Saturday, May 30, 2009
Last Friday morning....We received some very sad news that Chuck's cousin Pam's daughter Jennifer (age 27) was killed in a car accident on her way to Pensacola Beach for the weekend with a group of friends. They were nearing the exit to Pensacola when it happened. Stormy weather, hydroplaning and flipping over an embankment.....sudden death. Jennifer was the passenger....the driver was her good friend and sustained only minor injuries.
While we are heartbroken for Pam and her family....I cannot help but think about the driver. Survivor's guilt must be the most horrible thing to deal with. Next to the loss of a child. Once again, I am reminded of how quick life can change.
This is a photo of the Mississippi cousins and second cousins taken at Christmas of 2005. Jennifer is the second to the left on the back row....standing by Will, who is next to Cameron. Jordan is sitting on the sofa in the pink tshirt. Jennifer will be missed.
Last weekend....was Will's prom and WRAP (Wilcats Right After Prom....the all night lock-in). His group traveled on Saturday to a beach house in Galveston for the 3 day weekend. Five parents took shifts and chaperoned the group of 14. Chuck and I chaperoned on Sunday from 10 am until 6 pm and then I stayed through Monday morning with another mom.
Heading into the weekend with the bad news about Jennifer, it was hard to be relaxed. But I worked very hard at it as the last thing a teenager understands is that they are mortal. Everytime one of the kids left the beach house to go down to the beach or got in their car to drive to the store or a beach further down....it was all I could do not to lecture them. I usually just said, "take care of one another" because they weren't going to listen anyway......and it's all in God's hands, right?
Chaperone is actually the wrong word to describe what I did for those 14 kids. I am going to use the term "maid service" as that is way more accurate. I cleaned, washed and dried beach towels, cut up watermelons and cantelopes, made meals, handwashed pots and pans, picked up stuff and more stuff, swept sand, threw away 2000 red solo cups, and took out several bags of garbage. And that was just on Sunday.
Monday morning....after serving a huge spread for breakfast, we (the other mom and I) had to get everyone moving and cleaning so we could check out by 11 am. After about 45 minutes of watching only 3 out of the 14 teenagers help clean and pack up, I was getting a little agitated with all the ones just hanging in the bedrooms or standing around. Or out hanging over the balcony. Not lifting a finger to help.
Me: (to Will's friend girl who was just standing around and blocking off the entrance to the kitchen) Are you just going to stand around or do you plan on helping us clean?
Her: What are you going to do about it if I don't?
Me: (Turned back around and went back to the sink.......)
Her: Yeah, you didn't think about that.......did ya?
Me: (OUCH.....she did not just say that to me! Roaring in my ears....must be my blood pressure soaring. Saying to myself....Be the adult. Be the adult.) Silence.
Okay, I admit I did confront her....but I didn't say it in a mean way....just like a "hey....are you gonna help" kind of way. I thought she just needed a little nudge.....and would respond with a "sure, what do you want me to do?"
So, I fumed the entire rest of the day and talked to Will a long time on Monday evening about his so called friend........he did not hear her comment but others did, including the other mom. I talked to Will about his integrity and how the friends he makes and hangs out with are a direct reflection of who he is. He doesn't get that. He likes her and says she was just kidding. I said she was not kidding....I don't like her and I would die if he ever spoke like that to an adult. He looked right through me as I was talking because let's face it....I am old, have always been old and would never understand how important his friends are.
Eighteen year olds. They want to be treated as adults, respected like adults.........but go ahead and clean up for them and whatever you do, don't even think about giving them a curfew or ask them where they're going. And oh, by the way, they need your cash.
Some have asked me why I didn't call her parents? Because I was trying to calm down and keep my mouth shut. Because I was afraid I would say their daughter was a little *&$$# and somehow I didn't think that would go over too well. So basically, I just didn't look at this girl for the rest of the morning and hopefully will not have to see her again. What would you have done?
The rest of the week.......flew by with preparing to shut down the classrooms for the summer. Taking down bulletin boards, packing up cabinets, checking in textbooks. We had our End of the Year Staff party last night. It was a success in that 50 staff members out of 97 showed up. Some karoaked, some got annoyed by karoake. Most drank and ate and drank some more. Mostly we just relaxed and talked and laughed. It's a funny time of year. Teachers are stressed out, tired and hormonal. But the end is so near, it's hard to be in too bad of a mood.
