Saturday, May 30, 2009

Oh, I'm Just Piddling...

Years ago, I remember reading an article about how men and women are different...Really? I did not see that coming... Anyway, one example given was the differences in how they shop. Women browse, while men "bag" the object of their desire and leave.

Well, newsflash, the differences do not stop there. The other day I'm piddling around in the yard...My husband is watching me and begins to "organize" my work for me...

Pops -"Why don't you put everything in one container instead of walking back and forth."

Me -"Cuz, I'm just piddling around..."

Pops -" Yeah, but if you just put all this in that, you could just make one trip.."

Me -"Yeah, but I'm just piddling ...

Pops -"What???"

Me " I'm not trying to organize a work load; I'm off; this is my leisure time...I'm just piddling around!"

To the male of the species, I leave the definition of "Piddle" - verb.
When the female of the species aimlessly browses around the yard or a room, ...looking at this...moving that....then going back to rearrange it all again... To piddle, piddling!

Please be advised that it is recommended that the female not be interrupted during this activity. As unorganized and random as it appears, she is relaxing.

Being an author is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. ~Graycie Harmon

Tonight, my computer does not seem to want me to write...
Actually, maybe tonight I do not want to write...

Writer's block?

One thing is certain,
Writing comes from within,
Pieces of ourselves,
Shared and scattered,
As seed upon an open field.

A nimble note,
Humorous and fleeting,
A flirty little idea.
Left to germinate,
A smile or two.

A melancholy moment,
Heavy and brooding,
A somber thought,
Flung afar,
To purge the soul.

Facts and fictions,
Spun like a web,
Into a story,
Or prose.

Drafted and penned,
Cast into the void,
To be caught,

With meaning,
with feeling,
Words with life...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The "Uplifting Blogger" Award

Distracted By Shiny Objects at A Tidings Of Magpies left me this sweet award! Thank you so very much!

"The Uplifting Blogger Award, goes to fellow bloggers who visit frequently and raise my spirits with their kind words of encouragement, their beautiful images and their wonderful outlook on life. They make blogging a positive experience and continue to make my life richer."

Distracted says,"Please feel free to pass this award along to your friends. I ask that you do name them but you don't have to link to them. Just stop by their blogs and let them know you've given them this award."

Distracted, this is so unexpected. I am honored and very, very humbled. As I stated in my comment, your blog, A Tidings of Magpies, is the gold standard in blogging. Thank you, again. I shall pass this on to...

Jane at Gaston Studio
Pastor Sharon at Dances With God
Kirti at Birth Of A Notion
Relyn at Come Sit By My Fire

Kirti, this is me in the red dress..."And at this time I want to thank these friends who follow and leave their kind, kind, words of encouragement! I appreciate you all! " Now, I am existing my stage...doing the beauty queen wave...
I knew that," Extremely Superficial, But Absolutely Essential, and Just Plain Impractical" red dress would come in handy...

Tick Check !!! Ewww...

As I have mentioned, a time or two... or ten, we live in the sunny south. Home to blood sucking varmints of all shapes and sizes. At the top of my "gross me out" list is the tick...

When I was a youngster, back when dinosaurs roamed our planet. A friend died of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. This is a tick borne illness. This death sparked quite a panic. It was the first funeral I ever attended for a child and being a child myself, I found this very unnerving.

Years later, this fear and loathing remains. Since we live on a couple of acres in a rural setting, through the years we have often battled ticks... finding their hard, flat bodies crawling up your leg, on your back, or eww, in your hair...
My skin is crawling just thinking about it. Any way, to combat my fear and loathing of said creepy crawly; years ago we instigated," tick checks."

In short," tick checks" took place upon entering the house after playing or working in the yard. Everyone one was younger and less modest so essentially upon entering the house you stripped down to your shimmies for mom to carefully comb through your hair, and visually inspect in and behind your ears, on your chest, back, under your arms and so forth and so on.

This "healthy" fear of the blood suckers became so ingrained that over the years as the kids would stream in from the yard one only needed to yell a reminder..."TICK CHECK..." which instigated the same oft repeated chain of events. Young 'un would run to the bath room, strip and begin the search for the unwelcome hitch hikers. Later to emerge bathed, clean and varmint free.

The other day when the newlyweds came over, they were relaying a harrowing tale about finding a tick on their baby, Molly. Molly is a Maultipoo ,which means that she is a species of dog no bigger than a piece of fluff that thinks she is human. Anyway, we're all sitting in the den listening to this tale of woe when I said you are going to have to...and before I could utter the words the room erupted with the words so familiar to us all, "TICK CHECK!"

