Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So. I get to enjoy other people's luck.

My sister-in-law is the luckiest person on earth. If her name goes in a drawing she wins. Always. Yesterday was no exception. A few weeks ago...maybe months now... I posted that she and I were going to see 100 Monkeys. See, one of the guys in the band is in the Twilight movies. So we checked out their music and we LOVED it. So, they came to Birmingham. It was freakin awesome. Ooops - back to the topic of her luck. She kept checking the band's web site. They had a promotion - register at a certain hotel and be entered in a drawing for a meet & greet. Of course, SHE WON!!!!! Here is a pic of all of us with the band. She won 2 passes, but they let us take our other friend with us, she just didn't get the 'back stage pass'.
They were SO nice. Walked in, they all introduced themselves and shook everybody's hand. The tickets were a little different from normal concert tix - it was a pdf that you could print out. It has your name on it. So we printed out 2 copies of each ticket and got autographs on the one we didn't have to turn in. Again, awesome.

But here is where the band got me. There were several groups that won meet & greets - one was a mom and her 12 yr old daughter. It was the daughter's first concert. What a way to start your concert-going life! She stood in the front right by the stage while her mom sat in the seated area (it was a really small venue, so mom was not being irresponsible - she was close enough!) So one of the songs they did for an encore was "Thank you", Jackson (guy in the red pants and hat) was singing the song. He was basically naming all the things he is thankful for. Anyway he said "And if this is your very first concert, THANK YOU!" and leaned down and blew her a kiss. Don't you know her little 12 yr old heart just exploded! All the band members had been leaning down and waving to her all night.  It was so sweet!

Another memorable night!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Evan Playing Guitar

A few second in and the sound system kicks in and you can hear a little better.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It's that time of year, again!

I love Christmas. I love the decorations. I love buying presents. I love getting together with family and letting the kids play. I love all that stuff. The one thing I don't love? The fact that my calendar fills up so fast and my energy is down the tubes because I'm not sleeping!

Sample schedule: This week, the only night I will have at home with no running around will be tonight. That's it. And if Evan doesn't finish his homework before I pick him up...well, I won't have time to get anything done tonight. Monday night Evan had a project to complete - and part of the project included ME making a cake and cupcakes. Tuesday was the band concert - beginning band. Yes, it was bad. Tonight? Free. Thursday, basketball practice - 7:30 to 9:00. Friday, I can't remember, but I'm sure there is something. Saturday, 2 basketball games and the Christmas Parade.

But that activity part of being a parent. It wears me out, but it's worth it.

Family gatherings. I love them. Except for the drama. My sister is trying to plan our family's event at her house on Christmas Eve. That's all well and good for me. But my brother has issues because they have small kids and have to get home in time to do Santa and their Christmas Eve traditions. We can't do it earlier in the day because my husband has to work. So, how are we going to compromise? Sister already feels like Brother doesn't love her, so if they just don't come then Sister will wind up in tears. Then we have to deal with Hubby's side of the family. This year we are doing it at our house on the 23rd. I don't work that day, so I can get the house ready and cook dinner. And now hubby's sister-in-law informs me that she's bringing her brother. Truthfully, I would rather have him there than her. But, does that also mean she is bringing her dad? So he won't be alone? Because, if that's the case, I may get "sick" and not be able to have it at our house. I can put up with a lot, but he is an ass. I will not allow him to act in MY home the way he does in hers (goes through everything - drawers, cabinets, mail - complains).

But I love seeing Evan's face when he opens his presents. I LOVE taking pictures of everybody. I love watching my cat go crazy with the paper and bows.  I love cooking breakfast Christmas morning. Which reminds me...anybody have any good brunch type recipes?

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fun for the holidays!

This is NOT a paid ad. This is just my opinion on something that everybody else probably already knows about!

I have a new favorite website I want to share with EVERYBODY. It's awesome wrapped in fun! Anyone that knows me, knows that I love pictures. But I've never had a really EASY way to edit photos - until now. The website is www.picnik.com. It is so much fun! Here is a sample of what you can do:

I took a simple picture, added a santa hat, snow, Rudolph nose, and some clippy-art kind of things. Then I went back and made some of the picture in color. This is just a tiny sample.
All you have to do is sign up for an account. There is a TON of free stuff on the site, but some stuff you have to have a 'premium' account for. But it's all labled so there is no confusion.

You can edit as much or as little as you want, save the picture to your computer and print in your usual way -  From your printer, or load to what every website you use - Walmart, Target, Shutterfly, Snapfish... whatever. You can add the pictures to the 'photobooks' or print them individually. I took one picture, added a 'tag', edited it a bit and had them printed - I'm using them for gift tags on presents.  

Monday, November 8, 2010

Evan and Wags. Or the escape artist.

