Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Same Kind of Different As Me....

This post title happens to be the name of a really good book, but that's not what this post is about. I wanted to do a post about my Book Group friends....and while trying to put into words how I feel about this group of friends, this "title" popped in to my head.  They are the same kind of different as me. 

Our group meets about every 6 weeks to discuss the book chosen from the previous meeting. We discuss the book a little, but we eat, drink, laugh, talk and eat and laugh again, and discuss the world's problems...much more than we discuss the book.  I think the book is just a lovely excuse for gathering.  While some of the members see each other outside of Book Group, others rarely see these friends until Book Group. I'm one of the latter....I only see these women every 6 weeks so I really look forward to the 3 hours I am with them.

But together we are a group.  A unique and different yet similar and alike group. They are the same kind of different as me.

How we are the same:

We're all over 40 or 45 or 50.
 (I know how old I am, I'm not going there with the others.)

We've all raised our children....meaning most of us are Empty Nesters.
(Some have an adult child or two back in the nest after college.)

We all love to read.

We all love to discuss the world's problems
and how we would fix them.
Oh, and how we would fix the education system
 and the welfare system and the traffic on some of the roads around us. 

We all love to eat.

We all live or used to live in the same neighborhood.

We are all tired when we get to the meeting
 but are quickly rejuvenated by the conversation.

How we are different:

One member has a grandchild.  This member would love one.

Some are Democrats, most are Republicans.
  Politics comes up but goes away quickly. 

Several of us work in education, while others work in the real world
or work at running their homes.

Only a few play tennis.  I am not in that few. 

One member always keeps us on track.  Or tries to.
  Most of us talk about everything but the book.

Some of us are blonde, some are brunettes.
 (And that could be real or bottle.)

Some are soft spoken....others don't ever stop talking.
(Take a wild guess where I fit in here.)

I think what I'm trying to say is this group is diverse yet close.  I adore each of them for different reasons, feel connected to all of them and have grown by knowing them.

Yes, one can still grow if they are over 40 or 45 or 50.  I hope you have a group of friends like this...if a book's involved, all the better for you.

By the's our next pick.......

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Twenty Seven

One of us is thinking, "I hope this works out."

1983 called...they want the fake flowers back.

Yesterday, October 22, was our 27th wedding anniversary. 
It fell on a weekday...a work day...a Friday...
the end of a long week.  Chuck had been out of town all week
and I was with 5 year olds all week. 
To say we were a little tired by Friday
 is an extreme understatement. 

So the big day was celebrated with a quick dinner out to a local Mexican restaurant....a margarita and some shared nachos. 
It doesn't get much more romantic than this. 

We laughed at the fact that the second we got home, we both put on our Old Navy pajama pants and some old t-shirt from somewhere, sometime ago.  Our sleep wear is about as far from WOW
as one can get.  Then we settled in to our normal positions to watch a little t.v.  His is the chair and mine is the edge of the sofa.  Within 30 minutes, he was nodding off and I headed to bed to read.

Romantic?  No.  

Exciting?  Uh, no.


Committed?  Yes. 

Safe place?  Yes.

Loved?  Yes.

Hung in there through the ups and downs?  YES.

(And people, there are ups and DOWNS.)

Happy 27th Anniversary to us.
  We've stuck together and together we did this........

We went through the pregnancies and births of 3 babies and the sleepless nights with bottles and the backpacks and homework years and sleepless nights when the tooth fairy had to do her the teen years of young drivers, sleepless nights and stair stomping the college years...letting them go and watching them become the adults they were meant to be all along.

  We did this.

We birthed and raised 3 great people. 

And this...

We gave our daughter away to a wonderful guy
 at a beautiful wedding ceremony.


... we said we gave her away....
but really we're keeping her and our "new" son.

Photograph by Caroline Fontenot

And this is why we're tired.

And this is worth celebrating.
And this is the new "romantic."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just a Dot....

Some of the kindergartners haven't really perfected their skills of gluing and cutting and this makes for some stressful situations when we  pull out the scissors and glue for a project. 
We spend a lot of time reminding them
 that it takes "just a dot, not a lot"
 when they are using the glue. 