Now, I don't mind saying, at that moment, well...I was pretty proud...yeah...I had passed down fear and loathing to the next generation. Wow, what a legacy...

Now, for all you tick rookies, I have provided the above chart. Which means I will probably not be looking at this post again because just the pictures gross me out. Also, for information on tick borne diseases and what to do go to:
and remember mama says, "Tick Check!"

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.John 15:13

In Flanders Fields
John McCrae, 1915.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

We, as a nation, are deeply indebted to our service men and women
and their families.
Words are simply inadequate to express our gratitude.
May God bless you and yours
And may God bless America...

For the history behind Memorial Day
and poetry and prayers to honor
our heroes go to:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Don't Act Like A Bunch Of Hillbillies...

Hillbilly: noun - to act like you ain't got good sense.

This, of course, is my definition.

Back in the day, when everyone was younger,
every time we left the house I would plead:
"Please, guys, don't act like a bunch of hillbillies...
I don't know why, but every time we go somewhere; you act like you've never been anywhere..."
Inevitably, we would emerge from said outing with me mad as a wet hen asking," Why?...Why must you do this? Every time we leave the house you act like you don't have good sense!"

Well, I never figured it out completely; but here are my thoughts on the subject outlined in a piece called:

The Juvenile Code of Misbehavior

1) Leaving the house for any reason is an adventure. One may not be allowed to experience such freedom again so the youthful offender must be willing to take his or her chances. Opportunities for misbehavior may include, but are not limited to: church activities, grocery shopping or general shopping, visiting with friends or family, vacations, school trips and eating out.

2) Capitalize upon the times when your parent is distracted and not watching. The "eyes in the back of the head" threat is an urban myth.

3) Chances are your mom or dad isn't gonna "wear you out", at least not right there in public, so go for it. The intent of the misbehavior is temporary personal enjoyment and the elimination of boredom. However, all activities are undertaken at your own risk.

4) It is possible, though unlikely, that your guardians may not notice you crawling under the clothes racks and not using "your inside voices...". However, be forewarned that forgetting your manners especially in the presence of family and friends is extremely risky behavior and is not condoned in the code.

5) Remember, The Juvenile Code of Misbehavior mantra: Live dangerously and in the moment! Isn't that what childhood is all about?

6) Later, after the misbehavior has occurred, one can always plead temporary insanity...This may work because parents believe that no one in their "right" mind would act that way...

7) Blame your irresponsible and out of control behavior on your deviant siblings... at the very least this will create doubt and buy some time...Note, do not try this if there are no siblings...

8) Feign misunderstanding and confusion over said infraction...This tricky maneuver is best achieved with a wide eyed blank stare followed by the innocent question...What???

9) At this point your parent may begin to "rant and rave." Remain calm. This works to your advantage as it releases tension over said offense.

10) Lastly, combine puppy dog eyes with all the above. Say you're sorry...really sorry. Then begin to pray earnestly for a diversion of biblical proportions to save your adventuresome soul.

Should the aforementioned strategies work the process can be safely repeated by substituting previously unused techniques.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The South Carolina Wife...

Three men were sitting together bragging about how they had given their new wives duties.

The first man had married a woman from Michigan. And he told her that she was going to do the dishes and the house cleaning. It took a couple of days but on the third day, he came home to see a clean house and dishes washed and put away.

The second man had married a woman from Illinois. He had given his wife orders that she was to do all the cleaning, dishes, and the cooking. The first day he didn't see any results, but the second day he saw it was better. By the third day, he saw his house was clean, the dishes were done, and there was a huge dinner on the table.

The third man had married a beautiful girl from South Carolina. He told her that her duties were to keep the house cleaned, dishes washed, lawn mowed, laundry washed, and have hot meals on the table 3 times a day. He said the first day he didn't see anything. The second day he didn't see anything. But by the third day some of the swelling had gone down and he could see a little out of his left eye....enough to fix himself a sandwich and load the dishwasher.

Let that be a lesson to ya!

Newlywed sent me this and I laughed out loud! That sounds like our sweet Carolina Belles...Beware...Kinda like poison dart frogs ... Beauty and color are natures way of saying: Danger, Stay Away...We warned ya...

"Weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning..."

Jesus, be with my patient tonight,
The day has been long,
The labor hard,
She is so tired.

She has been a valiant warrior,
combating fatigue and pain,
to try and bring her son into this world.

You who author all life,
You who hold every tomorrow in your hand,
Please send your angels to guard this one,
Grant strength, comfort, peace and health.

Be with all who care for her tonight,
Give them great skill and wisdom,
Equip them in every way.