Why, yes, I do let my son wear flip flops for pictures. Yes, I was aware they would be seen. But this is him. Flip flops and all. I would rather he be wearing what he wants to wear. And yes, I'm practicing answering these questions because I know they will be coming. From my mom AND mi MIL.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

How much is that puppy in the window?

Well, the costs of Evan's 'free' dog are adding up fast. The weekend we got him we also got a 10x10 kennel to keep him in while we are at work/school. Not cheap. I even got the 'roof' option so that he would have plenty of shade and protection from the rain. It has a Dogloo in it. He has food and water. It is partially floored (12x12 blocks) so that he doesn't have to be in the mud. He is only in there until 3:00. As soon as Evan gets home, he lets him out.

But this dog is determined to escape. I think I've talked about that before. He learned how to open the gate. When we chained the door in the middle, he put pressure on the bottom of the door until he could fit through. So we added a second chain at the bottom. Then he put his nose through the chain link and wiggled it back and forth until he could fit his head through. So we covered that hole with smaller wire he couldn't get a hold in. Then he moved to another pannel and worked it until he bent the clips holding the chain link to the poles enough that he could get through. We fixed that. Well.

Yesterday I had to leave work at 10 AM to go to the SCHOOL to pick up the dog. We live right behind the school. A few weeks ago when I was out of town, Mike took him out to do his business and he ran away to look for Evan because Evan hadn't spent any time at home. They found him at the school.

Well, yesterday the damn dog broke out and went to school looking for Evan again. A kid in Evan's class heard something outside and looked. Wags was jumping up and looking in windows. The teacher was kind enough to let Evan get the dog and bring him into her classroom until I could come home to get him. Of course, the phone call I got was 'Please come get your dog, he is in Evan's class' with no explanation of how he got there...

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I got a call from my sister-in-law today...the one that just recently read all the Twilight books an was immediately in love. She could barely contain herself... She and I had discussed going to Atlanta to see 100 Monkeys. Because "Jasper" is in the band. But it's the day after Christmas and we really didn't want to do that. BUT. The band has added a stop in Birmingham!!! We are going 12/27! Already got the tix. If anyone in the B'ham area would like to meet us there for a girl's night out, I'm sure it will be a blast! Tix are only $18.53 (tax included). They are playing @ Workplay. I have never been there, but heard good things. If you decide to go, send me a note so I will be looking for you!

100 Monkeys Official Site

Sunday, September 26, 2010

So. My Fabulous weekend with Mom!

First - an update on the dresses. Well. They did arrive. In time for me to try them on and see that they looked like shit. So. I bought a skirt a few weeks ago... and I found a shirt that did just fine. All worked out ok...I'm returning the 2 dresses. And returning the shawl and clutch that I ordered to go with the dresses that DID NOT arrive on time.

First, let me say that traveling with my mom is a blast. She is always up for a road trip. She packed a cooler of drinks (non-alcoholic, of course), snacks, etc, because the place we were going was so far out in the country, she was afraid that the Wal-Mart would close at 9 and we wouldn't be able to find anywhere to get snacks. There were 2 hotels in this 'town'. The closest we could get to the actual site of the wedding was 30 minutes away.

We drove down Friday afternoon, checked in, drove 30 minutes back the way we came to find a decent restaurant. Then we went back to the hotel and relaxed all night and the next morning. She stayed in the room, I went to the pool. Which was empty, except for me. Score!!!

Went to the wedding. It's so far out in the country that mapquest and Mom's GPS let us down. It's a good thing we left the hotel early and remembered to bring the map that was included in the invitation. Always remember the homemade map. It won't direct you to the middle of nowhere and tell you that the barn you are looking at is the church!!!

The wedding was very simple. These kids are 27. They have been together since they were 16. It was sweet. He cried. She cried. His brother cried. Everyone cried when she lit the candle in honor of her sister that died 3 years ago.

The reception was at her grandparent's farm. Again, very simple. Tables outside, tents with food and drinks and dancing. Lights and paper lanterns, candles in jars hanging from trees. We saw people that we haven't seen in years. People that we dearly loved. People that I still dearly love, even if I can't see them often.

All in all, a fabulous trip.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I am going to a wedding this weekend. It's in Mississippi and Mom and I are making it a girl's weekend. We are leaving Friday around noon and won't be back until Sunday. It will be awesome!

It has been YEARS since I've worn a dress. It isn't required for work or church. So, I don't have any in my closet. A few weeks ago I started looking. I found a shirt/skirt combo that would do in a pinch - they are both black, so to me it doesn't really say 'wedding'. But I also found 2 dresses online that I ordered. But I don't know how they look, since I haven't tried them on.

