhmmmm.... Note to self: Grow gadget arms and get some gadgets.

At any rate, "Boxers or Briefs" is a great game. You should all give it a whirl! And if it's not in your budget to buy it right now, or you don't have any friends who are "gamers", don't worry! Just call 1-800-The Gadgets. For a small fee, they'll come play with you too and take good blog video footage.

Peace, Love, Laughter, & all that Jazz...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ten Tips to Toast to! *tink*

So I was tagged by a couple of gals, and thought this was one I would enjoy diving into.
The following are 10 simple "parenting" tips that can be helpful for both parents and children alike...

Tip #1. Always allow at least 6 kids on the trampoline at one time. Then add soap and water. It's really safe.

Tip #2. When putting small basketballs into your child's shirt to make him look like he has huge boobs, wipe the jelly off of his face first. It makes for a much better picture.

Tip #3. Always pick your noses for family photos. It's a real crowd-pleaser.

Tip #4. When putting your children down to sleep, throw the animals in there too. It saves coin on the pet crates.

Tip #5. When exposing your kids to extreme summer heat, take lots of good pictures right as it starts "getting to them". You can use it against them later.

Tip #6. At rock concerts, keep your children away from the speakers and make sure they're wearing earplugs. Safety first! That's what I always say.

Tip #7. When raising boys, make sure they know that make-up and hair gel are for the ladies.
We give this tip a thumbs up!


Tip #8. When playing "underwear head", never cover up your whole face. This can cause injury, as it impairs ones vision tremendously.

Tip #9. Be a Godly example to your children. Only passionately kiss guys other than your husband if they're made of bronze.

And Tip #10. When your baby unknowingly shoots you the bird, make sure you get a picture of it. It makes for a wonderful Christmas card.

Cheers to Good Parenting!
Peace, Love & all that Jazz....

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The White Oaks FREE concert!!

Just another plug for the White Oaks... of course!

Why? Because I love them and they are seriously talented artists.

Are they a Christian band? Well, let me just say this... My husband is a Christian. And he's also a banker. Does this make him a Christian banker? Well, this is where you can think for yourselves.

What is their music like? Hhhmmm... this is a toughy. Because I'm not you, I can't speak to how things impact you. But as for me... The White Oaks are like fireworks. And sunlight in early fall. And the best grilled fish you've ever let melt in your mouth.

Thurs night at the Alys Stephens Center downtown, 6:30-8:30pm.

There'll be other new artists playing, food, drinks, art on display, and lots-o-fun to be had by all. Bring the kids!! And oh, did I mention it's FREE?

You'll possibly spend more money by staying at home.

Support your local music scene.

Peace, Love, & all that Jazz...

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

"Raindrops Keep Fallin on My Head"

Wait... did I say Raindrops? I meant chipmunks.

This is my life... so unpredictable and full of surprises. I hate surprises. Unless of course, it's something like, "Surprise! You won a million bucks!" Obviously I can handle that sort of shock with much more ease. I rather enjoy knowing what to expect. What I do not enjoy is "chipmunks falling out of the sky" kind of surprises. No one expects that kind of peculiar event. But you, my readers, should be informed of this possibility. It does happen! And it did...

Now this wouldn't necessarily bother me, if falling chipmunks landed somewhere (anywhere) outside of my personal space. When their landing pad is MY CHEST however, well... let's just say this is not an ideal situation for me.

After screaming like I had been set on fire and freaking out to the near brink of public indecency (I seriously considered ripping my shirt off in my panic), he scrambled down me (Eeeewwww!), and finally fell into the plant on the porch and scurried into the bushes.

Fairly nightmarish if you ask me.

In hindsight (which is obnoxiously sensible), my cat's intense, wide-eyed stare that was locked at the top of the door frame makes alot more sense. Alas!! He was hunting the chipmunk. The chipmunk that was teetering unstably over my kitchen door. The same chipmunk that lost his grip and fell like a grenade onto my chest, just as I stepped outside.

My nerves were shot to hell for hours. From that point on, every time so much as a string or a leaf or a child's sweet hand brushed my arm ever so gently, I flipped totally out.

It's going to be a slow process to full recovery, as I no longer can open the door without being haunted by the experience of a rodent teetering unstably above my head, waiting to hitch a ride on my chest to escape the inevitable doom that is Miles the cat. But progress is being made... I no longer feel that a snow suit is necessary to get me from the house to the van.

Expect the unexpected.

Life is full of surprises.