As your word says,
"weeping may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning."

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Every man's memory is his private literature. ~Aldous Huxley

You get a line and I'll get a pole, Honey,
You get a line and I'll get a pole, Babe,
You get a line and I'll get a pole,
We'll go fishing by the crawdad hole,
Honey, Baby, Mine....

Years ago when we were looking for our future home, we determined that we wanted to have a creek in the back yard. I grew up out in the country. I was a tom-boy if ever there was one. We had every critter known to man, cats, dogs, parakeets, turtles, ducks, horses, rabbits...

I loved climbing trees, playing in the creek, and roaming in the woods for hours. What an adventure. There were crawdads, salamanders, minnows and snakes. There were huge muscadine vines that hung from the trees and we used to swing over the creek on them. There were hours of "childish boredom" which have since become cherished memories.

I was a very lucky girl. Yet, I did not realize it. I don't think most children do. So today when Baby Girl came running in with a crawdad from the creek, I was so happy. I am so glad she and all the kids have gotten to enjoy their own wild kingdom.

When I hear I'm bored, I secretly smile. It is in these moments of languishing by the creek, daydreaming from the branches of a tree, or lazily contemplating what to do next, that our future sweet memories of childhood are born...

Friday, May 15, 2009

Blogger Therapy

There is massage therapy, physical therapy,
Music therapy and more,
Occupational therapy, speech therapy,
There are therapies galore.

However, there is one therapy, only one therapy,
That provides the best cure,
That would be blogger therapy,
Yes, blogger therapy, of that I am sure!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

You might be a redneck if...

I love Jeff Foxworthy. He is so funny. My husband and sons have been out shooting bees. Every year carpenter bees come and drill into our house. It is so annoying, not to mention destructive! Apparently after hunting them down with tennis rackets, pesticides, and various other weapons of mass destruction,
they have decided that a 22 rifle filled with shot cartridges works best.
Uh huh, so, you might be a redneck if and yer boys shoot bees with a 22...Yeah, that's how we roll...our poor neighbors....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

God made rainy days so gardeners could get the housework done. ~Author Unknown

Oops, I didn't realize that! Oh, well... A wise soul once said, "Dust is just a country accent."
I, on the other hand, prefer to refer to it as my country/cottage look...yeah.
It is absolutely beautiful after days and days of rain, WHICH I will not complain about due to the drought.
I believe I'm gonna play in the yard today (weed),
get some sun (plant),
and relax (cut the grass).
I may even indulge myself by looking for antiques (go under the house to clean out all the junk)
and then end this perfect day by pulling the van back into the garage (clean that ridiculously messy place out too)!
Eat your heart out, America.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I think we dream so we don't have to be apart so long. If we're in each other's dreams, we can play together all night. ~Bill Watterson

Today is Mother's Day and I awoke to the best gift.I dreamed of my mother last night. I have been wanting to dream of her for so long....just to get to see her, talk to her and hug her again. Just to know that she is alright...

You know how crazy dreams are...this one was no different. I will not bore you with the crazy Alice in Wonderland like quality of most of it. But at one point I was talking to Mom telling her about work, how I had gained too much weight, how I was too fat for my jeans...seems I mentioned there would only be salads for me for a while...really, how mundane. I obviously had no idea in my dream how special the moment was to drone on about such stuff.

The best part though was telling her how much I loved her...I hugged her a long time, then I had to go...because dream appointments are so important apparently. But, I stopped and turned around went back and just hugged her a really, really long time. It was a strong hug. I kept telling her over and over how much I loved her. She said she knew and that she loved me too. I think I told her to come by the house later and then I left...

In my dream Mom wasn't dead and I didn't realize she had died...because I never would have let her go or left her if I had remembered. Also, there probably would have been a lot of crying. Any way Mom looked wonderful. She was younger and so beautiful... maybe around 30. She was happy and healthy and busy. Mom was always busy. I sensed she felt very fulfilled with what ever she was doing. Mom always had a project going...

It was the best...the very best. Mom, I love you, one more time. And Lord thank you so much for the beautiful, wonderful, amazing gift of dreams that can reach across time and space.
Happy Mother's Day to all our Moms out there. You are irreplaceable.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories. ~John Wilmont

If nature had arranged that husbands and wives should have children alternatively, there would never be more than three in a family. ~Lawrence Housman

What can I say, this quote is self explanatory!

Insanity is hereditary; you get it from your children. ~Sam Levenson

I read an article once about how we lose brain cells while we are pregnant. Really we do. That explains a lot...

The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new. ~Rajneesh

So true. My whole life I was such a mild mannered little thing. After the children came I turned into a lioness.