I order things online a lot. I track the packages religiously. Well, as soon as the dresses were shipped, I started tracking. They were shipped via UPS. I was home all day yesterday (Evan was sick). I tracked. Got the glorious status: Out for delivery!!!!! I waited. And I waited. Around 7PM I checked the status. Delivered to the Post Office. Are you kidding me??? I was home all freaking day. Never a knock on the door. So now, I have to wait and see if the Post Office delivers it today. I just hope they decide to leave it...and not wait for a signature. Because I won't be there today. And then I'll have to make a special trip to the Post Office - and it closes at 5. So, not convenient in any way. And the departure time draws closer and closer.

But here is what bothers me... It was to be delivered by UPS, but they leave it for the USPS to do??? When did that crap start?


Thursday, September 9, 2010

I'm Back!

Well, I've been out of the loop a while. The past two weeks I've been at home. It was awesome! But I didn't really feel like getting on the computer much.

About a month ago, my sister-in-law and I got together to have the kids' pics made. I was introduced to an AWESOME photographer that I now adore - this was our first photoshoot with her, but it will not be our last. We do this every 2 years as a present for our Mother-in-law, but I usually take the pictures. There is NOTHING she loves more than her grandkids and pictures of them are always the best present. Here are a couple of pictures from the day:

The next 2 photos show a pose we do every time - shows how much they have grown. The first one is the latest, the second one is the first.

Evan - 11, Anna - 8
Evan - 5; Anna - 2

Sunday, August 22, 2010

I have never been so scared in my life

Thursday was stressful. Preparing for surgery Friday, my nerves were already on edge. But poor planning on my part created the scariest 2 hours of my life.

Thursday started off normal enough. Got up, went through the normal routine. But right before I dropped Evan off at school I realized I had left my cell phone at home and so had he. With the morning school traffic, there was NO WAY I was going back to the house to get it. We laughed about it. I told him to call my work number when he got home. Since he walks home every day, he is supposed to call me the minute he walks through the door. Well, 3:05 rolled around. No call. So I started calling the house. Nothing. No answer. By 3:30 I was in a complete panic. I work about 45 minutes away, so I called my parents to go check out my house. They did. The front door was unlocked. The dog was still in his kennell. No backpack to be seen. They started driving around the neighborhood. No one had seen him. I didn't call Mike - I knew this would all be resolved and he would have left work for nothing. By 4:00, I couldn't stay at work anymore. I flew home. It took 30 minutes - but I was home by 4:30. I grabbed my cell phone and checked messages. There was one - from my sister-in-law. Then I saw the texts.

I had one from Mike to call Evan at a number I didn't recognize. He had gone home with a friend. But Mike didn't know I had left my cell phone at home... Evan had gotten permission, but the info never got to me.

When he got home I hugged and kissed him like never before. I think my blood pressure is still a little higher than it should be.

Next time I forget my phone, I don't care if I'm half way to work. I will go back and get it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I know what is best for me

The past year and a half I've had to make a lot of decisions. Mostly with input from my doctors. My mom has had breast cancer, and so has one of my dearest friends. Both had a different kind of treatment than I did. But when I have questions that they can relate to, I go to them. Don't get me wrong - I don't mind talking to people about what it has been like and the choices I have made. I don't mind people saying "If I was in that situation, I think I would x, y, z." But. When I want an opinion, I will NOT be asking a person who has not been through this. And if I'm not asking you, that probably means I don't want your opinion.
Here's the latest example. Friday I will have my tissue expanders removed and REAL, NORMAL, BREAST-SHAPED implants put in. So my latest decision is saline? or silicone? I researched it. I thought about it. I asked my friend that has saline. We discussed. I decided on silicone. Why? Well, since I've had a mastectomy, I have no breast tissue to cover the implant. So if I go saline, it will literally be like having 2 bags of water on my chest. How do I know? My friend and I discussed. Silicone will be more "natural" looking/feeling. At this point, looks and feeling mean a lot. And I understand the risks of leaking. I do. But silicone implants have come a LONG way from the 70's and 80's where they were a real danger.
But back to the point. Again, I don't mind talking about all this stuff. Hell, I don't mind showing what they look like now if anyone is curious. But when I started letting people know that I was having surgery on Friday, the questions started. "What are you going with?" And when I give the answer....holy cow. People feel free to start giving opinions and trying to scare me to death about the choices I've made. The only thing I can compare it to is when you are pregnant and strangers feel free to give advice. And I'm starting to feel like a woman that is 11 months pregant and pissed off! And soon, very soon, I'm going to stop being polite.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The guts of destruction

What did I do after packing Evan off for his first day 6th grade? And also, his second day?


This is the crap I pulled out before I remembered "before" pics.

Why, yes, that is a steel trap in the floor by his bed. He found it at his great-grandfather's house this summer and HAD to have it. Pawpaw was a hunter/trapper/farmer/fisherman and all around enemy to any animal that could be eaten or that threatened his crops. But he loved his family with a love that was known to all.