Today, several classes were making
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Fence. 
This is one of those listening lessons where they get squares and rectangles and have to listen for the directions
 one step at a time to cut these into shapes
 and glue them in just the right place on their paper. 

Good times for this observer. 

If we say "just a dot" once,
we say it a million times.

The problem?

Not everyone is listening.

Just a dot, not a bottle.

Maybe he heard "just a lot, not a dot."

He certainly didn't HEAR the part about folding
the long brown rectangle in half and
 then cutting on the fold
to make the fence posts. 

And of course, the double layer folded brown
rectangle took an extra serving of glue.

See if you can tell which finished project below belongs to a good listener.

See the place that is marked EMPTY? 

We're waiting for the glue to dry. 

 It may take a week or two. 

Or it could possibly be never. 

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SNL - Damn it, my Mom is on Facebook!

Will de-friended me on facebook within a week of being friended......months and months ago.  Apparently moms on facebook aren't cool...........unless you get this app....

By the way, Will....I'm getting the fall things out of the attic....or should I just leaf them in there?  ROTFL

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Texting and Walking

I think we've all been made aware of just how dangerous texting while driving can be.  The statistics are out there and Oprah's done her part to make us all aware.  Our brains are just not wired to focus on that many things at once.  Even if you think YOU can.

But texting and walking

This morning Will and Chuck had to make a run to Ace Hardware for some bolts.  Will's car hood latch bolt had come off  and his hood started flapping up and down while driving on the freeway.  Scary.  So off to get new bolts.

They were walking out of Ace after making their purchase and Will was texting a friend.

Will.  Head down.  Texting.  Approaches black ours.  Gets in.  Continues texting.

Chuck.  Not texting.  Gets in to OUR black SUV...and looks over at Will in someone else's black SUV.

Will still texting.  Chuck staring at him from OUR car.

Will finally looks up.  Looks around the car he is in.  Feels like something is different.  Looks up.  Sees Chuck a few cars over.  Whips his head around.....sees 2 car seats in the back....and FLIES OUT OF THE WRONG PARKED CAR.

Texting and walking.  Don't do it.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pink Can

Chuck was in Chicago for a couple of days for a meeting.  He was able to get on an earlier flight home, but his bag didn't make it.  So the airlines found it and by the time he was walking in the door last night, they called and said it would be FedExed this morning. 

The only problem was his toiletries.  His toothbrush, deodorant and electric razor were in that bag.
No problem.  He could use my deodorant for one day and he had a razor.  So he said he would just go to the store and get a new toothbrush. 

Before he goes,  he comes in to the kitchen and asks.........

Him:  You know that pink can in the shower?

Me:  You mean my shaving cream?

Him:  Yeah.  Do you think it would work on my face?

Me:  (Thinking......did he really just ask this?  Does he really think the Pink Can knows it's on a man's face instead of my legs? Doesn't he have a college degree?)  Yeah.

And being Chuck, the only thing he bought was a toothbrush.

Girls, if my suitcase didn't make it home, I would be buying all new makeup, and throwing in some new shampoo and conditioner and a new razor and maybe some new finger nail polish. And plead I needed new panties and bras and shoes. And then some.  I would milk that situation for all I could. 

But he's Chuck. 

By the way, his suitcase was on the front porch this morning by 6:00 am.  He didn't realize it yet and used the Pink Can stuff.  I feel certain the Pink Can stuff couldn't tell a difference between his whiskers and mine.  Sadly.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Happy Columbus Day!

Are the banks closed or open?  Will there be garbage pick-up or not?  What kind of holiday is this?

You would think that the discovery of our country would be a mighty big deal.  But myth or history, this holiday is not really celebrated like it used to be.  I remember talking about it a whole lot when I was in elementary school. Poems, songs and studying the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria.  Now it just seems to be one of those holidays that has more or less been forgotten.

The school district I work for always has their Parent/Teacher conferences on this Monday in October.   I took a personal day since students would not be in school...and the teachers I assist would be in conferences all day.  

I had no plans for the day but to sleep in.  Here's a little run down of a day off in my world....