Peace, Love, & all that Jazz....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Public Display of Emotion

Yesterday I cried a lot. A whole big lot. Not "sobs", per say. Just large amounts of tears. It was nice actually. I needed to do it.

Unfortunately, I ran into a bit of a timing issue though, because Matt had taken the whole day off so I could get out of the house. And naturally, being a stay at home mom, I didn't want to spend my "day off" at home. And I really wanted to go to the thrift store. But I also really wanted to cry. Large amounts of tears.

What's a girl to do? Well if you're me, you just combine them!

So there I was, cruisin' through the mounds of fantastic thrifts, all the while wiping tear after tear as they fell. It was a very freeing experience for me, actually. I highly recommend it.

It wasn't, however, the most relaxing experience for the poor strangers around me. It made them feel something they didn't expect to feel in the thrift store, I think.
Most of them just smiled a genuine, kind smile as they walked by. Some had a look of concern. Some had a slight look of confusion, as if they were intruding on my privacy, but knowing they were in public. Others looked straight at me, and asked if I was OK. (to which I would just say, "Yes, thank you! I'm just havin' a good cry.") Then there were those who were clearly uncomfortable and would quickly find something they had to see on the next isle over, as if to "give me my space".

I found all of this to be a beautiful thing. Not one person walked away unaffected by my tears. They all reacted differently, but each person reacted to it in some way. It was as if even though I was a stranger, my tears struck a chord in them. They cared in some way. Maybe they wondered what I was going through... what was wrong? Maybe they related to my pain... there own hurts crossing their minds. Maybe they thought I was crazy... Who knows? But I was enjoying the diversity in their reactions.

And then there was this one man... "Mr. Fix-it" ,we'll call him. He needed to DO something. It was like I had sprung a leak and he was pilfering around in his emotional tool box to find the right wrench to "tightn 'er up". It was more than obvious that he wasn't interested in baskets, but he sort of "faked interested" so he could work up the right time to talk to me. Or encourage me. Or fix me. I don't know his intention, but whatever it was, I thought it was very kind.

Here's how that conversation went...
him: "Wow. The Thrift Store can be a little overwhelming... well I just mean there's so much stuff everywhere!" (awkward laugh...)
me: "Yeah."(smile)
him: "Are you finding some good stuff in here?" (fidgets..)
me: "Oh yeah.. too much, as usual." (smile)
him: "Thrift stores are the best, aren't' they?" (pause)
me: "Yeah, I love it." (smile)
him:"Well... (pointing finger) You have a good day. Oh, and I hope you find some more good stuff!" (walking away)
me:"OK! Thanks, you too" (smile)

And interestingly, he did end up finding the "right wrench" because after that short verbal encounter, my tears dried up.

I love the human heart. I enjoy watching how we identify with and relate to each other. I was connected to these strangers, for a thousand unknown reasons, because of the public shedding of tears. I found it to be a good moment.

But maybe you had to be there...

Peace, Love, & all that Jazz....

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Never lose hope...

... ANYTHING is possible! (even if you're this li'l fella!)

Peace, Love & All that Jazz...

Friday, August 15, 2008

My Tiny White Oak-ling

Anderson has been working hard learning some of the songs from his favorite band, The White Oaks. You can listen to (and spread the word of) them here.

So he asked, "Mom, if I learn some of their songs, would you video me playing them and post it on your blog? Maybe they'll see me on there and let me open up for one of their concerts some day. (As if they don't already know he plays music. One of them actually was his drum teacher last year.) But he's so dreamy and is in his most relaxed, comfortable and peaceful place when he plays guitar and drums. It's as if life isn't quite as hard when music is being played. (I understand that completely!) This is my deep child... very creative and intimate.

So I told him to keep the dream never know what might happen. Dreams and hopes are such a good thing. I also told him that if he works really hard and stays with it, then one day the (then world famous)White Oaks will be old and tired and maybe they could open up for him! It made me laugh to imagine Scott, Matt, Noel & Michael looking more like ZZ Top and opening up for Ando.

Anyway... I thought it was a simple enough request to grant.

So, without further ado (and I actually have no idea what that means but I know people say it in sentences like these) here is Anderson playing the guitar intro to "Stare it Down" and the first part of "Hey Julie" by The (oh so very talented) White Oaks. (I'm sort of a huge fan too, if you haven't noticed.)

Thanks for listening!

Peace, Love & all that Jazz...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Maybe I'm CraaZaaaY"

I'm beginning to think that the talented Gnarles Barkley wrote that song just for me. And it's becoming a known and expected fact around here, that all who are under my supervision just have to roll with it!!