The Before pictures. That's what happens when I let things slide for any period of time. Guess that won't be happening again. Now, off to tackle one of MY closets.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

How much is too much?

How much should a parent interfere in the social development of their children? How much is too much?

When I was a kid and had a fight with a friend, it was up to me to solve the situation or take the consequences. Outside of our immediate neighborhood, my parents knew very few of my friend’s parents. So if we had a fight, the parents didn’t get involved except maybe to say “If you can’t get along, then you can’t go there anymore.” But today, if you don’t know intimate details of the parents of your friend’s kids then you are being a negligent parent. This has brought a new set of complications that is driving me insane.

NOW, if kids get in a fight, it demands calls between parents trying to work it out. And here is my problem with that – the kids lose the opportunity to learn how to deal with each other. They don’t learn how to take up for themselves when parents step in over every hurt feeling. This is creating a bunch of whiny kids that run to mom to solve their problems. Yeah, I believe that adults should step in when a child is being a bully. But just because one isn’t getting his way? Or was called a name? Or was ignored? Come on. Give the kids a chance to deal with it.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hello, my name is Lisa...

and I'm a book-a-holic. How did I come to this conclusion? Several things have happened lately that opened my eyes.
  1. I noticed that I have stacks of books in various places around the house. Large stacks in danger of falling over and hurting someone. The stacks are still large despite the fact that I have a ton of books loaned out to different people.
  2. I admitted last night that my bookshelves have become the local library. Need a book? Call Lisa and see if she has it.
  3. I can't keep up with what I have read (or what I own) without a spreadsheet.
  4. I am considering purchasing a Nook. I compared Nook and Kindle and decided that the Nook fits my needs a little better. Because I can still share my books with other people. I like sharing.
  5. I looked at my wishlist at Barnes and Noble... 12 honest-to-goodness paper books with covers and 20 e-books. And I have another wishlist @ Amazon with completely different books - another 9 books.

So, what am I going to do about this addiction? Not a damn thing. There are worse addictions.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Decisions, decisions

March, 2009 was a turning point in my life. I know I've written something about this before...but I'm too lazy to go back and see what I actually said. And a year and a half later, my perspective has changed anyway, so.

I January of '09 I turned 40. In March '09 I had my much dreaded mammogram. And we all know how that turned out. So, next year was filled with doctor's appointments, chemo, radiation and all the fabulous things that cancer entails. Well, here it is, July 2010. I've finished everything except for the final reconstruction. We (my little family) made it through the mess, and we are in a much better place than we were before. I know what I can expect from Mike - he really stepped up. OK, it took a little prodding. And for reality to set in. And Evan - what can I say about my little man? He is a strong little boy.

All I have left to do is the final reconstruction - I get rid of these funky shaped tissue expanders and get REAL implants that look like REAL boobs. I'll probably get to do that in September. Yea! Perky boobs! With nipples and everything!!!

To celebrate, I want to get my first (and probably last) tattoo. I want a phoneix - this was a suggestion from Miss Grace (who has one of the most awesome tattoos of all time). I don't even know if she remembers the suggestion, but it stuck in my head. I want something feminine...and it took a while, but I think I've found what I want to use for a pattern. Except I want the body shaded in either a crimson or pink.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Holiday Weekend...plenty of drama to be had!

The weekend was VERY eventful. We took a quick trip to Fairhope to spend time with family in one of the coolest little towns in Alabama. Mike had to work Friday and be back at work Tuesday, so he and a friend came Friday night and left Monday. Evan and I were there earlier Friday and didn't leave until Tuesday.

Quick rundown:

Friday night Mike and Scott were pulled over 1 block from Becky's house. Because Mike had his hand out the window and Scott had on the bright lights (trying to find street signs). They were accusing Mike of throwing something out the window? Anyway, they weren't doing anything wrong and were released. Whatever.

Then Saturday morning someone broke into the cars. If it was unlocked and had anything of value, it was stolen. Our car didn't get hit. George lost his satelite radio and his wallet. Had to spend Sat morning with the bank getting that worked out. Becky lost a bag of sunscreen, sunglasses, MP3 player... So, not as bad as it could have been.

Oh, and I hit a grill with my car. That's the second one I have hit. Mike is threatening to get grill stickers and put one on my car every time I hit one. Like a WWII bomber. But he wasn't mad - that in itself is a miracle.

We spent the rest of the day at the Bay getting hammered, um, I mean working on our tans. Then we came back to the house and grilled steaks, boiled shrimp and had a blast by the pool. There was a house full of people - 7 adults, 5 kids, you get the picture. Everybody was having a great time. All of the adults had washed off the Bay and were dressed - just hanging by the pool. The kids were all inside watching TV and playing video games. And then Asshole Neighbor showed up - a good combination of hammered and baked. He decided to tackle some people into the pool. Which is all fine and good - when people don't have cell phones in their pockets. And of course, he refuses to help pay for a new one.