Today......was spent sending sympathy cards, doing some chores and ordering a wedding gift online. We made hotel reservations for a stay for Will's college orientation and a stay in Dallas for a wedding. The cat got stung by a wasp he was batting around and the dishes got loaded.
Life. You pay your taxes and then you die. Sure seems true this week.
Once again, you took someone way before we were ready to see her go. Your timing. Not ours. I pray that you would give Pam and her family the strength to get through the days and months ahead of them.
I pray you would give me the strength to keep my mouth shut when I should and give me the words I need when I need to say them. Thank you for my adult and almost adult children. What is required of me as their mother is changing now and I'm not sure of my role. Guide me. Guide them.
Amen........your child, Julia
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
how we roll around here
I took off at 12:15 yesterday to attend Will's award ceremony. I got home at 12:22 (love my commute) and Cameron is still asleep. I yell at her up the stairs to "hurry, get up, you have to go with me." Award ceremonies are painful and I needed Cameron with me to endure the pain.
She gets ready in 10 minutes (college is paying off !) and we start to head out. My cell phone was dead and the charger was upstairs in Will's room (no way was I going there). But out of habit, I checked it again. There was a text message from Will from 8:22 am. Whoops. I never check my phone during the day. And the text says.....
Thanks for hanging in here for Today's Special.....3 posts in 1. I have a group of regular readers (2) who have asked me why I haven't posted lately.....and all I can say is, uh, uh.......
Writing is a creative energy and just like art, it's not always flowing through me. Sometimes the thoughts that ARE flowing through me, wouldn't be very nice to write down and send out to the world. But most times, the daily stuff just doesn't need to be repeated.
Just assume I got up, got dressed, went to work, laughed, came home, stood at the pantry and begged the dogs for an idea about supper, read some blogs, worked on my couch potato routine....then went to bed with a good book. Repeat.
I pity those bloggers who are contracted by ads to post daily. I couldn't do it. I would have to start making things up.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
This room is very square and it's hard to capture a photo of it in its entirety....but here are a couple of shots taken that somewhat encompass the whole room.
Now some views going around the room....
Facing the black box that was Chuck's 50th birthday present a couple of years ago. I agreed to having it hung over the fireplace as it makes furniture arranging so much easier. The cabinet to the left of the fireplace houses all the electronics. The vases on the mantel are Target....from the import collection. This fireplace opens on the other side to the kitchen. We watch peoples' legs go by in that screen.
This is the back wall of the living room with 3 large windows. This curtain rod came out of the wall after Hurrican Ike....I guess because we closed the curtains and then reopened them? The curtains used to hang at the wood blind level....where the arches began. Anyway, I had to move the rod up to the top of the ceiling and add length to the curtain. I actually like them better now. That cloud had a silver lining.
Now we are in the left corner heading to the wall opposite of the tv.
This wall color is Sherwin Williams Camelback. Great warm khaki color. Works well with reds and greens.....and my brick. This table was purchased when The Great Indoors was closing. It's from Indonesia and was dirt cheap. I painted the top black and Chuck made a shelf for the bottom....to lay across 2 bars that were already there. I put an antique copper window box in the bottom for magazines. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you will see the verdi gris patina on the copper. This box used to be outside but one day while staring at it, I decided it was meant to be an inside box. So I repotted the plants elsewhere, dumped the dirt, gave it a bath and brought it in.
Just a few close-ups now.......
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Boy One: Mrs. H, he said a bad word.
Boy Two: No, I didn't.
Boy One: Yes he DID.
Me: Well, what did he say? (I always ask...because sometimes a bad word isn't always a real bad one.)
Boy One: He said bullsh*t. (oh, that's a bad one.)
Boy Two: No, I didn't.
Me: Well, what did you say?
Boy Two: I said "Please be quiet."
Oh, yeah......I'm buying that.......
Basically, we dropped it after I told Boy Two to please not talk ugly at our school. But I can tell you that I believe Boy One. No kindergarten boy would ever say "Please be quiet." At least not in the bathroom.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Me: What should you be doing right now?
Me: You're in the Writing Center. Shouldn't you be writing?
Him: Well, I was trying to think..........but then I lost my thinking.
And later, while being read to by a little girl........she pronounced the word caterpillar.......