First day of school... Everything was going just dreamtastically. We were on time, we took pictures, we were dressed, brushed, fed, clean and ready to meet the teachers!! So we amble on over to the first stop to meet Elliot's teacher and his new classmates. He was so nervous and brave. My big first grader! We laughed some, gave hugs & kisses, I took a picture of him at his desk, and out we strolled. "That was easy", I thought to myself.

Now, on to stop #2... Anderson's school. A much bigger deal, as he had to start a new school this year for 4th grade. As we near the front of the school, Anderson sees a sign at the entrance that reads, "Meet the Teacher 8/8, First day of school 8/11" to which his panic-stricken reply is , "MOM!! Meet the teacher was on Friday!! We MISSED it!!"
*Pause* I realized, in the same hysterical moment, that his words were the truth. "We did miss it", I said to myself. As this is settling into my brain, I also realized that we were in the middle of a frenzied drop-off line for the first day of school!! None if us have even seen the classroom or met the teacher! What the?!? Needless to say, I and my sweet son were now officially panicked.

So I (wide-eyed and on the verge of tears) look at my rock of a husband who says, "Why don't y'all just go on in, and I'll wait here and pick you up at the front". "Yes, Yes. Good idea", I think. (Breathe in... breathe out... He's right. Not a huge deal. Just breathe. And for Anderson's sake, don't cry!)

So off we go... Anderson, trying hard to "roll with it" as the late bell rings mockingly in the background while we climb out of the van...papers, toys, & old french fries fall onto the parking lot simultaneously. I look at my forgiving child and say, "Wow! Great start, huh?"as I side-hug him.

He grins.

We approach the classroom to find all the students sitting quietly at their desks, listening to the announcements on the intercom. Anderson freezes, as all the unfamiliar faces turn our direction. I wanted to run. I know he did. I thought quickly to myself, "We could go home and say there was a death in the family, causing us to miss 'meet the teacher' and the first day of school. That would ensure not only a good excuse , but sympathy as well... (added bonus)." But I realized the absurdity in that lesson, and decided to walk him in instead. I helped him find "the" seat, as it was obviously the only one left, introduced myself to the teacher, apologized, snapped a quick picture of Ando (wearing a smile that was understandably soaked in disappointment) and left.

Feeling overwhelmed and inadequate, I slinked into the van thinking, "I'll never see him again. I dropped him off in a foreign place full of strangers and I couldn't find that classroom again if I had too! And what if I have to? I hate that school!" Which actually translated, "He wasn't ready. I wasn't ready. We weren't ready!!! WE JUST CAME TO MEET THE TEACHER!!!!"

Then Matt, seeing the look on my face and reading my fears, put his hand on my arm and said something like, "It's OK, ya know. It's not a huge deal." And suddenly I could breathe in and out again. He was right. It was OK. It wasn't too big a deal.

It was very disappointing though. But all in all, it was OK.

I did ask the boys when they got home to make the faces of how they felt their first day went. Here's the shocking result... :)

Oh~ a big thanks to my husband for knowing me well enough to "curb my crazy", if you will. He's a good man.

And that, folks, concludes the longest post in the history of my blog. If you're still with me, let me suggest, that "Well... I think you're CraayZaaY!!!

Peace, Love, & all that Jazz....

Friday, August 08, 2008

One Good Hour

So, I was a bad, bad mommy in my sickness. My poor little tiny children!! They had to exist among me yesterday, having no choice but to endure my nasty tone, words, and actions. All of which were just plain sinful. It was not pretty. Nope. Not pretty at all, folks.
However, as the afternoon crept in, my medication (mixed with a smidgen of good old fashioned conviction), kicked in a bit and we were able to salvage some resemblance of love for about an hour. Oh but it was a good hour indeed!
Here's what we did...
We gathered every pillow and couch and chair cushion in the entire house and made a big pile downstairs. Then the boys used the sofa springs as a trampoline to propel themselves into the pile of softness below. They had a blast!
So keep this in your repertoire of ideas, if ever you have a day this bad and you need to call on something as desperate as sacrificing your expensive upholstery for the salvage of your reputation as a mom!
Oh, but first, make sure to invite one of your kids' friends over. This is an important step, as it assists in spreading the news among neighbors of what an amazingly fun mom you are. Not the evil sick mom that you can be, NO!! NOOEEEW!! Amazing fun mom!... That's what you are.
So then you simply snap pictures!!



So it was a good rainy day redemptive hour.
But after that, well let's just say it was a good thing Matt got home decently early...
Peace, Love, & all that Jazz... (especially for my poor family!)