I have to admit something. Last year, there was a person that I referred to as, well, something not really nice. She was abrasive and I could not escape from her. And I think that was really the problem. Not her, but the fact that I couldn't escape. Last year I couldn't get in the water - I was still healing from surgery, so when you are trying to avoid infection, Mobile Bay is not the place to swim. So I stayed under a tent all day. This year? I could go wherever I wanted - and I did. She's OK in small doses. And I think Evan has a crush on her daughter.

Fireworks were wonderful, food was great, kids were great, made a lot of new friends.

And the Anti-BP sentiment is strong...even with the kids. I didn't get a good pic of his sail, but it says: BP lies

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Lesson from the weekend

I am no longer 18. What I mean by that is...I can no longer be in the sun without sunscreen. When I was young, I could get and keep a tan in a heartbeat. Burn? Who me? What's that? I grew up in Jackson, MS in the late 70's, early 80's and moved to Birmingham, AL in 1984. What I'm saying is...I'm used to hot sun and humid air. To prepare for summer back then, I would grab the Crisco Oil or Baby Oil, a blanket, a boom box and climb on the roof. I would cover myself in oil and relax for hours. Yes, hours. And I would turn a nice golden brown. Every time. By the end of summer, I looked Native American, even though I barely have a drop of that in me.

This weekend I had a couple of hours that I didn't have something to do, somewhere to be or someone to take care of. So I went to Mom's to get some sun. I spent 2 hours in the water. One on each side. I used sunscreen on the front...OK, it was only a 4 SPF, but that's better than what I ususally do. On the front I got a little pink. Not bad, just a little color. But the back. Well, I was alone, so I didn't have an assistant. And I don't really have all my range of motion back in my arms. Who am I trying to kid? I just plain didn't put any sunscreen on my back. At all. And then I fell asleep, face down in on the float. The only thing that woke me up was breathing in a little water when my face slipped on the float. All the skin on the backside that was showing was red. Not just pink. Red.

Today, the red is fading and turning brown, like I was hoping. By next weekend, I'm hoping that I will remember my lessons...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Good advice...

“If I were asked to give what I consider the single most useful bit of advice for all humanity it would be this: Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes, hold your head high, look it squarely in the eye and say, ‘I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.’” - Ann Landers

“Develop interest in life as you see it; in people, things, literature, music – the world is so rich, simply throbbing with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. Forget yourself.” - Henry Miller

“Anger makes you smaller, while forgiveness forces you to grow beyond what you were.” - Cherie Carter-Smith

Monday, May 24, 2010

Busy, busy, busy

It has been so busy at home, I've barely had time to breathe. Except yesterday. The boys ditched me so I went to Mom's and played in her pool. Alone. It was SO nice. I won't pass up a day like that!

What has kept me so busy? Well, my oven went out a few weeks ago. It was a drop in combo. I really didn't want to replace it. When my parents bought their current house, Mom didn't like the oven. So she replaced it. And THANK GOODNESS, she put the old one in the garage. It still works just fine, it just isn't pretty. So, this past week Dad and my husband installed it. Honestly?? Dad installed and Mike was the errand boy. And, by the way, not one single man involved in this knows how to read a tape measure. They all took measurements, but the oven was too big. There was sawing of countertops and cabinets. It all made me very nervous. But I don't care. Especially since I didn't have to buy a new one. I just had to buy a new washer and dryer, a new oven was not in the budget.

On top of that, I had a Pampered Chef party. May is Whip Cancer month, so I held a fundraising party. Instead of getting all kinds of free stuff, 25% of the retail sales will go to American Cancer Society. So. There was the prep work for that and grocery buying. I had 11 people for the event, which is a pretty good turn out. We had it at my Mom's due to the construction mess in my kitchen.

Wags is still holding his own. A little too well. This past week Mike has been bitten twice, the cat has been pinned against a door once. Don't feel too bad for Mike - knowing how protective Wags is of Evan, he went into Evan's room in the middle of the night, didn't turn a light on, and tried to kiss Evan. Yes, I said tried. I think he finally understands what I've been trying to tell him about dogs and territory and the one they have chosen to protect. We have decided that Wags will have to sleep in the kennel when Evan has company. No way would I risk a child being bitten. Evan is doing a great job of taking care of him. Very responsible - no complaining.

I am very thankful for Mike's new job. But I had forgotten how it is to have to deal with a retail schedule and no vacation time when you are trying to take a trip. We had an opportunity to go to our favorite place next weekend...but Mike has to work. I am not complaining. Much. Evan and I could go alone, but that wouldn't really be fair since it's HIS family that we would be going to visit. So I guess I'll try to find something for Evan to do so I can enjoy some alone pool time...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I'm starting to see a theme...