Good news:  I didn't set my alarm to wake up.  Yum.

Bad news:  My bladder woke me up within 30 minutes of my regular alarm time.

Good news:  I called to see if I could get in today to get a mammogram (just routine, but it's been on my list since this summer)....and they could fit me in at 2:30.

Bad news:  Having to hold my breath while my stuff is being squeezed between 2 pieces of gigantic metal trays.

Good news:  They were offering FREE Bone Density Scanning this month for Breast Cancer Awareness Month for women over 50.

Bad news:  I'm over 50. (Sort of bad news...I am really thankful to be alive so I'll take over 50)

Good news:  The x-ray technician was very gentle and kind. So I felt like I could ask her how everything looked.

Bad news:  She was tight-lipped.  She said something about it being against the law to say anything. 

Good news:  I will never be an x-ray technician.

Bad news:  I think we all know I can't keep my mouth closed.

Good news:  I stopped at Hobby Lobby on my way home.  I felt like a bird out of a cage.

Bad news:  Upon getting in my car to leave, my door swung open with the wind and hit the car next to me.  Of course, I heard it, I felt it and  I felt bad....but what could I do.  I started the ignition and looked in my rearview mirror.  There was a lady leaning down and looking at the door of her car...who I didn't know was in her car....and had gotten out and was checking out her door.   

Good news:  I rolled down my window and asked if I got her door?  (Acted dumb) She kept rubbing her door and looking at it closely.  I kept saying I was sorry.....that the wind got it.....and I have the rubber rim on my door and my husband says that helps (where'd that come from? My talent...word vomit)....I'm so sorry.  She finally said "it seems okay."  whew.  What are the odds the person would be in their car?

Bad news:  I was busted. 

Good news:  I cleaned out my closet this morning.

Bad news:  Now I have to deal with all the clothes I've decided are out of here.  Donate, throw away, garage sale? 

Good news:  We bought a brisket from a friend's daughter's fund supper is cooked.

Bad news:  My day off is coming to an end.

Happy Columbus Day.......just think, if Columbus hadn't discovered this place....where would we be?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

There and Back to see the Boy

Chuck and I drove 2 hours and 45 minutes to 
and 2 hours and 45 minutes back
 on Saturday to take Will to lunch
on his 20th birthday. 

 Boring stuff for a blog post but really big news for me and Chuck.  We do NOT get invited to see this was a treat for us. 

Will took us down the alley where he filmed part of his 3 minute silent film.  The first project for his Cinematography course.

Yep.  It's an alley. 

We drove past the Fraternity House...
where I believe the boys do all their studying.
I also believe in the Easter Bunny.

We walked up and down the block and
in and out of antique stores.
Lunch was at a cute restaurant called Shelley's.
  And while I didn't buy any antiques, I did buy something really cute.

For my artist friends....some cute Halloween tags....thought you might enjoy seeing these.

The witch is on the back of the "Trick or Treat".....the Spooky is one-sided. 

It was a great day. 
 Nacogdoches is a very old town
and reminds me a lot of
Cleveland, Mississippi....Chuck's hometown.  Everybody knows everybody
and asks how's their mama.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Will

The third child is born in to a family of noise and chaos and
more than just 2 parents loving it. 

 There are two siblings who can't keep their hands off the new baby
and want to help with the feedings and the loving.

  This child never had his parents to himself but he had something much more valuable.

  He had experienced parents and lots more "in your face" loving
by those two kids that came before him.

Yes, they opened all his presents at his first birthday party....
but they also helped him play with those toys and read the books to him. 

And while he was too little to stop them,
his sisters had fun dressing him in ballerina tutus...
and they learned to "mother" with a real, live baby.

And while his mother and father
 thought that two was more than they could really handle
and certainly all they could afford,
God had another plan.

This child was always in God's plan.

 And this child will never really know how life-changing
 in a wonderful, great way he was to his parents. 

Especially to his mother. 
 Who knew he was a direct gift from God. 

And because of this wonderful gift,
 his mother really began to let go of control
 and enjoy this life for all it's worth.