Sweater, n.: garment worn by child when its mother is feeling chilly. ~Ambrose Bierce

Of course...

A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries

Until they get their drivers license and then you call them every time you hear a siren!

When you are a mother, you are never really alone in your thoughts. A mother always has to think twice, once for herself and once for her child. ~Sophia Loren

Never alone in our thoughts, never alone in the bathroom, in the kitchen, in the....

Happy Mother's Day to all!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Nate the Great, My Hero

This is the first blog I have typed since Nate fixed my computer. This is my Mother's Day gift and if it works, it is the best! Really even if if doesn't work, it's the best because of the thought and effort behind it.

This computer has the wacky ability for the cursor to jump all over the board while you are typing. And since I hunt and peck, albeit very efficiently; it is very annoying! Nate is pacing around me as I type. He is our resident computer genius and W.O.W. /World of Warcraft expert. However, around here we call it the World of Warcrack for the obvious addictive reasons! Nate is a level 80 priest and a mage... whatever that is! And apparently that is supposed to be top secret...shhh. He is also a member of the alliance, the good side, which is also a secret...shhh.

Anyway, he came home from co-op really tired today after exams. I was on the internet looking up new computers and prices which definitely got his attention. He then groaned and took the computer from me to try and fix it. Where upon I very subtly, with all the southern grace and charm I could muster, yelled at everyone else reminding them, "Hey, Sunday is Mother's Day and I would love to receive what I ask for every year and NEVER get... a clean house!"

About that time I turned to Nate and said if you can fix this that can be your gift to me. I have been typing all this time and Nate has been pacing and it has only done it once at the beginning and I'm so hoping I hit something by mistake. In the past it would do it every few words. Sooo this is great! Kudos to Nate. You are my hero!!!!
Now back to the clean house... hey, where did everybody go???

Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."Isaiah 30:21

Lord, please help me discover who I am to be.
For years I was a daughter, granddaughter, student, friend;
then I was a wife. The student wife became the nurse.
The nurse became the caretaker.
The caretaker then became a mother.
The mother and caretaker became the teacher.
Always trying to be a friend. Filling my days with the love and passion that comes from you. I had it all figured out... or so I thought. Serving in our church and community, I felt your guidance and your pleasure. Never have you left me in joy or in pain.

Now, I find it is time to rediscover myself. Who am I? Where am I going? What do I need to be about? Prayerfully there will be many years ahead. Plant your vision in me, please.... "For what does it matter if I gain the world and lose my soul." Indeed, it matters. Is it possible for me to bumble through this life and miss it... Please give me a clarity and a vision for your purpose. Give me the strength, energy, passion and devotion to accomplish it. For my friends and family I ask for this same direction and guidance...Help us all bring You here until we are all home again with You...May we have the peace of knowing we walk with You.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Oh, wouldn't the world seem dull and flat with nothing whatever to grumble at? ~W.S. Gilbert

One exam down and one to go...I was up most of the night studying for the algebra final. Tomorrow is statistics. I am going to be so glad when these classes are behind me. I bet y'all will be glad too. No more whining!!! Well, at least not about math...

I should not whine at all, but I must confess I do. Wow, I feel better now that this tawdry little secret is out. Whew...

Anyway, I sent my teachers thank yous for their unending patience. However, I thought you might enjoy my post script to my statistics professor.

P.S. Dr. C,
I will never look at any data or polling information the same way again. The intelligent thing to say is that now I will be more critical and well-informed. However, the truth of the matter is I will forever be eternally grateful to the people who can live through the process of producing data to enlighten us without shooting themselves....

And that's the truth!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles...Isaiah 40:31

The words they flow like rain, the thoughts like tears...
Life is hard, life is so very hard.
Like walking on shells at the beach,
The surf is so beautiful but the shells hurt my tender feet.
I walk through this life absorbing the beauty,
The shells of life scar and mar,
but my soul is unblemished.
It flies...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try! ~Dr. Seuss

E. and Baby Girl are building forts with the grands in the den.
Every blanket we own is draped between the chairs and coffee table.
The house is indeed a mess for those over 18 and at the same time a magical world for those under 10. I hear them crawling here and there, creating more rooms...I remember...don't you?

Forgotten Language
by Shel Silverstein
Once I spoke the language of the flowers,
Once I understood each word the caterpillar said,
Once I smiled in secret at the gossip of the starlings,
And shared a conversation with the housefly
in my bed.
Once I heard and answered all the questions
of the crickets,
And joined the crying of each falling dying
flake of snow,
Once I spoke the language of the flowers. . . .
How did it go?
How did it go?