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The obvious and fair solution to the housework problem is to let men do the housework for, say, the next six thousand years, to even things up. The trouble is that men, over the years, have developed an inflated notion of the importance of everything they do, so that before long they would turn housework into just as much of a charade as business is now. They would hire secretaries and buy computers and fly off to housework conferences in Bermuda, but they'd never clean anything. ~Dave Barry
I would like to add child-rearing to that. Chuck is a wonderful provider......but there were days.....still are.....that I still have to go back to Training 101 when it comes to chores and children. And even though my baby is 18 we still have conversations like this....
Me: Where's Will?
Him: He went to a friend's house.
Me: What friend?
Him: uh, I'm not sure. I think it was a girl.
Me: Would you please remember to get a name???
(I have said this a million times.)
Me: Would you please load the dishwasher? (While I'm doing another chore or two around here...)
Later.....dishwasher loaded. But counters and sink filthy. Do his eyes not see what I see? Do I have to literally ask for him to wipe the counters, too? Yes, I do.
Love him anyway.
Another thought.....different subject: The Swine Flu Pandemic has caused one of our local schools to close for 2 weeks. I have not gotten on the Panic Bus about this....at all.
But yesterday, I was in my favorite hangout...TJMaxx....and a little girl about 4 with skin the color of coffee with cream....and a Mama who spoke Spanish to her.......started coughing right next to me in the tiny shoe aisle....in other words, she was coughing on me.... No mouth coverage. No place really for those germs to go but on me.
And they are telling us to wash your hands alot and not touch your face. And touch my face? Yes, I touch my face a million times a day without even realizing it. Well, I realize it....but only after I just touched it.
I did think to myself, " Great. I'm going to get the Swine Flu from TJMaxx. "
(Y'all put that in the obituary.....She became ill while doing what she loved most....TJMaxx.)
But no panic feeling came over me. That's growth in the mental health area.
Friday, May 1, 2009
Kelly is hosting a tour of homes....room by room....every Friday, called Show Us Where You Live Friday. Today is the kitchen edition. I could have gone in and taken some photos of my kitchen today....but it would mean some cleaning, and cleaning would mean I would have to get up and get busy....and busy would mean distracted and who knows when I would get back in here.... so I am pulling up some pictures I already have.
From the back door, looking to the left of my kitchen. We painted and distressed the island and replaced the original island tile counter top with granite.
The desk was white, but we added some molding, a leg (on the right) and painted it black to make it look like a separate piece of furniture. I covered foam core board with a black & white toile fabric and pushed it to the back of the upper cabinets....of course, not much shows, but it lightened up the back of the shelves. The tv is in this cabinet and the doors are rarely closed, so it's nice to see a peak of the toile. I found the 3 tiered wall file at TJ Maxx. One file for each kid....if they can't find it....it's probably in their file.
We put in a brick paver backsplash replacing the old 2 x 2 white tiles that were here when we bought the house. This cute metal wall hanging was a gift from my good friend Karen. It couldn't be more perfect.
Coming around the corner are the pantry door and ovens. See that space above? One day I looked up there and thought...."I wonder if that old window that I brought back from Georgia would fit up there?" And it did. Perfectly. Before it was just an opening over this cabinet. Now it looks like.....like.....well, I don't know what it looks like but I love that the old window fit up there.
Our fireplace opens to the kitchen and great room. This is the kitchen side. I also painted it black a couple of years ago.....I still look around here and think, "what else could I paint black..." I looked at the dog and she tucked her tail and ran.
This room sees a lot of action so it had to be fun enough to make me want to go in there. The red metal cart was retrieved from a dumpster outside of a dollar store in Mississippi. Never underestimate someone else's garbage.
This picture was taken at a baby shower I hosted.....it's the only picture I could find of the other side of my kitchen. Hope these pretty ladies don't mind. See the chalkboard door? I drew a big A on it in pink chalk for the baby girl that we were showering....Abigail. I have alot of fun with that chalkboard.....you should get you a little bit of chalkboard somewhere.
See the doggie door? Best thing we did in this kitchen! I have way more time to waste at the computer now that I don't have to let the dogs in and out and in and out all day.
If my scanner was working or my technical person was home, I would show you some Before pictures of this kitchen when we bought this house in 1999. The wallpaper was a tiny, tiny calico floral, pink ceilings (YES) and a tiffany lamp over the island. The island top and backsplash was a 2 x 2 white tile with a row of burgandy. And white grout. WHITE BUT NOW GRAY GROUT. That had to go quick. Life's too short to spend it bleaching white grout every dang day.
See yourself out the door.