  Even she couldn't have planned it better.

Happy Birthday William Ross...
you are loved. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Door Stops

I think most of us take indoor plumbing for granted.  Especially when 160+ kindergarteners have to go to the bathroom right after lunch before they go out for recess. 

But today, there was a glitch. 

The girls' restroom was closed due to a "problem"....a stopped up problem.  And the boy's restroom right next door ended up being closed because when they flushed, it came back up in the girls' restroom.  

A plumber was called out with the snake.  

The problem?  

A rubber door stop had been flushed.

Door Stops.  They do more than stop doors.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Yes and No

Will's turning 20 on Saturday.  He can't come home, so we sent him a package.  And of course, we planned on calling him on Saturday.  But today, he asked if we could drive up on Saturday and have lunch with him.  I said, "Yes....I don't see why not. I'll talk to Daddy and make sure." 

And then he asked if we could bring Sadie.
And I said, "No."

But he said, "I miss her."

I said, "Look at a picture of her. I'm not bringing her."


And then I said, "I wish I would have known we were going to come up there
 and see you and I wouldn't have mailed your  package."
And he said, "No, I love getting mail."

I love October.  Our wedding anniversary is in October and
our 3rd and last child was born in October.
  And it's a great weather month. 
 It's hard to be in a bad mood in a month that ends with "all you can eat candy." 

October....20 years ago. 

This is my mother holding newborn baby Will.  It was a tradition to have chili and cornbread for supper on Halloween .... before the kids went out to Trick or Treat.  My parents and sister's family would all come over....everyone dressed up or at the very least in a Halloween t-shirt. 
No one went to bed until they sorted their candy and ate at least some of it.

Time flies whether you're having fun or not.  Might as well have fun.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Round Top, Round Two

I went back to Round Top this weekend but this time I had some company...
Chuck and Cameron and Francisco. 



Francisco is an exchange student from Mexico, who had been in town with a group of engineering students all week, visiting Texas A & M.  Cameron and other members of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) were their hosts for the week. All the others in his group returned to Mexico on Saturday morning via air, but Francisco was heading back to Mexico on a bus. 

His bus didn't leave Houston until 9:00 pm on Saturday so Cameron was "babysitting" him.
  She wanted to go to Round Top, so her exchange student came along. 
He didn't speak much English and he sure didn't speak Texan
so by the end of the day, he was probably wishing
 he had waited out the day in the bus terminal.

This is an old sauna/spa...with a mannequin's head. 
Screamed for a photo op.

I shop better alone so I didn't do a lot of buying or even looking.
 We spent most of our time walking, eating, looking for a Port-a-Potty,
and trying to communicate with Francisco.

Traffic was pretty much at a standstill for the 12 mile stretch.

If your name is Hector, you're destined to be a collector.

The spider was still there. 

The scenery between Round Top and Warrenton is worth the traffic.

See that line of cars behind us?  More were in front of us.  I am horrible at waiting, sitting, being patient.  And waiting while sitting in a car in traffic is extremely difficult for me. 

And really difficult for the people in the car with me.

Especially when I know there are hundreds of tents full of good stuff ahead and I can't get to them.

Can you imagine what this tree has seen?  If this tree could see.

Port-a-potties.  Let's discuss.  Please somebody come up with a better idea. 

We headed back to the bus station.....dropped our "son for the day" off with a Whataburger and headed home. 

On Sunday, I got the "Halloween" out. 
No kids are home to enjoy it, but they all read this blog. 

 So for my kids...

The big canvas candy corn were found in Warrenton.  I bought 3.

Happy October!

Friday, October 1, 2010

You Need a Whistle

The procedure for letting the kids know that recess is over is  for one of the teachers on duty to blow a whistle.  Everybody stops playing and lines up with their teacher to come back inside.

So today, while walking out to recess, a kid noticed something about his teacher and had a question.......

Kid:  How are you going to know when recess is over if you don't have a whistle?

Teacher:  Well, I have a watch.    (She puts her hand on her wristwatch) 

Kid:  Yeah, but a watch doesn't make noise like a whistle.

I need a weekend to think about this.