And the theme is the hijinx that seems to come along with Wags. This is what he did to the fence on Friday. He didn't get out...but he can get his head through it. Mike is working on fixing it today. And my brother is brining his anti-anxiety medicine today. You would think he could have told me about that before I picked him up...

Friday, May 14, 2010

Escape Artist. I have one.

Wags is proving to be a little too smart for his own good. He figured out how to un-do the latch on his kennel. And when we put a more sophisticated lock on it, he just pushed the corner of the gate until he could fit through. So now we have chains at the top, bottom and middle. Do you KNOW how long it takes to lock his sorry a@@ up before I can leave for work? And I still don't know if he's locked up right now. He may have escaped from that. Guess I'll find out this afternoon.

But, he and Evan are tight. He is very protective of Evan, especially when it comes to men. I can do anything I want to, but Mike has to be careful. Like, Mike gets growled at when he goes into Evan's/Wag's room. We're working on Mike spending more time with him.

Choc is getting used to him. They aren't friends - but at least Choc isn't barking every. single. breath. Daphne (cat) still hides. I don't blame her.

Other than that, not much is going on in our neck of the woods. I have a box from Amazon sitting in my living room - books, of course - and another on the way. So, as soon as I get the house cleaned up, it's reading time.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Here he is...Wags

The introduction of Wags into the home went about as smooth as could be expected. The inside cat hid under a futon. My dog, Choc, barked non-stop. And Wags just stuck to Evan like glue. From the moment we picked up Wags, he was Evan's responsibility. Evan has walked him, fed him, watered him, played with him, slept with him. Yes, slept with him. Either in the floor or in his bed. I'm not stupid enough to make the 'no dog in the bed' rule because Evan sleeps with his door closed. And I can't go in without knocking...because there are things I DON'T want to accidentally see... and knocking would give them enough time to get off the bed, so really, what would I be doing but setting up a rule I KNOW would be broken? Anyway, the dog is officially Evan's. Last night before bed Evan had to take care of the bedtime bathroom trip. Wags wandered from room to room until he determined that Evan was in the bathroom. At that point, he sniffed under the door and plopped down to wait. Here are a few pics from the weekend.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Apparently, insanity is catching

Our house is a Noah's Ark of sorts. We don't let our animals breed (I believe in spaying and neutering) but they seem to keep coming. Currently, we have Choc (a chihuahua), Daphne and Aflac (cats) and Halfa (a bird). Not once have we said "Hey, let's go get an animal. Because we need something to clean up after and feed." But someone calls with a story about an animal that needs a home. Or we see a neighbor's cat that we think isn't being fed. Or a bird just flies out of nowhere and lands on Mike's shoulder - I wish I was kidding.

We've had quite the year and Evan has born quite a bit of the brunt of it. Unintentionally, but still. He has had it pretty rough and has felt very alone at times. I know, puberty doesn't help those feelings. But he's an only child, and none of the animals are really bonded to him. Choc is MY dog. He will sit with other people, but when I sit down, he comes to me. No questions. The cats? Well, they just kind of ignore everybody. The bird is no fun, even when she is not in her cage. And Evan has been asking for a dog. One that will be his. One that doesn't look like a rat.

So. My brother adopted a dog in December. He and his wife have always had Boxers. Their latest one died in November, so they went right out and got another. He is a sweetie. He had been chained to a tree and was barely getting a cup of food a day. That is nowhere NEAR enough for a Boxer. He's pretty gentle and will go to sleep standing up if you are petting him. But, he is very jealous of my brother. And last week he jumped on, scratched and growled at my 1 year old nephew. So, they made the decision to find him another home.

Guess who is taking him in? We are picking him up Friday... Meet Wags.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

3 things

I totally stole this from Miss Grace... but I think it will make me feel better. The object of this exercise is to list 3 good things going on.
  1. I have awesome things planned this weekend - a mini-reunion of people I was in marching band with in high school, a book signing for a high school friend that has written a book and seeing my nephew in a karate demonstration!
  2. I'm getting to spend a lot of time with my sister's kids.
  3. Evan is doing well in school and has made friends with some new kids.
That's all I can think of for the moment.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Thanks, everybody, for the kind words. We have seen this coming for a while. But until she hits this point, there is not a lot that can be done to help because she doesn't think she needs it.

Yesterday she wore Mom out. My sister-in-law and I did dinner/desert so Mom didn't have to. Dinner was waiting when she got home with the 2 kids and their stuff. We helped unload the car and get things set up. Earlier in the day my brother-in-law had brought the crib. He recognizes that this will not be a short term situation.

