A Legend, A Bug, and a Disaster

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The past month or so I have been doing some remodeling in my bedroom, which led me to decide I needed to declutter the entire house. You see, I’ve lived in this house for nearly 18 years. I haven’t moved from house to house so I haven’t dug out every closet and purged every cabinet the way a true Martha Stewart wannabe should. With Christmas around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to just do a major toss out.

Little did I know that one thing would lead to another and this project would take me nearly two months to complete. To make matters worse, one day my little grandbaby lost my cell phone just when the kitchen sink decided to leak and the dog chewed up a library book while I had made a pile of junk to get rid of in the front yard. I got really frustrated that day. I went into the laundry room, where the mountain lives, and tears started to pour out of my eyes. For a minute there I thought about quitting my job, but who would I give my letter of resignation to?

Dear washing machine, You’re on your own. Start if you want to, spin if you feel like it, rust for all I care… Read the rest of this entry

We All Have Scars

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It’s been a long time since I’ve had so much to say that I’ve posted 4 days in a row, but this week my heart is so full of wonders and worries, questions and thankfulness, nostalgia and heartbreak, and I just can’t seem to stay focused on anything.

One minute I’m thinking about the election and what it means and the next minute I’m praying over my little sister who is dead-locked in a battle with the Big C and then I find myself sorting out unresolved feelings from the unexpected death of my step-father which prompted me to think of the other veterans in my family and what I’ve come up with is this: we all have scars. Read the rest of this entry

Semper Fi and I Miss You

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My step-dad and I had a complicated relationship. There was a lot of love between us. When my teacher decided to push a gifted student over the edge by giving me Trigonometry homework in the 4th grade, he stayed up with me until 2:30 in the morning, teaching me this math that I had no foundation for, and somehow we got it done. When I proudly turned it in the next day, she looked at me dumbfounded. When I asked what my grade was, she said “oh this wasn’t for a grade…” I went home that night feeling defeated and the next day he went to school with me, and I got my grade. I’m sure I was quite a nerdy kid, but he didn’t tell me that. Read the rest of this entry

About Last Night

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Yesterday my list was longer than the hours I had in front of me. I had work, one sick kid at home, two kid appointments, senior pictures (that were luckily postponed), voting, grocery shopping, making cheeseburger pie and keeping the grand-baby on the list. That doesn’t include the stuff I didn’t put on the list, like laundry, iTigers, lunch drop-offs, or desperately hoping to squeeze in a nap. Needless to say, it was a typical too-much-t0-do kind of day. Read the rest of this entry

It All Evens Out

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Last night I heard yelling from my bedroom. “Hey! I accidentally paused the TV! How do I fix it?!” I couldn’t believe it was my husband asking this ridiculous question, but I went ahead and answered him. “Push play” I said. “It’s not working, I tried;” he carried on and on until he said “come fix it!”

“UMMMMMM NOOOOO! I’m pretty busy in here!”  Read the rest of this entry

If You Give A Mom a Paintbrush

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Lately my life reminds me of that book, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie, it’s just one thing after another after another. So, admittedly, I stole the mouse story and made it my own. It goes something like this:

If you give a mom a paintbrush, she’s going to want to paint her bedroom. You’ll have to go with her to Lowes so she can buy two gallons of color and a gallon of glossy enamel.

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She’ll settle on a warm shade of gray and bright white gloss and she’ll break out her coupon for $5 off a gallon of Olympic. If she has a coupon for the paint, she’ll want to use her savings to add some decorative moldings.

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

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The Prince and the Showgirl and Me

When I was 9 years old I remember going to our beach house with my grandfather. It was a special place- built by my Great Grandfather. He called it a fishing shack- a place to spend the day out on the bay on a boat named “The Finnegan Jethro” stringing together enough fish for a feast. (I just realized I’ve always wanted to know where that name came from, and the person I would most like to ask is no longer here). It was a bit musty with paint peeling from the boards that fastened together a two room cabin- but that simple little house could somehow sleep 40 people. Fancy furnishings of the 1960s scattered here and there showed that my grandmother had once tried to put her upper-class decorating spin on the place, and hence the shack was transformed into “the beach house”. Still, it was decorated with little people made out of seashells and googly eyes and strings of coke tabs folded into chains to hold back curtains and hang plants. I can picture my great-grandmother gluing those funny little eyes on her seashell finds of the day.

There’s a story in here somewhere that I really wanted to tell, but the more I type about my great-grandparents (Daddy ‘O and Mama Jimmie) and my grandparents (Softy and Robbie Doll), the more I’m overwhelmed by memories of just how special these people were and how lucky I was to be raised in such a family of jokesters, fishermen, poker players, magicians and fancy decorators.

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Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

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This is Texas, so the weather doesn’t exactly scream “Fall”. It’s still as hot as August but there are clues all around that it should be the season of changing colors. Most of those clues are up and down the aisles of Wal-Mart. It started with the pumpkins that replaced the watermelons at the front door. Then there were orange and red decorations on the end-caps. I noticed Halloween candy starting to fill up displays. Great, is it already time to start planning costumes and hayrides? Surely not… Read the rest of this entry

Our First Call of the Year

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My little grandbaby has a cold. She’s a year and a half, and I can count on one hand the number of times she’s had a cold, that’s pretty lucky if you ask me. I had the kind of babies whose eardrums sometimes ruptured, babies who needed emergency surgery, babies who maxed our their prescription coverage on a regular basis. I thank God every day for this blessing of a granddaughter who is bright and beautiful and healthy.

My oldest kids used to miss school quite a bit. They caught every bug that went around. And of course they milked it for nursing by mommy. One year all three of them had mono at the same time. That was fun. Then our four little ones were placed in our home. At first I thought we’d never see the end of the doctor’s office. The nurse practitioner assured me we’d adjust. “You’re all carrying different sets of germs. You’re getting each other sick. Eventually you’ll all mesh into one big set of germs and everyone will be just fine!” I can’t believe how much I was looking forward to becoming one giant ball of germs.

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Do the Happy Dance

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I did it! I survived the summer! I know, some of you moms are weeping in your Frosted Flakes this morning as your little ones made their first journeys to kindergarten. Some of you are just sad that summer and all your extra time together has come to an end. I have been both of you, but today I’m the mom I never thought I’d be. I’m the mom that shouted “Hallelujah” at the Silence of the Zoo!

Don’t get me wrong, I love lazy days and lemonade and picnics by the pool, but with these kids at home, the grocery bill is somewhere around $500 a week, and I think a whopping $50 of that is just toilet paper, so YES! Enjoy them Tigerland. I will pick them up at 3pm. Read the rest of this entry