Some of what Mom and BIL went through:
  • She was completely ignoring the kids
  • She wouldn't bathe which is VERY unlike her - she is usually dressed to the "T", make-up and hair perfect
  • She would talk obsessively about what she had done (won't go into that) and that the police were coming to get her (there is no reason...just paranioa)
  • When not talking, she would look off into space
They finally got her to the doctor around noon and the doctor agreed that she needed admission. But. There was no open room on the psych floor. They finally called around 3 today - which meant BIL had a rough night of listening to her.

Today I went over to Mom's to help her out. She needed to sort through what she brought to see what she still needed. About noon, Little Sister decided she needed to see her kids. So BIL brought her over. Truth be told, I think BIL just needed a break, because she ignored the kids unless they were shoved in her face. But I don't begrudge him that break. He SO needed it. But by this afternoon she was trying to convince us she was fine and didn't need to go to the hospital. Um, too bad and none of us are stupid. She tried to keep talking to me and I had to tell her that the didn't need to be talking about this in front of her 3 year old daughter.

Anyway, she is where she needs to be, safe, getting the help she needs. And maybe THIS time she will stay on her meds. Maybe. But probably not.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Why are people that are not capable of caring for themselves perfectly able to have child after child?

Yet again, my sister has gone off the rails leaving her husband and my parents to deal with the mess. She is being committed today. Again. Thoughts and statements of suicide. I know she can’t help what goes on in her brain. But she knows that medication helps and she refuses to take it. And knowing that she had these problems, she had 2 children that are innocent. One is 3 and very smart and intuitive– she knows exactly what is going on around her. The other isn’t a year old yet. Oh, and mom found an ovulation kit by her computer today. So is she planning number 3???
So, as my mom and brother-in-law make plans to hospitalize my sister, my sister-in-law and I make plans to help my parents care for the 2 kids. I’m sure this isn’t what mom and dad had in mind when they retired. But we are all lucky that they are healthy and glad to help.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

My trip...

Well, I'm back. Spent last night in Atlanta seeing Hurricane Bells, Start of Track and Field and BLUE OCTOBER!
Char and I had an amazing time! A relaxing drive, a beautiful, quaint hotel, an incredible dinner and the concert. It was a much needed break. And I'm so glad she was there with me - she tends to push me to do things that I normally wouldn't do. Like hang around the bus and get pics with all the band memebers! We got 3 pretty quick, but we had to wait for the lead singer. A long time. But it was so worth it. He signed our tickets and took a picture. They were all very nice and laid back about all the fan stuff. Anyway, it was everything I wanted and more!
And yes, I look scared to death...but part of that is lack of visible brows....
Back to work tomorrow....

Monday, March 22, 2010

Boys will be boys...

A growing boy...

I'm hoping that tonight I will have a little time to post some pictures fromt his weekend. We took a weekend trip to visit family and had a blast! Some things I learned:
  1. I need sunscreen, but not much, when it's 70 degrees and sunny. We sat by the pool all day (5 hours) and I didn't even get pink, except for the few places I didn't get sunscreen. Apparently, SPF 8 was more than I needed.
  2. Evan (11 yrs old) is now old enough to get a girl's phone number. A 13 year old girl. Whom he promptly ignored after getting said number.
  3. Boys will play barefoot in the sand and water even when it is 50 degrees. They just can't resist.
  4. Boys will climb trees even if the tree branches out over Mobile Bay and there is a very good chance they will fall into the freezing water.
  5. Short hair is awesome. I may never let it grow out again. I never would have cut it this short by choice...and it may not be the best look for me. But I don't care. 5 second hair care is under-rated.
  6. Giving Evan a cell phone has made things so much easier and so much harder at the same time.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dude, where's my money?

Long ago, in the dark ages, there was a girl who was a band geek. Ok, it was me. I loved being in the band, despite the social stigma. Ok, the stigma really wasn't bad for me, but it was for a lot of people. It never stopped me from dating or having friends outside the band, but the stereotypical band geeks had a hard time socializing. We worked hard all summer to perfect our half-time show. We competed in marching competitions. When that was over, we practiced for hours on symphonic band - we also competed with that. And once a year, we took a trip to compete somewhere out of state. One year it was Panama City Beach, FL. One year Chattanooga, TN. And we paid dearly for these trips. We did fundraiser after fundraiser. Washed cars, sold doughnuts, sold wrapping paper. We worked. And all profits went to offset the cost of the trip. And whatever we didn't raise, we (or our parents) paid. But we worked so hard, that the costs to our families were minimal.

Fastforward to today. I work for a pretty large company. We have an electronic 'bulletin board'. Glamour Girl knows what I'm talking about. It's a pretty neat tool. If you lose something, a ring, a watch, earring, whatever, you can put up a little post and hopefully someone will find it and return it. If you are having to do a school/scout fundraiser, just post it out there and interested people will make a purchase. If you are participating in a marathon to raise money for whatever cause is near and dear, post it and people will donate.

Today I was picking through it and found a post that just pissed me off. This is not a rant against social programs - believe me, I know those are needed. So don't twist what I'm about to say into me being 'anti-helping people out'. I believe in working for what you want. So when I came across a post asking for donations to fund a student's $6,500 trip to Europe (Spain, France, Italy) I was shocked. When did students start asking total strangers to just donate cash? Is this the norm? He may have participated in fundraisers, but that was not mentioned. Just a straight out request for cash.

I honestly believe that kids who are given everything lose the ability and will to work for things on their own. What is he learning if people just hand him cash in exchange for nothing?

Monday, February 22, 2010

A ray of sunshine

OK, I had this whole fabulous post about snow with pics and everything. And I lost it. So. Screw it. On to another subject. Oh, and as part of my solution to the previous posts...Miss Grace reminded me about parental controls. I'm so slow sometimes.

I've always loved music. Always. And I've always had a few bands that just rocked my little world. But. Nothing has ever made me as happy as Blue October. I found them at a time in my life when I was a little down. Depressed. They have a song for every situation, every mood I have. And really, how can I resist that face?

But last March when they released their latest CD, Approaching Normal, there was one song that just blew me away. See, that's when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And I needed an anthem in a bad way. Because with the right soundtrack, I can deal with anything. They delivered. Jump Rope (lyrics below). It set my attitude. It reminded me on a daily basis that things suck, but I can deal with it. Make the choice to deal. The end. No moping, no pity party. Well, maybe a pity party here or there. But they had to be short.

And that's when I decided if they EVER came close to B'ham, I was going.

So I'm going.

To Atlanta, GA. On April 7, a friend and I are going for a girl's night out. Tickets purchased, hotel booked. It's something fun to look forward to - and it came at the perfect time!

Here is a link to the song on Youtube...

Remember how you used to say
You couldn't wait till tomorrow for a brand new day?
And no fuss when you had to ride the bus
You just add a little blush
To paralyze your school crush

Now you're older and the weight is on your shoulder
Make the world a little colder
No more hiding in the old day
Be strong
Don't you give up hope
It will get hard
Life's like a jump rope

Up, downUp, downUp, downUp, down, yeah
'Cause it will get hard
Remember life's like a jump rope
Up, downUp, downUp, downUp, down, yeah
It will get hard
'Cause it will get hard

There'll be a bump and there will be a bruise
There'll be alarms and there will be a snooze
There'll be a path that you will have to choose
There'll be a win and there will be a lose and
You gotta hold your head up high and
Watch all the negative go by
Don't ever be ashamed to cry
You go ahead
'Cause life's like a jump rope

I want to tell you that everything will be okay
That everything will eventually turn itself to gold
So keep pushing through it all
Don't follow, lead the way
Don't lose yourself or your hope
'Cause life's like a jump rope

You stomp your feet so hard you make it pound
Raise the bottom to the top
And now we're never coming down
Up, down, stomp your feet spin around
Clap hands to the rhythm
Then you slip down

Friday, January 29, 2010

The plan

I've spent a lot of time thinking about how I'm going to monitor Evan's computer usage. Right now, both computers are in my office. Kind of hard to monitor through a closed door. Not that he's been asking to use the computer this week...but there will be times when he DOES need a computer. I finally came up with a solution.

The desktop needs to stay in the office. Many reasons - it's hooked to the printer and my Cricut. Plus I need an office space where I can close the door. So, I will be getting a keyed lock for that door. Guess who will have the key?

The laptop. I have a corner of the living room that is unused. It's a little area by the stairs - completely unfunctional space. I'm going to get a little mission style desk that he can use for homework and put the laptop there. I can look over his shoulder at any time.

I know kids are curious, but there is TOO much he doesn't need to see yet!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

My heart is in a million pieces...

It finally happened last night. My heart is shattered. I know a billion other moms have been through this. But I finally have proof positive that I no longer have a baby. 11 years old and I no longer have a baby.

Last night E was in his room - it was way past bedtime and I wanted to make sure he was in bed. We had a lot to do this morning, and I didn't want him any grumpier than he had to be. So, I went in to check on him. I opened his door quietly because I honestly thought he might be asleep. Well, I caught him off guard. He had my laptop in his room and had the earphones on. When he saw me, his eyes bugged out and one hand immediately went to the power button while the other hand tried to close the screen down. I immediately went into 'interrogator mom' mode. "What are you looking at?" He was caught so off guard, he couldn't even lie. "Boobs - I'm sorry, I'm so, so sorry!" and on and on it went. When he finaly calmed down I explained the best way I could. "E, it's only natural that you are curious, but there are viruses on those websites and I need this computer for work."

I mean, really, I don't want him to think he's a freak for being curious. But I don't want him surfing the net for it either because the net holds a lot more than boobs. Where did the good old days go when boys would innocently find their dad's porn stash, or their mom's Victoria's Secret catalog???